Butterfly bush varieties & care

Butterfly Bush, biologically known as Buddleia Davidii, is one of those adorable plants that make their way to every gardener’s ‘bucket list’.  It’s famous for its long panicles and brightly colored flowers. The bush sprouts in a range of rich, vibrant colors, blossoms through the entire fall, and of course, intrigues hummingbirds and butterflies by the score. This plant is hard-natured ( USDA plant hardiness zones 5 – 9) and can tolerate extreme intensities of weather. Though it blossoms in the spring season, the glossy green foliage keeps the plant evergreen throughout the year.

Different Varieties of Butterfly Bush

Instead of the typical flowering colors, butterfly bush is commonly found in purple, blue, pink and often white. Some of its hybrids even possess orange and golden shade. A few common varieties are

  • Royal Red

This is found as a small shrub that tops out at approximately 6 feet, though the flower size is small. It’s a good accent or background plant for a perennial border or cutting garden.

  • Dwarf Blue

Also known as Nanho Blue, Dwarf Blue is one of the tidier butterfly bushes. The name ‘Dwarf’ is a bit misrepresenting because it’s the flowers and leaves that are small in size, not the overall spread of the bush. The colored flowers look extraordinary with their little size with long bushes that may get over 12 feet tall.

  • Twilight

This pretty butterfly bush is of dark purple color surrounded by 10 feet tall bushes. Plenty of water and proper drainage is required to garden this.

  • Sungold

A hybrid butterfly bush (Buddleia x weyeriana), Sungold grows a lot of golden pom-pom like flowers. The plant is a dense, well-shaped shrub that could reach around 8 feet.

  • Fountain Butterfly Bush

The flower color in this type of butterfly bush is soft lilac with drooping branches. The flowers present a mesmerizing view like a crystal clear waterfall surrounded by the cooling effect of greenery.

How to Plant Butterfly Bush?

To plant a butterfly bush, you need a place where the soil comes with good drainage and there is plenty of space for the bush to grow. Though butterfly bush does not require fertilizers much, a wet soil and plenty of space could do a lot to its perfect growth. These bushes can grow up to 12 feet in length and 4 to 15 feet in its spread. As they are fast growing plants, you can decorate your patio and outside fences with this vitalizing shrub.

Special Care of Butterfly Bush

As mentioned before, butterfly bush does not require fertilizers for its growth but certainly, need a wet and high-quality soil. It can tolerate intense conditions.  For example, even in frosty cold weather, if the root zone of this plant is covered with 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch, butterfly bush could grow actively.

There is one drawback of butterfly bush that its dried flowers do not shed down themselves. You have to remove them from the bushes to make it look tidy and beautiful. If you are good at deadheading, you can take a better care of your plant. Moreover, at the maturation stage, the plant releases its seeds that cause the weedy tiny plants to grow. So, to make your garden look lively and clean, remove all the dispersed seedlings as soon as possible. Otherwise, your place will get untidy with small, wild butterfly bush plants.

If you cut the bushes from the plant, you should do that along with their roots and top growths as well.  Otherwise, these will re-emerge soon. To make sure your garden brightens up with lovely blossoms of butterfly bushes, be consistent in trimming the dried flowers and rotten bushes on regular basis.

Tips for Butterfly Bushes Care

  • Arrange proper drainage system for the Butterfly bushes you have planted in your garden
  • A larger pot should be provided if you are interested in growing butterfly bushes in a bigger size
  • Even during summers, don’t water butterfly bushes on a regular basis because excessive water will spoil their growth.
  • You can place the bush pot even under the extreme sun. Sunlight is required to provide this plant a fresh and bright color.
  • These bushes can grow seasonal caterpillars on their foliage and flowers, so watch out for it. Caterpillar turns the bushes pale. A proper termite free spray is recommended as soon as you notice your plant turning fade.
  • The sweet honey aroma fragrance of butterfly bushes is an open invitation to butterflies as well as the caterpillars. So, prevent the shrubs from damaging and closely focus on the branches to detect any kind of caterpillars.
  • Your bushes may get attacked by Japanese insects who feed on its flowers nectar and revoke the visit of beneficial insects to the plant. , Spray insecticides to eliminate the presence of such attacking insects to your bushes.

Benefits of Growing Butterfly Bushes

There are a lot of benefits that come with butterfly bushes that overcome all the cons of this plant.

  • Butterfly bushes are hard nature plants and can grow without much water
  • They can bear intensities of weather without fading down
  • Evergreen in nature and give birth to buds till they fall
  • An attractive food for wildlife
  • Produces sweet fragrance and makes its surroundings fresh and lively.

Finally, Butterfly bushes are hard to beat for sheer flower power as they are one of the longest blooming shrubs out there.  Colorful flowers, exotic fragrance,  a whirl of lush green leaves – these sun-loving plants are one of the best selections you could make to turn your premises green and cheerful.

