How to plant Water Lilies

how to plant waterlilies

Waterlilies or Nymphaeaceae are flowering plants that live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs. This means that waterlilies are rooted in soil under a body of water, while the leaves and flowers float in the water surface. If you have a small pond in your garden, waterlilies are good additions to your collection of ornamental plants. These aquatic plants can give your garden a totally different look and tranquil vibe.

If you don’t where to start, here’s a quick guide on how to plant waterlilies.

Do water lilies need soil to grow?

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Waterlilies need to be rooted in the soil to grow. It is important to use the proper soil as it can cause several problems. For waterlilies, a heavy clay loam is the most ideal soil. This soil is used specifically for aquatic plants. It holds water and nutrients without floating in the surface.  It also creates a firm anchor for the roots of any aquatic plants.

Types of water lilies

There are several varieties of waterlilies. But they are categorized into 2 types.

Tropical lilies – these lilies only bloom during the evening. It also produces blue petals. And much more ideal for places with warmer temperature. Tropical lilies can’t also tolerate temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hardy lilies – these lilies only bloom flowers during the day. They can tolerate colder climate than tropical lilies.

How long do water lily flowers last?

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The water lilies flowers only last up to 4 days until it submerges and rots underneath the water. But a healthy lily can produce up to 6 flowers a day.

What do you need

  • Containers that are shallow but wide. Ideally 6 x 10 inches deep and 12 x 18 inches wide.
  • Heavy clay loom soil
  • waterlilies tubers that you can buy from your local nursery.
  • fertilizers

How to plant water lilies?

Plant the waterlilies in the spring – from late April to May. Make sure to plant lilies when the weather is a bit warmer. Even if hardy lilies can tolerate colder temperature, it is important to still avoid planting them when there’s a risk of frost.

1. Prepare your containers. Make sure the containers meet the ideal depth and width. Select a container that doesn’t have a drainage hole but if the containers have drainage holes, use a burlap to cover it to keep the soil in the container.

2. Fill the containers with a heavy clay loom soil. Do not use floppy plotting soil, it won’t be able to hold water and will float out of the container. Only use soil that is specifically for aquatic plants. Add fertilizers to prepare the soil for planting. The amount of fertilizers needed depends on the specific product you are using. Read the instructions properly.

3. Plant the waterlilies tubers in the container. Make sure to place them on the side of the container with the tip pointing upward at 45 degrees angle and to the center of the container. Add more soil and cover the top with small rocks or pea gravel to keep the soil from floating. Make sure to rinse the pea gravel before adding to make sure it’s free from any pest or insects. Don’t add too much gravel around the base of the plants to avoid stressing the new plants and to give enough space for them to grow.

4. Water the plants well and then place the container in a pond or aquatic planter. Make sure the leaves or crown is not submerge in the water and floating instead. If the pond is too deep, put planting ledges or stack bricks under the container to ensure the leaves will float. This will ensure the growth of the lilies.

How to care for waterlilies

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1. Lower the container gradually as the lilies grow as well. Make sure the crowns are always partially covered by water.

2. Remove dead leaves and old flowers before they rot. Flowers only last up to 4 days and they should be trimmed when they wither. Leaving dead leaves and old flowers might infect the entire plant and will help keep the water clean in the pond. This will also encourage growth for new flowers.

3. Add slow-release fertilizers every month. To add fertilizers, simply lift the container out of the water and use your hands to insert fertilizer pellets or tablets to the soil. Smooth out the gravel and put back the container into the pond or to your aquatic planter.

4. As the lilies grow, the rhizomes or the root ball, crowd the container. Divide them every couple of years and plant the new tubers in separate containers. If you have a big pond, this will give you more water lilies to admire.

 

 

How to grow bulbs in vases

As the spring season begins, bulbs and bushes start blooming in the gardens. However, some people love to plant bulbs in the vases for indoors. There are many varieties of bulbs that you can grow in the vases, such as tulips, daffodils, crocus, lilies are a few to name.

There are specific vases available in the market that you can purchase, but you can also plant them in the regular jars. Only the thing that matters is the bulb you plant should fit inside the vase.

