Orchid Flowers

Archive for July 2011

Butterflies make a garden look vibrant and alive with their colors and elegance. Monarch butterflies are one of the butterflies gardeners want to see in their garden. How to attract them to your garden? Follow these simple tips and attract monarch butterflies to your garden and enjoy their grace:

  • Most of the adult monarch butterflies like nectar present in flowers so you can plant those flowers in garden. These flowers include lantana, daisies, coneflowers, daylilies and sedum. All these are perennials which bloom after year and year. If you have an herb garden, fill it with mints, verbena and bee-balm.
  • Female butterflies always fly here and there in search of plants where they can lay eggs. You can also grow those plants on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs. Monarch butterflies like to lay their eggs on milkweed. Milkweed has different species and you do not need many efforts to grow these plants. Some types of milkweed which you can grow include Showy Milkweed, Smooth Milkweed, White Milkweed, Tropical Milkweed, Green Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed and Sand Milkweed. After young caterpillars come out of eggs, you may don’t like them to be in your main garden. The solution to this problem is simple. You may plant milkweed away from main garden area that is near to nectar plants.
  • Male monarch butterflies also like to be gathered around damp sand and mud ponds. If you want to attract monarch butterflies to your garden, you should consider about making such a spot for them. For this, dig a spot and fill it with thin layer of sand and then cover it with dirt. Don’t forget to keep the sand and dirt moist throughout summer season. Again to save beauty of your main garden, make this puddle in your yard away from major garden area.
  • Monarch butterflies also need a shelter area to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions like strong winds. Make sure you have a shelter area in your garden. You can also buy attractive butterfly houses but they are just only for decoration because butterflies actually don’t like to stay in these butterfly houses.

Throughout summer season, monarch butterflies undergo four cycles so make sure that you are providing them with above mentioned requirements during all summer and especially in late summer.

Flowering plants which bloom fast are liked by every gardener because they bring beauty and fragrance to your garden in very short time. Are you also looking for some fast growing flowering plants? If yes then you are reading the right post as I have made a list of some fast growing flowering plants.

Yellow Flag

Yellow Flag is a perennial having, of course, yellow flowers and gray-green foliage. It is an easy-to-grow plant which requires full sun and damp soil to thrive properly.

Morning Glory

It is again a perennial vine which produces bright green leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers in different colors. Flowers of morning glory bloom only in morning. Most probably, this vine is so named because of this feature. These vines may grow up to 10 feet in length and require ample sunlight and well-drained damp soil to grow.

Forsythia

It is a flowering shrub producing yellow gold-like flowers. Growing up to 10 feet high, this shrub has a fountain-like beautiful look making it ideal for your garden. Lighting requirements of this shrub include either full sun or light shade and as far as soil is concerned, it should be well-drained and have additional water.

Lavatera

Lavatera is mostly grown for its ostentatious and cup-shaped beautiful flowers. They are also fast growing plants giving excellent look to your flowerbeds. Lavatera grows in rocky and sandy soil and can also tolerate drought. Growing requirements include well-drained soil with full or partial sun.

Common Sunflower

Common sunflowers are easy-to-grow annuals which are capable of capturing butterflies and songbirds to your garden. They have heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers. Growing up to 15 feet high, these plants need well-drained as well as acidic soil to grow. Other requirements include full sun and habitual watering.

That was a list of fast growing flowering plants with their growing requirements. Choose any one of these to add color to your garden quickly.

Summer season is at its peak these days so it is the best time to decorate and beautify your garden with hanging baskets. A summer hanging basket having trailing plants and vines is capable of brightening up a garden. Creating hanging baskets for summer is not difficult. You can use combination of different flowers and plants to create hanging baskets. All you need to do is to gather some information about summer hanging plants. For your convenience, I have also made a list of some summer hanging plants along with necessary information. This list is shared below.

Vinca

Vinca plants are best for summer hanging baskets because they like full sun to grow. You can purchase them in either trailing or compact varieties. They produce flowers having purple and pink color and bright green leaves. Another characteristic of these plants which makes them perfect for summer season is that they are drought tolerant.

Petunia

Another common summer plant used in hanging baskets is Petunias. Like other summer plants, they like full sun and warm temperatures. Petunias have bright colors and vining stems so they not only add color to hanging baskets but also give you a visual treat. Famous varieties of petunias include multiflora, milliflora, grandiflora and groundcover. These plants produce purple, white and pink blooms.

Lantana

Lantana needs warm temperatures and prefer sunshine so if they are planted in baskets in spring, they start flourishing in warm days of summer. Flowers of Lantana bloom in pinks, yellows and reds. Lantana stems are capable of trailing over edges of hanging baskets so plant them closer to sides of baskets so that they may adorn the baskets beautifully.

