Archive for March 2011
Growing orchids indoors is somewhat difficult task because it requires a lot of efforts and patience on part of grower. If you are also interested in growing orchids indoors but are not aware of exact conditions and instructions then read this article in which I have provided a number of useful instructions for growing orchids indoors:
- First step is to choose right variety of orchids. Those who are familiar with orchid types and varieties can buy these plants from any grocery store but people who don’t know much about orchids are required to purchase orchids from a good nursery. Personnel in nursery can prove very helpful because they can give tips about basics of growing orchids indoors. While choosing orchid plants, make sure that they don’t have black or brown patches on their leaves as these patches indicate that orchid plants have been attacked by a disease. Yellow leaves of orchid plants also show their poor health condition. Those orchids should be selected which have bright green foliage.
- You should also provide a suitable growing environment to orchids. As far as lighting is concerned, place orchids at a location which receives bright but filtered light. It is better to place them at a window facing east. If you don’t have such locations in your home then place orchids near a window and provide them with sheer curtains to protect them from intense sunlight.
- Orchids also require humidity for their healthy growth. Humidity can be provided either by using a humidifier or placing a tray or dish of wet gravel under the pot containing orchids. While doing this, make sure that plant does not remain in standing water since damp conditions may become a cause of different diseases.
- Water your indoor orchids only when soil gets dry. Most of new growers make a mistake by over watering their plants. If you want to check whether the pot is dry or not then follow a simple tip. Take a sharpened pencil and dig it in the soil near center. If the wood of pencil becomes wet after removing from soil, then it means that there is no need to water plants.
- Special care should be taken while potting. Keep in mind that orchids require proper drainage because orchids grow well when their roots are dry. Therefore potting medium should be permeable and light. In order to provide optimal drainage to plants, use a clay pot having large drainage holes.
- Feed your orchids regularly for their healthy growth. Feeding is necessary to ensure that plant is receiving all essential nutrients. Fertilizer solution with half or quarter strength can be applied to plants once a month during their growing season.
Above tips and instructions will help you to learn how to provide required environment to your indoor orchids and they will grow with their utmost beauty.
Zinnias are annual flowers having long stalk. They are mostly grown to decorate flower vases and making floral arrangements. Gardeners love to plant these flowers because of their beautiful colors like red, white, pink, yellow, orange and even these are found in multi-colors. They can also be grown in combination with other flowers to add more beauty to your garden. I am fond of growing different flowers in my garden. This year I decided to grow zinnias and to make it possible I made some research on requirements which are important for their healthy growth. These requirements are as follows:
- Soil condition is very important to consider while growing any kind of flower. So is the case with zinnias. They need well-drained soil having large amount of organic matter. Zinnias can also be grown if soil is poor and not well-drained but to improve their growth, you will be required to make some alteration in soil to get healthy and vigorous flowers.
- When it comes to sowing seeds, you are also required to make some preparations. Sow seeds either in already prepared seed box or directly into flower pots. For best results and in order to have better spacing between the plants, it is recommended to sow seeds indoors in germinating tray or seed box and then planting them in the in plots later.
- When the seedlings become ready for transplanting, plant them in plot after last frost of season. During plant’s growing period they are required to be watered to make the soil damp. This process of watering regularly should be continued until flowers begin to bloom.
- Proper space between plants is also important for their healthy and fit growth but remember that planting distance varies with size of zinnia plant which you want to grow in your garden. Miniature varieties require a distance of 4 to 6 inches between them while gigantic varieties may require a distance of 1 to 2 feet.
- When you feel that plants have been set in beds and are fully established, you will then require putting some mulching material around their base. It is necessary to do so in order to protect plants against weeds and to maintain moisture of soil. You will require providing general purpose fertilizer at least once a month to make zinnia producing more flowers. Mostly zinnias begin to produce flowers during mid-summer until start of frostiness.
- These flowers are also required to be removed when they die away. This will encourage growth of some new blooms. If you have planted giant varieties of zinnia, then prune long branches that stimulate new branches to grow.
- Pest and disease control is necessary for growth of plants but in case of zinnias, you will not require to bother as these plants are tough and defiant to attack of pests and diseases. In spite of this, if you still feel that your plants are attacked by some pests, provide them with insecticidal soap which you can make at home. Fungicides are also very effective in this regard.
