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Miss Chen
06月07日
Miss Chen
Cosmos are freely flowering annuals that are easy to grow by sprinkling some seeds in the garden after any danger of frost has passed. These quintessential cottage garden flowers reach full maturity in about two months. Cosmos can be slower to germinate, but it blooms quickly after that and continues to flower through the fall. The flowers sit atop long slender stems and form a cloud of attractive color all summer that attracts bees, butterflies, and birds to your garden. Cosmos flowers look a lot like daisies. They come in a broad range of colors, with more cultivars developed every year. The leaves grow opposite on stems and are deeply lobed, pinnate, or bipinnate and feathery-looking depending on the type. If you plan to have cosmos and live in the southern U.S., consider keeping them as potted plants since they tend to be invasive there.1 Common Name Cosmos, Mexican aster, cut-leaf cosmos Botanical Name Cosmos sulphureus, Cosmos bipinnatus Family Asteraceae Plant Type Annual Mature Size 1-6 ft. tall, 1-3 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full Soil Type Well-draining soil Soil pH 6.0–6.8 (Acidic) Bloom Time Summer through fall Flower Color Golden yellow, white, pink, magenta, orange, yellow, red, chocolate Hardiness Zones 2–11 (USDA) Native Area northern South America, Central America, and southern North America Cosmos Care Cosmos grow easily in beds and make great cut flowers. When established, the plants can handle drought, poor soil conditions, and general neglect. They even self-sow. This is a truly low-maintenance plant. While some pests, like aphids, flea beetles, and thrips feed on cosmos, they're easy to control with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. Aster yellows, bacterial wilt, and powdery mildew may also affect cosmos.2 Space plants accordingly to ensure good airflow to avoid diseases. Taller varieties look good in the middle or rear of the border with goat's beard, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susans. Shorter varieties make very colorful, airy edging plants. WARNING Cosmos sulphureus is invasive in the southeast United States.1 Check with representatives from your local extension office to learn about any restrictions in your area. Light For the best flowering, choose a site that gets full sun. Cosmos will grow in partial shade but will have fewer blooms and be less vigorous when planted in shady areas. These plants will also thrive under uninterrupted full sun in the hottest conditions, much like their native habitat: the arid regions of Mexico and Central America.
Soil Cosmos plants prefer a neutral soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0, although they will grow in poor soil where many flowering plants languish. They perform best in medium moisture, well-drained soils, but they will perform adequately in dry soils. Avoid planting in a rich soil; it can cause the plants to get too tall and flop over. You can prevent drooping by staking the plants or growing them close to other plants that can support them. Water Once established, you will not need to water your cosmos plants unless there is a prolonged drought. Where water is limited, these are the last plants that require irrigation. Temperature and Humidity Hot weather is ideal for cosmos, and they thrive in any humidity level. Fertilizer Fertilizing can negatively impact cosmos. Cosmos can handle poor soil. Too much fertilizer can often lead to strong plants with lots of foliage but few blooms. Unless your plants seem to be struggling, these plants do not need fertilizer. Types of Cosmos There are over 25 species of cosmos. However, three species are most commonly used in gardens and landscaping. Cosmos sulphureus is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. With golden yellow blooms, it is very drought tolerant and loves hot weather. The plant grows 2 to 6 feet tall and comes in double and semi-double flowers. Some of the more recent cultivars tend to be shorter, more orangy, and with smaller flowers. Cosmos bipinnatus are colorful daisy-like flowers that come in white, pinks, reds, and orange. At 1 to 4 feet in height, they are shorter than C. suphureus and are available in several popular hybrid series. Although they are not quite as heat tolerant as C. sulphureus, C. bipinnatus will grow well in just about any sunny space. Chocolate cosmos are a separate species: Cosmos atrosanguineus. The dark red flowers smell like chocolate. This perennial is hardy to USDA zone 7, but it is higher maintenance than annual cosmos. Like dahlias, it grows from tubers. Other common cosmos cultivars include: 'Bright Lights' mix: This variety boasts a blend of exuberant yellows, oranges, and reds. 'Cosmic Orange': This brilliant, semi-double orange flower has great drought tolerance. 'Peppermint Candy': An award-winning variety, the petals are splashed in magenta and white. 'Sea Shells' series: A pretty mix of pastel colors, it has distinctive tubular petals. 'Ladybird': This cosmos is a shorter variety that blooms in red, yellow, orange, or gold, averaging 18 to 24 inches tall. Light For the best flowering, choose a site that gets full sun. Cosmos will grow in partial shade but will have fewer blooms and be less vigorous when planted in shady areas. These plants will also thrive under uninterrupted full sun in the hottest conditions, much like their native habitat: the arid regions of Mexico and Central America. Soil Cosmos plants prefer a neutral soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0, although they will grow in poor soil where many flowering plants languish. They perform best in medium moisture, well-drained soils, but they will perform adequately in dry soils. Avoid planting in a rich soil; it can cause the plants to get too tall and flop over. You can prevent drooping by staking the plants or growing them close to other plants that can support them. Water Once established, you will not need to water your cosmos plants unless there is a prolonged drought. Where water is limited, these are the last plants that require irrigation. Temperature and Humidity Hot weather is ideal for cosmos, and they thrive in any humidity level. Fertilizer Fertilizing can negatively impact cosmos. Cosmos can handle poor soil. Too much fertilizer can often lead to strong plants with lots of foliage but few blooms. Unless your plants seem to be struggling, these plants do not need fertilizer. Types of Cosmos There are over 25 species of cosmos. However, three species are most commonly used in gardens and landscaping. Cosmos sulphureus is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. With golden yellow blooms, it is very drought tolerant and loves hot weather. The plant grows 2 to 6 feet tall and comes in double and semi-double flowers. Some of the more recent cultivars tend to be shorter, more orangy, and with smaller flowers. Cosmos bipinnatus are colorful daisy-like flowers that come in white, pinks, reds, and orange. At 1 to 4 feet in height, they are shorter than C. suphureus and are available in several popular hybrid series. Although they are not quite as heat tolerant as C. sulphureus, C. bipinnatus will grow well in just about any sunny space. Chocolate cosmos are a separate species: Cosmos atrosanguineus. The dark red flowers smell like chocolate. This perennial is hardy to USDA zone 7, but it is higher maintenance than annual cosmos. Like dahlias, it grows from tubers. Other common cosmos cultivars include: 'Bright Lights' mix: This variety boasts a blend of exuberant yellows, oranges, and reds. 'Cosmic Orange': This brilliant, semi-double orange flower has great drought tolerance. 'Peppermint Candy': An award-winning variety, the petals are splashed in magenta and white. 'Sea Shells' series: A pretty mix of pastel colors, it has distinctive tubular petals. 'Ladybird': This cosmos is a shorter variety that blooms in red, yellow, orange, or gold, averaging 18 to 24 inches tall. Pruning The only real maintenance cosmos plants need is deadheading which will prolong the flowering season. If you fall behind, shear the plants by about one-third, when most flowers have faded. This kind of pruning produces a second flush of leaves and flowers. By the end of the season, you can cut off the plants at ground level or pull them up, roots and all. However, if you leave the plants in place, they may self-seed for the following growing season. Propagating Cosmos Cosmos plants readily self-seed. It's best to propagate these plants after the threat of frost is gone. Although sowing seeds is the best and easiest way to propagate this plant, you can also propagate via stem cutting. When you take stem trimmings, it stimulates more leaf and flower growth. Besides seed, stem cutting is the best way to propagate this plant. Here's how you do it: You'll need sterile pruning shears or scissors and a pot of sterile, well-draining potting soil. Fill a small 3-inch container with moistened potting soil. Using a pencil tip, push straight down in the soil about 1 to 2 inches deep, making a shallow hole. Look for a cosmos shoot that has 3 to 5 leaf nodes on the stem. Cut under the last leaf node. At the last leaf node, carefully cut off the leaves, leaving the node intact for new growth. Bury the cut tip of the stem in the pencil-made hole. Make sure that the last leaf node is above the soil line. Push down the soil around the stem, compacting the soil to keep the stem upright and in place. Water generously and keep moist. You should notice new leaf growth within three weeks. If you do, you can gently pull the root ball out of the container, Transplant the root ball