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Miss Chen
07月04日
Miss Chen
Creeping bellflower is a delicate, hardy, disease-resistant perennial that grows readily in a variety of conditions. Even though there are numerous bellflower species, the creeping variety is relatively easy to identify. The leaves found at the base of the plant are heart-shaped and become narrower and more lance-like as they move upwards. The drooping, bell-shaped purple flowers appear during the summer, growing up one side of the stem. You may think that a beautiful, easy-to-grow plant would make for a perfect garden bloom, but you'd be wrong—in fact, creeping bellflower is considered extremely invasive. If you introduce this aggressive species to your garden, you must do so carefully and strategically—otherwise, it won't be long before it chokes out your other flowers and proves almost impossible to eradicate. It has a fast-spreading and deep root system of long tubers that can become many gardeners' nemesis if left untamed. Now that the extent of its aggressive nature has been discovered, it's classed as an invasive species across much of the country. Brought to North America from its native Europe, creeping bellflower was initially a popular plant thanks to its ability to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Creeping bellflower produces an abundance of seeds in the summer (upwards of 15,000 per plant), which are then easily distributed by insects and gentle breezes. The plant will grow rapidly and can take over your landscape in as little as a season if left to its own devices. Ultimately, though it is beautiful, it's not recommended that you plant creeping bellflower in your garden or landscape. Botanical Name Campanula rapunculoides Common Name Creeping bellflower, rampion bellflower Plant Type Herbaceous perennial Mature Size 2–4 ft. tall, 1–3 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full sun, partial shade Soil Type Moist but well-drained Soil pH Neutral to acidic Bloom Time July to September Flower Color Lavender, purple Hardiness Zones 3–9 (USDA) Native Area Europe Creeping Bellflower Care Creeping bellflower grows pretty much anywhere. It can thrive in various light conditions and handles a variety of different soil types easily—even those that have poor drainage or are infertile. It's found in most parts of North America, other than the hottest southeastern states. That being said, moist and shady locations are where the plant tends to be at its most invasive.
Light Creeping bellflower will be most pervasive (and reseeds itself most aggressively) when growing in full sunlight. However, the plant can sustain just fine in partial shade and full shade locations as well. Soil While it can tolerate a variety of soil conditions, creeping bellflower will grow most prolifically in a soil blend that is moist but well-draining. Additionally, it can adapt to a wide range of neutral to acidic pH levels. Water Creeping bellflower plants prefer consistent water, and do best with about 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or manual watering methods. Once established, they are mildly drought-tolerant, though a lack of water will impact their blooming. Temperature and Humidity Though creeping bellflower is well-adapted to a variety of temperature and humidity environments, it spreads and grows most rapidly in the cooler weather of early spring or late fall. Additionally, the plants are cold-hardy down to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit, though they will cease to bloom at extremely cold temperatures. Fertilizer Creeping bellflower spreads readily and aggressively on its own, and should not be given fertilizer. How to Remove Creeping Bellflower Be prepared for a long project when attempting to eradicate the tenacious creeping bellflower from your landscape. Rigorous hand pulling, mowing, and deadheading won't eradicate the species, but it'll prevent reseeding and can help control spread somewhat. It can take several years of hard work to eliminate this species, and some horticulturists choose to focus on managing it instead. Removing The Roots Part of the problem with removing creeping bellflower is that its white, fleshy underground rhizomes and deep taproots can't simply be pulled out. Doing so carelessly will inevitably leave pieces still in the soil, and even the smallest rhizomatous section can result in regrowth. For the best success, digging out the roots is required. You'll need to dig at least 6 to 9 inches into the soil on all sides of the plant. Slowly and methodically sift out any root sections you find, and all parts of the plant should be put into sealed general waste bags. If added to compost heaps or bins, they could grow back once the compost is applied. Creeping bellflower roots can also become entangled with the roots of other nearby plants. You may have to sacrifice other species while you're working to rid your garden of this weed. If you have a prized plant you want to try saving, it's best to remove it and carefully try to separate it from the roots of the bellflower. The roots should then be washed off, and the plant should be kept in a pot to make sure that no creeping bellflower growth reappears. Smothering Methods Another method for removing creeping bellflower is to cover the plants to deprive them of light. However, this is only practical if the flowers are growing in small patches. To do so, you can use newspapers, cardboard, or plastic, which is then covered over with soil or heavy mulch. Though it may seem easier, this method isn't always foolproof—sometimes, creeping bellflower's roots will lie in a dormant state (tricking you into thinking it's been eradicated) and new growth could appear the following season.
Chemical Removal Chemically removing your creeping bellflower is best kept as a last resort. Not only can herbicides pose a risk to the environment, humans, and animals alike, but they don't always have the best success rate. However, if you find the plant has invaded your patio. driveway cracks, or paved areas in your garden, it could be worth adopting this method as it won't be possible to dig up the roots. Likewise, if the plants have spread to your lawn, you could apply a herbicide containing the active ingredient triclopyr as this won't damage the grass. Widely available broadleaf herbicides and defoliants such as 2,4-D have been proven ineffective at dealing with creeping bellflower. Limited success has been shown, however, with those that contain the active ingredient glyphosate, likeRoundup. Applying the treatment directly with a sponge can prevent it from coming into contact with other nearby broadleaf species. Best success, however, will occur if it's sprayed generously on the plant. Treatments should be applied in late spring or early fall, while temperatures are between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You also want to ensure there isn't any rain in the forecast for at least a couple of days after the treatment, too. Weekly reapplications for several weeks are often recommended.
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Miss Chen
07月04日
Miss Chen
The crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a species of small, beautiful tree native to Asia that has naturalized in the Deep South of the United States. So often used in landscaping is Lagerstroemia indica that as you travel around some areas of the country, that you will see its presence in almost every yard. Though certainly not unique, its common use is a testament to its stunning blossoms, peeling bark, and attractive fall foliage that gives the crepe myrtle unrivaled all-season interest. Common Name Crepe Myrtle Botanical Name Lagerstroemia indica Family Name Lythraceae Plant Type Deciduous tree / large shrub Mature Size 6-25 ft. tall, 6-20 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Average, medium moisture, well-drained Soil pH 6.0-6.5 Bloom Time July-September Flower Color Red-rose Hardiness Zones USDA 6-9 Native Area China, Indochina, Himalayas, Japan Crepe Myrtle Care This species of Lagerstroemia is generally a lower maintenance selection. Though low maintenance, there are some things you can do to help get the best blooms from your crepe myrtle and ensure that your tree thrives. As always, it all starts with planning and selecting the right location. Crepe myrtles tolerate pollution, so they can handle being closer to a street, but their smaller size does not allow the species to act as a street tree. Decide in advance if you want your plant to be a shrub or a tree in form and plan for that growth. The rest of the care is all about site conditions and some basic maintenance. Knowing where to plant your tree and how to take care of it will ensure you get the most beauty for your buck. Tip Crepe myrtle, though often listed as a shrub, is not really a shrub or low-growing tree. Be prepared for it to grow up to 25-30 ft. tall. Sometimes owners of crepe myrtles who want them to stay shrub-sized will cut the main central branch (i.e., top it),which permanently ruins their growth structure and can make them extremely unsightly and sickly in the long run. Topping crepe myrtles is such a common mistake it has been dubbed "crepe murder." So, if you are certain you don't want a tree and only want a shrub, it might be best to pick a different plant!