Following above given instructions, you will be able to make your garden look colorful with different varieties of zinnias. Zinnias grown in your garden can also be used for making decorations on different events like weddings and birthdays.
Rock rose which is also commonly known as Cistus, is a plant in form of a bush having single rose like flowers. Some of its varieties grow up to five feet tall whereas some others species grow lower and come in form of ground covers. These are evergreen plants having short lived flowers but if proper ways are adopted for their growth and care, they can produce new blooms everyday during entire summer season. I am a rock rose lover and have some important tips on growing rock rose which are given below for your help and information.
Some growth requirements and conditions are given below:
Light and Weather Conditions
These plants require full sun for their healthy growth and the best thing which I like about rock rose is that they can also be grown on seashore as they easily tolerate salt air. They can bear hot weather conditions as well and maintain their rich and decorative look. Rock rose can also be grown in a garden that can bear drought making the garden looking lush and verdant.
As far as soil requirements are concerned, they should be grown in fertile soil having rough surface. If soil is richer than the requirements of rock rose then this plant will find it difficult to live through winter months. These plants like dry and stony soil lacking organic substances so use of gravel mulch is recommended for their healthy growth.
I must also mention here about watering tips for rock rose plant. Their roots are vulnerable and rot quickly in wet soils so good drainage is must for these plants. To improve drainage, I would recommend you to add sand to the planting hole.
Rootball of Cistus should be handled gently while planting because its roots are brittle and can break in case of improper care. People generally get confused about their growing season so for those people I would like to mention that the best growing season is early summer or late spring.
Cistus can be pruned to improve their growth and appearance. The best time to trim them is during their blooming period but trimming season also depends on regions in which they are grown. If you are growing them in colder regions then prune them at the end of winter and if they are grown in mild winter regions, you are recommended to cut them back in autumn so remember to prune them annually.
Following the above given tips, you can grow Cistus and surprise your guests with a unique look of your garden.
Marigolds are attractive and good looking flowers that can enhance grace and beauty of garden. They are very easy to grow and the best thing about these flowers is that their seeds can be preserved to plant these flowers and there is no need to buy them every year. I have done some research on the methods of preserving marigold seeds and the best method which I found is explained below:
Things you will Needs to Dry Seeds
The things that will be required for drying and preserving seeds include:
- Dead Seeds heads of marigolds
- Paper bag
Method of preserving marigold seeds is as follows:
- Picking Time: Marigold seeds are picked during fall season, so choose a sunny morning to pick the seeds but remember to do this after the dew has dried.
- Seeds to Be Picked: Now pick a bunch of seeds from plant that are fleshy and hard. Don’t pick spongy seeds.
- Placing Them in Tray: Place these seeds in a tray spreading them in one layer.
- Drying the Seeds: Place seeds in a warm and dry place. This process can take place in an oven that makes the drying process faster. Temperature required to dry them is 140 degrees. It is very important to let the seeds dry because if they don’t get dry, they will be eaten by bugs and insects and your effort to preserve seeds for next season will go in smoke.
- Storing the Seeds after Drying: After drying the seeds, put them in a paper bag and keep it in a cool and dry place. Do remember to keep them covered to protect them from spiders and mice as seeds are delicious food for them. An interesting fact about the marigold seeds is that each seed has further 150 seeds so picking a few handfuls of seeds would be more than enough for your garden.
Here the process of preserving marigold seeds is completed. Now they are ready to be separated and planted in spring season. Seeds that should be picked must have bright black section, so pick seeds carefully, dry them and then plant them in your garden.
Perennials are the flowers, plant and shrubs having a longer lifespan. After a long winter, gardeners wish to grow some perennials that can beautify their garden with such flowers that are long-lasting. Some home gardeners do not know which perennials spring flowers should be planted in their gardens therefore I am going to share information about some perennial flower for guidance of such amateur gardeners:
This perennial is short-lived as compared to other perennials. Its blooms are very beautiful and come in different colors including white, salmon, yellow and blue. Crested iris grows well in shady areas and can adjust to all moisture conditions. It grows even better when it is planted in flower beds.
Moss phlox is a perennial that blooms in the months of April and May. Its flowers are very attractive and come in the shades of red, pink, white and purple. This plant requires full sun and well-drained soil to grow well. It has the ability to grow in different soil conditions and it can even tolerate drought. Moss phlox can be grown in containers, beds or in rock gardens.