Growing Shasta daisies

Gardening experts around the world have shared many tips on growing daisies, particularly the glorious Shasta Daisies. These delightful summer flowers are unanimously revered for their year-round foliage and ‘summer to fall’ blooms. They add lightness and density to all garden types. The fact that they are easy to grow and nurture makes these flowers even more appealing.

Shasta Daisies possess the classical white petals with a yellow middle. There are around 20,000 types of plants in the daisy family and Shasta Daisies are one of the prettiest of Daisies. They also produce almost exponential blooms each year and are perfect for filling the bare spots in your garden beds.

Evolution of Shasta Daisies

In 1901, Luther Burbank introduced the Shasta Daisy to America following 17 years of development. He called this hybrid Mt. Shasta. There have now been many new varieties of the Shasta Daisy created over the last 100 years.

The incarnation began as Burbank loved the wild daisies which grew near his family home in Massachusetts. These daisies originally came from New England and were a common feature in English cottage garden. Inspired by these daisies, Burbank planted the seeds of another similar daisy, the Oxeye Daisy, on his land in Santa Rosa. The Oxeye Daisy is a roadside wildflower which spreads very easily and is also tolerant of extreme weather.

Burbank decided to pollinate them with the English Field Daisy which has larger flowers. Then the best of these were scattered with Portuguese field daisy pollen and bred for 6 years.  More than a half million flowers were grown, and the resulting daisies which were developed had extremely large and beautifully formed blooms on sturdy plants.

Next, he produced the most promising of these with pollen from the Japanese Field Daisy. The seedlings grew larger flowers that were very white floating on vigorous plants.

These new incarnations came to fruition in 1901. They were an entirely new species and named after California’s sparkling white ‘Mount Shasta,’ officially known as Leucanthemum x superbum – the Shasta Daisy.

Some Facts about Shasta Daisies

  • The original name of this beauty was Chrysanthemum x superbum. They are now known as ‘Leucanthemum x.’
  • Shasta daisies have an especially long blooming period.
  • Daisies bloom in clumps of white flowers with a yellow middle and glossy dark foliage.
  • They range from a few inches to three feet tall
  • The plants have the potential to last for years
  • Daisies are one of April’s birth flowers
  • They symbolize innocence and hope due to their pure white color and classic look
  • Shasta Daisies attract butterflies which makes the plant more fascinating!

Growing Tips and Tricks:

  • Directly sow seeds outdoors after frosty environment danger has passed and the soil begins to warm.
  • Daisies like rich, well-drained soil. When planting for the first time, mix compost into the planting pot or garden bed.
  • Fertile soil is a must for growing Shasta daisies. Remember, fertile soil is full of nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, iron and magnesium. You need to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 – 15 inches and mix in some compost.  
  • Place the daisies in light shade or a sunny position but not in full shade.
  • Keep soil moist especially during hot, dry seasons.
  • Water thoroughly but don’t water.
  • Overwatering could make the roots soggy. If you’re growing the daisies in pots, make sure your pots
  • Add mulch around the plants with leaves, bark, hay, wood chips or straw. This will assist in cooling the soil.
  • Staking plants is sometimes required, especially when grown in partial shade.
  • Shasta daisies need regular pruning to prolong the blooming. Regular deadheading can increase the daisy blooming time by a couple of weeks to months.
  • Daisies are rarely bothered by insects and disease. Generally, these plants do not need insecticides or fungicides. Still, if problems occur, treat early with insecticidal soap.

Pruning of Shasta Daisies

Pruning is quite important for daisies. While pruning, cut the flowers when they begin to face instead of when they’re completely spent. You should cut the individual stems back to the base of the plant where it meets the foliage, especially for daisy varieties that produce single stems, such as the Shasta. If all the blooms have already dropped, cut the entire plant back to the base of the plant. This will assist to stimulate new growth and then result in additional flowering.

Ongoing care

Shasta daisies require very low maintenance. Nevertheless, there are some steps you can take to ensure your plant longevity as well as the flowering time. Every spring, apply some compost and mulch to help control weeds and build up the fertility of the soil.

 

Final Note

Shasta Daisies -a simple yet cheery inclusion for every garden – are popular on many continents.  From the beginner to the more experienced gardeners, the rewards from these pretty blooms far outweigh the small steps it takes to maintain these classic flowers. 

Planting Peonies

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Peonies are perennial flowers that bloom once a year during summer. These dazzling flowers are capable of blooming flowers and live up to 100 years. Peonies are also low maintenance plants and thrive better in a colder climate. Even with minimal care, these flowers can live longer.

Planting peonies are easy even for beginners. As long as you have the right condition, it is possible to successfully grow these flowers.

