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Miss Chen
04月25日
Miss Chen
Coleus, made popular as Victorian-era bedding plants, have made a huge comeback thanks to the all-season color the lovely foliage offers, whether it's planted in full sun or shade. Coleus plants are characterized by square stems and leaves situated directly opposite one another. Though it produces tiny blue to white flowers, they are insignificant and are often pinched off to conserve the plant's energy. The foliage can vary widely in shape, style, and color. Breeders regularly produce new introductions with even more unusual colors and patterns. Planted outdoors in early spring, coleus quickly grows to full size in a single season. Large swaths of assorted coleus plantings that take on a quilt-like appearance can look luscious in a landscape or garden beds. Its vividly colored foliage also adds a decorative touch to window boxes, outdoor container gardens, and hanging baskets. Coleus is toxic to pets.1
Common Name Coleus Botanical Name Plectranthus scutellarioides Family Lamiaceae Plant Type Herbacious perennial (usually grown as an annual) Mature Size 6-36 in. tall and wide Sun Exposure Part shade to full shade Soil Type Rich, moist, loose soil, well-drained Soil pH Slightly acidic to neutral (6.0 to 7.0) Bloom Time Seasonal Flower Color Blue to white Hardiness Zones 10-11 (USDA); grown as an annual everywhere Native Area Asia Toxicity Toxic to animals Coleus Care Coleus is a tender tropical plant, native to areas bordering the equator. Warmer zones can grow coleus as garden perennials, where they can grow to resemble small shrubs with thick woody stems. Though it loves the heat, it will happily grow as an annual in just about any garden, where it's normally used as an annual bedding plant or in containers. However, coleus plants are not at all frost-tolerant, so don’t rush to get your plants in the ground. Wait until temperatures remain reliably above 60 degrees Fahrenheit before you move them out in the garden. They will do best in rich, loose, well-drained soil, so amending with compost or adding perlite to soil before planting is advised unless you have very good soil. Light Coleus is a classic part-shade to full-shade plant, but light exposure depends on the variety. The old-fashioned seed-grown coleus does best in part shade to full shade, but newer cultivars, like the Wizard series, perform well in full sun. Too much sun can scorch leaves and cause color to fade in most classic coleus varieties. Coleus performs best with filtered morning sun and shade in the afternoon, especially in hot climates. Plants grown in containers indoors usually get plenty of light from indirect sun during the warmer (brighter) months but may need to be exposed to filtered sunlight during the winter. It doesn't take much, but they do need some light. Soil Coleus prefers consistently moist, rich, well-draining soil. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or another organic material. For potted plants, any good-quality potting mix will work fine. Make sure to choose a container with drainage holes. Container-grown coleus loves the loose texture of potting soil, and it always helps to start with a quality mix with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Provide drainage in the pot to ensure the soil isn't constantly wet, which can lead to root rot. Water Coleus plants grow best in soil that is consistently moist but not soggy. The soil should not remain wet all the time, but long dry spells will slow the plants’ growth, and the leaves will start to turn brown around the edges. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings, and water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Mulch will help the soil retain moisture longer, but don't use cedar mulch, which can be toxic to coleus. Also, don't let the mulch touch the stems, as it can promote rot and hide slugs. Coleus in containers may need watering twice a day during hot weather. Outdoor containers may require water twice a day. Indoor plants need water only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Temperature and Humidity As a tropical plant, coleus thrives in hot, humid conditions. In temperate climates, the barest hint of frost will spell the end of the plants. Move plants indoors or protect them on chilly nights when temperatures dip into the 50s. Make sure to take cuttings for propagation before the weather turns cold. Keep indoor plants away from air conditioner vents and other cold spots. In dry climates, the plants will like some humidity from a humidifier or a bathroom environment. To take potted plants outdoors in spring, wait until the temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Fertilizer If you have rich soil, you may not need to feed coleus plants at all. If you have poor soil, add a balanced slow-release fertilizer in the bed. You’ll get the best color from your coleus leaves if you go easy on the fertilizer. Feed container-grown plants once a month with a water-soluble fertilizer. Container plants generally need more feeding than garden plants because frequent watering washes nutrients from the potting soil. Types of Coleus There are hundreds of coleus cultivars available with various colors, leaf textures, and patterns. Additional cultivars are developed each year, and garden centers tend to focus on a select few that have proven to be most popular among their customers. You may have to shop several different nurseries or online retailers to find the most unique varieties. Some types to look for include: Wizard series: These are small 12- to 14-inch plants in standard color mixes. They are known to be very easy to grow from seeds. Kong series: These coleus varieties have huge 6-inch leaves on big 2-foot tall plants. They are quite sensitive to direct sunlight. 'Black Dragon': This unusual variety has deep burgundy leaves with ruffled edges. They grow to 18 inches tall. Premium Sun series: These cultivars are bred to tolerate full sun. Fairway series: These are dwarf coleus varieties, only 6 to 10 inches tall, in a variety of leaf patterns and colors. Pruning To get full, bushy plants, pinch out the growing tips when the plants are about 6 inches tall. Pinch under the flower buds if you want the plant to spend its energy on leaves and not flowers and seeds. Plants that are not pruned tend to get leggy and lose their nice shape and dense foliage. If they remain leggy, the plants may need more sun. This is most common with indoor plants during winter so give them a bit more sun or, if necessary, artificial light. Propagating Coleus Favorite coleus plants can easily be propagated by taking stem cuttings and rooting them. With a sharp shearing scissor, cut a 4- to 6-inch long stem tip. Make sure to cut right beneath a leaf node along the stem. Remove all leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Dip the end of the stem in a rooting hormone compound, then plant it in a moist potting mix so the soil covers the exposed leaf nodes. Place the container in a plastic bag, making sure the plastic doesn't touch the cutting. Place the covered cutting in a bright, warm location until new roots develop, which will take two to three weeks. Remove the plastic and continue to grow the new plant in a bright, warm location. Some of the more unusual cultivars might be reluctant to root, so with these, take plenty of cuttings to ensure that you get enough viable plants. How to Grow Coleus From Seed Modern coleus varieties sold in stores are hybrids that are almost always grown from cuttings potted up for nursery sale, but you can still find seeds of many varieties. If you will be planting the coleus in the outdoor garden, start seeds indoors about eight to 10 weeks before your last frost date. It's easy to grow coleus from seed. It can take as long as 21 days for the seeds to germinate, so be patient. Once seedlings appear, it will take three or four weeks of warm weather to help turn them into fully grown plants. Lightly sprinkle the tiny seeds over a tray filled with potting mix, then lightly cover with a sprinkling of soil. Cover the tray with plastic and set it in a bright, warm spot until seedlings sprout, which takes about two weeks. Remove the plastic and continue to grow the seedlings while keeping the soil moist. When two sets of true leaves appear on the seedlings, carefully transplant them into their own pots and continue growing them until outdoor planting time. Make sure to harden off seedlings before planting in the garden. Potting and Repotting Coleus To grow coleus in a container, start with a large pot that the plant can grow into, otherwise, you'll be repotting this fast-growing plant before you know it.
In mixed container plantings, coleus usually serves as an upright "thriller" plant in the center of the container, surrounded by "fillers" and "spillers." In colder zones, container plants are sometimes moved indoors to overwinter. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Groundhogs and young rabbits love coleus. If you can protect your plants early in the season, these pests will usually turn their attention to other plants by mid-summer. Watch out for mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and slugs. Coleus is not usually bothered by diseases unless the weather turns cool and damp. If that happens, expect to see signs of fungal diseases, such as mildew. Be careful that the plant enjoys good drainage, because standing water can lead to fungal root rot and stem rot. FAQ Is coleus easy to care for? Coleus is very easy to care for. If you plant coleus in containers, you may want to bring it indoors during the winter to help it survive. How fast does coleus grow? Coleus quickly grows to full size, potentially up to 36 inches high, in a single season. Can coleus be grown indoors? Coleus makes a good container plant that can even be grown indoors.