to its new location. How to Grow Cosmos From Seeds Start seeds indoors, four to six weeks before the last frost. Or if you can sow cosmos outdoors directly in the garden well after the threat of frost is gone. Cosmos grow very quickly but can be killed by a late frost, so don't rush it. They typically germinate in 7 to 21 days at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by flowering in about 50 to 60 days. Loosen the soil to a depth of 8 inches. Plant the seeds and cover them with 1/4 inch of fine soil. Seed packets usually recommend precise spacing, such as at 2-foot intervals, or you can scatter the seeds and let the plants support each other as they grow. You can always thin them out later, moving the extra plants to another part of the garden. Potting and Repotting Cosmos When growing cosmos in pots, make sure the container has bottom drainage holes. Cosmos can't handle overly wet, soggy soil. Plan on growing one cosmos plant per gallon of your container. If growing in pots, do not enrich the soil, it makes the plants grow tall, leggy, and droopy. Also, tall varieties will need staking in containers. At the very least, plan on using at least a heavy, 12-inch diameter container. Overwintering Cosmos is an annual. If left outside in frosty temperatures, they will die. However, at the end of the growing season, if you allow the dead flower heads to drop their seeds, cosmos seeds will go dormant and sprout when the soil warms up again in the spring. If you have a potted cosmos in a container and want to keep your cosmos alive over the winter season, you will need a bright full sun growing lamp for at least 7 hours a day. You will need to snip off any blooms as they form. This plant's life cycle ends with flowering when it drops its seeds for the next growing season. How to Get Cosmos to Bloom Cosmos plants need full sun to bloom. Even the hint of shade, can restrict flowering. Also, to encourage more blooms, you need to deadhead the old blooms. For faster blooms, prune between the main stem and a leaf. The lower you cut in the stem, the longer it takes to grow more flowers. Common Problems With Cosmos Cosmos are easy to grow and maintain over the growing season. They are usually resistant to disease, and most insects; however, some pests can become a nuisance and affect their growth.3 Wilting or Leaf Discoloration If your plant has ample water and is not wilting from a lack of hydration, there are two possible causes. A plant that is wilting with leaf discoloration might have a common fusarium fungal infection.4 If you dig up the plant and notice a pink mass on the roots, then the plant likely has fusarium. The whole plant is beyond help, will die, and should be disposed of to stop the fungus spread. If you dig up the roots and they look healthy, the plant may have a bacterial wilt infection.5 The bacteria cause the stems to wilt at their base. This plant will die and should be disposed of. Yellowing Leaves and Leaf Drop Powdery mildew mainly affects plants in the shade.6 Fungus spores fly through the air and attach to a host plant in a shady spot. It creates a powdery white coating on leaves and causes leaves to yellow and fall off. To prevent powdery mildew, provide your plants good circulation, bright light, and avoid getting water on the leaves. If your plant has fungus, use a horticultural fungicide according to the package instructions. Flowers Distorting or Stunting in Growth As a member of the aster family, cosmos can get aster yellows, a disease spread by leafhoppers (a tiny grasshopper-looking insect).7 The leaves will get yellow mottling on the leaves, and the flowers will appear distorted or stunted. Dispose of these plants since there is nothing you can do help them recover.
FAQ Are cosmos easy to care for? Cosmos are easy to care for, germinate, and will self-seed for the following growing season. How fast do cosmos grow? Cosmos generally take 7 to 21 days to germinate and will flower within 50 to 60 days of germination. How long can cosmos live? Cosmos is an annual that germinates, flowers, and drops seed in preparation for the following growing season. Cosmos will languish and eventually die after flowering. What's the difference between a Cosmos sulphureus and Cosmos bipinnatus? C. bipinnatus are bushy plants that grow to an average height of about 1 to 4 feet. The flowers come in red, pink, and white. The leaves are spaced apart along the stem and cut into thread-like segments. The outer rays of the flowers surround the yellow-colored, clustered central disc of florets. Meanwhile, C.sulphureus can grow to a height of 2 to 6 feet. The flowers come in shades of orange, yellow, and red. It has hairy stems, and the daisy-like flowers have yellow rays and discs.
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Miss Chen
06月05日
Miss Chen
Unlike most varieties of mint, which grow aggressively and often invasively, Corsican mint is somewhat challenging to grow. It is a low-growing herb, with tiny rounded glossy green leaves on very short stems, barely growing more than a quarter of an inch tall. In the right growing conditions, Corsican mint can be an effective, attractive ground cover. It can also be grown in containers with other herbs or flowers. Native to Corsica , Montecristo, and Sardinia, it has also been naturalized in other parts of Europe, including Portugal and the British Isles. Corsican mint, also known as Mentha requienii, is perennial in warmer zones, from 7 to 11. It bears very tiny pale purple flowers in summer, somewhat similar in appearance to creeping thyme. Also like creeping thyme, the tiny leaves of this herb make it suitable for growing around stepping stones or walkways where it provides a fresh burst of scent when stepped on. Unlike creeping thyme, which likes full sun, Corsican mint thrives in shady spots. In addition to having a strong mint fragrance, Corsican mint is known to have a strong mint flavor and has traditionally been used to make creme de menthe, a bright green liqueur. It also has traditional medicinal uses for indigestion and as an antiseptic. The strong scent of Corsican mint makes it a useful companion plant for brassicas, as it repels pests that like to munch on cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. The smell of mint can also be a deterrent to rodents and planting it near entrances or in containers in the garden can help deter mice and other pests. In the United States, Corsican mint is considered an invasive species in the southeast where it has naturalized as a perennial. Most gardeners are familiar with the aggressive, invasive qualities of mint plants, but Corsican mint has proved itself to be enough of a nuisance that its cultivation is prohibited in some areas. Botanical Name Mentha requienii Common Name Corsican mint Plant Type Perennial Mature Size 1/4 in. tall Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade Soil Type Well-drained Soil pH 5.6 to 7.0 (acidic to neutral) Bloom Time June through August Flower Color Light purple Hardiness Zones 7 to 11 (USDA) Native Areas Sardinia, Corsica, Italy, France Toxicity Toxic to dogs in large amounts Coriscan Mint Care Corsican mint needs a bit more effort and care than most garden varieties of mint, which are so low care they can become invasive with very little effort. Corsican mint is a good choice for those who like a strongly scented and flavored mint for culinary use. To help control spread grow this, and other mints, in containers. A pot on the patio or outside the kitchen door is also handy for the chef. If you are looking to cover a bare spot in the landscape or an area difficult to maintain such as a slope or bank, go ahead and plant in the ground but keep a close eye on continued spread. WARNING Corsican mint is classified as an invasive species in the southeastern part of the United States. Consult with your local extension office to determine if you can plant Corsican mint in your garden. Light This mint adapts to a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade. Partial shade may prove to be a better location where summers are hotter. Soil Corsican mint grows best in well-drained soil, with some organic matter to hold moisture. It also tolerates acidic soil. Water Corsican mint needs ample moisture to thrive, but too much water will lead to root rot. It does require regular watering, however, and is not very drought tolerant, so maintaining this balance can be somewhat tricky. The best approach to seasonal watering is to let the soil surface of the planting area dry out before watering. Temperature and Humidity Corsican mint is fairly sensitive to temperature and will only naturalize within the narrow growing zone range of 7 to 11 in the United States. It likes consistent but not constant moisture, and if it gets too wet its leaves may turn into a black and slimy unsightly mess. Propagating The easiest way to propagate Corsican mint is by division. In a suitable climate, it will self-seed and continue to spread, and can become invasive. Once established, you can easily divide the plants to share or plant elsewhere. How to Grow Corsican Mint from Seed If you can obtain seeds, Corsican mint can be planted indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. If sowing seeds outdoors, soil should have reached a consistent temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Press seeds lightly into the soil surface and mist lightly with water. They should germinate in 7 to 14 days. Overwintering This plant is not really suitable for overwintering outdoors if your growing zone is below 7. But you can grow it indoors in containers in the winter time. Give it plenty of indirect light near a sunny window.