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Growing bulbs in the vases

Growing the bulbs in vases is easier than you think. The fits step for planting the bulbs is to prepare the vessel. Any jar is suitable for growing the bulbs, but using a glass vase allows you to see the roots develop. If the jar is large enough, you add two or more bulbs to grow.

If you want to plant a single bulb in a jar, make sure that the jar has a diameter of 4 inches. If you want to plant two or more bulbs, use a bigger jar that can accommodate the roots of multiple bulbs.

Cold and Sleepy time

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Some bulbs like hyacinths and tulips need some time in the dark and cold place before you put them in the vases. Read the instructions on the packet or ask a landscape professional about the time they require to keep in a cool place. After the cooling is done, put the soil or water in the jar and place the bulb in the same with pointed tip upwards.

Make sure you place the bulbs properly in the water or soil with only the pointed tip left out. The partially dipped bulbs in water may rot within a few days. Therefore it is essential to take care that the bulbs are placed correctly in the water or soil.

Selecting the bulbs 

It is essential to choose the right bulbs to get the full blooms. Larger the bulb you select, bigger will be the blooms you get. If you select the smaller bulbs, you will get small blooms.  Make sure you choose the right size and healthy bulbs that can grow into full-size flowers.

Place in the sunshine

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If you plan to plant the beads in the water, you can also add some glass beads to the water. You need to place the vases in the sunshine to let the bulbs get proper temperature and humidity. You should not put them in the direct sunlight, but in a room with indirect but bright sunlight.

Roots will find their way through the beads into the water. Also, top up the water every three days to maintain the optimum level.

Options for growing bulbs

You can buy potted bulbs from a garden or plant nursery, but you should choose the ones that have not bloomed. Empty the pots and shake off all the soil from the bulbs, but make sure you do not harm the tender roots.

You can also use fresh water to wash the soil from the bulbs. Then trim the roots with a blade and place them in the vases with glass beads. If you don’t like glass beads, you can add pebbles or bright coloured marbles to get a better view of the growing roots.

Final Words

Bulbs in the vases need more care and attention than in the garden. It is best to transplant the bulbs into the soil after they bloom fully. Doing this prepares them for the outdoor flowering next year. Every bulb should be planted in the vases only once.

How to grow Cabbage

Cabbage is a green leafy vegetable grown throughout the world. Growing cabbage can be a challenge, and some varieties tend to need a lot of care and attention. Cabbage needs a cold environment for growth and is susceptible to pest attacks. Consider pest control strategies that compliment cabbage like composting or use of plant covers. If you like the vegetable, with the careful attention, you can grow it in your home garden.

Proper planning and care can provide up to two crops in a year.

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Planting cabbage

Finding cabbage seedlings may be difficult in your area, but you can germinate cabbage indoors at >70 degrees. It is best if you sow the seeds in containers and transplant before the last frost. Alternatively, you can sow seeds directly a few weeks before the last frost – if planting in the fall plant 8 weeks ahead of the first Winter frost.

Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in straight rows. If you want the full-size plant heads, plant them at least 20 inches apart. If you plant closer, the heads will grow smaller in size.

Mulching

Mulching is essential to retain the moisture and regulate the soil temperature. Make rich mulch from leaves and wood pulp and mix it with the soil to put around the plants.

Make sure do not plant the broccoli and cauliflower near the cabbage as they all belong to the same family. Planting them together can deplete the soil form the nutrients and attract the same diseases and pests.

Cabbage Care

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When the plants attain a height of 5 inches, make sure that they are at the required distance. After the transplantation is over, you can fertilize the soil for three weeks. Also, make sure you mulch and water the soil regularly to keep it moist.

There are many pests like cabbage maggots, cabbage worms, and cutworms that attack the cabbage plants. The pests like slugs chew ragged holes in the cabbage leaves. Growing in the right conditions, crop rotation and the using the disease resistant cultivars protects your cabbage plants from pests and diseases.

Using a barrier like a plant cover or copper edging can keep posts like slugs and snails at bay.

