Orchid Flowers

Archive for April 2011

Flowers are a source of adding beauty and color to your garden. This beauty and color can be increased in another way. What is that? Yes, you can add another decorative and lively element in your garden and that is butterflies. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, you must know that what types of flowers attract butterflies. For your help and information, I would like to suggest you some flowers that will attract butterflies to your garden.

Aster

In Greek language, aster means a star and this name has been given to this plant because its flowers have a shape like that of a star. Being a member of Compositae family, these flowers are commonly found in North America having more than 175 species. These flowers also grow in South America, Europe and Asia. Blooms of aster have yellow color in the center and have a diameter of about half inch to two inches. They have attractive colors like purple, pink, yellow and white. These flowers are perennial and require full sunshine and drained soil for their proper and healthy growth and the kinds of butterflies which they attract include American painted lady, question mark, American snout and sleepy orange butterfly.

Butterfly Bush

These spiky flowers grow on six feet tall woody-stemmed bushes and can be grown from three to ten inches long. Having more than 100 species, these flowers are very fragrant and contain considerable quantity of nectar. They come in beautiful colors like red, purple, blue and pink and the butterflies which they attract include monarch, giant swallowtail, coma and mourning cloak.

Zinnias

These annual flowers grow on long and green stalk and belong to Asteraceae family. These flowers are round-shaped and are popularly known for their attractive colors like yellow, pink, orange and red. Zinnias are native to American Southwest and Mexico but at the same time they are grown in warm climates as well. Butterflies which are attracted by zinnias include silvery checkerspot, painted lady, cloudless sulphur and little glassywing.

These were some types of flowers that attract butterflies towards them so if you want to attract butterflies to your garden, you are required to plant these flowers in your garden.

Growing tropical flowers in your garden gives you immense pleasure as they will add more colors to your garden. But at the same time they need proper care for their healthy growth so some tips are needed to be kept in mind. Are you facing difficulty in taking care of your beautiful tropical flowers? If yes then read the tips given below:

  • Tropical flowers should be planted in well-drained garden beds having fertile soil. Another option may be to grow tropical flowers in a pot which should have fertile and quality soil and drainage holes at the bottom of pot.
  • Tropical flowers are required to be grown in an area that receives correct amount of sunlight. If you are growing tropical flowers in pots then place them at such a location where they can receive enough light. There are some types of tropical flowers like caladiums that need full shade or four hours of sunlight. Sun-loving tropical flowers including canna and bougainvillea need six or more hours of sunlight.
  • Providing mulch to tropical flowers is necessary because it is helpful in keeping the roots cool while maintaining soil dampness therefore I would recommend you to spread a two inch layer of mulch over the top of soil.
  • Most of the tropical flowers need to be watered when top half to one inch soil begins to feel dry so provide enough water to dampen top six inches of soil. In case you have grown tropical flowers in pots, you are needed to water them at top of the pot until surplus water drains from bottom of pot.
  • Bedding and potted flowers both require to be fertilized at least once in a month. Fertilizer used for this purpose should be soluble and of general purpose. Fertilizing should continue throughout spring and summer. Before fertilizing your tropical flowers, read the package for the recommended rate.
  • One last tip is to bring potted flowers indoors before first fall freeze. Evergreen plants should be kept in warm and sunny location and require to be watered continuously through winter season. On the other hand, dormant tropicals should be placed in cool dark location during winter months but take care that environment should be cool but not freezing.

That was all about the care of tropical flowers. Follow these tips to have beautiful tropical flowers in your home.

Jewel Orchids are the only type of orchids that are grown for its foliage instead of its flowers because it has beautiful velvety leaves. They look even more beautiful when they are grown in combination with other flowers. Are you also thinking of growing Jewel Orchids? If yes then I must tell you that growing Jewel Orchids is not difficult at all provided that you follow some important tips. These tips are:

  • Jewel Orchids require premium sphagnum or commercial terrestrial orchid mix so Jewel Orchids should be planted in right medium. If you have a stem cutting with you, you will be able to get it to root by placing it in water. After the Jewel Orchid has been rooted, you can gently pot it in sphagnum or orchid mix. Here you should make sure that roots are completely covered and soil can drain well because Jewel Orchids like damp conditions but they don’t like standing water at all.
  • Since Jewel Orchids like warmth and humidity so you will require choosing a right spot for their better growth. Jewel Orchids should never be grown in cool areas. Interestingly, Jewel Orchids grow very well in bathrooms as they like humid conditions and grow well under fluorescent lighting.
  • Jewel Orchids naturally grow in tropical rainforests therefore they grow best when they are provided with plenty of humidity. If you will provide sufficient humidity to your Jewel Orchids, you will see your orchids growing rapidly and flowering more. Though Jewel Orchids can also grow exterior of a terrarium, you can use terrarium to provide adequate dampness for their better growth.
  • Jewel Orchids require to be fertilized once a month. You are recommended to fertilize Jewel Orchids with such a product that is specific for terrestrial orchids. Good fertilizers will help you growing beautiful and healthy Jewel Orchids.
  • Jewel Orchids require to be watered regularly as they don’t like to be dry. One thing that is most important to remember is that they don’t like standing water either so wait until the soil begins to dry out before watering again. Don’t over-water your Jewel Orchids as dry Jewel Orchids are easier to protected than those damaged by damp conditions.

These were some important tips regarding healthy growth of Jewel Orchids. Follow these tips with full faith and confidence and have beautiful Jewel Orchids in your garden.

When people grow beautiful orchid flowers in their garden, they want it to bloom again and again but it is not possible without proper care and handling. Since I am an orchid lover, I have done some research to make orchids bloom time and again. During my research I found some wonderful tips which I will share with you:

  • Orchids bloom if they feel a 10 degree decrease in temperature at night. If you are growing orchids in such a place where seasonal weather can take care of temperature change then it is well and good otherwise you will have to adjust your thermostat.
  • In order to know about requirement of light, you will require examining color of orchid leaves. If leaves are dark green, it indicates more light requirements while on the other hand, yellowish, green or red leaves show that orchids are receiving too much of light. When I started growing orchids I made a mistake in determining light requirements so I would recommend you to properly take care of this matter because light requirements affect blooming of flowers.
  • Lighting should be adjusted gradually because light requirements vary with the types of orchids. Light should be increased in stages until a lush green shade appears in leaves. Increment in light is recommended to be gradual as extreme increase in sunlight can make orchids burn.
  • Remember that if orchids are grown in crowd, they are less likely to bloom. For this you can see whether roots are pressed against the side of pot or not. If it happens then you are required to repot orchid plant.
  • Watering carefully is another factor that needs special care because too much or too little watering can both spoil your plant. Orchids only bloom when watering conditions are absolutely right. Orchids should be watered only when surface of soil becomes dry. While watering orchids, also make sure that extra water is drained out of pot. For this pot should have drainage holes.
  • If you still feel that your efforts are not drawing desired results, you can visit a greenhouse. The staff there will give you important tips regarding blooming of that particular type of orchid which you have grown.

I hope that these tips are good enough for you to make your orchid bloom so follow these and have healthy orchid blooms.

Red and pink roses are mostly liked by the people but white roses have their own beauty that gives a sophisticated look to your garden. White roses look really great when blended with roses of other colors. You can select different white garden roses for your garden as they come in a number of varieties. Here I will explain its some varieties for your information and knowledge.

White Meidiland

This white garden rose is easiest to grow as it is highly resistant to pest attacks and diseases. It grows beautifully on slopes and that’s why it proves to be an excellent ground cover. Its specialty is its four inch wide blooms that appear throughout the year. These qualities of white meidiland make it beloved flower of gardeners.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral has been named after a cathedral in UK. It is majestic flower that produces blooms early in its season and constantly produce blooms. These flowers have a pale color in their center and grow on medium sized shrub. This beautiful shrub is four feet wide and is four feet in height.

Glamis Castle

This medium sized shrub has twig-like branches and shaggy foliage having   a height of four feet and width of 3.5 feet. With a fair myrrh fragrance, it gives double full blooms having white and cream colors. These are beautiful looking flowers giving a royal touch to your garden.

Rosa Kent Towne & Country

Being smaller in size, this rose plant grows to a height of two feet only producing white semi-double blooms. They look even more beautiful when they are grown on their own roots and are liked by most of the gardeners because they can easily tolerate harsh winter.

Milwaukee’s Calatrava

This is my favorite flower too as it has sweet fragrance. It produces white flowers with light pink color on edges. It is also a disease-resistant flower that grows to a height of four feet. Its blooming season starts from the end of summer and continues to fall.