Light To get the most prolific blooms with the best color from your tree, pay attention to the amount of sunlight. Crepe myrtle needs full sun to thrive. You should place it in a spot in your landscape that gets at least six hours of sun a day. Anything less and you will notice a big fall off on blossoms. Soil Crepe myrtle is not too demanding regarding soil pH, but it prefers neutral or slightly acidic soil over alkaline soil. However, it does get finicky with its soil moisture. The soil must be well-draining; a crepe myrtle cannot tolerate standing water, because it is susceptible to root rot. You will also want to avoid very rich soil since this produces more foliage than the desired flowers. Water Unlike most trees, the crepe myrtle needs water often, especially if the soil is not moist. To bolster those beautiful blooms, you need to water the roots deeply, particularly during dry periods. As usual, you will need to water it as it is being established, but if you live in an area that does not get a good amount of rain, it is a great idea to continue watering your crepe myrtle using the same method as you would with a newly planted tree. Water your crepe with two to three gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter. It is important to only water the roots of crepe myrtle, especially if your tree does not have enough space around it for airflow; you want to avoid watering the foliage. Wetting the foliage during watering invites powdery mildew. Temperature and Humidity Though the USDA zone map says 6-9, growing crepe myrtles north of zone 7 can be tricky. Roots that are well-protected underground or mulched will be hardy enough to survive colder winters, but exposed branches will not make it through winters that reach less than -5° Fahrenheit. To combat this, consider pruning all branches to the soil level. Crepe myrtles bloom on new wood, so new blooms will come out yearly as the tree emerges in the spring. Fertilizer You will want only to fertilize your crepe myrtle very lightly or avoid it completely. Supplemental fertilizers tend to increase foliage growth which in turn inhibits bloom production. If you need to use a fertilizer, choose a slow-release fertilizer with high nitrogen content. The content can be found by reading the NPK formulation. Before fertilizing, the best thing to do is to run a simple soil test to see if your soil is really deficient or if there is another issue. Types of Lagerstroemia Indica Lagerstroemia indica is just one plant of a genus containing 50 or so species. Straight species of L. indica are not sold in the nursery trade so you will always be buying a cultivar or hybrid, but unfortunately, they are not often marked well and the tag will just say "Crepe Myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica." If you purchase from a reputable nursery this won't be the case and you have the chance to choose from some outstanding cultivars with amazing traits that vary from form, color, and size. Some common cultivars you may see are: Lagerstroemia Indica ' Enduring Summer White' – A dwarf variety with white blooms, 4-5’ tall and wide. Lagerstroemia Indica ''Tuskarora' - Bright watermelon pink blossoms followed by orange fall color. Lagerstroemia Indica 'Catawba' - Purple blooming variety, with great fall color and a rounded habit reaching 10-15' tall and wide. Lagerstroemia Indica 'Muskogee' – 22-25’ tall and wide, lavender-blue flowers and light gray bark. Pruning Pruning your crepe myrtle is a chore that needs to be done for a few reasons. Pruning can aid in bloom production and help beautify the plant by exposing the exfoliating bark, increasing seasonal interest, and establishing the best size and form by removing suckers and errant branches. Crepe myrtles bloom on new wood, so pruning in the winter or early spring will promote prolific blooming. If you are trying to establish your plant as a tree form, it is important to prune all but one trunk off to establish a leader. Creating a tree form, in turn, will create the chore of tidying suckers and structural pruning until a single leader is developed. A single trunk creates the stunning visual of the peeling bark that makes the Lagerstroemia indica shine even in the winter. Common Pest and Plant Diseases Luckily crepe myrtles don't deal with too many pest issues, but they are susceptible to powdery mildew, sooty mold, and other fungal infections. The best way to deal with these issues is, of course, prevention. To prevent these issues from arising, water the roots rather than the foliage and allow your tree to have plenty of space to air dry after rainstorms. Yearly treatment with a general fungicide can also reduce the risk of an infected plant.
FAQ Are all crepe myrtles shrubs? No. It depends on the cultivar and how you wish to prune and train your plant. Can crepe myrtles be used as hedges? Yes, crepe myrtles make excellent hedges, though they do require regular pruning. Do Crepe myrtles only come in pink? Some cultivars give white, lavender, red, purple, burgundy, pale blue, purple, and mauve and different sizes and forms. If you choose a different species of Lagerstroemia, you can even find evergreen crepe myrtles.
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Miss Chen
07月04日
Miss Chen
IN THIS ARTICLE Care Types Pruning Propagating Growing From Seed Potting Overwintering Pests & Diseases Bloom Common Problems Frequently Asked Questions Creeping mazus (Mazus reptans) is a fast-spreading, semi-evergreen perennial that works well as a ground cover in USDA zones 5 to 8. In warmer climates, the dense, lush foliage remains green throughout the year, and it features clusters of beautiful little purple-blue flowers that blossom in late spring and summer. The tiny thumbnail-sized flowers form a dense mat and can be mowed in much the same way as turf grass. Creeping mazus is usually planted from potted nursery starts or from root divisions in the spring. It is a fast-growing plant that will quickly fill in to create a uniform ground cover. Common Name Creeping mazus Botanical Name Mazus reptans or Mazus miquelii Family Mazaceae Plant Type Herbaceous perennial Mature Size 2–3 in. tall, 6–12 in. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Moist, well drained Soil pH Acidic to alkaline (5.5–8.0) Bloom Time Summer Flower Color White to blue-violet Hardiness Zones 5–8 (USDA) Native Area Central Asia (Himalayas) Creeping Mazus Care Creeping mazus prefers relatively moist fertile soil in a full-sun location, but it is an adaptable plant that tolerates almost any soil type and will grow adequately in partial shade. In shady conditions, it will grow more slowly with fewer flowers. Light Creeping mazus sees rapid growth in full sun or partial shade positions. In very hot regions, a location that is shaded during the peak of the afternoon is best. Soil Creeping mazus prefers fertile, moist, loamy soil, but it is a robust species that tolerates a variety of soil types. If the soil is too hard-packed, the delicate rooting system will struggle to become established. It grows equally well in acidic, neutral, and alkaline soils. With soils that are too dry, adding mulch will help with moisture retention. Water This plant prefers to remain moist but not constantly wet. Make sure it isn't exposed to over-watering, as standing water will cause root rot. Weekly watering, especially in hot and dry conditions will ensure your creeping mazus continues to flourish. If it stays dry too long, the foliage will begin to wilt and die. Temperature and Humidity Creeping mazus copes well across a wide range of temperatures and is reliably hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8. It prefers a warm and moist environment, and in warmer climates it is evergreen. In colder zones, the foliage may turn red and go dormant in the winter months. Hard frost may kill individual plants, though a colony usually fills in again when mild spring weather returns. Fertilizer You won't have to worry about feeding creeping mazus if it's planted in a rich and fertile soil. An annual light feeding of a slow-release variety in the spring, however, could promote better growth for plants that are in dry, poor-quality soil. Types of Creeping Mazus Mazus reptans has no widely available named cultivars—the species type is the one normally sold in the horticulture trade. However, there is a related species, Mazus miquelli, that is also sometimes known by the common name creeping mazus. However, M. miquelli, a native to Japan and China, is considered an invasive plant in the Northeast U.S., and it is rarely, if ever, deliberately used as a landscape plant. Pruning Although pruning is not required, creeping mazus responds well to shearing with a mower when used as a replacement for turf grass in ground-cover situations. Propagating Creeping Mazus Creeping mazus spreads naturally as its roaming stems root themselves in soil. It is an easy matter to dig up some of these offshoots and transplant them. Here's how: In spring after an established plant is actively growing, use a sharp knife or trowel to separate an offshoot stem that has rooted itself and lift it free of the mother plant. Immediately plant the offshoot in a new garden location and water it well. If planting with the intent of creating a new ground cover, space the plants 8 to 12 inches apart, as they will quickly spread to fill the space. How to Grow Creeping Mazus From Seed Creeping mazus spreads so quickly that it's generally planted via nursery seedling flats, with plants spaced 8 to 12 inches apart and then allowed to fill in to create a carpet of greenery. However, if you are covering large areas with creeping mazus, it is possible to plant from bulk seeds sown over the area, much the way lawn seed is sown. However, if you're seeding an area previously covered with grass, make sure to remove as much grass as possible, including the roots. This will give creeping mazus the best chance of thriving, as it can't outcompete the tenacious roots of turfgrasses. Allow a decent amount of space between sown seeds, too. Remember, this plant has a fast-spreading, close-to-the-surface, sprawling root system. You don't want the area to become overcrowded, as this can impact growth. Potting and Repotting Creeping Mazus Although it's not a common way to grow creeping mazus, this plant can be grown in containers filled with standard potting mix. The low-growing trailing habit can make it a good "spiller" plant for the edges of a mixed container garden. A container of any type will do, provided it is well draining. Overwintering This plant generally requires no special winter preparation, though gardeners in colder zones may find that a layer of leaf mulch over the plants will prevent winter kill. Any covering should be raked off the plants as soon as the weather warms in the spring. Common Pests and Plant Diseases Creeping mazus is not a victim of any common serious pests or diseases, but it can be subject to damage from slugs and snails. These pests are best handled by removing them by hand, or with snail/slug baits placed in the garden. How to Get Creeping Mazus to Bloom It's rare for creeping mazus to withhold blooms during its normal flowering period, late spring though mid-summer. If it does not bloom adequately, it may be because it is not getting enough sunlight or water—both of which are necessary for profuse blooming. If both these cultural needs are adequate, then feeding the plant with balanced fertilizer may give the plants a needed nutritional boost. An old, overgrown patch of creeping mazus may stop blooming because the plants become too crowded. In this case, rejuvenate the colony by digging up the plants, dividing the roots, and replanting the pieces 8 to 12 inches apart. The colony usually responds quickly with vigorous growth and ample flowering. Common Problems With Creeping Mazus There are very few cultural problems with creeping mazus if it's grown in its established hardiness range, but occasionally you may notice brown patches appearing in the otherwise uniform carpet of green. In the colder end of the hardiness range, this can be a symptom of winter kill caused by hard frost. Unless the frost is very hard and prolonged, winter kill usually corrects itself in the spring as surrounding plants fill in to replace dead patches. Brown patches can also be caused by soil that is too dry. Creeping mazus plants like plenty of moisture, and may die back if allowed to become too dry during hot months. FAQ How is this plant best used in the landscape? Creeping mazus is a popular aground cover alternative in locations that are too moist for turfgrass to grow well—such as the banks along streams or water gardens. It also works well to fill in gaps in between flagstones or walls, and it is a favored addition in rock gardens, where it helps reduce weed growth. This species also looks lovely dangling over the edges of hanging baskets or containers. Is there a similar plant that works well in colder zones? Scotch moss can be a good alternative to creeping mazus for zones 3 and 4. It is a good plant for moist areas, and it accepts a fair amount of foot traffic without incurring permanent damage. How do I replace a turf grass lawn with creeping mazus? Creeping mazus cannot simply be overseeded in a turf grass lawn, as turf grasses are considerably more aggressive and will win the rooting battle. If you do want to replace an area of turf grass, you must first kill off or remove all the grass. Turf grass can be removed with a sharp, flat shovel, but a more effective method is to kill it off with glyphosate herbicide before replanting with creeping mazus.