You can also grow the Dill weed plants between the cabbage plants, which attract the wasps that kill the pests like cabbage worms and maggots.

Harvesting

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Check whether the cabbage heads are fully grown and became firm. Most varieties of cabbage take around 70 days to develop the firm heads. If the heads have become hard, you can cut them using a sharp knife leaving the stalks and roots.

To get two crops from your cabbage plants, leave the outer leaves and roots after cutting the cabbage head. The stalks and roots will produce new heads which you should not harvest until they grow to the size of a tennis ball.  When grown to the required size cut them to use as a vegetable or salad.

Final Note

Cabbage grows well in cold weather. You need to time its planting correctly, traditionally in the early Spring or late Fall. Growing cabbage can be fun and easy, but you need to protect your crop from a range of pests.

Different types of Marigolds

A beautiful small flower that comes in numerous shades, marigold is a herbaceous plant belonging to the family of sunflowers. It has become a popular choice among a lot of people for a simple reason that it does not demand too much. Neither does it care much about soil conditions, nor about the season.

Calendula and Tagetes are the two genera of marigold which include about 50 different species of the flower. The genus Calendula is native to the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Micronesia, and southwestern Asia. This genus is of about 15-20 species.

On the other hand, the genus Tagetes is native to North and South America. Despite its native background, some of its species have become popular across the globe.

Some of these species have been used traditionally in some parts of the world. In the ancient times, Romans and Greeks used to wear garlands or crowns made of golden calendula. People in India have been using marigold flowers to decorate the statues of Hindu deities for quite a lot of time.

There’s a lot about these beautiful flowers that can one grasp. We’ll discuss different varieties of marigold flowers that are found enhancing the beauty of yards, and sidewalks.

Tagetes Cottage Red

Discovered in Mexico, this single, bright-red flower blooms all through the summer season. The petals of this beautiful flower are spade-shaped and have squared-off tips. It is believed to be a hybrid one. Butterflies and bees love to visit the blooms of cottage red. They grow best when exposed to the full sun, and any average well-drained soil. It is best suited for cutting gardens and mixed plantings.

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Bon Bon Yellow Calendula

A bushy variety, it produces bright yellow double flowers that are generally considered to decorate mixed borders and containers. The fragrant daisy lemon yellow flowers have brown eyes at the end of the stems. In the past times, people used it as a replacement of saffron to give a rich color to the butter and cheese. It has also been used to treat smallpox and measles. Also, on the battlefields, soldiers would use it as a dressing for the wounds.

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Tagetes Erecta Antigua Orange

Best known for its bright orange and yellow golf-ball shaped flowers that bloom to about three inches. Since they don’t get sad because of the extreme hot weathers, a lot of people choose to plant them in their garden bed or containers and borders. An added advantage of Antigua orange species is that it goes well with almost every edible or blooming garden plant. Tomatoes, beans, carrots, and cabbages are some of the plants that benefit from marigold as their companion plant.

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Tagetes Erecta Doubloon

Also known as American marigold and African marigold, Doubloon produces large, fully double golden yellow flowers that rest on sturdy stems. The dark green ferny foliage has an aromatic smell which is quite distinctive. Whether the climate is warm or there’s heavy downpour, the doubloon marigold stands upright throughout the period. The plants of nematode-susceptible vegetables make good companions of the doubloon marigold because the roots of the latter emit a substance that deters root nematodes.

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Park’s Whopper Yellow Marigold

Belonging to the genus Tagetes and the species, erecta, these fully double flowers that grow in the form of 4 inch balls attract both the butterflies and the humans. Whopper is a new standard for large marigold flowers. Unlike some of the other varieties, whopper yellow doesn’t get to rest on their laurels after a couple of blooms. They keep blooming all season long. If you plant them close, they would look like a solid wall of flowers which hides under them the foliage and ground.

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Janie Deep Orange Marigold

Scientifically known as Tagetes patula, Janie Deep Orange is the most floriferous French marigold out there. The curls on this marigold resemble that of the carnation ones, which make both of these flowers look identical. This variety of marigold is known to tolerate extremely hot climatic conditions, and they grow well when the soil is kept warm throughout the process. It is ideal for container planting, border edging, and mass planting. One great thing about this flower is that deer don’t care about its presence in the garden and leave it alone to let it grow.