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Miss Chen
04月23日
Miss Chen
The coffee plant is an attractive little specimen with glossy green leaves and a compact growth habit. It makes a surprisingly good potted indoor plant. Native to Ethiopia, the coffee plant (Coffea arabica) will flower in the spring with small white flowers and then bear half-inch berries that gradually darken from green to blackish pods. Each of these fruits contains two seeds, which eventually become the coffee beans you use to brew coffee. Other than the seeds, it's important to know that all plant parts are toxic to both humans and animals.12 In their native habitat, coffee plants grow into medium-sized trees. But growers regularly prune the plants to be a more manageable size, especially when the plants are grown indoors. (Note that you can't grow coffee plants from the beans you buy in a store; those have been treated and roasted and will not sprout.) Even though coffee plants are vigorous growers, it will typically take a few years before your plant produces flowers and subsequent fruits. All parts of the plant are toxic to pets and humans—the beans are edible to humans. Common Name Coffee plant, Arabian coffee Botanical Name Coffea arabica Family Rubiaceae, Madder Plant Type Evergreen perennial Mature Size 6–15 ft. tall and wide Sun Exposure Bright, indirect light Soil Type Rich and moist Soil pH 6.0-6.5 (slightly acidic) Bloom Time Spring Flower Color White Hardiness Zones 9–11 (USDA) Native Area Ethiopia, tropical Africa Toxicity All parts of the plant are toxic to dogs, cats, and people; beans are edible for people
Coffee Plant Care The best environment in which to grow coffee plants is to mimic its natural conditions found on a tropical, mid-elevation mountainside: plenty of water with good drainage, high humidity, relatively cool temperatures, and rich, slightly acidic soil. You can grow coffee plants outdoors if the conditions are similar to their natural environment. Indoors, coffee plants do best placed near a window but not in direct sunlight. Make sure to keep the plant away from drafts, such as those produced from air conditioning. Be prepared to water at least weekly to keep the soil moist. Light Coffee plants prefer dappled sunlight or full sunlight in weaker latitudes. They are actually understory plants (existing under the forest canopy) and do not thrive in direct, harsh sunlight. Coffee plants that are exposed to too much direct sunlight will develop leaf browning. Soil Plant coffee plants in a rich, peat-based potting soil with excellent drainage. Coffee plants prefer acidic soil, so if your plant is not thriving add organic matter such as sphagnum peat moss to increase soil pH. The ideal pH range is closer to 6 to 6.5. Water These plants are water lovers and require both regular and ample watering. The soil should stay evenly moist but not waterlogged. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.3 Temperature and Humidity The optimal average temperature range for coffee plants is a daytime temperature between 70 to 80 degrees and a nighttime temperature between 65 to 70 degrees. Higher (hotter) temperatures can accelerate growth, but higher temperatures are not ideal for growing plants for their beans. The fruits need to ripen at a slow, steady pace. In addition, because these plants naturally grow on the sides of tropical mountains, they thrive in highly humid conditions which usually receive plenty of rain and fog. A humidity level of 50 percent or higher should suffice. If the air is too dry, the leaf edges might start to brown. Mist the plant daily to raise the humidity level. Fertilizer Feed with a weak liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season every couple of weeks. Cut the fertilizer back to once a month or so in the winter. Types of Coffee Plant Coffea arabica 'Nana': This is a dwarf variety that only grows 12-inches tall, making it ideal to cultivate indoors. Coffea canephora: Commonly known as robusta coffee, this species comes from sub-Saharan Africa. Its plants are robust; however, the coffee beans are less favored because they tend to have a stronger, harsher taste than arabica beans. Coffea liberica: A variety native to central and western Africa, it was first discovered in Liberia. It produces large fruits with a higher caffeine content than arabica beans, but lower than robusta beans. Pruning Coffee plant needs little pruning, but should be cut back in the spring with clean, sharp gardening shears. This will help shape your plant, and it will grow back bushier! Propagating Coffee Plants To propagate coffee plant, you can do so from cuttings or air layers (a somewhat involved technique where you root branches still attached to the parent plant). The best time to take a cutting is in the early summer. Select a straight shoot that's about 8 to 10 inches long and remove all but a pair of upper leaves. Then, plant the cutting in a small pot of soilless potting mix, and keep the soil slightly moist. When you can gently tug on the plant and feel resistance, you'll know roots have formed. How to Grow Coffee Plant From Seed While you can't germinate the coffee beans you buy in a store, you can sprout the ones that grow on your coffee plant. Called "cherries," rub away their flesh wash away any residue; dry thoroughly by sitting in the open air for a few weeks. Then, soak the cherries in water for 24 hours, and then sow in damp, but well-draining, sand. If you water daily, the cherries should germinate in two to four months. When they've germinated, carefully remove them and plant each one in well-draining, acidic soil. Water twice a week. Potting and Repotting Coffee Plant Repot your coffee plant every spring, gradually stepping up the pot size. Make sure the container has several drainage holes. If you want, you can prune the plant to the desired size, slightly restrict its pot size, and root prune to keep its growth manageable. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Coffee plants grown indoors will sometimes suffer from infestations of mealybugs, aphids, and mites.3 Signs of infestation include tiny webs, clumps of white powdery residue, or visible insects on the plant. Treat infestations with insecticides, or something organic like neem oil. as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to the rest of your collection. How to Get Coffee Plant to Bloom Coffee plants bloom delicate, white flowers, once the plant is around three-years-old. If these blooms are pollinated—if your coffee plant is outdoors—the flowers will give way to little, red fruit (the "cherries") that are slightly soft to the touch. To get your own coffee plant to bloom, make sure it's at the right temperature—70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day—has four to five hours of sunlight a day, and is growing in damp, well-draining soil. Common Problems With Coffee Plant Brown spots on leaves Fungal diseases like leaf spot can give your coffee plant brown spots on its leaves. To remedy, remove affected leaves and stems and trim away inner branches so there is better air circulation for your plant. Brown leaves that fall off Leaves that turn brown and fall off usually do so from leaf scorch (otherwise known as "too much sun"). Fixing the former is merely a matter of giving your coffee plant more indirect light.
FAQ Is coffee plant easy to care for? Yes! Coffee plant is a super easy plant to grow. With the right light, water, and humidity, it's a welcome addition to your home. How fast does coffee plant grow? Coffee plant takes three to five years to reach maturity. Can coffee plant grow indoors? Absolutely! While when planted outdoors a coffee plant can reach 6-feet tall, most indoor growers prune them so they stay within a manageable size of 1 to 2 feet.
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Miss Chen
04月21日
Miss Chen
The coconut palm plant (Cocos nucifera) is characterized by a tall, gray-brown, slightly curved single trunk, sprawling green palm fronds, and, of course, coconuts. It also loves lots of warmth, sun, and humidity. This can be difficult but not impossible to replicate for an indoor palm. The palm has a moderate growth rate. Outdoors it will mature and reach its full coconut production in around 15 to 20 years, and it can live for decades beyond that. Indoors these palms are generally short-lived, they remain small, and they often don’t produce fruit. They can be planted at any time of year. Common Name Coconut palm Botanical Name Cocos nucifera Plant Type Perennial Can You Grow Coconut Palm Inside? If you're looking to transport yourself to the beach—even if only in your mind—then consider growing a coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) indoors. But a word of warning: This plant is fairly finicky to keep unless you live in its natural climate. Native to islands in the Western Pacific, the coconut palm is probably what comes to mind for many when you say the phrase "palm tree." These trees thrive in warm, humid environments around the world. Thus, it's important to give your palm as much sunlight and warmth as possible when growing it indoors, along with ample humidity and moist but not soggy soil. Coconut palms also need regular fertilization. In addition, you will have to repot your palm as it grows. It's also ideal to bring it outside as much as possible in warm weather, so it can receive direct sunlight. The palm generally does not require much pruning to maintain its form, but you can remove dead or diseased fronds as needed.