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Miss Chen
07月04日
Miss Chen
The common name "creeping thyme" can refer to one of several woody-stemmed perennial species of the Thymus genus that are good groundcovers for sunny areas. While not all types are grown as herbs, they are in the mint family and have a pleasant scent; most can be used for cooking. It is closely related to the well-known edible herb. Most thyme plants are perennial in moderate climates. While some thyme species are upright and shrub-like, creeping types are low-growing with a vine-like habit. They are principally grown for the fine texture of their pointed blue-green leaves as they spread out to softly blanket the ground, but they also produce flowers of various colors, depending on the type. On mature plants, flowers usually appear in late spring and early summer. Plant creeping thyme from seeds or potted nursery starts in the spring. In its first year, it's a slow-to-moderate grower, but once it's established, it will spread quicker in subsequent years.
Common Name Creeping thyme Botanical Name Thymus spp. Family Lamiaceae Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial Mature Size 2-6 in. tall, 6-18 in. wide Sun Exposure Full Soil Type Well-drained, sandy Soil pH Neutral, alkaline Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Pink, white, purple Hardiness Zones 2–9 (USDA) Native Area Europe Creeping Thyme Care Creeping thyme plants grow best in well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Like most herb plants, creeping thyme seems to thrive in poor soils. They will grow best in full sun, although they will tolerate some shade. Creeping thyme plants can become woody over time. If woody stems take over, you may want to remove and replace the plants or strongly prune back the plants to rejuvenate growth. Creeping thyme is a hardy plant that doesn't have many problems, although it can be susceptible to root rot in wet, soggy soil. Light Creeping thyme is native to the Mediterranean regions of southern Europe, and is therefore a sun-loving plant that needs full sun (at least six hours daily) to thrive. Soil An essential element to soil success with thyme is drainage. It doesn't like wet feet, so make sure the soil drains well. It loves loose, sandy, rocky soil, and even loam if it drains well. It does not do well in wet clay. Water One issue with using fast-draining soils is that it is easy for the plant to dry out if you're not paying attention. Do not let creeping thyme get parched, especially when it's a young plant. For the most part, thyme planted in the ground or maintained at a steady, non-sweltering temperature should only need watering every 10 days; however, potted thyme outdoors in blazing hot temperatures will need watering once daily. You want the roots to be moist, but they should not be sitting in standing water. Temperature and Humidity There are creeping thyme species appropriate for zones 2 to 9, though each species has its own recommended hardiness range. As a general rule, thyme plants don't like humidity. If you live in a humid area and your plant is losing leaves, or if the foliage is looking rough, trim off the affected stems and improve air circulation. Also, add sand or gravel around the plant's base to prevent contact with moist soil. Affected plants should revive when the weather turns cooler and drier. Fertilizer Creeping thyme growing in well-prepared soil shouldn't need to be fed. If the soil is poor, you can compensate by providing a delayed-release fertilizer once at the beginning of each growing season. For the amount to use, follow the product label instructions. Types of Creeping Thyme English thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is the best-known thyme variety—it's also called common thyme or garden thyme, and is typically grown as a culinary herb. However, several types of creeping thyme are low to the ground and spread efficiently. Spicy orange creeping thyme (Thymus 'Spicy Orange') has pink flowers and grows 2 to 4 inches tall; it is hardy in zones 5 to 9. White creeping thyme (Thymus paocos 'Albiflorus') has white flowers and grows 1 to 2 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide. It is hardy in zones 2 to 9. Red creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum 'Coccineus') has pink flowers. It grows 3 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide and is hardy in zones 4 to 9. Wooly (or woolly) thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) has pale pink flowers. It grows 3 inches tall and 3 to 12 inches wide, and is hardy in zones 5 to 8. Pruning Repeated pruning is the most burdensome garden task if you want to grow creeping thyme successfully. Prune back creeping thyme stems in the early spring to prepare the plant for the growing season ahead. Prune again after the flowers die back, usually by the end of summer. In late fall, after the first frost, prune the leggiest, woodiest stems by half. This pruning encourages vigorous, young growth in the spring. Propagating Creeping Thyme Thyme is a prolific grower; it self-seeds and likes to spread. Dividing thyme and taking stem cuttings gives your older plant a new lease on life, encouraging new growth. You can propagate creeping thyme via three methods: division, stem cuttings, and seeds. The best time to divide or take cuttings is in the late spring or early summer. By Division To propagate via division, you will need a sterilized sharp knife or spade. If you are planting into a new container, make sure the pot is clean and has well-draining soil. Use a pot with at least 3 inches of growing room on all sides and below the plant. Water the plant well before you divide it. Remove the root ball from the container, or if you are removing the plant from the ground, dig around the plant in a circle, about 3 to 4 inches from the center of the plant. To divide, cut through the middle of the plant, keeping the roots intact as much as possible. You can make multiple cuts as long as your plant has healthy roots. If you have old soil around your plant's roots, you can tap or shake it off. Put soil at the bottom of the pot and center the plant in the middle. The plant should have the same soil line as before. Add soil around all sides of the root ball. The packed soil should keep the plant upright. Add water until you see water run out the bottom. The soil should not appear soggy. Place it in a sunny location. By Stem Cuttings To propagate via stem cutting, you will need a healthy, non-flowering stem with new leaf growth on it, sterilized scissors or pruners, rooting hormone, fresh well-draining potting mix, and a clean pot. Cut the stem anywhere, giving you a piece that is 4 to 6 inches long. Remove the bottom 2 inches of leaves. Apply rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem, then plant the stem cutting in the center of a small container filled with fresh potting mix. Place the plant in a sunny spot. Water it and keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. When new growth is apparent, the plant can be transplanted into the garden, if you wish. How to Grow Creeping Thyme From Seed You can start thyme from seed indoors in a small growing tray before the final frost, using a quality seed starting mix. Plant seeds on the surface of the mix with a bare covering of additional mix. (These seeds need light to germinate.) Keep the water evenly moist in a warm, bright spot about 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. To moisten the top of the soil, use a spray bottle. The seeds should germinate within 14 to 21 days. Once the seedlings have 3 to 4 inches of growth, you can transplant them into a new container or plant them in the ground once the threat of frost has passed. Potting and Repotting Creeping Thyme If you are transplanting thyme, give them room to spread by planting just one specimen per pot. If you have containers that are several feet long (such as window boxes), you can plant them about 1 foot apart. The best containers are porous—such as clay or terracotta—but any container will do as long as it has ample drainage holes. Once the plant grows too big for the container, remove the root ball and divide it. You can replant the smaller division back into the container it was in, giving it fresh potting mix. The remaining division can go into a similar container with fresh potting mix or into the garden, making way for fresh growth. Overwintering In zones where winters are cold, thyme is semi-evergreen, which means it will remain mostly green and keep its leaves, but may die back some and some branches may die. The best way to protect plants in colder USDA zones is by giving them a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch after the cold weather has set in. Apply it on a day that has hit a freezing temperature. It will keep the soil at a consistent temperature and give the plant a better chance of surviving a rollercoaster of warming and cooling temperatures that can harm a plant. Common Pests & Plant Diseases In hot, dry summer conditions, spider mites can be a problem with creeping thyme plants. Insecitidal soap is an effective treatment for these pests. On indoor plants, both spider mites and aphids are possible, again treatable with insecticidal soap. Creeping thyme is susceptible to root rot in wet, dense soils. Affected plants will need to be removed.1 How to Get Creeping Thyme to Bloom Flowering creeping thyme is very attractive to bees, and pollen from blooming thyme often flavors the resulting honey. The tiny leaves are aromatic, as are the flowers, which have a balsamic or citrus scent similar to the leaves. Depending on the variety, flowers can be white, pink, or purple. You do not have to deadhead thyme flowers. And, unlike other flowering herbs, if this plant develops flowers, its leaves will not lose their flavor. The flowers are edible too. It blooms in spring or summer for about three to four weeks. Most thyme plants do not flower in their first growing season. If your plant is established and not flowering, you can try a diluted, half-strength liquid fertilizer. Thyme doesn't usually need enriched soil, but it may be the boost the plant needs to encourage flower production. To keep your thyme blooming year after year, pruning your oldest, woodiest stems at the end of the growing season will encourage new growth and flowers in the spring. Common Problems With Creeping Thyme Creeping thyme has relatively few care needs. It's resilient against diseases and pests and is only susceptible to a few issues. Woody Stems As thyme ages and grows late in the season, it may start to get spindly and leggy. Pruning woody herbs at the end of the season is the best way to encourage new growth in the coming season. It simply requires some attention at the end of the fall season after the first frost or in early spring. Wait to prune after the plant's first growing season. Cutting is better than pulling out dead, woody stems since you run the risk of pulling out healthy new growth. Drooping Stems With Yellowing, Browning Leaves A thyme plant that gets too much water has poorly draining soil, not enough drainage holes, or is exposed to too much humidity can get yellowing or browning leaves. Decrease your watering schedule and check to see that your soil is fast-draining and there are ample holes for the water drain. Fix these parameters, and your plant may rebound if caught before the plant develops full-blown root rot, a common disease when the soil is too soggy for the roots. If you pull your plant out of the pot and notice black, rotting roots, use sterilized scissors or pruners to snip away the dead roots. Replant the healthy roots in a clean pot with fresh, well-draining soil. Also, excess nitrogen in the soil can cause a thyme plant to grow leggy, wilt, or get yellowing leaves. Steer clear of fertilizers that have a high nitrogen content. Plant Dries Out Thyme lives about four or five years at most, so if your plant starts to turn brown and looks like it's drying out and dying, it may be reaching the end of its life. Other causes can be severe frost, a lack of sun, or a fungal disease like root rot. If a harsh winter left stems looking dead, cut them back in the early spring, and the plant may rebound on its own. This sun-loving plant needs at least 6 hours of direct sun to be happy; make sure it's situated appropriately.
