Saturday, 14 October 2017

Hyacinth or Hyacinthus


Well, grow at least a few hyacinths so you can pick them. You know, they are looking very prettier indoors in vases, where they can perfume the room, than they do in gardens. The leaves, which seem to stick around forever, are quite unsightly, and even the flower heads, look rather lumpy among the more dainty shapes of the other bulbs. But grown with something to soften them, such as a sea of forget me nots or blue flowering periwinkle; they are not hard to take. The flower heads become less thick as years go by an improvement.
There is Hyacinthus you can grow besides Hyacinthus orientalis, from which the big Dutch cultivars are commonly derived. Try Roman hyacinth (H. o. albulus) in blue, pink and white. Roman hyacinth has a looser cluster but more stems per plant. The common hyacinth is hardy, you can still try it north of there is you give it some winter protection and plant is frilly deep.
If you want to grow Hyacinthus then in the north plant Hyacinthus as early as in fall. However in warm areas refrigerate the bulbs for a few weeks and plant in late fall. They like a sandy loam of moderate fertility that is moist but very well drained. Grow in full sun or light shade. Plant the large bulbs 5 inches deep and 6 inches apart, and trying to create the effect of natural groupings to offset the rather stiff bearing of the leaves and flowers.

Begonia or Tuberhybrida


Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. The genus contains 1,795 different plant species. The Begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Some species are commonly grown indoors as ornamental houseplants in cooler climates. Tuberous begonias are prima donnas compared to the relatively low key plants, but it is hard to resist them especially if you are coping with a shaded or partly shaded situation. These are not grown as annuals. They grow from little around tubers that persist from year to year if you take care of them properly.

There are several types of tuberous begonias, all of them gorgeous. The most spectacular are the upright forms, which grow a foot or more tall and produce flowers as large as 10 inches across in vivid reds, pinks, salmons, apricots, yellows, oranges and white. Flower forms vary, as some are shaped like roses, camellias, ruffled edges and some have edges in a contrasting color. The multi-flora types are bushy plants about a foot tall with smaller flowers; but they are easier to grow and are more tolerant of sun. The pendula types have long, trailing stems that make them perfect for hanging baskets. All types bloom all summer but are hardy only in frost free zones.
How to Grow Begonia?
Well, if you want to grow begonia, then the stems of all begonias are fragile and will not stand heavy dog and cat traffic, so plant them in a safe spot. They can also be grown in containers, indoors or out. The leaves do not like to get too wet they can mildew or sit in the sun. The worst thing you can do to begonias is to get their leaves wet, then let them sit in the sun (the leaves die). The tubers and stems can both rot if the soil is too wet. The flowers also have a tendency to drop off, like reluctant debutantes, just as they are reaching their peak of exquisite perfection. You can float a dropped off blossom in a bowl of water and it will stay pretty for days.
Moreover, put begonias in a spot, where they will get plenty of bright light to keep them from getting leggy, but don’t put them in direct sun. Give them moist, light soil with plenty of organic matter, and make sure it is well drained. They prefer humid air, but it must circulate freely around the plant. To plant begonias, start the tubers as early as February, setting them in trays of moistened peat moss. You just need to simply press them gently, flat side up and round side down into the surface of the peat.
Water lightly and wait for them to sprout little pink buds if they have not done so already. Shoots will emerge from the buds and roots will form at the sides of the tubers.. when the tubers have sprouted just put each one in a pot about 5 inches wide on top, filled with a light potting mix such as one part loam, one part peat, and one part sand, with perhaps some compost or rotted manure worked in. As the plant grows be sure it has plenty of light or you will get leggy growth. Stems should not be pinched. Moreover, use fluorescent lights if you haven’t a bright natural source out of direct sun.