How to Grow Coconut Palm Indoors Sunlight Coconut palms thrive in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. Even palms found in nature can struggle in the shade, so it's extremely important that any indoor coconut palm receives ample sunshine. Depending on its placement in your home, consider moving your plant's location throughout the day to "chase" the sun and ensure proper exposure. Artificial Light During the fall and winter months, consider placing your palm under a grow lamp or another artificial light source to help make up for the loss of sunlight. Temperature and Humidity Coconut palms prefer temperatures that are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They grow best in temperatures between 85- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit and they might fail to thrive if the temperature dips below 64 degrees Fahrenheit. High humidity is an important factor, too. Maintain a moist environment for your palm with the addition of an in-room humidifier, as well as frequent spritzing of the plant with warm water. You also can keep the container on a tray of pebbles and water to raise the humidity around the plant. Just make sure the bottom of the container isn't touching the water. Watering Like many plants that love warmth and humidity, the coconut palm is a thirsty tree. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy by saturating it with warm water once or twice a week. Make sure the container does not become waterlogged, as this can result in root rot. Fertilizer Feed your palm year-round with a liquid fertilizer. Coconut palms are known to have several nutrient deficiencies, including a lack of phosphorus, nitrogen, manganese, and boron. So seek out a fertilizer blend specifically made for palm trees to supplement these losses, and follow label instructions for the amount and frequency of fertilization. Pruning and Maintenance Pruning of your coconut palm is only necessary when there are decaying or dead leaves. Gently cut these from the tree with a sharp knife or a pair of pruning shears. Container and Size Coconut palms will grow to a robust size, so start with a pot that of about 3 gallons. As it grows, you'll need a pot that holds at least 10 gallons of soil. This will need to be a quite sturdy pot to handle the pressure of the large root system, so look for something that won't give under pressure, such as a sturdy plastic or even a well-made wooden barrel. Potting Soil and Drainage Coconut palms are used to growing in a variety of soil conditions and are therefore not terribly picky about their planting mixture. That said, soil that closely mimics the coconut palm's natural environment is always best. A well-draining palm soil mix works well for potted coconut palms. Additionally, you can add a layer of mulch to the top of the soil to help it retain moisture. Potting and Repotting Coconut Palm Sprouted coconuts can be potted in 3-gallon containers with about 12 inches of soil. Their root balls are fairly small and shallow to start, and as a result, they don't need a lot of soil in the early growing months. However, once your coconut palm's roots grow to be about 6 to 8 inches long, repot the plant into a vessel that holds at least 10 gallons of soil. A clay container with ample drainage holes is best to allow excess soil moisture to escape through the container walls and bottom. Moving Coconut Palm Outdoors for the Summer Coconut palms thrive in the heat. They want to be in temperatures of no less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter the better! As soon as the temperatures rise to that level, take your coconut palm outdoors. There is no need to acclimate it to the warmer weather. Considerations Take care to keep your coconut palm safe from lower temperatures. Anything about 64 degrees Fahrenheit or below can damage the plant. When to Bring Coconut Palm Back Indoors Let your coconut palm enjoy the heat and sunlight for as long as possible. When temperatures begin to dip below 64 degrees Fahrenheit or so, it's time to bring the tree in to avoid damage.
FAQ Is it easy to propagate coconut palms? If you can't find a coconut palm at a nursery, you can still grow one indoors using—you guessed it—a coconut. You can start this process at any point in the year. To sprout a coconut palm, start with a coconut that still has some of its husk on and sounds full of water when you shake it. Then take these steps: Place the coconut in a bucket of room temperature water, and soak for up to three days to help jumpstart the germination process. Next, bury the nut in a moist but well-draining soil mixture, leaving the top half exposed above the soil. Move the pot to a warm, well-lit area, and continually water it every three days or so to keep the soil lightly moist. With the right environment, you should see a seedling appear through the shell of the coconut within three to six months. What plant pests are common to coconut palms? In their native habitats, coconut palms are fairly resistant to insect predators. But in the home, you might see common household pests, including mealybugs and spider mites, on the leaves. They usually can be treated with insecticidal soap. How do you harvest the coconuts? Unfortunately, a coconut palm grown indoors will likely not reach a size that allows it to bear fruit. If you do happen to get coconuts, harvest them by cutting them at the stem with a sharp knife.
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Miss Chen
04月19日
Miss Chen
Named after its resemblance to the comb on a rooster, cockscomb boasts brightly-colored blooms with a unique comb-like shape. These flowers are part of the Amaranthaceae family under the Celosia genus. The Cristata Group has taken the common name of cockscomb and features alternating, lance-like leaves that can be found in green or bronze, while its blooms can be red, pink, yellow, or white. The velvety, large flowers keep their colors even when dried, making them a perfect addition to wreaths or dried flower arrangements. Though often planted as an annual, cockscomb can be used as a perennial in warm climates. Botanical Name Celosia argentea var. cristata Common Name Cockscomb Plant Type Annual, perennial Mature Size 12 in. tall, 12 in. wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, moist but well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Summer, fall Flower Color Red, pink, orange, yellow, white Hardiness Zones 9-12, USA Native Area South America, Central America, Asia, Africa Cockscomb Care Cockscomb is a great, low-maintenance plant that offers a huge burst of color in the garden. It thrives in warm temperatures but can still be used as an annual in areas with cold winters. Place this plant in an area with lots of sunshine and rich, moist, well-draining soil.