FAQ How is this plant used in the landscape? Creeping thyme is best used as a groundcover for small areas or to fill in spaces between stepping stones in sunny areas. It can be used to fill in crevices in retaining walls, and can also be grown in containers. How long can creeping thyme live? If you're growing creeping thyme in a pot, the original plant usually has a life span of about three to five years. However, it's a prolific plant and self-seeder. After a few years, it may look woody and spindly, so you could decide to cut back its woody stems. Commonly, you'll find baby sprouts underneath. Can creeping thyme grow indoors? Creeping thyme can grow indoors as long as you have a very bright window that gets at least six hours of direct sun streaming in; either that or a grow light should do. What plants are similar to creeping thyme? Sedum requieni, also known as miniature stonecrop, is a small-leaved, low-growing filler or groundcover that often gets confused for thyme. You can immediately tell the difference between the two by breaking off a piece and smelling the leaves; stonecrop is not fragrant.
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Miss Chen
07月04日
Miss Chen
Creeping Wire Vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) is a sprawling prostrate subshrub with distinctive small, round, ornamental dark green leaves and wiry stems. It requires little maintenance and is fast-spreading. It's also sometimes referred to as Matted Lignum. This plant is an excellent choice as a hardy, alternative ground cover, coping well with a medium amount of foot traffic. It also works for use on slopes to help prevent soil erosion. Because of its draping qualities, Creeping Wire Vine also looks great in hanging baskets and containers, alongside other taller plants. Because it's so vigorous, care should be taken about where it's positioned. Although it looks good on border edges, climbing on walls, and in rock gardens, it can sprawl into other plants territory quickly. The wiry vines can also become a tripping hazard when it's planted in between flagstones. The fast-spreading underground root system can be an advantage, however, when looking to keep weeds under control. The bright leaves are evergreen when the temperatures are mild enough, Its flowers emerge in late spring, but they're small, green and inconspicuous. Little white edible and juicy berries also develop as the seasons move on.
Botanical Name Muehlenbeckia axillaris Common Name Creeping Wire Vine, Sprawling Wirevine, Matted Lignum Plant Type Prostrate evergreen shrub Mature Size Up to 6 inches Sun Exposure Full Sun/ Partial Shade Soil Type Tolerates a variety, but must be well-drained Soil pH Not particular Bloom Time Late spring Flower Color White Hardiness Zones 5 to 9 Native Area New Zealand and Australia How to Grow Creeping Wire Vine Providing you select the right sunny or partial shade location, once Creeping Wire Vine is established, it requires very little maintenance. It does well in a variety of soils and even thrives in dry, rocky conditions. Once mature, your plant can cope with little irrigation. Light A sunny or partial shade location is what Creeping Wire Vine prefers. It can cope in areas with no shade, but just expect much slower growth. Soil Creeping Wire Vine isn't fussy when it comes to soil types. It copes well with dry, infertile soils and this is part of its appeal for use on rocky slopes where other plants struggle to thrive. It can help to minimize erosion in these types of areas. It doesn't cope with standing water, and the main requirement is that the soil is well-drained. Water During the first growing season, Creeping Wire Vie should be kept consistently moist. This will give the roots the best chance to establish. Once the plant is fully mature, although it prefers moist soil, it can cope with dry conditions.
Temperature and Humidity This hardy plant can handle alpine conditions, but you should expect a much slower growth rate. As you would expect of a plant that is native to Australia and New Zealand, Creeping Wire Vine thrives in warm conditions. Fertilizer In good quality soil, fertilizer will not be required. If your Creeping Wire Vine is in dry, rocky soil, it may benefit from an annual feeding in the spring, just before new growth starts. Propagating Creeping Wire Vine Although Matted Lignum can be grown from seed, propagating from a cutting is an easier way to establish new growth. It doesn't require a lot of rooting hormone and new roots form with little effort. Make sure that you take a cutting from a well-established stem. Young shrubs have a flexible stem that will struggle to reroot. Pruning Pruning isn't a necessity, but mowing down the shrub, particularly in the spring, can help to encourage new and healthy growth. It can also help to contain the spread if your plant is thriving in a sunny, warm position. You can mow it back at any time of the year if you feel it's getting too full. Being Grown in Containers Creeping Wire Vine looks great when planted at the edges of a container, allowing it to spill over the sides. It works well when it's selected alongside plants of contrasting heights and colors. Just be aware that the sprawling root system can overtake less robust plants sitting alongside it, and it'll probably require more frequent watering when sitting in a container. Growing From Seeds Propagating from a cutting is usually recommended because Creeping Wire Vine isn't self-fertile. The flowers on each plant are only one sex. This means you need male and female plants to ensure successful seeding. When planting Creeping Wire Vine, make sure you leave around half a meter of space between each plant. It spreads quickly and positioning them too close together can create overcrowding that can stunt growth.
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Miss Chen
06月27日
Miss Chen
Despite its common name, creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens) belongs to a different plant genus than the true zinnias (Zinnia spp.). It gets its name because the oval, pointed leaves bear a strong resemblance to those of the zinnias. And it is like zinnia in another way: It has a very long bloom period with colorful flowers that have the same daisy-like shape common to all members of the Asteraceae family. Creeping zinnia is a cheery annual plant with a spreading nature and low, 6-inch stature, ideal as groundcover or for planting in containers as trailers. The fine green foliage is unique in itself, but the small yellow blooms steal the show and have been compared in appearance to sunflowers, albeit a miniature version. Creeping zinnia is a true annual that dies at the end of the growing season, but its abundant blooms and carefree nature make it worth re-planting year after year. Creeping zinnia is normally planted from potted nursery starts in the spring after the threat of frost has passed, though it is also easy to grow from seed. Like most true annuals, it is a fast-growing plant that will flower in its first season—about 10 weeks after seeds are planted.
