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