To encourage more flowers to bloom, deadhead the spent blooms throughout its growing season. If allowed to go to seed, these plants will readily reseed themselves, producing plenty of flowers the following year. To prevent this, simply trim away spent blooms before they go to seed. Cockscomb is resistant to pests and most diseases, though fungal diseases can be an issue. Light Full sun will encourage plentiful growth of cockscomb. These plants can tolerate some shade, but shaded areas can harbor too much moisture and contribute to fungus or rot. At least 8 hours of direct sunlight will keep these plants healthy. Soil Cockscomb thrives in rich, nutrient-dense soil conditions and prefers neutral to slightly acidic pH levels. Well-draining soil is essential since it helps to ward off issues with fungal diseases. Water A regular watering schedule will keep these plants healthy, as they prefer evenly moist soil. However, be sure not to overwater. To avoid this, water once the top inch or two of the soil feels dry. Water at the base of the plant to avoid getting the leaves wet. Temperature and Humidity Cockscomb thrives in warm climates but can still be planted as an annual in areas with cold winters. In zones 9-11, it can be kept as a perennial. This plant can withstand both low and high humidity levels. Fertilizer Before planting a cockscomb plant, amend the soil with compost. This will enrich the soil with needed nutrients as well as help the soil drain excess water. During its growing season, apply liquid fertilizer monthly to support blooming. Propagating Cockscomb Propagate cockscomb by means of cuttings: Using clean garden snips, cut a stem that is at least a few inches tall. Remove the bottom sets of leaves, making sure the cutting has around two sets of healthy leaves near its tip. Dip stem in rooting hormone to help ensure root development. Plant the cutting into well-draining soil in a pot. Cuttings should root in 3 or 4 weeks. Tug on the plant gently--if you feel resistance, it has rooted. Transplant in the garden after hardening off, if you've grown the cutting inside. How to Grow Cockscomb from Seed When growing cockscomb from seeds, be sure to start the seeds around 8 to 10 weeks before your last frost date for planting. For cold climates where this plant grows as an annual, seed starting will need to be done indoors. For warm climates, this can be done directly in the garden. Here’s how: Very gently press the seeds into warm, moist, well-draining soil. The seeds need light to germinate, so don't cover with soil. Keep the soil moist. A plastic cover may be used to retain moisture. If so, air out the plants daily and mist the soil. Seedlings should appear in one to two weeks. Once seedlings appear, remove the plastic cover. Be sure the seedlings are in an area with abundant light. If kept indoors, they may require a grow light. Seedlings need 12 to 16 hours of light. Once the seedlings begin producing leaves true leaves (not the cotyledon, or first "seed" leaves), thin out each plant to one per pot. If in the garden, thin them out to around 10 inches apart. Once indoor seedlings are around a month old and have several sets of strong leaves, harden them off. Hardening off slowly and correctly is important, as changing conditions can stunt this plant’s growth. Make sure outdoor conditions are warm, and there's no chance of frost. Plant your seedling in their permanent location, keeping the soil line at the same height. Burying them too deeply can cause stem rot, while not burying deep enough can cause the plants to dry out. Potting and Repotting Cockscomb Because of this plant's compact size, cockscomb is a good option for adding bursts of color on patios or in container gardens. Just be sure the pot has good drainage holes to prevent an accumulation of too much moisture.
These plants should not need repotting very often, and it is best to avoid it. Cockscomb does not handle transplanting or changes in its environment very well, so leaving it in its pot unless absolutely necessary will spare this plant from additional stress. If you must repot, gently remove the plant and try not to disturb the root system. Place in a large pot and fill it in with rich, well-draining potting soil, not garden soil, as potting soil drains better. Be sure to bury the plant at the same depth as before. Overwintering The cockscomb cannot handle cold temperatures and is kept as an annual in areas with cold winters. If kept in a container, cockscomb can be brought indoors during the winter if it is provided with enough light. For areas with warm winters, no extra care is required for outdoor plants as cockscomb thrives in warm temperatures.
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Miss Chen
04月17日
Miss Chen
Encyclia, a genus of epiphytic orchids, comes from the Greek word enkyklein, which refers to the lip that encircles a column. The Encyclia Orchid (Encyclia cochleata) is also known as a cockleshell, clamshell or cochleata orchid. There are about 160 species and many natural hybrids of Encyclia Orchids distributed in Florida, Mexico, Central America, South America, and to Argentina. Plants can be anywhere from two inches long to very large pseudobulbs with leaves two feet long. The bract of the pseudobulb is usually a bright green. Typically, two or three leaves come from the top of the bulb. Longer than wide with a pointed tip, the leaves are thick to hold moisture. The lip, while not connected completely to the column, unfolds from it in a different color than the rest of the flower; it can be ruffled like a Cattleya or flat and broad like an Oncidium. Encyclia Orchids always seem to be in bloom. They are able to bloom for several months at a time. Clam-shaped flowers have intricate colors and markings. While some horticulturalists believe this type of orchid looks like a clam, others compare it to the shape of an octopus as the petals and sepals dangle freely. Yellowish-green petals hang down and create tentacles of sorts. Botanical Name Encyclia cochleata Common Names Encyclia orchid, Cockleshell or cochleata orchid, clamshell orchid Plant Type Epiphyte Mature Size Up to two feet tall depending on the variety Sun Exposure Indirect, medium to bright Soil Type Well-drained mix such as fir bark, lava rock, river rocks or hardwood charcoal Soil pH 5.5-6.5 Bloom Time Spring Flower Color Purple, brown, yellow, green and fuchsia Hardiness Zones 9, 10, 11 Native Area Damp forests, woodlands and swamps of southern Florida, Mexico, the West Indies, and Central and South America Encyclia Orchid Care The care of Encyclia Orchids can vary considerably depending on which species you select. They can be rather particular about the light and water they receive but are such beautiful plants that they are worth the effort. Light Place Encyclia Orchids in bright, indirect, filtered light (even brighter than is needed for Cattleya). They will grow under florescent bulbs, but natural light is best. An east-facing window provides ideal morning sunlight and protects the plant from the hot afternoon sun, which could scorch the leaves. Shade hot afternoon sun from the south with a sheer curtain. Encyclia, like Epidendrum, can also grow especially well beneath a house screening such as a pool or patio. Soil Pot in an exceptionally well-drained potting mix. Coarse fir bark, lava rock, river rocks, hardwood charcoal, bits of broken pottery and chunks of tree fern are all good options that will encourage the roots to be wet and then dry quickly. Water To welcome moderate humid air, place the pot atop damp pebbles and mist occasionally with a spray bottle. Encyclia Orchids are native to damp and warm forests, woodlands and swamps where they can be found growing on tree trunks and branches by absorbing moisture and nutrients from rain, air and water. South American species require very little water because they retrieve moisture from high humidity. Brazilian species don't need to be watered often either, only if the pseudobulbs shrivel. For species from Florida and the Caribbean, water every five to seven days in the warm months with tepid water or rainwater. Allow roots to dry between waterings. Water at the most every two weeks when the orchid goes dormant in winter. Begin watering more regularly as new growth appears. Central American species need a little less water than these species but more than their relatives from South America and Brazil. Temperature and Humidity Most orchids are hardy in USDA Zones 9 through 11 where conditions are at least semi-tropical. Maintain a warm, but not hot, daytime temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, open the window nearby and move the orchid to a place that is closer to 70 degrees. Such cooler temperatures will encourage the orchid to bloom. Fertilizer Fertilizer should be the same as the potting medium. Use 20-20-20 with tree fern or charcoal. Use 30-10-10 with fir bark. Feed the plant non-urea based fertilizer at half strength weekly, when the soil is moist in the warm months. Fertilize once a month or less in winter. Propagating Encyclia Orchids Divide into parts of four pseudobulbs or stems. Remove dead roots and set divisions aside. A week later, new root growth will likely emerge. Repot the new plants and place in slightly lower light for a few weeks. Are Encyclia Orchids Toxic? According to the ASPCA, the Florida Butterfly Orchid (E. tampensis) is non-toxic to cats, dogs and horses.
Encyclia Orchid Varieties Just a few of the many varieties of this orchid type include: Encyclia cordigeravar. rosea 'Dragon's Mouth': creates a rosy fuschia bloom from a maroon base. E. tampense 'Florida Butterfly Orchid': delicately accented by pink and white. E. randii 'La Selva': has petals that are brown, white and pink emerging from a green center. E. alata 'Sunset Valley Orchids': comes in a rustic brown and green topped with cool white dotted by subtle stripes. Potting and Repotting Neither Epidendrum nor Encyclia Orchids like being disturbed, so avoid repotting unless necessary. If needed, repot after flowering has stopped. Soak in warm water for 10 minutes to reduce the risk of root damage. Pot in a clay container, or if the humidity is high the orchid may also thrive in a wooden basket to allow for airflow over the roots and minimize overwatering issues. Plastic is okay too, though water evaporates slower in clay.