Common Name Creeping zinnia, Mexican creeping zinnia Botanical Name Sanvitalia procumbens Family Asteraceae Plant Type Herbaceous annual Mature Size 4–6 in. tall, 12–18 in. wide Sun Exposure Full to part sun Soil Type Well-drained Soil pH Acidic to slightly alkaline (5.5–7.5) Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Yellow, orange Hardiness Zones 2–11 (true annual, grown in all USDA zones) Native Area Central America (Mexico, Guatemala) Creeping Zinnia Care Creeping zinnia is an exceedingly easy plant to grow in a full-sun or partial shade location in moderately fertile soil, provided it gets sufficient water. It thrives in summer conditions and won't shrivel up even in the face of high temperatures and humidity. Creeping zinnia requires regular watering but does not tolerate soggy conditions. Creeping zinnia is often planted in spring from potted nursery plants after the soil has fully warmed in the spring and nighttime temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Loosen the soil thoroughly, adding organic amendments such as peat moss or compost, if necessary. Plant so the top of the root ball is at the soil level. Many people, however, prefer to direct sow seeds in the precise locations where they want plants to grow, since creeping zinnias may react badly to transplanting. Direct-sown seeds are usually planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Sunlight Creeping zinnia will grow well in full sun or partial shade conditions, but its true flowering potential depends on direct sun for six to eight hours per day. In spots that receive just four to six hours of sun, these plants will generally fare fine but won’t have the same abundant blooms Soil These plants can tolerate a range of soil types, including average to relatively fertile, humus-rich conditions. However, creeping zinnia requires that soil drains well. Otherwise, its roots can become waterlogged and rot. Water While creeping zinnia enjoys hot weather and tolerates periods of drought, don’t let this fool you into thinking that this plant won’t need regular watering. It’s important to keep the plant from becoming waterlogged, but it prefers consistently medium-moist soil conditions. For this reason, you might need to water these plants once or twice daily if grown in a container during stretches of dry weather. Aim for moist but well-aerated soil that dries out slightly between waterings, but don't allow the soil to become overly dry and crumbly. Temperature and Humidity Hot temperatures and high humidity will make creeping zinnia feel right at home. Native to Central American countries Mexico and Guatemala, these plants thrive when the temperature rises and won’t wilt in a hot climate. But they’re only moderately tolerant of cool weather and will fade and die once the average nightly temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilizer For a healthy, abundantly-blooming plant, provide at least moderately fertile soil conditions. Creeping zinnia doesn’t have overly specific or substantial nutritional needs, but if the soil you plant it in is less than average, you might need to use organic or a balanced conventional fertilizer. Creeping zinnia planted in containers or pots often benefits from a slow-release fertilizer or a periodic application of liquid fertilizer to support the overall growth and health of the plant. Types of Creeping Zinnia There are more than a dozen named cultivars of creeping zinnia, mostly bred to exhibit small variations in flower shape and color or differences in foliage. Consider these recommendations: ‘Sprite’ series features semi-double flowers in shades of orange and yellow with dark brown centers. Plants are 10 to 12 inches tall. ‘Gold Braid’ is a profuse bloomer with golden-yellow flowers with dark brown centers. ‘Irish Eyes’ has orange-yellow flowers with green centers. Plants are a compact 6 inches in height. ‘Mandarin Orange’ features double flowers that are a deep, rich orange with dark brown center disks, closely resembling miniature sunflowers. Pruning Deadhead the spent flowers regularly to keep the plants looking neat and to promote continued blooming. Stems that become too long can be clipped back to keep the plants nicely compact. Propagating Creeping Zinnia Creeping zinnia can be propagated in several ways: from seeds collected from the flower heads; by dividing the rootball into separate sections for replanting; or by taking stem clipping to root in a growing medium. In commercial settings, it is normally propagated by seed, since the plant is not fond of being transplanted. But home gardeners often use the stem-cutting method to propagate new plants indoors over the winter, thereby keeping favorite plants alive. Here's how to do it: As the weather begins to cool in fall, use sharp pruners to clip 6- to 8-inch stem cuttings from healthy, actively growing plants. Remove any flowers and flower buds, and also remove the leaves from the bottom 2 inches of each cutting. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then plant the cutting in a 4-inch pot filled with a seed-starter mix or standard potting soil. Place the pot inside a loosely secured clear plastic bag, and set it in a location with bright, indirect light. Inspect the pot every few days and water lightly if the potting medium begins to dry out. Check for root development every week or so by tugging gently on the stem. When you begin to feel resistance, it means the cutting has developed roots. When an ample network of roots has developed, remove the pot from the plastic covering and continue to grow it in a warm, sunny location. The plant can continue to grow indoors until spring. Plant it outdoors once nighttime temperatures are reliably above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. . How to Grow Creeping Zinnia From Seed Starting creeping zinnia from seed isn't very complicated, but be aware these plants don't always tolerate being transplanted. For best results, consider direct-sowing seeds in the location where you want to grow them rather than in starter trays. The seeds are relatively easy to collect from individual spent blooms, though the small size of the flower heads might make it somewhat tedious work. They store well over the winter and can be planted in the spring. These seeds require sunlight to germinate, so don't bury them under a layer of soil. Instead, lightly press them into the soil surface or loosely cover them with peat moss. Water them daily and keep the soil moist for the seeds to germinate. It's always best to read the recommendations on the seed packet for specific sowing and care instructions. Plants will bloom about 10 weeks after the seeds are sown. Many gardeners seeking the earliest possible garden bloom like to start them indoors about two to three weeks before the expected last frost date. Potting and Repotting Creeping Zinnia The low growing habit and abundant blooms of creeping zinnia make it a great option for container culture. These plants will fill the container, window box, or another planter with small, beautiful blooms all summer long. Keep in mind that to grow these plants successfully in containers, you'll need to ensure that they have adequate drainage. Use a quality loose and lightweight potting mix to ensure the roots don't become saturated with too much water. Container-grown plants typically need more feeding than garden plants, mostly because the frequent watering quickly leaches nutrients from the potting medium. You might find it necessary to provide supplemental fertilizer for creeping zinnias grown in containers. Time-released or granular fertilizer pellets or a balanced liquid formula will generally give these plants a needed boost if they are not blooming as heavily as you want. Overwintering These frost-tender plants are normally just pulled up and discarded at the end of the growing season. If left in place, though, birds will arrive to pluck at the dried flowers for their edible seeds. Common Pests & Plant Diseases These sturdy little plants have no notable pests and diseases to worry about. But like almost any garden plant, creeping zinnia may occasionally be troubled by minor fungal leaf spots or powdery mildew. You can minimize these problems with careful watering by ground-level soaking rather than overhead spraying.
How to Get Creeping Zinnia to Bloom The general prescription for good blooms with creeping zinnia is to make sure they have plenty of water and sun—that's usually all it takes. In most situations, these plants will bloom vigorously all summer long—right up until cool fall weather sets in. In addition: Regular deadheading of spent flowers will prompt continued blooms. Long, leggy stems can be cut back to force denser growth and more flowers. Container-grown creeping zinnias may benefit from extra feeding. However, with garden plants already growing in suitably fertile soil, too much fertilizer tends to make for long leggy stems that don't produce as many flowers. Common Problems With Creeping Zinnia Although they are largely trouble-free, creeping zinnias may cause gardeners concern about these symptoms: Seedlings Die Immediately After Planting Even with potted nursery starts, transplanting creeping zinnias should be done very carefully so as to avoid disturbance of the roots. These plants often resent being moved, so treat them with kid gloves to make sure they survive transplanting into the garden. Some gardeners prefer to direct-sow the seeds in the exact locations where they want the plants to grow to avoid this problem. Plants Have Become Sparse When growing in fertile soil or when given a lot of fertilizer, creeping zinnias can develop long, leggy stems that are somewhat bare except at the tips. These leggy stems can be aggressively cut back to near the base of the plant, which will stimulate new growth and cause the plant to become fuller and bushier. FAQ How should I use creeping zinnia in the landscape? Creeping zinnias are often used as foreground bedding or edging plants in sunny border gardens, or in sunny rock gardens. Planted over large open sunny areas, they can make a colorful seasonal ground cover. They are also a very dependable plant for window boxes, hanging baskets, and large mixed patio/deck container gardens. Do creeping zinnias self-seed in the garden? Yes, if the flower heads are left on the plant, the tiny seeds often fall into the soil and take root. But these volunteers are not easy to dig up and move, so it's best to leave them in place to colonize. A small patch of creeping zinnias can be self-sustaining from year to year if you live some flower heads in place to drop seed and produce volunteers the following spring. Are there any standard zinnias that have this creeping, trailing habit? Most standard zinnias are upright plants, though some are quite short. But for a trailing habit similar to that of the creeping zinnia, try one of the cultivars of Zinnia augustifolea (spreading zinnia). They will have a similar growth habit to creeping zinnia, but they offer a considerably wider range of flower colors.