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Types of Peonies

Peonies have over 6500 different varieties. But there are only 3 most common peonies that you can find in people’s gardens.

Tree peonies

Tree peonies have woody shrubs and produce enormous flowers that can grow as 10 inches wide. It can also grow as high as 7 feet and stems stay above ground all throughout the year. It blooms normally between April and May.

Planting direction:

Tree peonies thrive better if planted 4-6 inches below the ground level. They don’t require freezing weather but requires a dormancy period. Forced dormancy can be done by trimming off the bush if there’s no winter in the region.

Herbaceous peonies

Herbaceous peonies are low maintenance peonies and can produce flowers up to 100 years on the same spot. It requires 5-6 hours of sunlight per day, little water, and good drainage. Herbaceous peonies die back to the ground during winter but reemerge in spring.

Planting direction:

Herbaceous peonies should be planted half an inch above the ground in warm areas while it needs to be planted in 2 inches above the ground for cool areas. This breed also thrives better in the cold climate.

Itoh or intersectional peonies

Itoh peonies are hybrid plants that combine the perennial characteristic of herbaceous peonies and the enormous flowers of tree peonies. It also dies back in winter, a similar characteristic that can be found in herbaceous peonies. It normally blooms around June and requires 5-6 hours of sunlight every day.

Planting direction:

Itoh peonies should be planted half an inch above the ground in warm zones while it needs to be planted in 1 and a half inches above the ground for cool zones. This hybrid is more tolerant of humidity and heat.

How to plant peonies?

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Image by Pixabay

1. Choosing the right location

Choosing the right location is important for peonies. These plants don’t like to be moved around and resist disturbance. Moving them might cause delay the flowers to bloom. So when choosing the location, make sure it will be the permanent spot for your flowers. Don’t plant peonies on the same spot where old peonies have been previously grown. The old soil is more susceptible for fungal infection and has reduced soil nutrients. This can cause problems and risk the peonies growth.

2. Space them out

When planting peonies, make sure to space them apart by at least 5 feet. This will give peonies enough room to grow. They can grow up to 6 feet wide but they grow very slowly. Also, keep them away from other bushes and trees as they tend to compete for nutrients with peonies.

3. Prepare the soil

If the soil is not healthy enough for your peonies, enrich the soil by adding well-draining soil, compost, and fertilizers. First, dig between 14-18 inches deep and around 18 inches, creating a hole on your flowerbed. Add compost, fertilizers and then fill the hole with well-draining soil. Leave at least 2 inches from the top.

4. Plant the buds

Now that the soil is ready, plant the buds based on the required planting depth from the surface. Or the plants might not grow at all. Add more soil to level out the flowerbed. Press the soil slightly to remove any air pockets or it will dry out the plants.

How to care for Peonies

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1. Water the plants thoroughly after planting. Keep the soil moist but not soggy until the plants emerge. And only water them at least once a week after that. No need to water peonies throughout winter as the plants are dormant.

2. No need to use fertilizer but consider it when the peonies’ stem becomes weak and requires more nutrients.

3. Add support cage for your peonies. Peonies tend to fall over the ground without a support. Create a support cage based on the variety of peonies and how tall they can grow. This way it doesn’t limit your plant’s growth while making sure it doesn’t fall over. Add these support cages before Spring or before the plants grow too tall.

4. Remove dead flowers right away or seeds will develop and will take nutrients out of the plants.

How to grow Black-eyed Susans

Botanically known as Rudbeckia hirta, the Black-eyed Susans are native to North America. Because of their beauty, they are found in many gardens throughout America. People sometimes confuse them with sunflowers and asters. They are also known as Gloriosa Daisy. These names of the flower have come because of its dark brown and purple centers. You could also find them enhancing the beauty of vases and bouquets.

Versatility is its specialty. It has the ability to grow in super hot, and drought-hit areas. The nectar, that it produces, attracts a variety of insects like butterflies, and bees.

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An interesting fact about the Black-eyed Susan plants is that they are considered to be a symbol of justice. To grow this beautiful flower in your yard, you have to take care of a few things, and they are:

Optimal Conditions For Black Eyed Susans

Soil: Plant the seeds in loosely covered, well-drained, moist soil. It must have reached at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit so that the germination goes well. It grows well in a number of soil types, but clay and loam are the best ones. If the soil does not have good moisture retention, add some organic matter to improve the same. If everything goes right, the seed must not take less than 7 and more than 30 days to germinate. They don’t care about the pH of the soil, so that’s something you don’t have to worry about.

Light: Pick up a place for the Black-eyed Susans where they get quite a lot of sunshine. They also grow well in light or even bright shade. Sufficient light is necessary for these bright flowers to bloom and flush all through the year.