Alba
Being a highly fragrant flower, it is the most care-free rose in rose family as it is a strong plant and needs little pruning. Moreover it is also resistant to common diseases. As far as its blooming period is concerned, I would like to inform you that it produces plenty of blooms in June and continues and blooms off and on until fall.

These were some beautiful varieties of white garden roses. You can grow any of these in your garden to add color, fragrance and classiness to your garden.

Growing rose bushes in home garden is very popular among home gardeners but some people live in small apartments and don’t have enough space to make a garden and grow rose bushes there. Are you also among one of them? Do you also want to grow rose bushes in your home? Don’t worry as rose bushes can also be grown indoors. Here I will explain you how it would become possible:

  • Select an appropriate container in which you will grow your rose bush. For this, shape and style of container is not as important to be considered as its depth so make sure that container is 14 inch deep to provide sufficient space for roots to spread. Rose bush roots get rotten if there is not proper drainage so while selecting container, watch that it has drainage holes.
  • Take a bucket and mix one part of bleach with four parts of water. Now pour that mixture into cleaned container and wash it from inside. After that you can rinse container with water.
  • Prepare potting mixture by taking equal amounts of mulch, peat moss and sterile potting soil. After filling the container half full with this mixture, shift rose from nursery container to your own rose container. Potting mixture should be added to flower container until rose roots are covered making sure that bud remains above soil.
  • Potting mixture should be watered thoroughly until water runs from drainage holes of container. Watering is necessary as it helps potting mixture to settle. Now add more potting mixture to level it under bud union of rose bush. After that you are required to cover top of soil with one inch layer of mulch to retain soil’s moisture. Now place container in sunny location so that it might receive sunlight required for its proper growth.
  • Rose bush should be watered daily until red leaves are developed because red leaves indicate new growth. Then water rose bush once a week by pouring water on to potting mixture until you see water coming out of drainage holes.
  • Pruning rose bushes at proper time is also important so when you see spent blossoms and faded leaves, remove them. Sharp gardening shears should be used for this purpose otherwise you will cause damage to rose canes. Some people add rose cuttings to compost which is wrong and should be avoided.

These were some simple and easy steps which you can follow to grow rose bush indoors and make your house elegant and fragrant.

The ghost orchid which is also known as Dendrophylax lindenii is a rare type of orchid which is mostly found in Cuba and Florida. It is rare because it is difficult to cultivate outside its natural environments.  Ghost orchids like marsh environments to grow where there are always humid and damp conditions. Ghost orchids are considered to be the endangered specie of orchids so they are not allowed to be removed from their natural habitat.

How to identify it?

It is very hard to identify ghost orchids in moist areas because their green, white and gray roots grow over a host tree that’s why they are called epiphyte which means that they grow when attached to another plant. Surprisingly ghost orchids don’t have leaves and bloom for only three weeks during months of April to August. Another method to identify ghost orchids is from their smell as they produce soap-like smell while blooming.

Appearance

Appearance of ghost orchids is quite interesting as it resembles a white frog flying in air and sometimes it looks like ghost floating in air. That’s the reason it is called ghost orchid. As far as appearance of flower is concerned, it has three white petals and three sepals as well having a strengthening network of roots.

Flowers

Ghost orchids produce only one flower at a time but in rare cases they can also produce up to 10 flowers. It has also been observed that mature plants of ghost orchids live a number of years without flowering. Flowers of ghost orchids appear between May and August and grow to a size of 4 to 5 inches long. Flowers last for approximately 10 to 14 days.

Pollination

The ghost orchids flowers’ pollens are located deep inside the blossom so only giant sphinx moth is able to pollinate ghost orchids as it has long antenna. For pollination to occur at its best, two ghost orchids are required although hand pollination can also occur by using cotton swabs to accumulate pollens and inserting them onto flower.

Production of Seed Pods

Lack of sphinx moths is a basic reason of the rare production of seed pods of ghost orchids so pollination is difficult to occur. But once the blossom of ghost orchid is pollinated, a seed pod is formed which requires almost a year to reach its maturity. After the pod becomes one year old, it pops open to scatter the seeds.

Growing Requirements

High humidity and high temperature are required for proper growth of ghost orchids and recreating these requirements in homes to grow orchids is almost impossible. Moreover ghost orchids require diffused sunlight and daily misting to grow properly therefore ghost orchids mostly grow well in greenhouses where all these requirements are fulfilled.

These were some basic facts about ghost orchids. These are endangered specie of orchids so steps should be taken for providing proper environment to these different-looking flowers.