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Miss Chen
04月15日
Miss Chen
The cobra lily (Darlingtonia californica) is a unique and eye-catching plant thanks to its dramatic leaves that resemble the heads of cobra snakes. Its curling leaves rise from the base of the plant and round out into hooded foliage. Along with its almost startling appearance, these carnivorous plants also happen to have voracious appetites and will feed on insects as well as small vertebrates. Native to California and Oregon1, the cobra lily is often found growing in distinct groupings in boggy areas that are devoid of nutrition. Their hooded leaves secrete an aroma that attracts insects and then allows the plant to gather fuel from trapping and digesting their prey. Once inside, it's difficult for insects to escape. The plant will secretes digestive enzymes to help break down the animal matter. Unlike many other pitcher plants, because of their hooded shape, cobra lily plants are not able to collect rainwater to trap prey. These plants can spread asexually through runners and stolons, and they flower infrequently. The cobra lily is considered to be a true one-of-a-kind plant and possesses an exceptional structure and beauty.
Botanical Name Darlingtonia californica Common Name Cobra lily Plant Type Carnivorous Mature Size Up to 4 feet Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Moist, well-drained Soil pH 6-8 Bloom Time Spring Flower Color Red petals Hardiness Zones 7-10 Native Area North America Cobra Lily Plant Care Cobra lily plants require warm climates, full sun, and consistently wet and bog-like conditions in order to grow, and this can be difficult to replicate in a home garden. As such, these plants are considered to be difficult to cultivate, particularly outside of their native area. In order to successfully grow Darlingtonia californica in your own garden, the key is mimicking its native conditions as closely as possible. Light Cobra lilies will grow best in either full sun or partial shade. They will thrive when the roots are kept cooler than the rest of the plant. In full sun they tend to appear shorter and redder, while in partial shade conditions these plants grow taller and greener. Darlingtonia californica does, however, need a balanced, even light distribution in order to promote vibrant colors on its sepals. Water Quite possibly the most crucial element of cobra lily care is water, and these plants are particular about the type they receive. Rainwater is always the best option, but if watering at home you'll want to use spring, distilled, or purified (via reverse osmosis) water. Cobra lilies are sensitive to the chemicals and minerals found in tap water. These plants also prefer cool water, and some gardeners even place ice cubes on the soil and allow them to melt to add additional moisture and cool the plant's roots. This is particularly important on days when high temperatures soar above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Soil While proper irrigation is important to successfully grow cobra lily plants, the soil also has to be just right. Many gardeners opt for peat moss, perlite, and either lava rock or pumice to help create a soil mixture that allows for some cooling of the root system. Temperature and Humidity Though they do require cooler temperatures, humidity levels won't necessarily impact the growth of your cobra lily. However, it's recommended that humidity levels be kept at about 50 percent, which will help prevent the plant from drying out. Darlingtonia californica will not do well in excessively warm temperatures and prefer locations with cooler temperatures at night (in the 50s or 60s). Fertilizer The carnivorous cobra lily plants don't require fertilization as they feed themselves by ingesting insects and other pests.
Propagating Cobra Lily Propagation can be done by cutting the stolons of these plants, which will produce more surviving buds when compared to seed planting. It also leads to a larger, healthier breed of cobra lily plants. Seeds can also be used, but they will have to be kept refrigerated until the first quarter of the year (preferably February) and then planted in cold temperatures in sphagnum moss. Pruning The cobra lily doesn't require extensive pruning, but you can cut back dead stems and leaves on an as-needed basis. Growing in Containers Since cool temperatures are so important when growing Darlingtonia californica, you should opt for a plant container that is light in color and has proper drainage. Plastic pots, terracotta clay, and glazed ceramics are all acceptable options, as long as the container you choose does not absorb heat.
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Miss Chen
04月13日
Miss Chen
Few houseplants can boast blooms as vibrant as the fire lily (Clivia miniata). After your winter holiday when plants like poinsettias and amaryllis have faded, the fire lily fills a gap when the days are short and spring still seems far off. Despite its exotic appearance, the fire lily is easy to grow as a houseplant, producing large clusters of blooms in the dry environment of the typical home. This tropical perennial can also be grown as an outdoor landscape plant in USDA zones 10 to 11, where it is often massed in large drifts, much the way daylilies are used. The Clivia genus is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family of plants, a group that includes the amaryllis—the popular winter houseplant. They can be introduced into the home as potted nursery plants at any time; if planted in the garden in warm climates, they are best planted at any time other than the hottest part of summer. These slow-growing plants can take several years to flower when they are planted from seeds. Botanical Name Clivia miniata Common Name Fire lily, natal lily, bush lily, clivia Family Amaryllidaceae Plant Type Perennial Mature Size 2 ft. tall, 2–3 ft. wide Sun Exposure Partial Soil Type Well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Winter Flower Color Orange, yellow, cream, pink Hardiness Zones 10, 11 Native Area South Africa Toxicity Highly toxic in large quantities
Fire Lily Care Like many South African plants, the fire lily is a tough and resilient specimen. Too much sun or water, though, will cause the plant's demise. If you've purchased a fire lily and it won't bloom, it is usually due to a lack of winter dormancy or immaturity. Fire lilies will grow for years in the same pot with little intervention. Light Fire lilies prefer partially shady conditions, which makes them valuable as a houseplant. If you grow your plant indoors all year, place it in a bright window. If you give your plant an outdoor location in the summer months, put it in a spot with dappled sunlight or morning sun. Soil Good drainage is important to a healthy fire lily plant. A chunky soil mix full of shredded bark, like those used for orchids, is suitable for a container-grown plant. A sandy cactus mix is also a good choice. Water Fire lilies need moderate water. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. When it's time for the early winter dormancy period, reduce watering to keep the soil just short of bone-dry. Temperature and Humidity Average room temperatures and low humidity help fire lilies look their best. A cool dormancy period increases the beauty of fire lily flowering. You can achieve this by keeping the plants in an unheated shed or garage in November and December. Plants should be kept between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit during this time. If moving fire lilies back and forth between indoors and an outdoor location, it's best to acclimate them slowly if the temperature range is substantial. Make sure to bring them back indoors before the weather approaches freezing. Fertilizer A slow-release houseplant fertilizer can help your fire lily thrive. Use a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer from January until August, then use a fertilizer designed to increase blooming in September and October. Do not fertilize in the winter months leading up to bloom time. Types of Fire Lily Most fire lilies sold in garden centers are orange, fewer are yellow, and the rare and expensive cream or pink varieties are usually found through specialty nurseries. 'Doris' is dark orange with a yellow throat. 'Jenny' is orange with a yellow stripe. 'Tiny Tim' has shorter leaves and miniature orange blooms with white throats. 'Solomone Yellow' is a bright yellow. 'Vico Yellow' is a very pale yellow.