Spacing: They grow between 1 to 3 feet tall, and in some cases, they even grow much taller. It also spreads between 12 to 18 inches wide area. Owing to this reason, you must plant the seeds closer to each other. They need plenty of space and air to nourish and flourish.

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Watering: In the beginning, the Black-eyed Susans need a lot of water to germinate and grow. This period is about one year, so water them enough for the first year of plantation. Once they are established, they have the capability to tolerate the drought conditions as well.

Fertilizing: During the growing period, the black-eyed Susans don’t require any additional fertilizers. It is, in fact, recommended that fertilizers must be used in minimum quantity so that the roots and stems of flower don’t get spoiled.

Diseases & Insects: One more great quality of the Black-eyed Susan plants is that they do not get infected by the insects quickly. They are quite resistant to the diseases. If, however, in an extreme case, you see something happening to them; spray some organic or chemical based insect repellent. You can also use a fungicide to cure the problem as well.

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Companion Planting: When grown next to the asters, tall garden phlox, or ornamental grasses, the Black-eyed Susan plants add to the beauty of the flower bed. You must always go for the ones that do not spread as quickly as it does.

Bird of Paradise houseplant care

Bird of Paradise aka Strelitzia plant blooms beautiful, bright colored flowers that add strong tropical flair in any place you grow them. The plant got its name from its stylistic flowers resembling the plumage of a bird. With its symmetrical shape and pretty oval-shaped canopy leaves, it’s often regarded as the Banana Plant.

Bird of Paradise is a stylishly sophisticated choice to be kept as an indoor houseplant. They are fairly easy to take care of. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to help them thrive in optimum condition:

Flowering Bird of Paradise Varieties

There are five Strelitzia species. But only two of them are grown as indoor plants: Strelitzia reginae (orange bird of paradise) and Strelitzia Nicolai (white bird of paradise). These plants grow with upright standing leaves coming out directly from the soil with no visible trunk. The large leaves range in size around 1 foot long. They tend to shred when exposed to heavy windy conditions or when often brushed in a crowded, busy hallway.

Here’s a short guide on how to look after the bird of paradise plants to keep them looking pristine and proper in your home or business area: 

Environment

S. Reginae and S. Nicolai are beautiful plants that can be successfully grown inside. The biggest drawbacks are their size, as they grow at around 5 to 6 feet. The plants require anywhere from three to five years before they flower. However, the wait is well worth it as they can complement the massive plantings outside when their flowers rise above the foliage for an impressive display

Indoors, the plants only need moderate-to-high interior lighting condition. This way, the light can be diffused when sunlight is available. Low lighting could cause difficulty in processing water for the plants. This may lead the plant to be leggy or to experience discoloration. 

Light and Soil 

Since birds of paradise are tropical plants, it’s no surprise that they appreciate splendid daylight. Place the plant in a spot where it will get the most sunshine, but not where it may also suffer during the harshest temperatures in the early afternoon.

By any chance, if your plant leaves turn yellow, expand the plant’s exposure to sunlight. Birds of paradise plants thrive better in rich soil that stays moist but allows for good drainage. If you’re growing it in a pot, make sure the pot has well drainage. 

Water 

Bird of paradise does best with a consistent watering plan. Keep the soil around the plant wet in spring and summer. Water, having a high salt concentration, could cause the leaves to burn out. If this is the case with your water, consider utilizing rainwater, or refined water when necessary, to water your plant. Bird of paradise grows best in normal household temperature, however, the plant could benefit from misting during dry winter months. 

Fertilizer

In spring and summer seasons, give your plant enough nutrients by preparing a compost with a fluid manure thinned to a large portion of its prescribed strength. Remember, you must not fertilize your plant during fall and winter time. Extra feeding can cause the leaf tips to fold and curl on itself. 

Creepy crawlies and Pests 

Birds of paradise are vulnerable to scale, coarse bugs, and spider mites, but these bugs are easy to identify and remove. Wipe the leaves with a thin cloth or warm, foamy water. Avoid using liquid pesticides on your plant. Pesticides can hurt the leaves or completely burn them off with the chemical content. 

Growing bird of paradise successfully is not a rocket science. So don’t get anxious by their size and their affinity for some rays. Just make sure to provide lots of bright light with some direct sunlight, regular watering, and warmth. Feed them with organic compost early in spring before the new growth begins, and then fertilize every week during the growing season. Grow the plant in a container that can be efficiently moved outside in the warm summer months and then bring back the plants inside for fall and winter. 

 

Birds of paradise are large, enchanting plants that give off an intense tropical aesthetic to any indoor space. With the right amount of care, these exotic tropical beauties can develop to more than six feet tall. Its wide, vibrant leaves can make a definite and chic statement for your home. 