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Miss Chen
06月21日
Miss Chen
IN THIS ARTICLE Care Pruning Propagating Growing From Seed Potting and Repotting Overwintering Bloom Common Problems Frequently Asked Questions BACK TO TOP Creeping speedwell is a spreading perennial ground cover plant adorned with dainty flowers. Veronica filiformis is a trailing perennial that only reaches up to 5 inches in height and produces small, singular flowers. The blooms are composed of four rounded petals seen in shades of pink, purple or blue and appear in the spring and summer. The foliage is scallop-shaped and is evergreen in warm areas. These plants spread quickly, creating mats that can reach up to 30 inches wide. This spreading nature, though good for covering large areas, can spread outside of their intended growing areas. The species is considered an invasive weed in some areas.1 Common Name Creeping Speedwell, Slender Speedwell Botanical Name Veronica filiformis Family Plantaginaceae Plant Type Perennial, groundcover Mature Size 2-5 in. tall, 20-30 in. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, sandy, clay, moist but well-drained Soil pH Neutral Bloom Time Spring, summer Flower Color Pink, blue, purple Hardiness Zones 3-9, USA Native Area Europe, Asia Creeping Speedwell Care Creeping speedwell is very easy to care for and is often found growing wild in lawns, fields, or meadows. It is quite hardy and handles mowing and foot traffic well. In fact, cut pieces blown by a mower easily take root, spreading the plant further. These plants make excellent additions to rock gardens or around pathways.
Creeping speedwell are deer and rabbit resistant. They are susceptible to root rot or other fungal problems if the soil is kept too wet.2 Take note that the dense mats created by the plants may harbor ticks and fleas. Because of its hardy nature and rapid spread, creeping speedwell is considered invasive in some areas. For example, according to the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, Veronica filiformis is considered invasive in the state of West Virginia.1 Be sure to do thorough research before planting this species in your area. Light Creeping speedwell can be grown in both full sun and shade. However, full sun can be too intense for creeping speedwell when it is grown in warm climates. Plants grown in full shade often do not flower well. For the best growth and bloom, it is ideal to plant creeping speedwell in an area with partial shade, particularly in the afternoon. Soil Creeping speedwell is a hardy plant frequently found growing in lawns, fields, and meadows. It prefers loamy, sandy, well-draining, and moist soil, but can also tolerate some clay. These plants grow best in soil with a neutral pH level, though they can tolerate slightly acidic and slightly alkaline soils. Water Once established, creeping speedwell is considered drought-tolerant. To avoid problems with soggy soil, only water these plants when the top inch or so of the soil begins to dry out. For young, newly planted speedwells, it is best to water more often until they are established. An inch of water per week is plenty to keep established plants healthy. Temperature and Humidity This groundcover plant is adaptable to a wide range of temperature and humidity levels, as long as it is grown within USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9. Keep in mind that the plant will remain evergreen in warm weather climates, but not in places where more seasonal changes in temperature are expected. Fertilizer Creeping speedwell is a light feeder and can even be grown in poor soil conditions, so regular fertilizing is not necessary. However, you can work compost or a well-balanced fertilizer into the soil in early spring if you want to ensure the plant receives needed nutrients. Pruning Pruning is not necessary, though it may be desired to keep the plant from spreading. Simply trim the plant with garden snips to do this. For large areas of creeping speedwell used as ground cover, a lawnmower is the best way to make quick work of the job. However, if you do not want the pruned pieces to take root, it is best to use a collection bag when mowing these plants. Stop pruning in late summer, especially for plants grown in areas with cold winters. This allows the plants to create enough mature foliage to be protected through the winter. Pruning too late in the year will result in new growth that is too tender to survive the winter. Propagating Creeping Speedwell The spreading nature of creeping speedwell makes these plants easy to propagate. It can be accomplished by means of division, cuttings, or layering. Division is a great option for plants whose centers begin to look bare or scraggly. To divide the plant, you will need a garden shovel, a hand shovel, a pair of snips, and a pair of gardening gloves. Then follow these instructions: In early spring, use the garden shovel to gently dig around the plant, loosening the roots. Do this until the plant and its root system can be lifted from the ground. Gently lift the plant out of the ground. Using the shovels and the snips, divide the plant into however many sections you wish. Just be sure each section has healthy foliage and roots. Discard any bare areas. Plant each section in its desired location. To take cuttings, you will need a sharp pair of snips, moist, well-drained soil, and a small pot. Then follow these instructions: Using the snips, cut a stem below a leaf node. Trim a section that is around 6 inches long. Remove the leaves on the lower half of the cutting. Bury the stripped end into moist soil. Make sure several nodes are buried, as this is where roots will form. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Place the cuttings in bright, indirect light until roots form. Check for roots by gently tugging on the cutting. If there is resistance, roots have formed. Once this happens, harden the cutting off and move it to its permanent location. To layer, you will need a pair of garden gloves, a hand shovel, and a pair of snips. Then follow these instructions: Find a node along the stem where you would like to propagate the plant. Bury the node in the soil. Wait a few weeks for roots to form. Check for roots by gently tugging on the buried node. Resistance means that roots have formed. At this point you may leave the node in place or cut the stem connecting it to the rest of the plant and dig up the new root system, planting it where you wish. How to Grow Creeping Speedwell From Seed Creeping speedwell can also be grown from seeds, started either indoors and outdoors. For indoor growth, start the seeds eight to 10 weeks before the last frost. You will need small pots, bright, indirect lighting, and a moist, well-draining seed starting mix, such as a peat moss mixture. Then follow these instructions: Fill the pots with the seed starting mix and dampen the mixture. Lightly sprinkle the tiny seeds onto the damp mixture and gently press them onto it. Do not bury them as they need light to germinate. Place the pots in an area that receives bright, indirect light. Keep the soil consistently moist. Once the threat of frost is gone, harden off your seedlings. Then plant them into their permanent garden spaces. To start seeds outdoors, follow these instructions: Wait until the threat of frost is gone, then clear the area of weeds and work in organic material, such as compost. It is best to choose a spot that is protected from wind, as the seeds are very small and can be blown about. Lightly sprinkle the seeds across the soil and gently tap them onto the soil to settle them in place. Do not bury them, as they need light to germinate. Keep the soil moist as the seeds germinate and sprout. Once the plants become larger and more established, slowly reduce watering. Potting and Repotting Creeping Speedwell An easy way to contain creeping speedwell is by growing it in a pot. When choosing a container, be sure it has free-flowing drainage holes, as soggy soil can cause fungal problems. Since creeping speedwell will spread and fill the pot, at some point you will need to divide the plant or place it in a larger pot. When this time comes, tip the pot onto its side and tap it on all sides in order to loosen the roots. Slide the plant out when possible and either place it into a larger pot with loamy, well-draining soil, or divide the plant with a shovel or a pair of snips. Overwintering When grown in its appropriate growing zones, creeping speedwell does not require extra attention to survive the winter. Just be sure the soil does not get too wet, as this can lead to problems that may kill off the plant. If the winter is especially wet, you may want to cover the plant with plastic to keep some of the water out. How to Get Creeping Speedwell to Bloom Creeping speedwells produce small, four-petaled flowers seen in blue, purple, and pink. They often have white centers. Unlike other species of Veronica plants, creeping speedwell produces one flower per stalk as opposed to a spiky raceme covered in flowers. Still, these tiny flowers are attractive to pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Because of their hardy nature, creeping speedwells do not often need much help to bloom. To encourage blooming, be sure to choose a planting spot that receives a few hours of sunlight each day. An area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal. Deadheading spent flower blooms will encourage more flowers to form. Common Problems With Creeping Speedwell Creeping speedwell is a very hardy plant and does not present many problems. In fact, it is more likely to challenge the gardener with problems of overgrowth. However, even extremely hardy plants may occasionally face problems. The biggest issues for creeping speedwell plants occur when the soil is too wet or too dry, manifesting in the form of wilting, soggy, or yellowing foliage. Wilting Foliage This is often seen in hot climates where the soil dries out quickly. If this is the case, try to plant your creeping speedwell in an area that receives afternoon shade. Increase the amount of water and frequency of watering times to ensure the plant receives enough. Soggy, Wilting, and Yellowing Foliage This is a sign of too much water and may point to root rot.2 If this is the case, cut back on watering and only water when the first inch or so of the soil is dry. If root rot is suspected, dig up the plant and cut away any infected roots and foliage. Amend the soil with a well-draining material such as sand or compost before replanting.
FAQ Is creeping speedwell invasive? Creeping speedwell is considered to be an invasive weed in some areas.1 Even in areas where it is not technically considered invasive, this plant has invasive qualities and can quickly spread outside its intended growing area. Is creeping speedwell a perennial? Yes, creeping speedwell is a perennial flowering plant. In areas with warm winters, this ground cover plant is also an evergreen. How fast does creeping speedwell grow? This ground cover is a fast grower and a quick spreader. This rapid growth makes containing the plant an important consideration for most gardeners.