Geranium

Geraniums are popularly grown in summer baskets which produce pink, red, white and salmon flowers that bloom all summer. There are more than 200 species of this plant but the most common are ivy-leaved which trail over sides of baskets so are best for summer hanging baskets while some other varieties like Martha Washington and scented-leaf add height and richness.

These were most common varieties of hanging plants which you can grow in your summer baskets. These plants will give a brightened look to your garden in summer and fascinate your guests with their elegance.

Most of the garden flowers start losing their blooms by mid of July. But still there are some perennial flowers that bloom in hot weather of mid July. Here I am going to provide you a list of some perennials that bloom in mid-July. Plant these flowers in your garden and don’t let it stay bare until next spring season.

Rose Mallow

Also known as swamp mallow, this is a tall plant producing flowers. This plant can grow up to 2 to 4 feet tall and blooms from mid to late July. It produces flowers in different attractive and vibrant colors like white, red and pink. Growing conditions include full sun and fertile and moist soil.

Gladiolus

This plant begins to bloom in July and can continue to bloom until October. This plant produces tall spikes of colorful flowers which come in colors like purple, pink, yellow, red and green white. This flower can be grown in many ways. You can grow these in either flower beds or borders or they can also be grown to be used as cut flowers.

Rudbeckia

These flowers are commonly known as black-eyed susan and I have discussed these flowers earlier in some of my posts. This plant blooms from mid-July until October producing small and beautifully colored flowers having dark cone structure in mid of flowers. It grows well both in full sun and partial shade and needs proper drainage to grow healthily.

Globe Thistle

This plant can reach to a height of up to 3 to 4 feet and produces bristly and sphere-shaped flowers having steel blue color. Thistle-like bristling leaves surround these beautiful flowers. These flowers also require well-drained soil and full sun to grow properly.

This was a list of perennial flowers which you can plant in your garden in so that they can beautify your garden in hot and dry month of July.

When you make a decision to repot your orchid plant, the first thing you need to consider is that your orchid is going to require to be repotted biannually, annually or after every three years depending on the type of orchid you have. Younger orchid plants need to be repotted more frequently as compared to older ones. After purchasing orchid plant, repot it as soon as possible to prevent roots from being damaged. Repotting an orchid is a delicate task which needs special tips to be followed. These special tips are shared below:

  • First of all, you will have to choose a right kind of container. Orchids do not like one definite variety of containers. They grow as beautifully in plastic pots as they grow in terra cotta or clay pots. The decision is all yours. Repotting will not be done too often so choose a pot that goes well with your garden décor and theme.
  • Choose the container with the right size. If you will use very large pot then orchids will have to use their energy to produce new roots to fill pot. Similarly, if you will choose small pot, roots will become crowded. Select a container that can easily accommodate roots leaving 1 to 2 inches space around root section.
  • Most of flowering plants grow in traditional potting soil but orchids are somewhat different from other flowering plants. They require substances like peat moss, volcanic stone, certain tree barks, charcoal and tree-fern fibers. Moss and tree-fern fibers retain water as compared to other potting mixes so if you are using barks, charcoal and stones then you will have to continuously monitor the dampness conditions to make sure that plant is getting enough water.
  • Repotting orchids at right time is also very important. Orchids require to be repotted when there is new growth and roots have not filled the pot yet. Some species like Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis are potted annually. Oncidium, Cattleya and Odontoglossum are repotted every other year while Cymbidium and Vanda need to be repotted every third year.
  • After removing plant from pot, trim off dead roots with scissors or sharp knife. Make sure that you are using sterilized tools to cut the roots. To prevent diseases, sprinkle powdered cinnamon on wounds because it acts as a natural fungicide. When your plant is out of pot, also look for insects and bugs so that they cam be removed on time before they damage your orchid plant.

Repotting orchids is a complex task which may prove time consuming but this process is necessary for their survival and growth. If you don’t have much time and patience to take care of orchids then these plants should not be in your home. If you want this plant in your home but you don’t know how to care for it then ask a nursery for the necessary instructions as it is better than watching orchids dying.

You must have heard about growing plants and flowers under fluorescent light. Orchids are also among those flowers. Today we will discuss all about growing orchids under fluorescent light. If you are interested then read this post as it is going to be quite useful for you:

  • You will have to grow orchids in loose and non-soil base so that quick air circulation and drainage can be provided to orchid plants. Tight and thick soil conditions will result in bad growth of orchids so go for non-soil potting mix. Don’t you know about these? Ok, non-soil potting mixes include peat moss, wood chips, sphagnum peat moss and orchid potting mix. You can use any of these mixes for growing your orchids.
  • While planting orchids, make sure that pots have drainage holes and they are heavy enough to support an orchid plant. If you will grow an orchid in light pot, it will not support your plant well and will damage it. As far as drainage holes are concerned, they are a necessity for growing orchids because standing water in pot will make orchid to die.
  • Potted orchid plants can be placed indoors under artificial light. Actually artificial light is used when you don’t have a sunny location indoors. Now you will definitely want to know what types of artificial lights can be used to grow orchids. Well, sodium, halogen and fluorescent lights are best for this purpose as they satisfy light needs of orchids in a good way. While growing orchids under fluorescent lights make sure that you have placed orchids 4 to 6 feet under light and keep them turned on for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. But turn lights off at night to imitate their natural growing conditions.
  • Give one inch of water to your indoor orchids every seven to ten days but water them only when their growing base begins to become dry. As I mentioned earlier, orchids do not like standing water and prefer dry conditions, so you must keep this fact in mind.
  • Orchids will not grow well without fertilizers. Orchids need specific fertilizers made for them. Choose an orchid-specific water soluble fertilizer and apply it to plants once a month. If you don’t know how to apply fertilizers, read instructions given on fertilizer package. Don’t make a stronger fertilizer mixture as it will burn your orchids.

These were some simple tips which you can follow to grow orchids under fluorescent lights. Hopefully, you will find them helpful.

Hanging baskets containing flowers are always considered as best way to decorate your garden or patio. They not only add colors and fragrance but also give an elegant look to your outdoor parties. If you also want to decorate your garden or terrace with hanging baskets then you will have to choose flowers which all have same growth requirements so that it may become easier for you to take care of these flowers. Here I am providing you a list of flowers which you can choose to plant in your hanging basket.

Scaevola

It is an annual self-cleaning plant and produces flowers in different attractive colors and varieties including New Wonder and Purple Fan. These fan-shaped flowers are purple in color. These flowers are best for hanging baskets as they grow only 12 to 18 inches long. Moreover they can grow well in all conditions including full sun, partial sun and shade.

Calibrachoa

These flowers are considered ideal for hanging baskets as they trail over the edges of baskets and can hang up to three feet below basket. It is very easy to take care of these flowers because they shed their dead flowers themselves so there is no need to prune them. These annual flowers are also called million bells and they come in different colors like yellow, orange, violet and bluish-orange. They require full sun to grow and hence do well in summer.

Lobelia

These are tiny white flowers having a splash of navy blue. Trailing habits of these flowers make them ideal for hanging baskets for decorating patios and gardens as well. They are very easy to grow and have a long flowering period. These are also summer flowers as their growing period continues from June to October.

Trailing Sweet Pea

I personally like these flowers for their sweet fragrance. These flowers grow in smaller baskets because they manage to grow 7 inches only. Although they also grow best in summer, they continue to grow in winter also and produce flowers in colors like pinks, whites and purples. As far as growth and care requirements are concerned, these flowers need to be pruned when they are spent in order to encourage new blooms.

Begonia

Most suitable varieties of begonia that grow best in hanging baskets include Fragrant Cascading, Trailing Peach Melba, Fireball Cascading and Lemondrops. Begonias are found in colors including yellow, peachy pink, orange yellow and yellow.

Trailing Verbena

Hanging about 12 to 18 inches over the edge of their baskets, these flowers grow in clusters and have a soft and charming aroma. Some popular varieties of verbena are Babylon, Aztec strains, Twilight which come in beautiful colors including purple, lavender, red, white, pink and rose.

Other hanging baskets plants include:

  • Lobelia-trailing
  • Diascia Little Dancer Collection
  • Busy Lizzie
  • Fuchsia

Most of us have a common thinking that spring season is the busiest time of year in terms of taking care of different flowers especially roses. But it is fact that when summer season is at its full swing, it becomes even more difficult to take care of roses as there are some additional tasks that needs to be performed. Remember that roses mostly grow well in warm weather but they still need your help to sustain their survival. As summer season is now at its peak, I therefore thought about gathering some tips for rose care in summer. Here is my collection of tips on taking care of roses in summer:

  • Roses will need to be watered during hot and dry weather but remember that amount of water will always depend on soil conditions and weather. It is mostly recommended to soak the soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches every two weeks. Watering method is also important to be considered. Water should be applied directly to soil because over-head watering makes the foliage wet and leads to diseases problem. If you cannot avoid over-head watering, then the best time to water roses is morning so that foliage may get time to dry.
  • Another thing which you can do to conserve soil moisture is to add mulch around rose plant. Mulching also helps controlling weeds. So spread a fresh 3 inch layer of mulch on soil 6 inches away from rose’s main cane. Best mulches include shredded bark, cocoa bean hulls, wood chips and pine needles.
  • Vigorous growth and abundance of blooms depend on proper fertilizing. Roses need to be fertilized three times a year. For the first time, fertilizer should be applied in early spring after pruning. Fertilizer should be then applied during first blooming period and for the third time in year, roses should be fertilized in mid or late July. Fertilizers should not be applied after July 31 because late fertilization may produce tender growth. Another thing which I think important to add is that roses should not be fertilized on days when temperature exceeds over 85 degrees F. Don’t forget to water roses before and after applying fertilizers.
  • Spent flowers should be deadheaded to help plants conserving energy for new blooms. Roses stems should be cut back to ¼ inch above a leaf with five leaflets. Pruning also needs care because removal of foliage in large amount may weaken young plants as this reduces food producing ability. Moreover, sharp and sterile tools should be used for pruning.
  • Roses should also be checked for summer diseases and pests like thrips, Japanese beetles and spider mites. Japanese beetles can be hand-picked and crushed while thrips and spider mites can be controlled with insecticides. You can plan a spray program through summer months to control diseases and pests. It is suggested to use a combination of insecticides and fungicides which are available at nurseries.

