Archive for October 2010
Daylily is usually referred to the species, hybrids and cultivars of the genus Hemerocallis. Gardening experts hybridize these plants, resulting in a wide range of colors and forms of its flowers. To identify its bloom in a garden, one should know about the different parts of plant and also flower characteristics of Hemerocallis.
Here are the main points that will help you in identifying a daylily bloom in a garden.
Hemerocallis Bloom Structure:
Daylily is the common name of Hemerocallis. Its flower is a tubular shaped bloom and is often scented. The petals of the bloom mostly consist of six perianth segments arranged in two rows. If looking at it from above, you will see three inner petals covering with three outer sepals. A daylily with double flowers is known as Polymerous because there are more than six perianth segments in it.
The center vein of a petal or sepal is called midrib that runs along the length. The term midrib is used to describe the color or pattern in a daylily bloom.
The centermost inner part of the flower is called throat, and the place above the throat is called eye zone which creates a visual circle around the flower.
Daylily plants bloom from summer through winter and its blooms last for only one day. Flowers of some species of Hemerocallis open in the morning and shrivel in the evening, whereas some of its species bloom at night.
Perennial Daylily Plant Form:
A daylily plant is the perennial, and grows in a large bunch with long strap-like leaves, mostly 1 ft – 2 ft long. The plant has vertical leafless flower stems known as scapes.
Excluding the bracts, scapes are leafless that appear from the crown of the daylily. Bracts are modified leaves affixed to the scape. These bracts indicate whether more branches will develop in future or not.
The white core between the leaves and the roots is called the crown of a daylily plant. It is planted underground. A part of the crown should be included when dividing the plant. The roots of a plant are quite fibrous, but the whole root system is very thick.
Hemerocallis in Flower Gardens
Generally, daylily plants grow in direct sunlight but they can also easily tolerate partially shady areas. They prefer humid and well-draining soil modified with organic matter. Daylilies also have enough ability to tolerate hard soil conditions, e.g. heavy clay, competition with tree roots for getting water and minerals etc. Also, strong and fully grown daylily plants can tolerate dearth conditions.
Daylily plants need minimum fertilizer for blooming and stay in good health when dug, separated, and replanted almost every three years. They can grow fast, and can easily fill the garden spaces.
Sunflowers are the bold and attractive flowers that add height and beauty to your garden. Their seeds can be sowed directly in outdoor soil, but they are the big attraction for the seed-eating birds and squirrels. Therefore, it is best to start seeding them indoors and later, when the danger of frost and animals is gone can be transplanted to the garden.
Following things are needed to plant sunflower seeds indoors:
- Sunflower seeds
- Terracotta pots
- Terracotta flood trays
- Clear plastic wrap
- Peat moss or Potting soil
- Old spoon or garden trowel
To start, place newspapers or an old cloth on the work area to keep the floor or ground clean.
Prepare the terracotta pots for the sunflower seeds:
The first step is to fill about three-fourth of the each pot with peat moss or potting soil. Place the filled terracotta pots on the flood tray.
Planting the sunflower seeds:
It is important to plant two or three sunflower seeds in each terracotta pot. You can either push the sunflower seeds down into the potting soil or place them on the top of the soil and cover them with another layer of potting soil. It is highly recommended to cover all the seeds with 1 inch of soil.
After planting, gently press the soil and water thoroughly until the soil is humid but not drenched. It is essential to keep the outside of the terracotta pots damp, and also try not to let the water stay in the flood trays for a long time.
Help the sunflower seeds sprout:
After planting the sunflower seeds in pots and placing them in the trays, its time to create a greenhouse effect for the seeds to germinate. For this, tightly cover each terracotta pot with the clear plastic wrap. Ensure that the plastic wrap is free of wrinkles and that the pots are fully sealed. This will help in keeping the moisture inside the growing area.
Place these covered pots in a sunny window and check them daily to ensure they are staying humid. Water them when the top layer of soil is dry. You can check the humidity and give water to them by peeling away a corner of the plastic wrap.
Once the seedlings reach half inch high, remove the plastic wrap and keep them at the room temperature so that the seedlings remain warm enough. Water them whenever necessary and provide enough light to make them grow fast.
The ideal time for transplanting the sunflower seedlings into outdoor soil is when they are a couple of inches tall and strong enough to grow in the outdoor environment.
Starting sunflower seeds indoors not only saves them from animals and cold temperatures but also provides them a good start on the growing season, giving beautiful and lovely flowers and adding splendor to the garden.