Furthermore, a high nitrogen fertilizer such as fish emulsion will give the leaves the rich dark green color you want to see. When frost threatens bring the potted plants indoors, but don’t try to keep them blooming too much longer. Before fall is too far underway you should let them become dormant by withholding water and letting the foliage die. Then store the tubers in dry peat or sawdust until its time to plant them again. Some people divide the tubers by cutting them, making sure there is one eye to each plant. Normally the prefer to let each tuber get bigger and fatter each year, making  larger, more magnificent plants, and then take cutting from these if you want to increase the stock. Cuttings should be rooted in moist sand. Source: Charismatic Planet

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Magnolia


Well, magnolias are handsome ornamental trees, with their showy flowers, their dark green leaves and their relatively small size. Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. It is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol. They are generally thought of as southern plants, but there are species that will do well in the north,, even though they may not make you feel like Scarlett O’Hara. Saucer magnolia (magnolia x soulangiana) grows about 25 feet tall, normally with several trunks, with smooth, dark gray bark. The large flowers, white streaked with pink and purple, sit upright at the tips of the branches before the leaves appear. Star magnolia is a considerably smaller tree the flowers, which appear quite early in spring, are like large fragile white stars. The natural range of Magnolia species is a disjunction distribution, with a main centre in east and Southeast Asia and a secondary centre in eastern North America, Central America, the West Indies, and some species in South America.

The foliage is much finer textured than that of saucer magnolia. Bothe are hardy, but in cold climates are best grown in a partly shaded exposure to retard bloom early flowers can be killed by cold, and late snowstorms can turn start magnolia blossoms into tattered wrecks. Southern magnolia, also called “bull bay” (M.grandiflora), is a native ever green single trunked tree that can grow as tall as 90 feet, though it is usually a good bit shorter. It is hardy though it may survive farther north if grown in a sheltered location. It has huge, glossy, dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers that can be as large as a foot across. Its seeds pods, which open in fall to reveal red seeds, are also ornamental.

Magnolias normally like full sun, except in the situation described above, and except for southern magnolia, which is fairly shade tolerant. All like fertile, loose, well drained soil that is rich in organic matter, with a slightly acid pH. Magnolias do not transplant easily and should be planted balled and bur lapped in spring. The roots are shallow, and care should be taken when cultivating around them. Moreover keep the soil moist while the trees are becoming established, and mulch them. Magnolia scale can be treated with a dormant oil spray. Magnolias do not respond well to pruning because the wounds do not heal easily. But any dead or diseased wood should be removed. Remove water sprouts,, suckers and any undesirable branches while they are small, if possible, pruning softer flowering in early summer. Spent blossoms can be removed for better bloom the following year, but usually magnolias bloom prolifically on their own. The shorter kinds can be trained to one trunk or allowed to be shrub like.  Source: Charismatic Planet

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Zinnia Flower


Zinnias are tender annuals that all gardeners love because they make a great show and are easy to grow. Zinnia is a genus of plants of the sunflower tribe within the daisy family, native to scrub and dry grassland in come in a variety of bright colors. The genus name honors German master botanist Johann Gottfried Zinnia. Zinnias are annuals, shrubs, and sub-shrubs native primarily to North America, with a few species in South America.

Flowers are flat or rounded heads of petals, like overlapping scales, in every color except blue. The height and flower sizes may vary. However, modern hybrids are derived from Zinnia elegans, Z. angustiflia and Z. haageana, and range in height from 12 inches to 3 feet. Large, tall zinnias such as the Zenith strain or the California Giants are good for the back of the garden. Cut and Come again, zinnias are bushy plants of moderate height that are full of button like flowers and bloom all the more if cut. Thumbelina zinnias grow about 6 inches high and all bloom until frost, and none need staking.

Moreover, to grow zinnia you can sow seeds indoors about 4 weeks before the last frost and set out in moist, fairly rich soil 8 to 18 inches apart depending on the size of the variety. Large zinnias will not branch properly if planted too closely. Too close planting may also lead to mildew. Use peat pots since they do not like to be transplanted. Since zinnias germinate and grow so quickly. It is also possible to sow them directly in the garden after danger of frost. Leaves may mildew, but this will not affect bloom. If the mildew bothers you, use a fungicide. Water in drought,, but try to keep water off the leaves, since this can make the mildew worse. Zinnias are warm weather plants and make excellent long lasting cut flowers.
 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Scilla Flower