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Safari Red Marigold

Since it belongs to the genus Tagetes, it is also called French marigold. Safari Red produces compact and large-flowered blooms with quite a lot of deep orange-red, gold-tipped petals. Any pH of the soil is ideal for safari red marigold flowers to nourish. It has got fern green fragrant foliage which and does not have any thorns. Butterflies love the colors of this flower and they are attracted towards it. It generally blooms for an entire season before you need to replace it in the next season.

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Mr. Majestic Double Marigold

It is the most unique marigold with double blooms that have alternating colors on the petals. There’s nothing challenging about planting and growing this variety of marigold which makes it popular for crafting purposes. This beautiful and attractive flower attains a height of about 16 inches to the maximum. If you deadhead it regularly and properly, the flower will bloom all summer long. Frost has the ability to halt its growth and bloom.

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Desert Marigold

This mound shaped biennial has daisy-like bright yellow flowers. It is a North American species of the marigold which is native to the Mexican deserts and the southwestern United States of America. Desert Marigold, also called Baileya multiradiata, is mostly found in the states of Durango, California, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona. The foliage of this short-lived perennial is grey in color and has the texture of wool.

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Bon Bon Orange Marigold

Pot marigold is the other name of Bon Bon Orange marigold. It has got double orange flowers on the stems that grow relatively fast and deliver bright sunny shade all through the season. Originally originated in the Mediterranean and Europe, it grows better in well-drained soil and enough sun exposure. Just like regular lighting and watering, you have to deadhead it regularly to encourage continuous flowering. The flowers of this marigold attract bees and butterflies. Its petals can also be used as edibles to add flavor to the food and salads.

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Rhododendron varieties & care

A sure-fire way to spruce up your indoor/outdoor living space is to grow Rhododendrons. These plants bloom clusters of bright and spectacular flowers in the late spring. When watered right, their large, leathery leaves stay green all through the winter and keep your space fresh and deciduous. The flowers appear to be funnel-like or bell-shaped. Depending on the variety, the flowers may have a nice fragrance too. 

Rhododendron prefers moderate climate- not too cold or hot. To develop flower buds, they prefer the chill climate. The plant is available in yellow, white, red, pink and purple colors. Although a typical rhododendron might flower in spring, there are some varieties that can bloom in summer as well. 

Varieties 

There are a couple of popular varieties of rhododendrons. 

  1. Windsong

It is an evergreen shrub that flowers lush yellow blooms that look quite elegant with glossy green leaves in the background.

2.  Blue Peter

It blooms lavender colored flowers in the mid-spring and can grow up to 4 feet.

3.  Boule de Neige

This variety bears clusters of white flowers in spring. It prefers deep shade and is sensitive to overwatering.

4.  Elvira

It is a short shade loving plant that blooms bright red flowers. A great choice for indoor planting. 

   5.  Bow Bells

This is a hybrid variety that blooms bell-shaped pink flowers.  It requires good fertile soil. So, you should plant it in compost to get full blossoms.

6. White Angel

This is a long growing rhododendron that could grow up to six feet. It is semi-evergreen and blooms in the month of April. Pruning of this plant is necessary to keep it vibrant throughout the year.

Growing Rhododendrons

You can grow Rhododendrons from seeds, cuttings or saplings brought from the nursery store. If you are not sure about the type of flower ‘a seed growing into a plant’ would bear, getting a cutting of a Rhododendron of your liking helps.

The best time to plant is during spring or early fall. 

Once planted, give your rhododendrons dappled shade as they struggle in full sun and deep shade. A spot that is sunny during the early hours of the morning and receives shade at noon and evening is a perfect spot for the plant.

The soil you plant it on should be moist, humus-rich, well drained and mildly acidic at pH level 5 to 6. If the garden soil is poor, use peat moss and compost. As rhododendrons have shallow root systems, they need mulch and moist soil to stay hydrated, especially during summer months.