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Miss Chen
06月03日
Miss Chen
The Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas) is a large multi-stemed deciduous shrub that is sometimes trained as a small tree. The growth habit is usually round or oval in shape. The green foliage is 2 to 4 inches long, presenting in an opposite leaf arrangement. As with other dogwoods, there is also opposite branching. A winner of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, this shrub features clusters of yellow flowers appearing at the end of winter or early spring, which then lead to edible red fruits. This is one of the earliest shrubs to bloom, with blossoms that unfurl before the leaves. The clusters of yellow flowers are similar in appearance to forsythia, and the red stone fruits (drupes) that ripen in July resemble olives in size and shape. They are used in European cuisine for drinks, syrups, preserves, jams, and sauces. They can be eaten fresh or dried, though they need to be fully ripe in order to lose some of their bitterness. The leaves of cornelian cherry dogwood may develop some shades of reddish-purple in fall, though the display is not notable. The peeling, exfoliating brown bark adds some four-season interest to the plant. Cornelian cherry dogwood is a fairly slow-growing species that will take up to 10 years to achieve 15 feet in height. It is normally planted in the spring.
Botanical Name Cornus mas Common Names Cornelian cherry dogwood, cornelian cherry, European cornel Plant Type Deciduous shrub/ tree Mature Size 15 to 25 feet tall; 15- to 20-foot spread Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade Soil Type Medium moisture, well-drained soil Soil pH 5.0 to 8.0 (acidic to slightly alkaline) Bloom Time March Flower Color Yellow Hardiness Zones 4 to 8 (USDA) Native Area Southwestern Asia, Southern Europe How to Grow Cornelian Cherry Dogwood This shrub will grow suitably in almost any well-drained soil in a location that gets at least 4 hours of sunlight daily. Once established, it has a good tolerance for drought or occasional flooding, but will not survive constant soaking in dense soils. The fruit, while tasty, has a large pit that makes it somewhat laborious to harvest and use in cooking. If you do grow this plant for the fruit, it's best to plant at least two shrubs. Cornelian cherry dogwood is somewhat self-fertile, but the results will be better if there are at least two shrubs to cross-pollinate. The cornelian cherry dogwood can spread by suckers, so keep the plant in check by removing them promptly. Light This shrub prefers a location that offers full sun to part shade. It requires a bit more sun than most dogwoods—less than 4 hours of sun daily will lead to reduced flowering and fruit production. Soil Cornelian cherry dogwood is most happy with a well-drained rich soil that has a good amount of humus in it. It will fail to thrive in dense soils that remain constantly wet. While most dogwoods prefer slightly acidic soil, cornelian cherry dogwood can do fine even in slightly alkaline conditions. Water This plant has average water needs—it will thrive with about 1 inch of water per week in the form of rainfall and/or irrigation. Make sure the moisture penetrates the soil to a depth of about 6 inches. Once established, this type of dogwood is fairly resilient, bouncing back from being flooded during wet spells or parched during drought. Temperature and Humidity Rated for USDA zones 4 to 8, cornelian cherry dogwood will survive temperatures down to minus-25 or minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilizer Like most dogwoods, cornelian cherry dogwood is best fertilized once in the early spring, then once about three months later. Use a balanced slow-release granular fertilizer mixed into the soil around the roots. If you have extremely alkaline soil, using an acidifying fertilizer may help. Pruning Cornelian Cherry Dogwood This shrub tends to form multiple leader stems, and to control the size you'll need to prune away suckers that appear. To train the plant as a small tree, select a main leader as a trunk, then systematically prune away competing shoots. This species also can be readily pruned to maintain as a hedge plant. The best timing for hard pruning is immediately after the flowers have faded in spring, but be aware that you'll lose the fruits for that season. Propagating Cornelian Cherry Dogwood As with most dogwoods, cornelian cherry dogwood is most often propagated by taking stem cuttings and rooting them. Snip 3- to 5-inch cuttings from the tips of green stems, then remove the bottom set of leaves. Cut the other leaves in half, but leave them on the cuttings. Dip the cut ends in a rooting compound, then plant the cuttings in small containers filled with a commercial seed-starter mix or a mixture of perlite and sand. Place the planted cutting inside a large plastic bag, and place the pot in a bright, warm location. Check the cutting weekly to see if roots have developed (you will feel resistance when tugging on the cutting). When a good network of roots has developed (about 6 weeks), remove the plastic bag, and continue growing the new plant in a sunny window. Keep the potting mix moist. At the point where the cutting outgrows its first pot, you can repot it in a container filled with ordinary potting mix. When it outgrows this second pot, it is ready to plant in the landscape. This process may involve growing the rooted cutting indoors over the winter, then transplanting it outdoors the following spring. Common Pests/ Diseases When properly grown in the right conditions, this shrub has few disease or pest issues. While it is not immune to the dogwood anthracnose disease that plagues many types of dogwood, this species is decidedly more resistant to that disease. The easy-care reputation is lost, though, if a cornelian cherry dogwood becomes unhealthy. Stressed plants can be susceptible to borers; and leaf miner, gall midge, and scale may also become more than just cosmetic problems. Potential disease problems include leaf spot, crown canker, root rot, powdery mildew, and leaf blight. Here, too, it is stressed trees or those planted in less than ideal circumstances that are most vulnerable.
Varieties of Cornelian Cherry Dogwood For a shrub with variegated leaves, choose the 'Variegata' or `Elegantissima' cultivars. If you prefer golden leaves, look for 'Aurea'. Try 'Nana' if you want a plant that only reaches about 3 feet tall. For yellow fruit rather than red, plant 'Xanthocarpa' or 'Flava' 'Fructu Violaceo' produces purple fruits. 'Alba' has white fruits. If you live in the Southern United States, 'Spring Glow' is an excellent choice to handle the conditions found there. ‘Golden Glory’ has extra-large flowers and large fruit, with a more upright branching growth habit. Landscape Uses Cornelian cherry dogwood is highly prized for its very early spring blooms. It works well as a hedge, screen, or foundation plant, or can be grouped with other shrubs species in a mixed border. It can also be trained as a small specimen tree. Juxtaposed against a dark green woodland background, the yellow blossoms pop with color. This form of dogwood is a good choice if you want to lure birds, squirrels, and other animals to your garden, as they love the fruit.