Pruning No pruning is necessary for the fire lily. You can remove dead foliage as needed to keep the plant tidy. Potting and Repotting Fire Lily Fire lilies will grow happily in a container for years. A porous terra cotta pot will help with air circulation around the roots, preventing rot. Do not place a saucer under the pot; instead, you should use pot feet to let extra water drain away. Fire lilies are slow-growing and like to be a little bit rootbound, so you won't need to repot them often. However, if the soil mix you used is getting compacted over time, give the fire lily a fresh pot of soil to maintain good aeration. Propagating Fire Lily You can propagate fire lilies by gently digging and dividing them. The base of the plant will branch off into thick roots that are easy to cut apart. Remove the plant from its pot and wash away the soil with a hose or sink sprayer. Each division should have one fan of leaves. If your plant doesn't have at least a dozen leaves, it won't flower. How to Grow Fire Lily From Seed Growing the fire lily from seed takes patience, as it may take several years for the slow-growing plants to bloom. Plant fresh seed collected from the fruiting capsule after bloom. Press seeds lightly into moist, sandy potting soil, and keep warm. Germination takes about three weeks. Overwintering When grown as houseplants, fire lilies require a rest period of about two to three months in fall and winter. For the first month, give them a temperature between 40- and 60-degrees Fahrenheit. After this, water just barely for six to eight weeks. When new flower stalks appear, you can give them more water and gradually acclimate them to normal room temperatures. Common Pests Mealybugs sometimes infest fire lilies. The fuzzy white pests will hide in the crown of the plant and suck out its juices. Dislodge them with a spray of water or use insecticidal soap. FAQ What is the difference between fire lilies and amaryllis? Fire lilies are in the same plant family as the popular winter holiday gift plant amaryllis (Hippeastrum). Both have the same strappy foliage, and both are from South Africa. The amaryllis has larger flowers and blooms earlier in the year. The amaryllis has several hundred cultivars, so you can find a greater diversity in size, shape, and color within the amaryllis group than you can in the fire lilies. How long does a fire lily live? These hardy plants can survive for 10 years or so with proper care. Keep in mind that they might not bloom during the first season or two. How can I keep animals away from my fire lily? When growing the fire lily as a houseplant, keep it out of reach of curious dogs. When it's growing outside, consider covering the bed with wire mesh just underneath the soil, with appropriate-sized holes cut for the plant to grow through to prevent animals from digging up or munching on the bulbs.
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Miss Chen
04月11日
Miss Chen
Climbing hydrangea (hydrangea anomala petiolaris) provides all of the beauty of a traditional hydrangea bush, but in a trailing variety used to add visual interest to walls or fences. Native to Asia, this hydrangea species yields flowering deciduous vines and is best planted or transplanted in the late spring. A true climber, hydrangea anomala petiolaris contains holdfasts (suckers) on its branches, allowing it to scale structures without the use of a trellis. Climbing hydrangea plants grow very slowly and may take up to three to five years just to reach the flowering stage. That said, once the plant is established, this eye-catching centerpiece can reach a height of 50 feet or more at maturity, and produce fragrant, lacy white flowers all summer long. However, be careful where you plant it, as all parts of hydrangea plants are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.1 Common Name Climbing hydrangea Botanical Name Hydrangea anomala petiolaris Family Hydrangeaceae Plant Type Vine Mature Size 30 to 50 ft. tall, 5 to 6 ft. wide Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade Soil Type Moist, but well-drained Soil pH Acidic Bloom Time Late spring, summer Flower Color White Hardiness Zones 4–8 (USDA) Native Areas Asia Toxicity Toxic to dogs and cats1 Climbing Hydrangea Care Hydrangea vines are often trained to grow up the side of houses, fences, pergolas, or trellises, or over the top of a garden arbor. Because the vines grow to become large and heavy, it's important to make sure that the host structure can support the plant's weight, and that you prune it seasonally.
Climbing hydrangea can also be maintained in shrub form or used as a ground cover, as it takes root wherever the suckers make contact with the ground. Cultivating the plant in this way makes for a decorative garden floor and also cuts down on weed growth. Light Climbing hydrangea grows best in full sun to part shade. However, unlike other flowering vines, this variety can tolerate quite a bit of shade, especially in hot climates where they actually prefer at least partial (or even full) shade at some point in the day. In sunny regions, make sure your plant is consistently and adequately watered. One note: Any hydrangea exposed to full sun will bloom more vibrantly and fully than one that experiences a lot of shade. Soil Plant your climbing hydrangea in garden beds that contain rich, moist soil with good drainage. Depleted beds may need amending with a nutrient-dense compost before planting or transplanting. Climbing hydrangea isn't particular about its soil pH level but will grow and bloom best in a mixture that is slightly acidic in nature. In order to help maintain moisture in the soil (and to curb overwatering), maintain a 3-inch layer of mulch around the root zone seasonally. Water Similar to other hydrangea plants, climbing hydrangea likes its soil consistently moist. In fact, the Greek root hydr- in the name refers to "water," while angeon comes from the Greek word "vessel." The plant needs to receive at least one inch of water weekly (either by rain or traditional watering methods), and can sometimes require more if the weather is especially hot or dry. Temperature and Humidity Climbing hydrangea plants do well in temperate climates, but they don't like hot and humid conditions. The plant can be damaged easily by intense sun and prefers daytime temperatures that hover around 70 F, and night temperatures around 60 F. Additionally, climbing hydrangea vines will only set buds if they experience at least six weeks of temperatures below 65 F. Lastly, a sudden frost can damage buds, impeding your plant's flowering the following year. Fertilizer Climbing hydrangeas are considered "low maintenance" when it comes to fertilizing. In fact, you can usually just let your plant be for the first three years. After that, fertilize it in the spring before the leaves begin to bud, only if you are noticing issues with yellowing leaves. If so, use a 10-10-10 product at just below the suggested amount on the label. Fertilizer with a high phosphorous count will also help create beautiful blooms. In the late summer or fall, make sure to spread a 1-inch layer of compost around your plant, topped with an inch or two of mulch. Types of Climbing Hydrangea The Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris is the most common variety of climbing hydrangea. It yields white flowers and has excellent frost and heat tolerance. The Miranda variety has variegated leaves that are part yellow and part green. One of the more decorative varieties, Mirandas can grow up to 50 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The Silver Lining climbing hydrangea produces silvery-grey variegated leaves. This variety is finicky, however, preferring partial shade over full sun or full shade. The Flying Saucer variety is known for its inflorescences that resemble flying saucers. These showy white blooms look fabulous against their backdrop of bright green foliage. Pruning Newly planted climbing hydrangea vines are slow to grow and slow to bloom, but it's worth the wait for the years of enjoyment they bring. Start out with the largest plants possible—of course, you will pay extra at the garden center for larger plants—and prune only the dead and damaged branches each year, in late spring or early summer. Once the plant is established, climbing hydrangea grows vigorously and may need summer pruning or shaping to your liking. Cutting and drying hydrangea flowerheads is a favorite pastime for seasoned gardeners. Once dry, climbing hydrangea flowers turn reddish-brown, and the heads can be used in crafts, dried bouquets, or incorporated into a dried arrangement for the home. Propagating Climbing Hydrangea Propagate climbing hydrangea in May or June by taking a cutting from the stem of an established plant. Propagating an already thriving hydrangea offers a way to shape and prune your existing garden treasure, while also assuring any additional plants will maintain the same look. Climbing hydrangea is simple to propagate and transplant with a few trusty supplies. Here’s how: Gather your sharp garden shears, an alcohol wipe, potting soil, rooting powder, a potting tray, clear plastic wrap, small plant stakes, and a spray bottle. Wipe your shear blades with alcohol. Select a healthy green stem without buds. Cut a stem 3 to 5 inches long, making your cut 2 inches below the leaf node and high enough on the stem so that you don't encounter the woody part. Use your shears to carefully remove all but the top two leaves on the cutting. If you damage the stem, discard it and start over with another cutting. Prepare a potting tray with potting soil that contains a mixture of loam and perlite. Dip the end of your cutting in your rooting powder and stick it into a prepared hole in the moist soil. Cover your planting with plastic wrap or a plastic bag, and use plant stakes to support it. Place your tray in an area that receives low light and maintains a stable temperature of 70 F to 75 F. Mist the soil regularly with a spray bottle. In one month, your cutting should begin to root. At this point, expose it to the morning sun for a few weeks by taking it outside, and then bringing it back in. Plant your cutting in your garden bed in the spring, once temperatures have warmed. How to Grow Climbing Hydrangea From Seed Growing climbing hydrangea from seed involves filling a pot with soil and placing the seeds on top (not buried beneath). Keep the soil moist and place your pot in a sunny window. In approximately 14 days, your seeds will germinate. When you begin to see shoots, it's safe to transplant your seedling into your garden bed when spring temperatures become warm. Overwintering Make sure to water your climbing hydrangea up until the bitter end of the season. These plants need a good drenching before going to sleep for winter. Once the ground has frozen, dress the base of the plant with manure or another organic compost mixture, as this will provide the plant with nutrients come spring. (In warmer zones, you can add compost when the weather starts to cool.) Next, apply a substantial layer of hardy mulch to keep the plant's roots warm. Decorative mulch will work, as will straw, hay, or fallen leaves. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Climbing hydrangea faces similar issues to those of traditional hydrangea plants. Because of the density of the foliage and blooms, this variety can become afflicted with mildew and leaf spot. As for pests, you may spot signs of spider mites, scale, and aphids, all of which can be treated with a mild insecticide or, a non-toxic alternative, neem oil. How to Get Climbing Hydrangea to Bloom Climbing hydrangea is an exercise in patience, as the foliage will grow with abundance long before the plant flowers. Once established, assure summer blooms by pruning your hydrangea in late June or July, as new blooms will develop on the prior year's branches. Cutting in the fall, winter, or spring may cause you to snip off buds before they would otherwise flower. Common Problems With Climbing Hydrangea Once a mature vine has covered a surface, cracks in the surface can develop and become difficult to see or access for repairs. Also, the weight of the vines may loosen surfaces like shingles, siding, and clapboard, and you won't be able to access the surface to paint it without massive pruning. Lastly, vines on a house may also grow into areas like gutters, making regular maintenance a problem. Sufficient pruning can control this, but it can be difficult to do so on a multistory home.