Scilla is also known as Squill is a genus of about 50 to 80 bulb-forming perennial herbs in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae, native to woodlands, subalpine meadows, and seashores throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle-East. Scillas have small bell like flowers that dangle from thin 3 to 6 inch stems. Most gardeners love blue Scilla which mixes brightly with pinks, purple, whites, and contrast crisply with yellows and golds. The scilla family offers some of the best blues to be found anywhere. From the huge, striking blue of Scillia Peruviana to the smaller, carefree blues of tubergeniana and blue-purples of amethystine these sparklers belong in every garden that celebrates spring.
Most of the ones you will see in gardens and their color are blue, purple, lavender, pink and white scillas too. They are lovely in situations where their delicate beauty can be appreciated planted in woodland gardens, under the light shade of a deciduous tree, in rock gardens, or naturalized in lawns. Modern hybrids come from a number of species, most commonly Scilla siberica. S. tubergeniana has fewer flowers on a stem but more stems to a plant S. bifolia, the twin leafed squill, has more open flowers.
The precise number of Scilla species in the genus depends on which proposals to split the genus are accepted. S. hispanica (S. campanulata), Spanish bluebell, is quite tall usually over a foot and a good choice for shady location. The hardiest of all these is S. siberica, which will survive in cool climate plants. But if you want to grow S. peruviana, which is a foot tall usually purple, like the names of many bulbs, S. peruviana’s name is a geographical muddle; though both its Latin name and its common name, “Cuban lily”, give it a Latin American origin it is really native to the Mediterranean region.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

African Violet or Saintpaulia


Almost any plant can be a house plant if you want it to be even a tree if it’s grown as a bonsai. Although in growing houseplants the limitation are the space and light available but the plant choices are almost infinite. If you have patience for one little houseplant, this might be perfect one. It blooms almost all the time, eve in winter. It’s a tidy and compact, with pretty, oval, fuzzy leaves surrounding the flowers, which grow up in the center, making the plant look like a bouquet. Sometimes the leaves are bronzed or variegated. Hybridizers have produced thousands of varieties whose flower colors range from a wonderful intense blue, to purple, magenta, lavender, pink, coral and white but no real red as yet.

The flowers are normally about an inch wide, some are ruffled or fringed and some bicolored. All have bright yellow stamens in the center. Standard sized plants grow up to a foot tall, and semiminiature are 6 to 8 inches, as are the true miniatures, which have tiny flowers. There are also trailing varieties. The Optimara, Ballet and Rhapsodie series all contain excellent varieties. If your interest is sparked you may want to investigate the wider world of African violets. If you do not have much light and your rooms are on the cool side, you won’t have good luck with them unless you grow some of the newer varieties bred for low light and cooler temperature. Consult the African violet society for further information.

If you want to grow African Violet, then do best in a warm room where it is at least 70 degrees during the day and no colder than 60 degrees at night. Light should be bright but not direct sun; fluorescent lights and growing lights designed for plants seem custom made for African violet, and may enthusiasts use these alone. The plants prefer quite humid air especially the trailing ones and soil that is kept evenly moist, though it is all right for the soil to dry out for a day if the plants are not actively growing. They respond very poorly to overwatering and poor drainage. Use water that is at room temperature and try to keep the leaves dry to avoid leaf spot diseases.

Moreover, the easiest way to give African violets the soil they like is to buy a bag of commercial “African violet soil”, or you can make your own mix using one part peat or leaf mold for organic matter and one part sand or perlite for good drainage. Thus, feed about once a month with “African violet food” or a standard houseplant fertilizer one that is not too high in nitrogen or you will get lots of beautiful fuzzy leaves and no flowers. Over feeding is also a grave error, causing the leaves to turn gray and the leaf stems to rot. Flush out excess fertilizer salts regularly.