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Miss Chen
06月01日
Miss Chen
Corn plants (Dracaena deremensis) are quite popular as houseplants thanks to their attractive foliage and hardy nature. They’re easy to grow in containers or in the garden in the right climate. These plants can grow quite tall in the wild, but they stay at a manageable size when kept indoors. They feature rosettes of sword-shaped green leaves that can grow to around 2 feet long. Tiny yellow flowers will bloom periodically, but flowers on indoor plants are rather rare. Spring is the best time for planting, though you can typically pot a nursery plant indoors at any time of year. These plants are fairly slow growers and will naturally lose their lower leaves over time while they send up new ones on top. Botanical Name Dracaena deremensis Common Names Corn plant, dracaena, striped dracaena Plant Type Shrub Mature Size 15–50 ft. tall, 3–10 ft. wide (outdoors), 4–6 ft. tall, 1–3 ft. wide (indoors) Sun Exposure Partial Soil Type Loamy, moist, well-drained Soil pH Neutral Bloom Time Seasonal Flower Color Yellow Hardiness Zones 10–12 (USDA) Native Area Africa Toxicity Toxic to pets
Corn Plant Care Overall, caring for Dracaena deremensis is simple, and even beginner gardeners should have success. Regular watering will be your main task for these low-maintenance plants, along with feeding for half of the year. Corn plants generally don’t have many problems with pests or diseases. You also won’t have to do much in the way of pruning, though you can prune off any foliage that becomes discolored or damaged for aesthetic purposes. You also can prune off the top of your plant if it becomes too tall for your preference. This will encourage bushier growth. If you’re growing your plant in a container, make sure the pot has ample drainage holes. Once the roots have grown to fill the space of the pot, replant your corn plant into the next pot size up using fresh potting mix. Light Outdoors, these plants like filtered sunlight. Direct sun, especially hot afternoon sun, can burn the leaves and cause the plant to wilt. Indoors, place your plant near a window where it can get bright, indirect light. While these plants can tolerate somewhat shady conditions, too little light can cause the leaves to lose their bright colors and not grow in size to their fullest potential. Soil An organically rich, loose soil is ideal for corn plants. The soil must have good drainage, as the roots are prone to rotting in soggy soil. A quality commercial potting mix is generally fine for container plants. Water Water regularly throughout the growing season (spring to fall) to keep the soil evenly moist. In the winter you can back off on watering a little bit. But don’t ever allow the soil to dry out completely. If you stick your finger in the soil and feel it’s dry, then it’s time to water. Brown and dry leaf tips are a telltale sign that you’ve allowed the soil to dry out too much. It’s best to use non-fluorinated water, such as distilled water or rainwater, on corn plants because they’re sensitive to fluoride. Too much can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown. Temperature and Humidity These tropical plants like a warm, humid climate. They grow best in temperatures that are between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t allow your plant to have prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can damage or kill it. Humidity above 40% is ideal. Air that’s too dry can cause brown, dry leaf tips. If you notice this, you can occasionally mist the plant to raise humidity or put a potted plant on a tray of pebbles filled with water, making sure the bottom of the pot isn’t touching the water (as this can rot the roots). Fertilizer These plants aren't heavy feeders. Use a liquid houseplant fertilizer monthly during the spring and summer, following label instructions. No fertilization is necessary in the fall and winter. Corn Plant Varieties Here are some popular varieties within this species: Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’: This plant features stiff leaves with green and white stripes. Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’: This plant has solid dark green leaves and also comes in a compact variety (‘Janet Craig Compacta’) whose leaves are only up to 8 inches long. Dracaena deremensis ‘Lemon Lime’: Leaves that are a mix of cream, yellow-green, and lime green stripes are indicative of this variety. Dracaena deremensis ‘Limelight’: Leaves start out yellow-green but then mature to a light lime green.
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Miss Chen
05月30日
Miss Chen
The corkscrew vine, corkscrew flower, or snail flower (vigna caracalla) is a rapid-growing, twining, perennial vine with fragrant flowers. This member of the pea family is native to the tropical areas of Central and South America, and it thrives in regions that replicate these types of conditions. The corkscrew vine has also naturalized--and sometimes aggressively self-seeds and spreads--in parts of California. It's an evergreen, deciduous plant when grown in frost-free regions, and known for its ornamental attractiveness. Its showy flowers twist spirally on the vine, so it looks like a corkscrew. The flower gets its "snail" moniker thanks to the fact that the way its flowers curl closely around resembles a mollusc shell. From July to October, and up until the first frost, the corkscrew vine blooms highly fragrant white and lilac/purple flowers, and they are sometimes marked with yellow and cream colors. Its spiraling flowers are about two inches long and grow in erect clusters, known as racemes, that can reach up to a foot long. Its vines sprout green leaves, which each have three leaflets about three to five inches long. The flowers are accompanied by dangling, narrow bean-like pods that are six to seven inches long and one-inch wide, and contain round brown seeds. Botanical Name Vigna caracalla Common Name Corkscrew vine Plant Type Vine Mature Size 12-30 feet Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Moist, well-drained Soil pH 6-8 Bloom Time Late summer/Fall Flower Color White, purple Hardiness Zones 9-12 Native Area Central and South America Corkscrew Vine Plant Care The fast-growing corkscrew vine is relatively easy to grow from seed, however, its vine-like structure means it will need a support structure on which to grow. They may be grown as either a perennial or an annual, and as a cover for a fence, arbor, wall, or trellis. Just be aware that once it's established, the corkscrew vine is a very fast grower and may very well take over your entire garden, and even the rest of your backyard, so be sure to closely monitor its growth and spread. These plants are not associated with any significant insect or disease problems and are known to attract both birds and butterflies. The corkscrew vine's flowers are primarily pollinated by ants. Light Corkscrew vine plants will grow best when planted in full sunlight. They can also tolerate partial shade. Soil When growing corkscrew vine plants, the soil should be fertile, moist, and well-drained. Water You'll want to make sure the corkscrew vine's soil never becomes overly soggy. Water the vines only when they appear dry, and keep the water at soil level. You should also allow the excess moisture to seep away after watering. Applying a three-inch layer of mulch can help maintain soil moisture. Temperature and Humidity These plants love heat and humidity, and will always grow best in tropical climates. They can be grown in northern climates but will have to be moved indoors well before the first frost of the winter. corkscrew vines will not do well once temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilizer Though the corkscrew vine doesn't necessarily require fertilizer, you can use an organically-sourced and balanced granular fertilizer to promote its growth. Propagating Corkscrew Vine The corkscrew vine plant can be propagated by seed and is usually started indoors, as it handles transplanting well. Try using toenail clippers to clip the seed coat about at least halfway around the edge of the seed to encourage successful germination. Be sure to sow the seeds with only a light covering of soil on top. They will take up to six days to germinate depending on the temperature of the soil and whether or not the seed coat is scarified. Pruning In addition to monitoring its spread to prevent it from taking over your garden, once your corkscrew vine has matured, you'll want to cut back its leaves and tendrils. This will help promote more significant flowering. Growing in Containers The corkscrew vine can be grown in containers and then brought indoors in northern climates and other regions where the plant is not winter hardy. Just be sure there is excellent drainage within the pots and that you place it in front of a sunny window.