FAQ How long can climbing hydrangea live? Climbing hydrangea can live for up to five years in the right conditions and with proper care, like ample watering, afternoon shade, and mid-summer pruning. What is the difference between climbing hydrangeas and false hydrangea vine? Climbing hydrangea yields only white and off-white flowers, whereas false hydrangea vine comes in many different colors. Also, climbing hydrangea has four-petaled flowers dispersed around non-showy reproductive structures. False hydrangea vine has single sail-like bracts for flowers, instead. Why is climbing hydrangea considered a four-season plant? Climbing hydrangea looks great in all four seasons. In the spring, the bright green foliage climbs walls and trellises. In the summer, abundant lacy blooms proliferate. In the fall, the glossy leaves turn yellow with the change of seasons. And in the winter, the shedding bark adds texture to barren gardens.
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Miss Chen
04月09日
Miss Chen
Red Campion (Silene dioica) is an easy-to-grow herbaceous perennial. A native to Europe, and viewed as a weed in many native areas, this plant's commonly known cultivar in the United States is Clifford Moor1, although other varieties of Silene, such as Silene acaulis, Silene stellata, Silene caroliniana, and Silene coronaria, thrive throughout the U.S. Red Campion is identifiable by its star-shaped, pink-red flowers and green and white variegated leaves. The plant is drought-tolerant, shade-loving, and grows approximately 24 inches tall with a three-foot spread. This flower is a popular inclusion in the "spiller-filler-thriller" style of potted plant design, as the spiller feature. It also fares well when grown in clumps, as a border plant in rock gardens, or in meadow and cottage garden settings. Red campion is also known to be attractive to pollinators. When it is in bloom from May through July, in most zones, you will see bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds drawn to it. Botanical Name Silene dioica Common Name Clifford Moor, Variegated Catchfly, Morning Campion Plant Type Herbaceous evergreen perennial Mature Size Up to 24" high, 3' wide Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand Soil pH 7-10 Bloom Time Late spring through early summer Flower Color Pink-red Hardiness Zones 5-8 USDA Native Area Europe, United Kingdom
Red Campion Care The first decision to be made is whether to grow Silene in the ground or as a potted plant. Campion has showcasing variability and can highlight the garden in pots or as an edging feature. This is not a fickle plant and will grow well in drought and low-watering conditions, in a variety of soil types. Campion thrives in full sun to partial shade and is low maintenance with seasonal fertilization and minimal pruning. The cultivated Clifford Moor variety of the Silene dioica is not considered invasive, however, the original species from Europe is categorized as invasive in some areas of the U.S. Check with your local Extension office to ensure the variety you select is approved. Just to be sure, it is always a good idea to plant it in an area where it won't negatively impact native plant habitats. Light Red campion varieties flourish in full to partial sun. When selecting placement locations, focus on an area with southern exposure where the plant can receive at least six hours of sunlight. If you only have a partial shade location, though, not to worry. This plant will still grow in a more shady spot. In its native habitat, red campion is associated with growing along semi-shaded woodland edges and hedgerows. Soil Red campion grows best in dryer sandy and gravel-laden soils and it won't do well in heavy clay. While the plants prefer moisture, the soil must have excellent drainage. They can thrive in a range of soil pH levels. Once the plant has been established in the soil, it is best to leave it alone. Water Silene dioica is drought-tolerant but does prefer moist soil. However, it can succumb to root rot if left in standing water, so care needs to be taken not to over-water. This plant is a perfect addition to a xeriscape landscape due to its versatility for water needs.
Temperature and Humidity Red campion is hardy in zones 5 through 8. It can tolerate cold but when temperatures are excessively hot this plant will need some type of shade and soil moisture. Fertilizer This plant can grow in a wide variety of soils and does not need any type of additional fertilizer to help it grow. Pruning Red Campion doesn't need much pruning. To keep it blooming, deadhead on a regular basis. Once this plant stops blooming gardeners can decide if they want to prune these evergreens down to the base. Growing Red Campion From Seeds Sow seeds six to 20 inches apart, and lightly cover with soil. If conditions are right, you should see good success as red campion germinates easily from seeds. If started indoors, plant Red campion seedlings after the threat of frost has passed in early spring for late spring to summer blooms or in late autumn for early spring blooms. Dig for width, not depth, since this plant will spread and clump as it grows. Plant so the crown is even with the soil but do not cover the crown.