How to grow and care for Bougainvillea bonsai

Purple Bougainvillea Bonsai

Lend some colorful accents to your surroundings with the beautiful plant of Bougainvillea Bonsai. It is a tropical plant that comes in several colors like orange, bright red, white, purple and pink. Originated in South America and native to Peru, Brazil, and Colombia, it is considered as a subtropical species that is known for its large-sized flowers. Their branches resemble that of a vine and can be pruned into Bonsai.

This plant has a beautiful display of flowers with an interesting branch structure and a thick trunk. Depending upon their species, Bougainvillea Bonsai can be grown against a fence, in the containers, as hedge, ground cover, in tree form, and more.

Yellow Bougainvillea Bonsai

How To Grow A Bougainvillea Bonsai

Bougainvillea Bonsai plants are not different from Bougainvillea Vines. But if you want to grow a Bougainvillea Bonsai, you need to start by selecting a good container with excellent drainage.

Purchase a small Bougainvillea in springtime. Keep the plant in a small container, brush the soil from its roots, and prune one-third of its roots.

Bougainvillea Bonsai

Now prepare a growing medium with equal parts of perlite, pine bark, peat moss, and potting soil. Add the medium in the one-third of the container and keep the plant into its center. Tamp the soil down firmly and stop an inch below as you are about the rim.

Once you have planted, it will require sunlight to thrive all day long. Always keep the plant where the temperature is above 40 degrees. Make sure that you prune the plant during the growing season and do shape the plant to enhance its center trunk.

Bougainvillea Bonsai also grow their best when the weather is warm.

Bougainvillea Bonsai Bloom

Care Instructions For Bougainvillea Bonsai

Bougainvillea Bonsai care is as important as correct planting. Here are the care instructions to follow to make your Bougainvillea Bonsai grow its best.

Sun Exposure

If this plant does not get enough amount of sun, it will not show its full colors and hues.

Hardiness

Bougainvillea Bonsai comes from the USDA zones 9B-11 and does not grows below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant cannot withstand freeze; especially the newly planted ones.

Pruning and Styling

The care of Bougainvillea Bonsai includes trimming at regular intervals. You can trim the foliage at any time of the year, but make sure that you do not trim off the bracts when they have started to gain the color.

Whenever you style the Bonsai plant, you need to take care of the special areas like canopies, form pads, and long sweeping limbs.

Water Tolerance

Bougainvillea Bonsai prefers deep watering, i.e. regular watering every three to four weeks. Whenever you plant a Bougainvillea, make sure that you water it regularly, and the soil is damp as well.

Container/Pot Selection

It is essential that you choose an ideal container for your Bonsai. Look for a round or a rectangular pot that goes with the shape of your plant. However, the round pot should be 1/3rd of your plant’s height, and the rectangular one should be 2/3rd of it.

Irrespective of the fact, whether you are planting it inside or outside, the depth of the container should also be equal to the diameter of the plant.

Soil

Bougainvillea Bonsai prefer a fair amount of organic matter in the soil. The soil that you use should at least contain 40% of it. However, the inorganic part of the soil should consist of coarse sand, agricultural pumice, decomposed granite, or different portions of all the above.

Pests and Diseases

This plant is mostly pest free, but they are somewhat vulnerable to aphids and a bit of black spot fungus.

Use Of Fertilizers

During the spring, low nitrogen fertilizer should be used in the plant. The plant will have more blooming if the content of potassium is more than the Nitrogen in it. You can also make the soil acidic by adding the azalea fertilizer to it.

Bottom Line

Out of all the tropical species used for Bonsai, Bougainvillea will grow and will give you one of the most impressive displays for your home decor.

Flower gardening 101: important tips for first time flower gardeners

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Flowers are one of the most magical creations of nature. They can effortlessly enliven even the dreariest of places, which is why everyone dreams of having a bountiful bed of blooms in their garden.

However, flower gardening may seem a bit overwhelming if you are just starting. Getting those gorgeous colorful flowers is much more than digging a hole, adding the plant and watering it regularly. At the same time, it’s easy enough for anyone to learn and start planting. Plus, we’re here to help.

Before you sink in your spade into your garden bed and embark on your first gardening adventure, go through the steps listed below and you’ll be off to a great start.

Familiarize yourself with the Garden

Having a perfect flower garden is more about what you can do with space than about how you imagine it in your mind. Meaning, you may have visions of filling up the yard with beautiful roses and lovely lilies, but it’s important to understand if the culture conditions in your garden are suitable for growing your favorite flowers.

To get it right, familiarize yourself with the garden landscape by assessing the conditions. Know how much light your garden receives all day. Take note of the area that gets the most sunlight and the areas that remain in the shade most of the time. Also evaluate the soil, topography and the moisture conditions to know which type of flowers will be best suited for the garden.