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Miss Chen
05月28日
Miss Chen
Cordyline, or ti, is a common decorative plant that thrives outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 12, but it also makes an excellent houseplant with its long, spikey leaves. Cordyline typically has leathery leaves in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, white, purple, and purplish-red. Some species in this group have fragrant flowers followed by berries. The moderate-growing plant will produce white, pink, or pale lavender flowers that are cup-shaped and sweet-smelling. They bloom in early summer and then small berries will appear after the flowers. It's more typical for flowering to occur in outdoor varieties, but flowers can appear on houseplants. If you plant cordyline outside, do so in the spring. This plant is toxic to dogs and cats.1 Common Name Cordyline, Hawaiian ti plant, good luck plant Botanical Name Cordyline terminalis Family Asparagaceae Plant Type Evergreen shrub Mature Size 2-4 ft. tall and wide Sun Exposure Full-sun, partial sun Soil Type Well-draining Soil pH Neutral to acidic, 6-6.5 Bloom Time Summer Flower Color White, pink, lavender Hardiness Zones 9-12 (USDA) Native Area Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia Toxicity Highly toxic to dogs and cats Cordyline Care Tropical cordyline is a hardy plant if you grow it in the right climate. Its many varieties are colorful and cheery, and it's an attractive low-maintenance evergreen shrub. Ti will bring color to both your indoor or outdoor garden, and it's very easy to maintain.
The name Cordyline originates from Greek; the word kordyle, meaning "club," is a reference to the plant's vigorous root system. If you've planted cordyline outdoors in a raised garden bed, the root system can sometimes grow so large it may disrupt surrounding plants. Light Ti needs bright light, but avoid direct sunlight in unhabituated plants. Also, green-leaved cordyline tends to do best with direct light, while those with other colored leaves may prefer bright indirect or filtered sunlight. Soil Cordyline needs a rich, well-drained high-quality potting mix with a pH of 6-6.5. Water Ti plants prefer to be watered when the surface of its soil feels dry. Water until it starts to run out of the drainage holes. Do not put the drained water back into the plant. Fertilizer These plants can be fed in the spring with slow-release pellets. You can feed the plant weekly during the growing season with a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer at half-strength. Do not fertilize during the winter. Temperature and Humidity Ti thrives in temperatures above 62 degrees Fahrenheit and prefers a high humidity environment. Avoid putting the plant near a cold draft like a window. These are tropical plants, so if you're experiencing leaf drop, try raising both the temperature and humidity. Types of Cordyline 'C. australis': resembles the yucca plant with narrow, long, and grayish to dark leaves 'Calypso Queen': boasts ruby-maroon leaves 'Oahu Rainbow': shows off dark-green leaves streaked with cream and white 'Firebrand': offers beautiful pink leaves that darken to maroon 'Hilo Rainbow': displays deep-green foliage with pops of burgundy Pruning A mature, well-trimmed plant should have stems of various heights, up to 3 feet to 4 feet (some stems can go much higher), and be clothed in leaves to the soil level. Over time, cordylines tend to become leggy, so you may want to trim back individual stems in a staggered pattern to keep the plant full. Propagating Cordyline Propagating ti is typically done with stem cuttings. The easy process is as follows: Cut 3- to 5-inch pieces from mature stems and remove all of the leaves. Lay the pieces in a damp mixture of sand and perlite, and keep in a room that's at least 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Shoots will grow from the eyes of the stems and can be planted in potting soil when they have about four to six leaves each. You can repot in spring or every other spring, as needed. How to Grow Cordyline From Seed Ti can be grown with purchased seeds or harvested seeds from the ripened berries that you may occasionally find even on an indoor plant. Harvested seeds need to be squeezed out of the berry and cleaned. If you found indoor berries, just clean the seeds and let them air-dry for a few days before planting. If you found your berries outdoors, they'll need to be stratified for several months before planting. When seeds are ready, sow them in well-draining, sandy compost. Germination should happen in four to six weeks, but possibly longer. Potting and Repotting Cordyline Cordyline does well in pots, especially if you don't live in a tropical climate: You can just bring them indoors for the winter. When it's time to move the plant outdoors during warmer months, make sure the outdoor soil drains well and any threat of frost has passed. The plant doesn't need to be repotted unless it's growing too large for its pot, which might be every few years. When repotting, Choose a tall pot of any material with adequate drainage holes for cordyline to accommodate two to three years of root growth. Overwintering If you're at the cooler end of cordyline's hardiness zones (9 through 12), you can tie up your plant's leaves with natural twine to keep them safe in cooler months; Just be sure they're dry before you do so to avoid rot. Outdoor cordyline plants also need to be well secured in harsh, windy conditions; The long, thin leaves can thrash in the wind and cause the plant to topple over. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Cordyline is prone to common pests and problems, such as scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs. All of these can be fixed with either neem oil or insecticidal soap. Ti also attracts bacterial leaf spot and root rot. You can try to beat both of these problems with fungicide and by making sure the plants aren't sitting in soil that's too wet. Common Problems With Cordyline This otherwise easy-going tropical plant will let you know if it's in trouble by the condition of its leaves. Here's how to fix a leaf issue. Browning Tips This is a common problem with many houseplants, including indoor-grown cordyline. The plant may be experiencing underwatering, overwatering, too much fertilizer, root rot, or even overly dry air. However, another issue could be the salts and fluoride in the tap water used to moisten the plant. Cordyline is sensitive to fluoride, which is found in many residential water supplies. Flush the plant, or before watering, leave the water in an open container overnight to reduce chlorine and salts. You can also switch to distilled or bottled water or harvest rainwater for plants. Leaves Turning Yellow A second common problem with houseplants like cordyline is the yellowing of leaves. Most plants naturally shed older yellow leaves. But, if your cordyline's leaves are turning yellow, it may also mean it has a watering issue or it's getting too much sunlight. It needs indirect bright light rather than harsh rays directly on the leaves. Yellow leaves could also mean your plant is in a spot where there are frequent temperature fluctuations. Check for drafts. Allow the leaves to drop and see how the plant fares in another spot.
If you see that the lower leaves are turning yellow, that usually means there's root rot. Check for waterlogged or blackened roots. Unfortunately, you may not be able to save a cordyline plant with root rot. FAQ Is cordyline easy to grow? Caring for these plants indoors (and outdoors) is easy, simple, and straightforward. But, they must be kept warm and they need a lot of light. Why is cordyline considered a lucky plant? In many areas of the world, the ti plant is considered to have mystical powers that bring good luck, long life, and lasting love to its owner. For example, in Hawaii, cordyline is planted around homes to bring good luck to the homeowners. What is the difference between cordyline and dracaena? Cordyline and dracaena plants are often confused because they look alike with nearly identical spikey leaves. You can tell the difference by the color roots. Cordyline plants have white roots and dracaena have orange roots.