To plant a rhododendron, dig a hole that is twice the width of its root ball and deep enough to hold it. When planting multiple plants, place them 2 to 5 feet apart. Do not plant too deep to avoid rotting of roots. After digging the hole, water it and let it settle. Partially add the loose soil, place the plant and fill the remainder with compost and soil mix.

To grow a healthy rhododendron, buy suitable varieties of plants from the nursery. Pay attention to the time they blossom- fall, July, March or some other timing of the year. Buy plants that are healthy with deep green leaves, well watered and not wilted. With your finger, check the condition of the soil. If the soil is bone dry, avoid buying them. 

Rhododendrons Care

Indoor rhododendrons should be watered relatively less and the soil needs to be well drained and rightly acidic. Use a peat-based potting mix without lime. During the growing season, feed the plant with high potassium fertilizer every two weeks. To give a sufficient amount of light, place the pot in a well-lit room and avoid direct sunlight. To keep the plant healthy, the room temperature should be between 16-21°C or 60-70°F.

Watering

Rhododendrons need to be watered thoroughly until they are established. As these plants can absorb water from their leaves, its necessary to water their foliage and also around the roots. The best time to water these plants is during the morning. This allows them to absorb water and dry off until day’s end. Try to avoid watering in the evening as you can put them in the risk of mold growth. 

Fertilizing

It’s important to fertilize rhododendrons once the blooming season is over. As the flowers start to fade, add a good fertilizer to give it a nutrition boost. Also, apply mulch to the area to help the soil retain moisture. Use a slow-release acid forming fertilizer to give the plant a continuous source of nutrition through the rest of the seasons. Cottonseed meal or rhododendron food may be a good choice in this case. 

Pruning

Pruning a rhododendron is necessary to stimulate new growth. The right time to prune the plant is when its leaves are dormant and a few have turned yellowish. Pruning gives rhododendrons symmetry as they tend to grow haphazardly. While pruning a rhododendron, remove dead flowers, yellow and dry leaves. 

Final Note

When you pot a rhododendron and grow it indoors, pay attention to the soil, temperature and amount of sunlight it receives. They are one of the classic flowers with cluster beauty that have been featured in many literary works such as Emerson’s well-known poem, “Rhodora”. So, brighten your space with these large, beautiful flower clusters.

How to plant Gladiolus

Also known as gladiola, and glads, gladiolus are popularly grown to enhance the beauty of bouquets. Ranging between 2 to 5 feet in length, the trumpet-shaped flowers come in every shade, except blue. If you want to plant these South African native flowers in your garden, certain things have to be ensured before you get started.

Choose the Right Gladiola Corms

Corms, also known as bulbs, should have thick centers if you want the flower to bloom properly. If you desire the gladiola in your garden to reach a length of 2 to 3 feet, choose the corm whose diameter ranges between ½ and ¾ inches. If you go for the corms that are about an inch in dia, the flowers will grow much larger.

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Store the corms in a cold and dry place before they get ready to be planted in the yard. Make sure that the temperature inside the storage container does not fall below freezing point. This can damage the bulb.

Pick up a Great Spot

Gladiolus bloom the best when they get full sun. Although you can witness their growth in partial shade, the colors of flowers in such case won’t be as vivid. To give your yard the desired astonishing colors, you must plant gladiolus at a spot where it gets enough of sunlight to grow and lush.

Take Care of Soil

Generally, the gladiolus prefers to grow in sandy loam soil, which has got exceptionally good water drainage. But any soil that is ideal for veggies is great for gladiolus. Heavy and wet soil can cause the roots of the plant to rot. If your yard is filled with clay soil, loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches before you plant gladiolus over there.

Ideal Climate Conditions

It is better to plant them in spring to get the best results. Hang on for the last frost in your area to pass before you take those gladiolus corms to the plant in the flower bed. If everything goes according to the instructions, it would take around two and a half to three months until the plant begins to flower.

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Watering

Once the corms have been sowed with their pointed sides in upward directions, water the entire area uniformly. Also, you should water the bed 1 inch every week, especially if the rainfall isn’t sufficient to fulfill the needs of the gladiolus. The amount of water must be increased during the drought periods.