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Miss Chen
06月19日
Miss Chen
Creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) is a low-growing, mat-forming plant that is often seen spreading as a ground cover, in rock gardens, and even in crevices of stone walls. It blooms in the late spring to summer with clusters of fragrant, five-petal flowers that stretch almost an inch across. These flowers tend to attract butterflies and other pollinators to a garden. And after they’re done blooming, the creeping phlox foliage still remains green and attractive for much of the year before dying back in the winter. Plant your creeping phlox in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. The plant has a moderate growth rate. Common Name Creeping phlox, moss phlox, star rock phlox Botanical Name Phlox stolonifera Family Polemoniaceae Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial Mature Size 6–12 in. tall, 9–18 in. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral, alkaline Bloom Time Spring, summer Flower Color Purple, pink, white Hardiness Zones 5–9, USA Native Area North America Creeping Phlox Care Creeping phlox is a fairly low-maintenance plant. It requires watering if you have a week or two without rainfall, along with an annual feeding. Plus, mature plants might need a bit of pruning maintenance to keep them looking tidy unless you'd like for your phlox to naturally spread and blanket a large area. As with many ground covers, grass and weeds growing up through the phlox can be a nuisance. And they will compete with your phlox for soil nutrients and moisture. It's best to start managing weeds early in the spring before the phlox blooms and its foliage is at its fullest. Hand-pulling is the most effective method for removing weeds. If you let the weeds get out of control, it might be easiest to dig up the phlox (keeping its roots intact), clear the area of grass and weeds, and then replant the phlox.
Light This plant grows best in full sun to partial shade. Too much shade can impede flower production. Soil Creeping phlox likes soil that is rich in organic matter. It prefers a slightly acidic soil pH but also can tolerate neutral and slightly alkaline soil. Moreover, it needs a well-drained soil. Water This plant requires a moderate amount of soil moisture, though mature plants do have some drought tolerance. Unless you have rainfall, it will generally need watering weekly, especially during the heat of the summer. Temperature and Humidity Creeping phlox plants are fairly hardy in their growing zones. They tolerate heat well and can handle some frost, though prolonged exposure to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit can damage the plants. Moreover, humidity is typically not an issue for the plants. Fertilizer Fertilizing in the late winter or early spring will promote growth and support a more robust bloom for your creeping phlox. Feed it with a general slow-release fertilizer suitable for flowering plants, following label instructions. Types of Creeping Phlox There are many varieties of creeping phlox, including: Phlox stolonifera ‘Fran’s Purple’: This phlox features deep green leaves and rich purple flowers. Phlox stolonifera ‘Home Fires’: Bright pink flowers adorn this variety. Phlox stolonifera ‘Pink Ridge’: This variety has flowers that are similar in color to ‘Home Fires’. Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’: Blue-purple flowers are featured on this plant. Pruning Pruning is optional on these plants. After the blooming period is over, you can trim back the foliage to create a neater form. This also will promote denser foliage, enhancing the phlox's beauty as a ground cover. Alternatively, you can skip the pruning and let the plants grow naturally. Propagating Creeping Phlox Creeping phlox is best propagated via division. Not only is this a cost-effective way to get a new plant, but it also helps to rejuvenate mature and overgrown phlox. Typically, you can divide a plant every two to three years without seriously weakening it. Here's how: Dig up the entire plant immediately after it's done blooming, being careful to keep the root ball intact. Cut through the roots with a sterile, sharp spade to divide them roughly in half. Replant each half in an appropriate growing site, and water to lightly moisten the soil. Common Pests Creeping phlox is less susceptible to the powdery mildew that plagues other phlox species, but spider mites can be an issue is hot, dry climates. Insecticidal soaps are often helpful for this problem. Another option is to spray the plants regularly with a hard stream of water to dislodge the mites and keep them under control. These plants also can be susceptible to foliar nematodes in wet, humid weather. Nematodes cause lesions on the leaves of the plants that turn brown and then black. These soil organisms are hard to control. So diseased plants must be removed and destroyed, and the ground should be kept clean of debris. How to Get Creeping Phlox to Bloom Creeping phlox will start blooming in the late spring to early summer, depending on its climate. And it will stay in bloom for several weeks with profuse clusters of sweetly fragrant flowers. The five-petal flowers have rounded, notched lobes, and they are overall fairly flat. Proper light conditions and a regular fertilization schedule will encourage the best blooming on creeping phlox year after year. You do not need to deadhead these plants (remove the spent blooms), though in some cases this can extend the blooming period. Don't do any pruning on your phlox until it's done blooming to avoid removing the flower buds. Common Problems Creeping phlox isn't prone to many problems when grown in the conditions it likes. But an improper environment can result in some common issues.
Leaves Turning Yellow Yellowing foliage can be a sign of multiple issues, including diseases. But often it's an environmental issue, especially too little light and overwatering. Watch your phlox throughout the day to make sure it's not being shaded for too long. And make sure it has adequate soil drainage. The plant might need to be moved if it's not in suitable conditions. Poor Blooming Environmental issues also can result in poor blooming on a creeping phlox plant, especially too little light. Also, the soil might be too high in nitrogen, which promotes foliage growth at the expense of flower buds. In addition, if flowering has diminished on a mature plant, that's often a sign it needs to be divided to become rejuvenated and bloom profusely again. FAQ Does creeping phlox like sun or shade? Creeping phlox prefers full sun or partial shade, meaning at least roughly four hours of direct sunlight on most days. Is creeping phlox easy to grow? Creeping phlox is easy to grow and care for, requiring fairly regular watering and minimal feeding and pruning. How fast does creeping phlox grow? Creeping phlox has a moderate growth rate and will spread to form a mat over the ground.
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Miss Chen
06月13日
Miss Chen
Cotton rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) is a large flowering shrub with bright green, lobed, hairy leaves that stretch roughly 3 to 6 inches long and wide. The stems can grow tall and wide enough to become tree-like. But the plant's flowers are its real show-stopping feature. They begin blooming in the summertime, starting off as a white or light pink color. Typically within one to three days, the color changes to a magenta pink and then a dark pink to red. The blooms then last for several more days. The shrub usually will have flowers at various stages of the color-change process on it all at once, providing exceptional visual interest. Fuzzy seed pods, whose cotton-like appearance gives the plant its common name, follow the flowers. Cotton rose shrubs have a fast growth rate and should be planted in the spring. Common Name Cotton rose Botanical Name Hibiscus mutabilis Family Malvaceae Plant Type Shrub Mature Size 6–15 ft. tall, 6–10 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, well-drained Soil pH Neutral, alkaline Bloom Time Summer, fall Flower Color White, pink, red Hardiness Zones 7–11 (USDA) Native Area Asia Cotton Rose Care Cotton rose can provide lots of drama in the landscape, yet it requires minimal maintenance. It’s not overly picky about its soil as long as there’s good drainage, and it can tolerate some drought. It’s even known to be deer-resistant. You’ll typically have to prune annually, though the shrub usually doesn’t need extensive pruning. And plan to water and fertilize during the growing season. Light For best growth, plant your cotton rose in a spot that gets full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. The shrub also can tolerate partial shade, though it might not flower as profusely. Soil This shrub can grow in most soils with good drainage. But it does best in a loamy soil that’s rich in organic matter. A neutral to slightly alkaline soil pH is ideal. Water While cotton rose can tolerate some drought, it’s best to maintain a moderate amount of moisture during the growing season. A good rule of thumb is to water when the top 2 inches of soil dry out. Water minimally during the winter—just enough to prevent the soil from fully drying out. Try to avoid getting the foliage wet when watering, as this can promote fungal growth. Temperature and Humidity This is not a cold-hardy shrub. Frost will cause it to drop its leaves in the fall and enter dormancy. Then, it can tolerate temperatures slightly below freezing over the winter, but anything colder might damage or kill the shrub. Humidity typically isn’t a factor as long as adequate soil moisture and good air circulation around the shrub are maintained. Fertilizer Fertilizer isn't essential unless you have poor soil, but it can help to speed growth. Use a balanced fertilizer during the growing season, following label instructions. Types of Cotton Rose There are several types of cotton rose, including: 'Cotton Rose Nagoya': This cultivar features white flowers. 'Plenus': This cultivar is known for its double blooms. 'Rubra': Red flowers are the trademark of this cultivar. Pruning Prune your cotton rose in the late winter or early spring. Remove any damaged or diseased stems as they arise. Usually only a light pruning is necessary to shape growth. But if your shrub has become leggy and unsightly, you can cut it back almost to the ground. New shoots will quickly grow to fill in the space. Propagating Cotton Rose Cotton rose can be propagated by stem cuttings. Not only is this a cheap and easy way to get new plants, but it also allows you to put any stems that you pruned off to good use. The best time to take cuttings is in the late winter to early spring. Here’s how: Trim off a piece of healthy stem that’s around 1 to 1.5 feet long. Cut just below a leaf node, and make your cut at a 45-degree angle. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a moist soilless potting mix. Use a 1-gallon container with drainage holes. Place the container in a bright, south-facing window or in a sheltered area that gets partial sun outside if you live in a warmer climate. Keep the soil lightly moist but never waterlogged, and roots should form in roughly four to six weeks. How to Grow Cotton Rose From Seed Direct sow cotton rose seeds in the spring; they germinate best when the temperatures are between roughly 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant them about 1/4 inch deep, and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. You should see germination within a week or two, and plants can even flower in their first year if they're started early enough. Potting and Repotting Cotton Rose It’s possible to grow cotton rose in a pot, but this likely will stunt the shrub’s growth and diminish its blooms. Also, note that container plants generally need more frequent watering than those grown in the ground. Use a quality all-purpose potting mix with good drainage. And select a container that allows for at least a few inches of extra space on all sides of the plant’s root ball. The container also should have drainage holes. Unglazed clay is a good material to allow excess soil moisture to evaporate through its walls. But you might want to consider using a grow bag because it will be lighter to move. When you see roots coming out of the drainage holes and popping up from the soil line, it’s time to repot. It’s best to do this in the spring. Choose a container size up, and add fresh soil around the root ball. Overwintering In the colder parts of cotton rose's growing zones, the stems often naturally die back over the winter. But the shrub still should produce fresh growth in the spring. Plan to prune off the stems that have died back in the late winter to early spring. If you do it earlier as part of your garden's overwintering maintenance, this can damage the shrub. If you’re growing your cotton rose in a container and live in the cooler parts of its growing zones, bring it into an unheated garage or shed over the winter. This will help to prevent the container soil from getting too cold and damaging the plant's roots. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Cotton rose is susceptible to some common garden pests, including aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, and scale. Infestations often can be treated with insecticidal soaps or even a strong spray of water. Common diseases include leaf spot, southern stem blight, and powdery mildew. Remove any stems with signs of fungal growth. Also, aim to prevent fungal diseases by watering only at the base of the plant and maintaining good air flow around it. How to Get Cotton Rose to Bloom Cotton rose flowers are a saucer shape with four to five petals each. They stretch around 3 to 6 inches across. Blooming typically begins in the late summer and stretches into fall. The flowers won't provide fragrance for your garden, but they will attract many beneficial pollinators. It's not essential to deadhead, or remove the spent blooms, but it can help to promote further blooming. However, this plant will typically bloom profusely on its own as well. Just make sure it has sufficient sunlight, moisture, and organic matter in the soil to support flowering. Common Problems With Cotton Rose When grown in the conditions it likes, cotton rose isn’t prone to serious problems. However, an inadequate environment can lead to some common issues. Leaves Turning Yellow Yellowing leaves can often be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Make sure the soil is never waterlogged. But on the flip side, plan to water a little extra in hot weather. Plant Leaves Falling Off In the warmest parts of its growing zones, this shrub often holds onto its leaves year-round. But during the winter months in its cooler zones, it will naturally drop some or all of its leaves. This isn’t cause for concern, as it will regrow come spring. However, leaf drop during the growing season can be a sign of inadequate watering or disease. FAQ What's the difference between cotton roses and roses? While they share a common name, cotton roses are actually members of the Hibiscus genus while roses are of the Rosa genus. However, both plants’ showy blooms do somewhat resemble each other. Where should I place cotton rose outside my house? The cotton rose can make for a dramatic specimen planting, providing a showy floral display toward the end of the growing season when many other plants have already wrapped up their blooming period. It also can be grown as a shrub border. Can cotton rose be grown indoors? It is not ideal to try to grow cotton rose shrubs indoors. They require direct sunlight to grow and bloom at their best. And they generally become too large to be a houseplant.
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Miss Chen
06月10日
Miss Chen
The golden marguerite is a plant by many names. Sometimes referred to by its botanical name, Anthemis tinctorial, its common name is cota tinctoria. But this daisy-like perennial is also known as the golden marguerite—with marguerite being the French term for daisy. In addition, you might hear it referred to as yellow chamomile, since it’s a member of the same family (Anthemis) but unlike chamomile with its white petals, this species produces blossoms with deep yellow petals and similarly yellow disc flowers (what is referred to as the center of the bloom). The foliage is finely textured and has a faint aroma, similar to that of the more common varieties of chamomile. Golden marguerite flowers make a pretty addition to bouquets or look fabulous displayed in vase arrangements. The long stems (up to 2 feet tall) make them easy to cut and enjoy. These flowering plants are native to the warmer southern region of Europe, but are frequently found in North America where they enjoy temperate climates but struggle in the hot, humid weather of the southern regions of the United States. Botanical Name Anthemis tinctoria Common Name Cota tinctoria, golden marguerite, yellow chamomile Plant Type Perennial Mature Size 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 1.5 feet wide Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Average to dry Soil pH Neutral to alkaline Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Yellow Hardiness Zones 3 to 7 Native Area Europe Toxicity Potentially toxic to cats, dogs, and horses based on toxicity of other anthemis varieties
How to Grow Golden Marguerite To successfully grow golden marguerite, be sure to understand the plant’s preferences on light, water, and nutrients. Some factors, like soil conditions and pH, the plant is more ambivalent on. But to produce a bounty of bright, beautiful blooms, these plants demand plenty of sunshine, need to be kept moist but not overwatered, and will suffer if force fed too many nutrients through supplemental fertilizer. Pests are not a frequent concern, but you might find that aphids, slugs, or snails show up to snack on the foliage of golden marguerite plants. Light Golden marguerite is a sun-loving perennial, so it does best in a garden location that receives full sun. Ideally, locate this plant in a sunny spot that receives at least 6 or more hours of direct sunlight each day. The plant may also tolerate part shade conditions, but it is not suited to spots with full shade. Soil When it comes to soil conditions, this plant will often grow where other varieities may struggle. It tolerates soil with average or even poor nutrients, and can grow in dry or sandy soil conditions. It does best with neutral to alkaline pH levels, and can handle environmental salts and urban pollution. Golden marguerite needs loose, well-draining soil. It does fine with loam, sandy, or even chalky soil conditions. However, it will not grow well in heavy, clay type soils. Water One of the benefits of this plant is that it has proven to be drought-tolerant. This makes it a good choice if your garden experiences stretches of dry weather or you are a forgetful waterer. However, golden marguerite will thrive and produce the most abundant flora and foliage with regular watering. Maintain correct soil moisture by letting the ground around the plant dry out in between watering sessions. Temperature and Humidity One of the strongest attributes of cota tinctorial is its tolerance for drought—but don’t start thinking that this plant prefers hot and humid climates. Such conditions often lead to a short-lived perennial plant, since the golden marguerite has a preference for more temperate climates. Hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7, this plant will even display an evergreen nature in climates with a mild winter. Fertilizer These plants tolerate average, or even poor soil conditions, so fertilizer is generally not required. In fact, soil that is too rich in nutrients can produce leggy plants that struggle to stand erect. For this reason, it’s generally advisable to skip fertilizing golden marguerite plants. Propagating Golden Marguerite If enjoy the fragrant nature and bright blooms of this plant, you can spread it to new areas of your landscaping or share it with friends through propagation. Propagation by division and seed are the two most simple methods of turning one golden marguerite plant into many. In fact, the growth rate and habits of these plants will often demand division every two years or so—making it a natural time to propagate. The ideal time to propagate by division is in the spring, before the growing season begins in earnest. To propagate golden marguerite by seed, start by collecting seeds from spent blossoms. Start the seeds indoors using grower trays and a soil medium designed for seed germination. The seeds will take between 2 weeks and a month to germinate, at which point you can transplant them to a location in your garden if the last frost has occurred. Otherwise, continue to cultivate indoors until the danger of frost is past. For propagation by division, dig up the plant with its root system. Set the plant on the ground and use your shovel or other sharp-edged gardening tool to cut the parent plant into several equal portions that include a portion of the roots and foliage. The new individual plants can be transplanted to new locations where they should be generously watered.
Varieties of Golden Marguerite Cota tinctoria ‘Kelwayi’: This cultivar of golden marguerite looks very similar in appearance, but does offer slightly larger blooms—typically measuring 2 inches in diameter compared to the approximately 1-inch flower head of the conventional golden marguerite. The increased blossom size might make it a good option if you’re primarily thinking of using this plant in a cutting garden for fresh flowers to display in your home or bouquets. Pruning The best practice for abundantly blooming golden marguerite plants is to deadhead the blossoms. Doing so can encourage the plant to produce fresh new blooms and may well keep it vibrant into early fall. In late fall or early winter, you can cut back the dead growth to ensure a fresh, healthy start to the plant’s spring growth.
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