Further, use fairly small, shallow pots, keeping the plants a bit root bound, and turn and potted plants from time to time if most light comes from one side otherwise your flower display will be lopsided. Crowns can be derived, but leaf cutting are the best way to propagate African violets. Use a medium sized leaf and dip the stem in rooting powder. African violets don’t last forever; after they become woody the often decline that’s the time to take leaf cuttings.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Night Sky Petunia

If you gaze Petunia at distant you don’t have a strong enough telescope? Then don’t worry, because we have got the flawless solution. So, all you need to do is to buy yourself some Night Sky Petunias, because as you can see, their petals look like they’re hiding secret little universes inside of them. With their many different patterns, colors, shapes, and sizes, it's not unusual to gaze upon an unusual plant and realize that it reminds you of something totally different. Because, one flower that has taken this spectacle to the next level is the Night Sky Petunia. The Petunia is an appealing purple bloom that will have you seeing stars literally. The scientifically known as “Petunia cultivars”.
This cosmic flower features exclusive markings reminiscent of a starry sky. The each distinctive plant features clusters of purple flowers speckled with glowing white dots that look like celestial bodies. This hypnotic characteristic has made Night Sky Petunias, which can reach an average height of 16 inches and bloom during the spring and summer.  The Petunia is a mainly popular plant among gardeners and flower enthusiasts. So, what causes these ethereal patterns? A large variance between day and night temperatures will cause temporary white coloring to form on the flowers.” Thus, to guarantee that your Night Sky Petunias are always shining, you should aim to keep them toasty warm during the day and cool at night. If you'd like to grow your own galaxy-in-a-pot, you can pick up a packet of Night Sky Petunia seeds from





Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Butterfly Orchid


This is not a butterfly taking a rest on a piece of shrubbery. This is a “Psychopsis papilio” much known as the butterfly orchid, has petals of an incredible length, look like antennae and its speckled brown and yellow sepals look like outspread wings. It was formerly included in the massively paraphyletic "wastebin genus" Oncidium. The genus as a whole is commonly called butterfly orchids, but some species of other orchid genera are also called thus.  Currently the World Checklist of Monocotyledons recognizes four species: Psychopsis: papilio, krameriana, sanderae versteegii. Psychopsis with 38 chromosomes and two pollinia grow epiphytically in wet rainforest and also dry upland forest. It will flower for up to ten years and with each flower the stem gets that little bit longer.  However, they can bend with the wind, resisting gusts of over 40 miles per hour.  The pseudobulbs are tightly clustered, oval, oblong and almost round, and very compressed, wrinkled, often dull red. The flower leaves are solitary and erect and inflorescences are typically solitary per bulb, jointed and arched, arising from the base out of a sheath, producing a succession of flowers which last approx.  The butterfly orchid can also withstand extreme watering as well as accidental drying out with some ease. The four variant species of Psychopsis originate from the West Indies, Peru and Costa Rica.  In the wild the orchid clings to the branches and trunks of trees.  When it flowers in its natural habitat it must look like a host of butterflies have chosen to rest in the same place at the same time. It took 10 days, variable in color and size from inflorescence to inflorescence and from blooming to blooming. Never cut the inflorescence until it is clearly spent as old inflorescences will continue to produce flowers for many years.

The butterfly orchid is rumored to have started the European "Orchidmania" of the 19th century. The narrow, upright attenuated dorsal sepal and petals are dull to vibrant red-brown often with a narrow yellow picotee or with a few yellow transverse stripes. The broad, often down swept lateral sepals are canary yellow heavily marked with uneven transverse red-brown bars. The large lip is three-lobed with a large canary yellow center, bordered by a red-brown band. In addition to the normally pigmented forms, pure yellow forms devoid of the red pigment also exist. Flowering occurs at intervals throughout the entire year and well grown plants will have many inflorescences with more than one flower per inflorescence. In their native habitat Psychopsis have a preference the trunks and branches of trees where they dry out quickly though they do not like to dry out completely and do not need a rest period. The Psychopsis are intolerant of stale conditions at their roots and benefit from annual repotting, especially in bark mixes. The roots of these plants are fine and subject to salt burn if the potting medium is not frequently flushed with pure water. Because of their fat pseudobulbs, cultural problems can go undetected until noteworthy damage has been done.