Placement

After you’ve familiarized yourself with your garden landscape, it will be easy to pick the spot where your flowers can thrive. Next, you’ll need to figure out how your flower garden will fit in with the rest of your landscape. The design and placement of your flower bed should be influenced by the architectural style of your home and your personal preferences.

Clear the ground

Clearing the ground of weeds or excessive grass is essential before you start planting. Start with removing the sod from the area of your flowerbed. Clearing the sod will create space for your flowers to bloom.

Prepare the Soil

Preparing soil

Now, one of the most critical steps to successfully planting a flower garden is preparing the soil. Garden soil isn’t always ideal for planting flowers and hence needs to be enriched with nutrients and minerals that make the soil more fertile and help the plants thrive. The easiest method is to add compost, old manure or any other organic material into the top 6 inches of your soil. After a few months, your soil will become perfectly fertile to plant the flowers.

Pick the flowers

Time to put your flower research into action! While thinking about which flowers to grow, it’s important to consider how much work you are willing to put into the maintenance of your garden. In addition to that, you must factor in the culture conditions, flower sizes, and colors, bloom time, etc.

Plant

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The simplest way to get flowers is to buy them from a nursery or a garden store. Once you’ve obtained flowers, water them thoroughly before planting so that they won’t have to go through transplant shock. Next, dig a hole for each plant. Make sure that the hole is sufficiently deep for the plant and about twice as wide so that you fluff up the soil at the bottom. Place the plant inside the hole and fill it up with soil or compost. After planting, you will need to add a layer of mulch (around 3 inches) and water it properly so that the soil settles around the root.

Feed Fertilizer

Feeding fertilizers help the plant thrive, makes it resilient and protects it from the attack of insects and pests. Make sure you choose the right fertilizer for your flowers. You can go with either synthetic fertilizers, which tend to act fast but may leach away from the soil quickly, or organic fertilizers that cost more and take time to show results.

Water

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Newly planted flowers need to be watered every other day so that they can develop a strong network of roots. Following that, you may water as needed, which may vary upon the flower, soil, humidity and rains.

Keep it up

You are right on track to have a beautiful garden with lovely blooming flowers. All you need to do is keep watering and feeding fertilizers as required.

Enjoy the blooms!

What to know about Baby’s Tears: planting, growing and care tips

Baby’s Tears with its round tiny apple-green leaves cascading down to the slender, threadlike stems makes an appealing addition to any garden or pot.

Also famed as Soleirolia Soleiroli, Mind-Your-Own-Business and Irish Moss, this fast-growing evergreen plants spills beautifully over the sides of a pot or container.

Originated from the western Mediterranean islands, this ground-hugging plant makes a perfect mound of foliage, and with enough light, it can even bless you with tiny white flowers.

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However, this mosslike, creeping plant can dry out quickly without enough care and attention. Whether you want it to grow it as an indoor plant in a terrarium or container, or under benches in a greenhouse, a lot of care is required to keep it alive.

Here are some helpful tips to plant, grow and care for the plant to make it last for years.

Planting Tips

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Plant it in a well-aerated, quick draining soil

The well-aerated, quick-draining potting soil with a good amount of peat moss is ideal for planting these delicate-looking foliage plants.

Use moist soil

Although the tiny strands of baby tears look delicate, it roots readily in moist soil. Lure out individual stems with some of their roots attached.

Dig a hole that is 2 times larger than the root ball in the soil and deep enough to keep the plant at the same level as the soil level in the container. Then set the plant in the hole and dribble a little soil over it.

Water well

Once you plant the baby’s tear, gently press the soil down and pour enough water to prevent the drying of the plant.

Growing Tips

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Provide medium to high humidity

Medium to high humidity is ideal for growing the moisture loving plant. If you want to boost the moisture in the air, keep it in a more humid room like a kitchen or bathroom.

Or you can just place it on a saucer of pebbles and water with the pot resting atop the pebbles. You can even group it with other houseplants or keep a small humidifier near it increase the moisture content.

Keep it in Normal room temperature

Place the plant in normal household temperatures or a little cooler to promote its growth. Normally 60°-75° is good for the plant.  Even a light frost can dry the plant, but it soon rejuvenates upon the return of spring.

Fertilize in every 2 week

It is better to fertilize the Baby’s Tears plant in the spring and summer when it is growing. A houseplant fertilizer diluted to half of the recommended strength is ideal for growing the plant.

Let it have bright indirect light but no direct sun

Shade or part shade is best for the bay’s tear plant. While growing indoor, keep it in a bright window but make sure it does not receive direct sun.

The golden and variegated baby’s tears are more susceptible to browning and burning from the direct sun exposure. This creeping fig prefers a bright, indirect light so shade this plant from hot afternoon sun while planting it outdoor.

Provide ample horizontal room

As the plant tends to grow aggressively with its creeping stems if not outright invasive, make sure to offer ample horizontal space for the plant to grow.