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Miss Chen
04月07日
Miss Chen
Cineraria is a hybrid plant, a cross between Pericallis cruenta and P. lanata, species that are native to the Azores and Canary Island. Cineraria is a tender perennial, hardy in zones 9 to 11, but it is usually grown as an annual or short-lived seasonal houseplant. Known for a wide range of colors and long-lasting blooms, Cineraria comes in vibrant shades of pink, red, purple, blue, and many bi-colors. Cineraria is a mound-forming plant with large leaves that becomes covered with blossoms during its blooming season. It prefers cool weather, so as a garden plant it is usually grown for spring blossoms, then removed from the garden in favor of summer-blooming annuals after the bloom period is over. Many gardeners prefer to use them for container culture rather than as in-ground bedding plants. As outdoor plants, cineraria plants are usually planted from nursery starts in the spring, which have been commercially grown to provide cool-season spring blooming. But these plants bloom about four months after seed germination, so it's possible to dictate the bloom period by carefully selecting the time when you sow seeds. Sowing in late summer, for example, can give indoor flowering plants for Christmas. Common Name Cineraria, Florist's cineraria Botanical Name Pericallis × hybrida Family Asteraceae Plant Type Tender perennial, usually grown as annual Mature Size 6–12 in. tall, 9–12 in. wide Sun Exposure Partial to full shade Soil Type Moist but well-draining Soil pH Acidic (5.5–6.0) Bloom Time Seasonal bloomer; blossoms 16 to 18 weeks after seed germination Flower Color Various (no yellow) Hardiness Zones 9–11 (USDA) Native Areas Nursery hybrid; parent species are from the Azores and Canary Islands
Cineraria Care The flamboyant colors of cineraria, as well their versatile daisy shape, have made them increasingly popular in the United States in recent years as a decorative annual. But if you happen to live in a very warm zone (USDA 9 to 11) you can try growing them as perennials. As an annual, they hold their color for a decent period of time, so make sure they stay evenly moist and deadhead them continually to encourage new buds, and you'll have weeks of glorious colorful blooms from spring through summer. Light Cineraria will do best in filtered sunlight or partial shade conditions and it resents full sunlight. If grown as a short-lived indoor plant, however, it likes more light. Soil Cineraria like a rich, moist, slightly acidic soil that has good drainage. Amendments such as peat moss and coffee grounds can help create good coil conditions for this somewhat fussy plant. When grown indoors, a standard potting mix works well, as it contains a high percentage of peat which ensures an acidic pH. Water Cineraria needs constant moisture but it still needs to breathe. Water well and frequently at the base of the plant, checking the soil to make sure it feels moist but not soggy. Steady watering in hot weather is a must. But at the same time, cineraria doesn't like constantly soggy soil, which can encourage root and crown rot diseases. Thus, it's critical that frequent watering is paired with well-draining soil. Temperature and Humidity Cineraria is temperamental about temperature. The preferred temp is between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If temps dip below 35 degrees at night, the plants will die, and if they go above 80 degrees, they'll stop blooming. In the heat of summer, make sure cineraria plants stay in shade; it may be necessary to bring potted plants indoors during very hot days. When grown indoors, cineraria plants like a cool environment; they will bloom longer with daytime temperatures of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temps of 50 to 55 degrees. These flowers thrive in an environment that is humid yet not quite tropical. Even if your location is not consistently humid, you can approximate the climate needs of this plant by keeping the soil around it consistently moist. However, avoid making the ground too soggy as this can cause root rot. The best way to provide this humidity for both indoor and outdoor plantings is to create a pebble tray. Spread a layer of pebbles or pea gravel on a low dish or tray and place it beneath the container. Keep filled with water to up to a 1/2 inch in depth (that may mean refreshing it daily if your house has dry air). As that water evaporates it will create an evenly humid atmosphere around the plant. Misting is not recommended as it may overwhelm the flower petals. Fertilizer Feed cineraria plants with a half-strength balanced fertilizer every two weeks, beginning at the point where flower buds appear. These plants have a steady appetite, but don't want to be gorged with fertilizer. Types of Cineraria Cineraria is usually offered in various named color mixes. Some popular ones include the 'Senetti' mix, which includes blue, light blue, magenta, pink, and bicolors; 'Cruenta Amigo' mix, including blue, red, purple, magenta, and white flowers, often with white eyes; 'Satellite Mix', featuring ground-hugging 8-inch plants; and the 'Early Perfection' series, with compact 8- to 10-inch plants ideal for small pots. Pruning Deadheading spent flowers will both keep the plants looking tidy and extend the bloom season by prompting the plant to produce additional flower buds. After flowering is complete, these plants are usually pulled out and replaced with summer-flowering annuals. Propagating Cineraria Cineraria is usually propagated from seed, but you can also propagate new plants for indoor winter growing by taking stem cuttings in fall: Cut a 4- to 6-inch stem tip, preferably one without flowers. Remove all but the top leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then plant it in a small pot filled with ordinary potting soil. Moisten the soil and place the planted cutting in a large plastic bag, taking care that the plastic does not touch the leaves. Place the cutting in a cool location with good indirect light. Periodically check the cutting to see if roots have formed (tug on the stem; with a rooted cutting you'll be able to feel resistance). When roots have formed, remove the plastic bag and continue to grow the cutting in a relatively cool location with bright light but out of the direct sun. Propagated in this manner, the new plant should flower within about three months. How to Grow Cineraria From Seed Popular in the commercial trade as a cut flower, cineraria is most commonly propagated by seed. Plant the seeds in small pots or flat trays containing commercial seed-starter mix, lightly pressing the seeds into the soil. Do not cover them, as they need light to germinate. Keep the seeds moist; germination generally takes 14 to 21 days. As seedings develop their true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots to continue growing. The plants will bloom 16 to 18 weeks after seed germination. If grown as garden perennials, these plants will readily reseed themselves and colonize. If you wish to prevent this, deadhead the flowers before the seeds mature. Potting and Repotting Cineraria When grown in containers, cineraria does well in an ordinary commercial potting mix with a high peat content. For best bloom, they prefer to be somewhat root-bound, so smallish containers with good drainage are usually sufficient. These are not easy plants to grow indoors as houseplants, as they require careful control of temperatures (cool) and humidity (high). Give indoor potted plants more light than is required for outdoor plants. Overwintering Once they flower, cineraria is reluctant to bloom again, so the plants are often removed from the garden once the flowering is complete. If you live in a climate where cineraria can be grown as garden perennials, you may want to leave the plants in place so that they will self-seed and create new volunteer plants. Common Pests & Plant Diseases Cineraria is subject to quite a number of plant pests and diseases. Indoor plants are often more susceptible than outdoor garden plants. Aphids, thrips, spider mites, white fly and leaf miners can all feast on cineraria. The best treatment is a spray with a horticultural oil such as neem oil, or a chemical pesticide. Disease issues include powdery mildew, gray mold, fungal rot of the crown or roots, and various plant viruses. Keeping soil moisture levels and humidity levels correct will prevent many disease problems, but badly affected plants may need to be removed. How to Get Cineraria to Bloom Failure to bloom can usually be traced to a lack of water or nutrients. Cineraria is a relatively demanding plant that needs a half-strength feeding every two weeks. Frequent light feeding is the key to good flowering. These plants also require soil that is consistently moist but not soggy. Common Problems With Cineraria The trickiest part of growing cineraria is getting the moisture levels right. Too much water induces root or crown rot, while too little water will prevent the profuse blooming that these plants are famous for. They are also quite sensitive to temperature, preferring coolish conditions and often succumbing when conditions are too warm. It's best not to grow cineraria at all if you live in very hot climate, and excessively dry or rainy conditions are also problematic.
FAQ How was cineraria developed? These, cheery, colorful daisy-like flowers are in the Asteraceae (aster) family, which also includes sunflowers, daisies, strawflowers and ageratum. The parent species (Pericallis cruenta and P. lanata) were first discovered by horticulturists from the British Royal Gardens in 1777, growing in the Azores and Canary Islands on cool ocean cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. The varieties now popular in the trade are derived from the hybrid cross of these two species. How can I use this plant in the landscape? Cineraria is most often used as an annual, either for garden beds or more often as a container plant for patios, decks, or window boxes, or as a short-lived indoor flowering plant. There is nothing subtle about cineraria, so they are popular whenever you want to make a bold color statement. The cobalt blue shades are especially popular in summer to create red, white, and blue arrangements for Independence Day. How long does Cineraria live? Even when it can be grown as perennial in warm climates, cineraria does not readily rebloom after flowering, so in most areas, this short-lived perennial is simply discarded after the flowering is complete. How do I force cineraria into winter blooming as a houseplant? Cineraria is a seasonal bloomer that generally flowers 16 to 18 weeks after seeds germinate and sprout. Thus, it's easy enough to dictate the bloom period by choosing the proper time to plant the seeds. For Christmas bloom, for example, you should plant seeds in late August to early September. Remember, though, that it's tricky to provide the proper cool and humid conditions when growing this plant indoors. This is why many people seeking winter-blooming plants simply buy them in season from a houseplant supplier.
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