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Miss Chen
05月26日
Miss Chen
The coral honeysuckle produces beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers in red, coral, orange, or yellow. Despite the invasive reputation of common honeysuckle, coral honeysuckle is native to the southeast United States and is a perfect alternative to its invasive cousins. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, while its red berries in the fall attract songbirds. This vine has oblong, paired leaves. Leaves located at the upper ends of the vines are connected, creating the appearance of one leaf. Mature vines have papery, orange-brown bark that complements the orange-red flowers. This stunning plant is evergreen in warm climates, though in colder climates it is a perennial vine. When planting, it is best to do so in the spring or fall, as the summer heat will stress a new plant. Alternatively, the coral honeysuckle can also be grown in large containers. Botanical Name Lonicera sempervirens Common Name Coral honeysuckle, trumpet honeysuckle Plant Type Evergreen, perennial, vine Mature Size 15-25 ft. tall, 15-25 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, sandy, clay, well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Spring, summer Flower Color Red, pink, orange, yellow Hardiness Zones 4-11, USA Native Area North America Toxicity Toxic to pets Coral Honeysuckle Care The coral honeysuckle has easy care requirements. These plants are easy to maintain, since they prove adaptable to many conditions. It needs well-draining soil and full to partial sunshine. Good air circulation will help prevent disease. Aside from pruning vines that have ventured too far, coral honeysuckle thrives when left to weave and wind on its own.
Providing a trellis is a great way to display the abundant flowers of this plant. To do this, gently help the vine wrap around the trellis as it grows, or lightly tie it to the trellis with twine. This climbing vine can also be allowed to creep along the ground as ground cover. Though honeysuckle is often looked at as an invasive species in the US, coral honeysuckle is actually native in to the southeast US. Japanese honeysuckle, on the other hand, is very invasive. The coral honeysuckle is not often troubled by pests or diseases, but they may encounter aphids or powdery mildew. Light Providing this plant with full sun will produce the best blooms. Though it can be grown in part shade, the plant will not flower as abundantly. Soil Coral honeysuckle needs well-draining soil. As long as this need is met, this plant can adapt to a variety of soil conditions. If the soil does not drain well enough, adding compost can resolve the issue. Coral honeysuckle prefers acidic to neutral soil pH. Water Established plants are very drought tolerant. Regular watering will help promote healthy blooming and is most important for young, establishing plants. Depending on your area, natural rainfall may provide enough water for these plants. Temperature and Humidity These plants are both heat tolerant and cold tolerant. Coral honeysuckle can withstand hard frosts and cold temperatures down to USDA zone 4. It prefers medium humidity levels, as high humidity can encourage powdery mildew. Fertilizer Coral honeysuckle appreciates a balanced fertilizer during its growing seasons. It does not require large amounts of fertilizer, so adding some to the soil in spring is enough to keep this plant healthy. Pruning Coral Honeysuckle The only pruning required of coral honeysuckle is any trimming required to maintain a desired shape or size. Pruning is best done after the first big bloom. This will prevent the removal of blossoms that have not bloomed. Propagating Coral Honeysuckle Propagation is easily done with softwood cuttings in late spring or summer. Take note of these instructions: Using sharp garden snips, trim a softwood vine that is around 6 inches long. Remove the bottom sets of leaves. It is best to have around 2 exposed nodes near the cut end and two sets of leaves at the tip of the cutting. At this point, either dip the cut end into rooting hormone and place the cutting in moist soil or place the cutting in water. Place the cutting in indirect sunlight. If kept in water, be sure to change the water regularly. When roots appear, plant in well-drained potting soil, and continue to grow until large enough for planting in the garden. As new growth appears and root growth is apparent (tug gently to check for resistance), transfer to your desired planting location. How to Grow Coral Honeysuckle from Seed Propagation by seed is another way to grow coral honeysuckle. Here is how to gather and plant seeds:
Remove the berry flesh and place the seeds in the refrigerator for around 3 months for cold stratification. After this, plant the seeds and cover lightly with well-draining, moist soil. Place a plastic bag or tray over the seeds to retain moisture. Keep the soil moist and remove the cover once seedlings appear. Potting and Repotting Coral Honeysuckle To grow coral honeysuckle in containers, be sure to choose a container with good drainage holes. Fill it with a well-draining soil mix and keep it in a sunny location. When the honeysuckle fills the pot and no longer has room to grow, gently tip the pot onto its side to work the plant and its root system free. Place the plant in a slightly larger pot and fill it with fresh soil. Overwintering Coral Honeysuckle Because coral honeysuckle plants are cold tolerant and can withstand hard frost, there is not much required to overwinter these plants. Planting them near structures such as fences or trellises will help shelter them from cold winds. Additionally, adding mulch in the fall will help to insulate the root system from excessively cold temperatures. If growing in a container that is not winterproof, bring the plant inside to grow as a houseplant during the winter.
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Miss Chen
05月24日
Miss Chen
The common name "coral bells" is used for several species in the Heuchera genus, comprising hundreds of varieties and hybrids. Coral bells is a traditional perennial foliage plant, with new varieties introduced every year. Native to North America, the plants form round mounds with a woody rootstock or crown at their base and small bell-shaped flowers that begin in spring or early summer on the tall stems. Rich in nectar, the flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, plus make nice cut blooms. Their leaves are rounded, lobed, hairy, and evergreen or semi-evergreen, depending on the climate. Besides traditional green-leaved coral bells, newer varieties have leaves in shades of purple, rose, lime green, gold, and more. Coral bells are best planted in late fall or early spring and will grow at a moderate pace, making them a great option for woodlands, rock gardens, containers, borders, and ground covers. But they are short-lived perennials; unless divided regularly, they will die out in a few years. Common Name Coral bells, alumroot Botanical Name Heuchera spp. Family Saxifragaceae Plant Type Perennial Mature Size 8–18 in. tall, 12–24 in. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Rich, moist but well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Spring, summer Flower Color Red, white, pink, orange Hardiness Zones 4–9 (USDA) Native Area North America Coral Bells Care Coral bells is a fairly easy plant to grow in a semi-shady location in a well-draining, organically rich soil. There are some hybrid cultivars that can do quite well in full sun—though they will require more water in order to thrive. This plant is a good choice for providing color in a landscape filled with shade trees. While coral bells don't need much maintenance, you can cut back the entire flower stalk after flowering to put the plant's energy into growing more leaves. If the leaves get a bit ragged looking, especially after winter, cut them back and new growth should fill in quickly. Deadheading the faded flowers regularly will help ensure repeated blooming all summer and into fall. Light Most varieties of coral bells do best in partial shade, especially in hotter climates. Their color can become washed out if they're kept in full sun, and too much light can cause their leaves to scorch. Keep in mind, coral bells planted in damp shade can be prone to fungal diseases—if your plants start having problems, it's best to move them to a drier site.1 Soil Coral bells prefer humus-rich soil with a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH, somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0. Good drainage is a must, especially in shaded areas, as sitting in the damp soil will cause the crown of the plant to rot.2