Caring Tips

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Prune it occasionally

Snip off the faded blooms carefully or remove entire flower stalk once the blooming period is over. Removing old flower helps the plant utilize its energy on vigorous growth instead of seed production.

Trim the foliage through the season to eradicate damaged or discolored leaves, or to maintain its shape and fullness.

Don’t overdo the watering

The soil should be kept moist but make sure it is never soggy as if the soil stays too wet, it can rot the stems.

Daily watering for a couple of weeks is recommended for the new plants, but after that, it should be shifted to every two or three days depending on the weather and soil type.

Protection from pests

As these delicate looking plants are susceptible to whitefly, scale, and Aphids, so give attention and take proper care to prevent the damage.

There you go!

Just give a decent amount of light, high humidity, abundant water and occasional trimming and watch these stunning plants living happily for a long time.

 

Tips to grow healthy and enchanting African Violets at home

African Violets

If bringing beauty to your indoor space is your goal, then African Violets are just what you are looking for. Clusters of violet, blue, purple, white and a myriad of other splendid colors bloom beautifully over a neat rosette of dark-green fuzzy leaves.

The flower is recognized worldwide to be one of the prettiest houseplants that come with the perk of blooming almost constantly. All you need is a bright window, and you’ll find your African Violets brightening up your space all year round. However, African Violets have earned quite the reputation of being a fuzzy plant to grow and care for.

The African violet does come with a few quirks since they are really demanding of the growing conditions. African Violets are peculiar about the water, light, temperature and soil requirements. But fret not! We are here to help you learn all about growing and nurturing the dainty houseplant.

Conditions for Culture

Light

African Violet

Adequate light is one of the pre-requisites for an African violet to stay healthy and produce abundant flowers. Insufficient light makes the leaves turn dark green and thin, while the leaf stems also become very long and weak.

On the other hand, too much sunlight can turn the leaves pale yellow-green, and you may also notice some bleached out burned or dead areas. However, you can diffuse bright sunlight with the help of a sheer curtain.

It’s important to ensure the right intensity and duration of light. Placing the plant in bright and indirect light should give good results. Generally, 3 feet from a south, east or west windows offer good exposure to the light. Maintain proper light exposure for eight hours every day, and try to make up for the insufficient lighting with the help of artificial fluorescent lights.

A little testing will easily help you determine if the light conditions at your home are suitable for the growth of violets. Also, you must note that the duration and intensity of light will vary according to the climate and weather.

Water

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African Violets grow most beautifully when properly watered. You can water the violets either from the top or from the bottom.

African violets are at risk of developing leaf spotting when splashed with cold water on the leaves. Hence, tepid water is recommended in case your water from the top but do not let the plant sit in standing water to avoid root damage. Keep watering until the water runs out from the bottom and be sure to drain the excess if you are using a tray or saucer below the pot to prevent problems from waterlogging.

In order to water the plant from the bottom, simply fill the tray below the pot with tepid water and it will be automatically drawn up to the soil with capillary action. You can pour off the excess water from the tray after about an hour.

Temperature

Common indoor temperatures that range around 65 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70° to 90°F during the day are fine for violets.

Humidity

Humidity is essential for the growth and flowering of African violets. The flower tends to grow in high humidity ranges, so you’ll be required to set the pot in watertight trays filled with pebbles or water and gravel. Ensuring shallow water level is essential. Also, you must not let the plant sit in water for too long

Potting

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Containers and Pots

African Violets like to be snug and hence grow best in small pots. But at the same time, they do require some space to grow. So, shallow pots that give them enough space to spread their roots are best for these beauties. It’s imperative to see that the root ball of the plant fits comfortably in the pot. The pot must have drainage holes at the bottom in order allow excess water to drain out and let the water seep into the soil when watering from the bottom.

Propagation

Violets are easy to propagate from the leaf cuttings of a well-developed and mature plant. The leaf must be removed from the main stalk with a clean break. Place the leaf into a glass of water and make sure that it isn’t completely covered with water. Gradually, roots will start forming near the base.
You may also take a leaf with plenty of stems and place the stem into a pot containing sterile potting soil. Keep the soil moist and it will eventually grow into a new plant.

Soil Mix

An ideal potting mix is the one that offers proper nutrition, moisture, aeration, and physical support to the plant so that it grows to its utmost capabilities. When it comes to African Violets, they grow best in soil that is loose and porous in structure, in addition to being well-draining and well-aerated. You can prepare a potting mix or opt to grow your plant in a soilless mix to meet your cultural requirements.

Caring

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Fertilizer

African violets can benefit from small amount of fertilizers, especially if you notice they haven’t bloomed or aren’t growing for several months. Use fertilizers that are specially made for African Violets and make sure to use the same in moderation. Mix the fertilizer at a one-quarter strength and use while watering the plant. Excessive or too little fertilizer may impact the growth of violets.