Friday, 19 May 2017

The Beautiful Alluring “Pink Lady Slipper” Flower


The pink lady slipper flower is also known as the “moccasin flower” is very own much admired and often misunderstood wild native orchid in North America. Cypripedium acaule is a member of the orchid genus Cypripedium, commonly referred to as lady's slipper orchids. The Lady’s slipper is first described in 1789 by Scottish botanist William Aiton.  The flower is named for their resemblance to a delicate pair of feminine slippers in hues of pink, white, or variegated colors. Lady’s slipper orchids have a commanding presence their inflated blooms are charismatic to the point of heady swooning and inspiring colorful prose. The lady slipper flower is a hardy perennial & stubborn plant, can take many years to grow and develop from seed to mature plants.

The seed germination tends to be less commonly available than other Cyp species and hybrids. This is primarily due to the extra care that must be provided if the growing site is not naturally suitable for in-ground cultivation. In pink lady’s slipper, it is the flower, and not the root, that is reminiscent of male naughty bits. The pink lady’s slipper labellum is inflated and heavily veined, and other two petals are pink and narrow, twisting, and extending out to the side of the flower, like a dancer’s arms in mid-twirl. The flowers rely on a process called symbiosis to survive, which is typical of most orchid species. Symbiosis is when an organism, in this case a fungus found in the soil, is needed for a plant to grow and thrive. The fungus breaks open the lady slipper seed and attaches to it, passing on the food and nutrients needed for it to flourish. Once the lady slipper plant is mature and producing its own nutrients, the fungus will extract nutrients from the orchid roots.

The lady’s slipper requires highly acidic soil but tolerates a range of shade and moisture, though it prefers at least partial shade and well-drained slopes. It is habitually found in pine forests, where it can be seen in large colonies, but it also grows in deciduous woods. Once the lady slipper plants established, it will propagate at their own and live for lots of years if left undisturbed. Because a picked lady slipper will not rejuvenate itself, and the plant has a less than 5% transplant success rate, they are often considered “off limits” to pickers and diggers. The alluring pink petals, along with the flower’s wafting fragrance, entice large bumblebees, who ineptly pry their way into the inner chambers of the labellum, but bees quickly realize they have been duped, as there is no nectar to be found. The bees are incapable to retreat via the labellum due to the petal’s crafty design, so they look elsewhere for an escape from the pink luminescent chamber.

Lady’s Slipper color is so soothing and peaceful, look like so many little pink balloons, long deflated, on short stalks. Its scientific name is Cypripedium acaule; the species name means stemless, but flower actually has a stem, though not technically a stem. It’s a flower stalk, which botanists call a scape. Pink lady’s slipper grows in dry or wet acidic woods, under conifers such as pine and hemlock, or in mixed hardwoods. In the southern Appalachians, it is growing under sourwood, white pine and tupelo trees. Its range extends from Newfoundland, west to Alberta, down into northern Alabama and eastern Georgia.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Long Lasting Blue Flower Salvia (Sage)

Of a number of salvias is grown in the garden, the Salvia farinacea (blue salvia, or mealy-cup stage). A tender perennial grown as a half hardy annual in most climates, it has blue flower spikes 2 to 3 feet long that are as very attractive and long lasting in the garden as they are in bouquets. Others include Salvia splendens, or scarlet sage, which is a perennial grown as a tender annual and has brilliant red flowers and handsome dark green foliage. Moreover varieties come in a number of heights from about 9 inches to 2 feet. Choose the one that best suits your gardens. This is such a controversial plant that has even been heard of an Anti-Red Salvia League. It is often grown in masses and as such can be too much of a good thing. I am not such a salvia snob as to pas it over altogether, but do like it best in small groups with other plants that tone it down a little.


If you want to grow Salvia then it is normally best to buy started plants, salvias can be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last average frost. Seed must be kept warm to germinate. Transplant after danger of frost is past. However plant in full sun light shade in hot climates, spacing about a foot apart. Salvias can also be sown directly in the ground after the weather has warmed up, but unfortunately they take a long time to flower when grown this way. They like warm but not excessively dry weather and need to be watered in drought unless they’re well mulched.