Mulch the soil

Weed competes with gladiolus for the water and thus has to be controlled. Gladiolus grows well when the soil remains a little moist. To avoid this from happening, you should mulch the soil once the plants start to emerge from under the ground. A 2 to a 3-inch thick layer of either straw or bark would serve the purpose very well.

Fertilizing the Area

To protect gladiolus from the insects, spray the pesticides which contain Malathion or carbaryl. This has to be done when the gladiolas have achieved a length of about 6 inches. If you delay it, the damage that it causes will be irreversible. Keep it in your mind and take good care of the plant and take every necessary action at the prescribed time as well.

Stake them if Necessary

Summer storms can cause the tall gladiolus’ spikes to flop over or bend. But this can be prevented by staking the flowers. Make sure you do this early on in the process so that the roots and the flowers don’t get affected by the supports. Remove the stakes once the flower is ready to be harvested.

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Trimming the Flowers

Avoid the heat of the day and cut the stalks of the flowers early in the morning, or at night time. You need to cut them diagonally before you store them. Don’t store them as it is. Bring with you a container which has lukewarm water in it. Then place the container in a cool and dark place before finally putting the gladiolus flowers in a vase or a bouquet.

How to grow Honeysuckle

Honeysuckles grow as crawling vines, shrubs, and even bushes. People love them because of their sweet fragrance. Not just humans, but birds are attracted towards them because honeysuckle flowers happen to produce nectar for them. Honeysuckle flowers are often used for decorative purposes, especially in the form of hedge along the compound walls and fences.

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Besides beauty enhancement, they have also been used for medicinal purposes as well, especially in Chinese medicines. Being versatile, they don’t prefer any particular type of soil to grow.

Although it is quite easy to grow honeysuckle, you need to know a couple of things before you get to work.

Find the Right Spot

Honeysuckle plants want the full sun to flourish, but they can also tolerate some amount of shade. Make sure that the location you choose receives considerable sunlight. Without enough exposure to the sun, the leaves of honeysuckle flowers will start to shed. Although it does not require any particular type of soil, it must be able to drain off any excess water content in it. Since the honeysuckle plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds, choose the spot where people don’t walk.

Take Care of Watering

When it comes to watering, you must understand that honeysuckle plants are sensitive to the moisture and water it receives over the time. During the initial stages, they need you to consistently water them so that the soil remains evenly moist. Once they establish and start to bloom, you only have to water it when the temperature gets too warm, and conditions of drought arise. Watering at the same rate throughout the process can harm the health of honeysuckle flowers. To maintain the moisture retention of the soil, you can add a layer of mulch to it. A 2-inch layer of either leaf or shredded barks would be sufficient for the purpose.

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Weather Conditions

Plant them in your garden once the threat of frost has made its way out of your area. The ideal weather to grow them in is spring of the colder climates. This keeps their roots shaded and cool. You need to plant them at a soil depth of about 18 inches. It must be noted that an adequate amount of air is given to the plants so that molds and powdery mildews don’t develop on their surface.

Fertilization

These flowers don’t require a lot of fertilizer to grow. Do it with a controlled release variety in the beginning. A balanced fertilizer around the base of the plant is what is crucial for honeysuckle flowers to grow. To encourage the blooms of honeysuckle flowers, use a balanced liquid fertilizer for the purpose. Be careful that you do not fertilize it more than it requires. The signs of excessive fertilization don’t show up at first, but it renders the growth of flowers in a long run. All this while, keep measuring the pH of soil and maintain it between 6 and 8.

Provide them with Support

If you grow them as ground cover, they don’t require any support. However, if you desire the honeysuckle flowers to climb up, they certainly need some sort of support to get going. If there’s a wall near the plantation area, then there’s nothing to worry. But if there’s nothing around, you must insert a support structure prior to planting the plants. Don’t do it after planting because this can damage the roots of the flowers.