Candytuft is an evergreen flowering shrub that produces white flowers in late spring and early summer. It can grow to a height of six to twelve inches. Candytufts should be planted in full sun and are required to be sheared after flowering in order to keep them shaggy.
It is also a perennial that produces white flowers in late spring or early summer. This plant has deep green low foliage and needs full sun for its proper growth. It can also tolerate light shade and grow better in well-drained soil. These flowers can be planted in borders, pots or near the waterways.
These are the shrubs that grow first in early spring producing beautiful yellow flowers. They can be grown either in full sun or light shade. These bushes grow very fast and fill in the area very quickly.
These were some perennials spring flowers that you can grow to add to the grace and exquisiteness of your garden.
Orchid family is a vast flowering family having more than 25000 species and a wide variety of colors like blue pink, purple etc. Moreover they come in different patterns of colors like spotted or sectioned in color blocks. There are some varieties of orchids that are known and loved for their beautiful purple color. Purple orchids have further different types. Here I am going to describe types of purple orchids which you can grow in your home and consequently add to the beauty and elegance of your house.
Cattleya orchids are one of the purple orchids. In the center of the flower, these orchids have distinctive gullet having deep magenta or intense purple color. Cattleya plants and cut flowers that are found for sale have light lavender to deep violet color.
These orchids produce numerous blooms on long and curved stems. These flowers are found in violet purple color or pale lavender color. Dendrobiums come in a variety of colors including soft lavender, lilac purple and deep blue black purple. Deep blue black purple can be in solid purple petals or it can have white blooms with deep purple tips.
The vanda orchids are also a type of purple orchids having different shades of purple. The vanda orchids which are available for sale have bright purple color having blue tinges. A pale white pattern of the petals give a much textured appearance to vanda orchid. This textured appearance is sometimes giving a very hard look to flowers on some plants while on some other plants it gives a softer look.
Moth orchid is a type of orchid flowers that are commonly found in florist shops and grocery stores. They bloom in different shades of purple color from pale lavender-pink to deep violet having white freckled spots. As compared to the cool bluish purple touch of vanda orchids, they give somewhat warmer look with purple color mixed with pink.
These orchids are very stylish, sophisticated and exotic looking plants that have a single bloom on a long and hairy stem. These flowers have deep reddish purple color and black purple gullet while the lower petal has lighter color in the center.
Blue orchids are somewhat rare flowers even some of its species are in danger of extinction. The reason is that their natural environment is being destroyed. Growing blue orchids is quite challenging but following some instructions and tips can make it easy to grow blue orchids. And when proper care is taken, blue orchids produce flowers three times in a year and last for almost one month.
- Blue orchids usually grow beside trees and their above-ground roots hang freely. If you want to grow them in your home you will have to select the appropriate pot. The best method is to grow blue orchids in baskets. Another option is to grow them along a big piece of cork bark with their roots hanging down. In this way, roots will be able to absorb moisture from air. The best tip for growing blue orchids is to allow their roots to grow without controlling them.
- The other factor that demands consideration is the medium in which you are going to grow blue orchids. These are unique and rare plants and they can not be grown in common potting soil. They grow best in the medium which contains a mixture of pine bark, fir bark and osmunda fiber. If you are a new grower then the best option for you will be to purchase pre-made orchid mixture from a garden center.
- Blue orchids require a plenty of water as it is important for flowering of blue orchids. The blue orchids should be watered everyday during their growing season (from June to September). And during the rest of the months, keeping them moist would be sufficient. After the blue orchids bloom, don’t water them for two weeks and allow them to get dry and then water them again.
- As other orchid plants, blue orchids also require a proper amount of light. Place them in such an area where they can receive a plenty of light as they grow best in intense sunlight. If you are growing them in green house then hang them from the roof near to the glass so that it can receive the required amount of sunlight.
- Feeding the blue orchids with proper fertilizers is also necessary. A good plant food should be given to blue orchids from June to mid October after every two weeks. That plant food should be high in potash at half potency. Feed the plants at quarter strength once a month from November until June.
- Re-potting is another factor that should be considered. Re-potting should be done with special care. When orchids have grown and start producing flowers, they are required to be re-potted after every one or two years. If you will do that, your blue orchids will continue producing flowers.
These were some tips regarding the growth and care of very rare blue orchids. Follow these tips and have beautiful blue orchids in your home.