Water This plant has medium water needs and likes consistently moist soil. Established plants will tolerate some drought, but an inch of water per week is the best way to keep them happy. If you grow your coral bells in full sun, plan to give them extra water—their shallow roots will need extra moisture during hot, sunny days. Temperature and Humidity Coral bells are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9, although the exact hardiness range does depend on the variety you're growing and its parentage. Some Heucheras are only hardy to zone 7, while others do well in cold but don't perform well south of zone 6. Most coral bells prefer relatively dry air, but Heuchera villosa, a native of the southeastern U.S., thrives on both heat and high humidity. In regions with frigid winters, coral bells crowns can heave above the soil line in the winter. Winter mulching will help prevent the freezing/thawing cycle that pushes the plants up, and you should check periodically to make sure the roots are not exposed. Fertilizer Feed coral bells in the spring with a 1/2-inch layer of compost or a light amount of slow-release fertilizer. This plant has light feeding needs; you should avoid heavy applications of quick-release fertilizers, as this will inhibit flowering. Container-grown coral bells benefit from feeding with a water-soluble fertilizer to replenish nutrients that leach from the soil. For the amount, follow the product label instructions. Types Coral Bells Several different species of Heuchera, including H. americana, H. sanguinea, H. villosa, and H. parviflora, are commonly sold in the trade, along with named cultivars of each species. H. sanguina is regarded as the best species for ornamental purposes and is the one most often sold as coral bells; the other species are more often known as alumroot. The species plants have medium-green leaves, but 'Dale's Strain' and 'Purple Palace' were two of the first cultivars to offer reddish bronze and purple foliage.3 But even more popular are the many named cultivars derived from cross-species hybridization. These often simply carry the Heuchera label. The exact parentage of hybrids is sometimes lost, but H. americana and H. sanguina are thought to be the most common parent species. The most notable differences between varieties can be seen in their foliage color and texture variations. There are dozens of these cultivars, including: Heuchera 'Autumn Leaves': As hinted at by its name, the leaves on this hybrid variety change color through the seasons, from red to caramel to ruby. Heuchera 'Chocolate Ruffles': This hybrid variety has ruffled leaves with rich chocolaty color on the top and deep burgundy on the bottom. Heuchera 'Green Spice': This hardy hybrid has large green leaves that are veined in maroon. Heuchera 'Marmalade': Another frilly hybrid cultivar, the leaves on this version appear in shades ranging from umber to deep sienna. Heuchera 'Citronelle; This variety has bright yellowish-green leaves that are excellent for brightening shady areas. Heuchera 'Electric Lime': This striking variety has bright green leaves with blood-red veins. Heuchera 'Fire Chief': Bright red spring foliage slowly deepens to crimson as the season progresses. Propagating Coral Bells Coral bells is most often propagated by dividing the root clumps. Either fall or spring division will work, though many gardeners prefer fall. Heuchera plants often produce small offsets around the parent plant, and it's an easy matter to carefully dig up these offsets and replant them. The root crowns of the divisions should be planted so they are just barely covered with soil.5 Heuchera plants are fairly short-lived, and this division should be done every three or four years in order to prevent them from dying out. To propagate mature plants: Dig up the entire root clump with a shovel in fall or spring. Cut the root clump into pieces, each having several growth shoots. The woody center portion can be discarded. Prepare new planting sites by blending in plenty of compost or peat moss, then replant the divisions, just barely covering the root crowns. How to Grow Coral Bells From Seed You can start coral bells from seed, but results can be irregular if you are collecting seeds from hybrid plants. Commercial seeds will produce more predictable results. If you want to propagate plants by collecting seeds, it's best to start with pure species plants rather than nursery hybrids. Pure species are easiest to obtain from specialty nurseries or online retailers. When starting seed, sprinkle the seed on the surface of the soil in late fall or early spring, making sure not to cover the seed as they need light to germinate. You can also start seeds indoors a couple of months before you plan to transplant. Coral bells seeds take two to eight weeks to germinate. Once established, harden off the plants for 10 days, then transplant the seedlings outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. You can plant container-grown coral bells any time after the danger of frost has passed. Keep them well-watered their first year—other than that, they shouldn't require more than some relief from the extreme heat and rich, well-draining soil. Potting and Repotting Coral Bells Although it's not typical to grow perennials such as coral bells in containers, it certainly can be done, and this plant does quite well when grown that way. Choose a container that has good drainage and a potting mix that drains freely. When grown in containers, keep the root crown slightly higher than the soil level. If you want to overwinter these plants in pots, they will need to be moved to a protected location to shield them from cold winter temperatures. During the winter months, withhold water and allow the plants to go dormant.6 While the spectacular foliage might tempt you to try growing coral bells as a houseplant, they do not lend themselves to this use. These woodland plants can do fine in outdoor containers where they receive a dormant period over winter, but they rarely are successful as permanent indoor houseplants. Overwintering In warmer climates, this plant often remains evergreen through the winter. Because the roots are shallow, coral bells can be prone to winter root heaving in colder climates. A light mulch over the plants can prevent this. In other regions, overwintering simply involves cleaning up plant debris to prevent fungi from overwintering. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Coral bells is usually a fairly carefree plant, but it can be affected by various fungal diseases, including powdery mildew, rust, and bacterial leaf spot.7 Potential insect problems include weevils and foliar nematodes. The larvae of the black vine weevil can bore into the crowns and roots of coral bells in late summer or early fall, causing infected plants to wilt and droop.8 You should be able to see the larvae on the plant and remove them by hand and destroy them. If an infection persists, treat your plants with a mild insecticide or neem oil. How to Get Coral Bells to Bloom Sparse blooming is usually not terribly concerning with these plants, since it is the foliage color that is of greatest appeal. But the stems of airy, delicate red or pink flowers certainly do have ornamental merit, and if planted in good growing conditions, you can expect repeated blooms from late spring into fall. Avoid overfeeding these plants, which can hinder blossoming as it stimulates foliage development. And some varieties bred to be sun-lovers may not bloom well if they are planted in deep shade. Common Problems With Coral Bells Coral bells are generally quite easy to grow, but there are some common cultural problems you may encounter:
Scalded Leaves Most varieties of coral bells are not keen about growing in full sun, and they may exhibit burned, scorched leaves if they get too much sun, especially in climates with hot summers. Giving plants extra water during hot spells can minimize this scorching. Plants Die Out After a Few Years It's sometimes disappointing when a thriving coral bells plant suddenly declines, but this is rather normal, as these are short-lived perennials that usually live only four or five years. You can prolong the lifespan by dividing root clumps every three or four years, which will provide new plants to continue the lineage. Plants Lift Out of the Ground Coral bells have shallow root systems with crowns that are slightly exposed. In cold climates, frost heaving can push them out of the ground entirely, which will require you to replant them. A layer of mulch applied just after the ground freezes may help prevent heaving due to repeated freeze-thaw cycles. FAQ How should I use coral bells in the landscape? Coral bells make wonderful edging plants and put on a show when planted in groups. Their foliage is vibrant and saturated and ​is great for playing up the colors of nearby flowers in the garden—darker purple leaves can make yellow flowers glow, while butterscotch-colored leaves can bring out the tones of simple green leaves. Are there any coral bells varieties that work well in hot climates? The more heat-tolerant cultivars often have Heuchera villosa in their parentage, which is a notably heat-tolerant species. Gardeners as far south as zone 9 usually have good success with varieties based on this species. Two excellent cultivars known for their heat tolerance are ‘Caramel’ and ‘Citronelle’. H. villosa is a native plant in the southeastern U.S. and hardy to zone 7.9 How about cold-winter gardens—are there any varieties that work in zone 3? Heuchera sanguinea and its direct cultivars are considered hardy to zone 3. But you will need to make sure of the parentage, as many nursery hybrids have other species among their parents, which are not as cold-hardy. To buy pure H. sanguinea plants, you may need to shop at a specialty nursery.