These were some simple suggestions and tips which you can follow to take care of roses in summer. I hope you will find these quite helpful in getting a striking and beautiful result.

Rose bushes do not ask for much care but some conditions have to be fulfilled if you want them to bloom. Are your rose bushes are not producing blooms? If yes then check whether you have fulfilled following conditions or not:

  • See where you have planted your rose bush. Rose bushes should be planted at a location where they can receive sunlight for six or more hours. Let me tell you that rose bushes are very responsive to heat and bloom successfully when provided with enough sunshine. When you will give them right amount of light, they will thank you by producing loads of flowers.
  • Rose bushes should not be planted very close to each other because they need good air circulation for blooming. Ideal space between two bushes or bush and other plants should be at least 6 inches or 1 foot.
  • If your rose bush is not blooming, check watering conditions. If you are over-watering your rose bush, its roots will be staying in water and bushes will not bloom well. The soil around rose bush should never be saturated with water and an ideal way to make it possible is to use an irrigation drip system. Using this system will help you measuring amount of water which you are providing to your rose bush. Another way to water rose bushes properly is to use water hose in moderation. While watering, make sure that you are not watering leaves of your rose bush.
  • Fertilization is also an important condition which you need to fulfill with proper care. Rose bushes should be fertilized on regular basis if you want them to bloom. Before fertilizing rose bushes, always read instructions given on fertilizer container as they provide information on how frequently roses should be fertilized as well as they guide you about right quantity of fertilizer.
  • To stimulate growth of more buds and flowers, you are required cutting off spent roses by their stems. Here I will again recommend you following right set of instructions to prune rose bushes.

These were some of the most important requirements which need to be fulfilled to make rose bushes bloom. I assure you that following these conditions will make your rose bushes to bloom properly and they will make your garden envy for others.

Garden sheds are an important feature of a garden and they don’t look attractive if they kept simple and boring so like every other thing in garden, sheds also need to be decorated. People lacking time and money often try to tuck away garden sheds in corners so that they may not become visible. But in small gardens, it is not possible to hide garden sheds in corners. Don’t worry, with some innovative ideas, you can make garden shed looking an attractive feature of your garden and the great news is that I have come up with some ideas which are not only practical but also economical. Just have a look on these ideas:

  • First thing which you can use to decorate your garden is weather vane so attach one with peak of your garden shed. You can buy a traditional rooster weather vane or some other weather vane featuring one of your favorite animals.
  • Bird feeders and birdbaths are also considered essential while decorating a garden or a garden shed. Buy some attractive but economical birdbaths and bird feeders and hang them on a side of garden shed. Another idea is to hang birdbath at front of shed and set up birdhouses in nearby trees. Hanging birdbaths and bird feeders will not only decorate your garden shed but they will also attract birds which will make your garden even more beautiful and natural.
  • Take old garden items and use them to decorate the outside and entrance of shed. Old garden items may include tools, straw hats and clay pots.
  • Dried flowers arrangements can also be used to decorate a garden shed. So arrange some dried flowers in hanging baskets and hang them over windows and around entrance. Use flowers which have strong fragrance like sage and lavender to hang them on garden shed door.
  • Under the windows of garden shed, nail flower boxes and plant beautiful and smaller flowers in them like moss roses. You can also set matching flower boxes near path to garden shed. Also add other flower containers around outer area of shed.
  • Hanging wind chimes around garden shed is another wonderful idea. It adds to the beauty of garden shed and provides you with a pleasant feeling by producing melodious sound when wind blows.
  • Terra cotta garden art can be fastened to the side of garden shed that comes in different designs like that of butterflies, sun, flowers and fairies.
  • A trellis can be leaned against shed wall so that roses, ivy and other plants and vines can climb the wall easily.
  • I have also seen some garden sheds decorated with castle style cupola. It is actually a beautiful piece of artistic quality and it adds height to garden shed.

See!!! How simple it is to decorate a garden shed. If you are creative enough, you can use any of your own ideas to decorate your garden shed in the way you like.