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Time for Pruning

Let the honeysuckle plants establish properly before you take out the tools to prune. Doing it too early can have adverse effects on the number of blooms. It can sometimes kill the entire plant as well. The growing period for honeysuckle plants before pruning the old and bloomed out flowers is generally two years. It is necessary to prune the honeysuckle flowers so that the later flowering can be encouraged.

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. 

Snake plant care

Snake Plant is renowned for its adaptable nature, a variety of species as well as an array of usages. Due to their amazing hardiness and striking lines, this plant is hard to kill and hot favorite to people who can’t keep anything green alive. This diehard plant can put up with almost anything in anywhere whether you grow them in your garden, balcony or other indoor spaces.

Snake Plant is generally known as Sansevieria though some people call it ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ because of the shape and sharp margins of its leaves. This spiky beauty is adored for its bold and tough looks, pointed leaves and the amazing quality of purifying its surrounding air.

Varieties

Snake plants have approximately 70 species to choose from. You can see them in all shapes and colors – dwarf or tall, with flat, round or concave leaves, colored with dark green, light green, gold, silver, yellow, chartreuse, black or white. The most popular snake plant species are Black Robusta, Futura Robusta, Futura Superba, Cylindrica, Golden Flame, Gold Hahnii, Moonshine, etc.

Snake Plant Care

Though snake plant is easy to grow and can be neglected for weeks, you must not be oblivious to its care. After all, proper care is what will make your plant thrive and shine. So familiarize yourself with the plant’s basic needs and preferences.

Water

If you’re someone who tends to forget about his/her plant due to traveling or any other reason, this is the number 1 tip for you. Water your snake plant at an interval of 2 to 6 weeks, considering your home temperature and humidity. Make sure the soil gets completely dry before each watering session. Remember, overwatering can rot out your plant.

Light

Though snake plants like medium light ( a 10′ placement from south or west window), they can endure high and low light as well. How tolerant plants they are! Just don’t expose them to direct sunlight because that could burn out the plants.

Air Circulation

Snake plants don’t bother the stale or dry in a home or office environment. They can even survive in the bathroom where the moisture level is quite high. Another cool quality that makes the plant ‘diehard.’

Temperature

These plants can tolerate a long range of high and low temperatures. However, snow and frost are the key culprits to kill a snake. So, make sure you get your plant indoors if the temperature seems to decrease too low

Insects

Although Sansevierias are highly insect-resistant, they can be caught up by spider mites or mealybugs if you leave them in poor condition. If you get any bug, you should spray the plant with a water hose – this will blast off the insects and their eggs. Don’t use chemicals to get rid of the bugs. Try natural control like neem oil, horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

Propagation

Snake plants are rapid growers and very easy to propagate. Once you get a plant, you will never need to purchase another one. You can propagate a sansevieria plant by division, by the rhizomes which spread and by leaf cutting. In a garden, these plants typically proliferate on their own through underground rhizomes. In a pot, you should try division method followed by leaf cuttings.

Soil

The soil nutrition requirement is quite easy for snake plants. As root rot is the key threat to these plants, you should use the soil with a good drainage system.

Fertilizer

Well… snake plants don’t need fertilizer. You can feed them during the spring season with a coating of worm compost and compost. If you really need to fertilize them, use an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer; that is also not more than 2 times in one season.

Transplanting

Never hurry to transplant your sansevierias. These plants actually grow better when you put them in a pot. You can repot your plant in every 2 to 5 years time period. Light intensity and duration affect the growth of snake plant. So, If you put your plants in the low light, you can transplant them conveniently every 5 to 10 years.

Toxicity

Snake plants are mildly toxic to pets and can cause nausea, salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea in them. Though the leaves of snake plant aren’t crunchy and appealing to pets, you should keep them away from chewing the plant.

Flowers

Some varieties of snake plants do flower. However, this is a rare phenomenon, and there’s is no certainty that you’d see flowers in your snake plants. If you happen to see so, don’t forget to savor the sweet smell and whitish beauty of the petals.

If you’re looking to freshen up your space with some delightful foliage, be sure to check out snake plants. Their strong, architectural, sassy appearance adds quite a charm in any indoor place.

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.