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Miss Chen
05月22日
Miss Chen
The coral bean shrub (Erythrina herbacea) is easy to grow, grows at a moderate rate, and requires little attention once established. It is attractive and showy with almost year-round interest. The coral bean is adorned with gorgeous ornamental, tubular flowers. In the summer and into the fall, the flowers turn into long pods with brilliant red seeds inside. The foliage of the coral bean is heart-shaped and glossy dark green. The trunk and branches are covered in small curved thorns. The tubular flowers are also highly attractive to hummingbirds drawn to the sweet nectar inside them. Only plant this shrub in the ground in hardiness zone 8 (Pacific Northwest or American South) or higher or else it will die. The best time to plant it is in the spring. Botanical Name Erythrina herbacea Common Name Coral bean, red cardinal, cardinal spear, mamou plant Plant Type Perennial, shrub Mature Size 8–10 feet tall Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Sandy, well-drained Soil pH 5.4 to 7.6 (acidic to neutral) Bloom Time Spring Flower Color Red Hardiness Zones 8–11 (USDA) Native Area North America, Central America Toxicity Toxic to humans and pets
Coral Bean Care The coral bean is native to Mexico and parts of the United States. It is a low-maintenance flowering perennial shrub that readily grows in warm-season climates around the world. Once established, the coral bean requires little maintenance. As a result, it makes a great addition to a garden bed or shrub border. The coral bean shrub is also salt-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for gardeners living on coastal landscapes. For the winter, place the coral bean plants in a greenhouse and plant in late spring or early summer. If left out, the plant will die in hardiness zones cooler than 8, such as in the Northeast. Light The coral bean shrub blooms most profusely when grown in a full sun location. However, it can tolerate dappled sun, as it naturally occurs along the edge of woodlands and forests. Soil The coral bean is adaptable to a wide range of soil types but appreciates sandy, acidic soil. Ensure that the potting medium is well-draining as the coral bean’s roots cannot tolerate sitting in water. Water For the first growing season, water the coral bean once a week to help encourage growth. This shrub does not tolerate "wet feet" and should never be left waterlogged. Once established, the coral bean is considered to be a drought-tolerant shrub and may only require supplemental watering during abnormally long dry periods. Temperature and Humidity To survive as a perennial, the coral bean requires warm temperatures and thrives in USDA zones 8 through 11. In regions that experience cold winters with freezing temperatures, the coral bean can be grown as an annual. Fertilizer Once established, the coral bean shrub does not require regular fertilizing. However, young plants benefit from fertilization in the spring to help boost growth. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10. This shrub also benefits from annual mulching to help retain moisture and protect the sensitive root system from cold temperatures. Pruning The coral bean does not require heavy pruning but appreciates light yearly maintenance and general upkeep. Do not prune during the first growing season. In the spring of the second growing season, prune any dead or cold-damaged growth and trim to shape where necessary. Propagating Coral Bean You can propagate the coral bean shrub via semi-hardwood cuttings and division. Semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken in the late summer or early fall, once the stems are almost fully mature. The shrub can technically be propagated by division of the root ball at any time, but it is best to do so once the coral bean is well established with excess growth that you can easily separate. At the same time, both methods can successfully propagate the coral bean. It is usually most efficient to start with a nursery-grown plant or well-established shrub as propagation success rates are variable.
How to Grow Coral Bean From Seed Coral bean seeds can be purchased from a nursery or garden center or collected directly from the plant. You can collect the seeds in the late summer or early fall. Be sure to always wear protective gloves when handling coral bean seeds as the seeds are poisonous (primarily if ingested). To increase the germination rate, coral bean seeds benefit from scarification. Plant seeds in the ground after the threat of frost and once the temperatures are consistently warm. If you are planting several shrubs together, ensure the seeds are spaced between 3 to 5 feet apart when sowing. Potting and Repotting Coral Bean Coral bean may be grown in a container, usually in the northern states. It is best placed in full sun with southern exposure. Protect it from freezing.
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Miss Chen
05月20日
Miss Chen
Coral aloe (Aloe striata) is a strikingly beautiful, hardy and easy-to-grow succulent. The thick, wide leaves on this plant are smoother than the more typically serrated or spined varieties typically found on aloe species. Flowering in the late winter and early spring months, the eye-catching coral red blooming inflorescences bring color to a garden when it's needed the most. The nectar from the blooms is attractive to hungry insects and hummingbirds during a season when food can be scarce. It forms in clumps and usually won't grow higher than three feet in height. Unlike many aloes, it's a solitary species that doesn't grow offsets that can be replanted. Compared with other aloes, Coral is regarded as particularly hardy. It can cope with a wide range of temperatures, including dry, intense heat and mild frosts. If winters are harsh, however, it's best to grow the plant in a pot so that it can be overwintered in a sheltered position. Thriving in sunny and dry conditions, it's ideal for xeriscape landscaping and rock and herb gardens, or for growing in containers indoors. Botanical Name Aloe Striata Common Name Coral aloe Plant Type Succulent Mature Size Up to 24 in. tall Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Well-draining, loamy, sandy Soil pH Acid, neutral, alkaline Bloom Time Winter, spring Flower Color Orange Hardiness Zones 9 - 11, USA Native Area Africa Plant Care A low-maintenance plant, the Coral aloe is a good choice for novice gardeners or those that have never been particularly green-fingered. Providing it gets enough sun and isn't overwatered, it'll do well in containers indoors and in a variety of garden settings.
Light Coral aloes can be grown in full sun or partial shade. If they get a lot of sunlight, the leaves will take on a red hue. In a shadier spot, they remain a bluey-green. If the summer is particularly hot and dry, it's a good idea to protect them from too much intense reflected sun. Soil As with most succulents, Coral aloe does best in a sandy, gravelly soil type. Above all, it should be well-draining. Overly wet soil is one thing that you should avoid to ensure this plant doesn't die away as a result of root rot.
Water A drought-resistant species, Coral aloe is ideal for dry, infertile soils. Although it can handle extended periods without being watered, it does best with regular watering during the summer when they're growing. This will encourage rapid and healthy growth, and the succulent leaves will look fuller. Make sure you allow the soil to fully dry out before rewatering and using tepid rather than cold water is best. During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, it should only require watering very occasionally. Temperature and Humidity This species is surprisingly cold hardy. It can tolerate temperatures low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, though, if you experience frost in your region, it would be best to overwinter your Coral aloe indoors, or at least plant it in a sheltered area. These plants can struggle to recover if they're exposed to prolonged periods of frost and will die if the frosting is harsh.
Fertilizer Your Coral aloe will appreciate an annual application of fertilizer in the spring. Be careful, however, not to over-fertilize as this can result in thin and overly long leaves developing. Propagating Coral Aloe Unlike most other aloe species, established Corals don't produce offsets around their base that can be removed to create new plants. Division of the clump itself, however, is nice and easy. Many growers divide their Coral aloe clump every few years to encourage vigorous new growth. Pruning It can be beneficial to remove dead flower heads in late spring or early summer. You can do this easily by individually pulling them out by hand. How to Grow Coral Aloe From Seed As with most aloe species, it's easy to grow this plant from seeds. They germinate easily providing you sow them in a well-draining medium and only lightly cover the seeds. They can be sown any time of the year indoors, but it's a good idea to cover them with a bag or germinate them in a propagator to keep them moist. The seedlings don't appreciate it if you let the potting medium dry out — but beware of oversaturation too. The ideal temperature for germination is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The time it takes for the seedlings to appear can vary considerably. It can take anything from one to six months for them to be ready for transplanting.
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