Repotting

African violets thrive in small pots as they like to be root bound. Eventually, a mature plant tends to produce an offspring that can be grown into a new plant. As soon as you witness the formation of new crowns in the pot, gently remove the plant from the pot and separate the new growth. Repot the plants in separate containers to keep up with their growth.

Garden with clean hands

African violet is vulnerable to attack from diseases, organisms, and insects and may develop mildew, blight or stem rot if not taken care of. Make sure you always wash your hands and use gloves while handling any organic matter. Also, clean your gardening tools before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases from one houseplant to another.

Remove dead blooms

African violet is a plant that grows close to the soil. As such, dead leaves or flowers may start causing excessive moisture near the stem, ultimately leading it to rot. Therefore, in order to keep the plant healthy, you must remove any dead or dying leaf immediately from the pot.

Enjoy gardening!

Anthurium care: how to care for your anthurium houseplant?

People grow Anthurium for its red, heart-shaped flowers. It is mostly found in Mexico, northern Argentina, and Uruguay. Some call it Flamingo Flower or Tail Flower, while some also name it as Painted Tongue.

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Image Source: Wikimedia

Anthurium houseplant is known for its vividly colorful flower spathes and decorative leaves borne on its long stalks. Though the color of leafy bracts is often pink, it may also be red, green, orange, yellow, or white.

Here is your quick guide to care and pamper your anthurium plant to keep it in good shape.

Best Position for Anthurium

Place your plant in a well-lighted area, but do not put it in direct sunlight. Keeping the plant in a dark place will give you fewer flowers. Anthuriums love the warmth and enjoy the temperature between 20°C and 22°C. The minimum temperature for pot plant and the cut flower is 16°C. Keep your flower plant away from a hot radiator. Anthuriums prefer high humidity so your bathroom could be an ideal place for positioning anthurium plants.

Anthurium plant Watering

Anthurium plants love receiving water daily. But, standing water is not ideal for this flowering plant. Also, exposure to air and moisture are critical for the growth of the anthurium plant. The key is water anthurium regularly while allowing their roots to receive enough air and moisture.

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Image Source: canva

Use proper potting soil to accomplish this. The soil you use for this plant should be fluffy, light, and has to drain well. You can use anything like bark, volcanic cinder, sand, or gravel as long as it meets the criteria. Once you’re done with the proper potting, ensure the complete water drainage out of the pot.

Don’t overlook the water drainage. Standing water is the deadliest mistake when caring for your anthurium plants. It allows roots of the plants to remain soaked in water which prevents the supply of oxygen to their roots. It gives room for growth of anaerobic microbes and fungus and causes roots rot, which eventually kills your plants.

In short, water your plant every day and take care of water drainage out of the pot. If you live in an area with low humidity, mist the leaves of your plant by spritzing them with water twice daily.

Fertilizing Anthurium Flowers

Fertilize Anthurium periodically, but avoid over-fertilizing them. Giving too little fertilizer may cause slow growth and produce fewer flowers. However, you can easily fix this by giving more fertilizer to the plant. On the other hand, if you give too much fertilizer, your anthurium plant can die.

Fertilize them once or twice a year depending on the length of the growing season in your region. The ideal ration for fertilizer is 5-10-5 to ensure a good balance of flowers and foliage. For the best blooms, pick a fertilizer with a higher or middle phosphorus number.

Choose a fertilizer with a slow release variety. This way, you’ll need to fertilize your plants once or twice a year, rather than once a week if you use a liquid fertilizer.

Anthurium Cut Flowers Care Tips

After you buy Anthurium flowers, cut 5 centimeters off the end of the stalk. Now, put the flower in a neat vase and pour clean tap water into the vase. This plant doesn’t require cut flower food.

Make sure you change the water in the vase and cut one centimeter off the stem once a week. If you follow this anthurium flowers caring ritual, your plant will stand easily for 2-3 weeks in the base.

Re-potting

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Image Source: Wikimedia

Has your anthurium grown too big for the pot? Re-pot it! Also, you should re-pot a rootbound anthurium as soon as possible. Look at the following signs of a rootbound plant:

  • Roots growing out of the drainage hole
  • Roots circling the surface of the potting mix
  • Bent or cracked container
  • Water running straight through the drainage hole
  • Wilting foliage, even after watering

Moreover, we recommend repotting in spring because the lighter days help stimulate the buds formation. Put the plant in a pot that at least 20% wider diameter than the previous one. Fill the pot with special anthurium soil or mix in a bit of anthurium feed to reserve for the plant’s growth.

It’s very easy to care for your anthurium plants properly. Just follow the instructions and avoid the mistakes discussed above. And, your lovely houseplant will always be in great shape and keep you happy and positive.