27 Apr

What’s Blooming Today?

April is about to end and temperature is going to rise as high as 109° F in the coming weeks. Almost all of my cacti and succulents are now under the shade (up to 60% filtered sunlight) on my roof top succulent garden. Haworthias will continue to blooms for some time. Cacti especially Astrophytums have already started blooming profusely. Today’s bloomers are:

Astrophytum Senile is bearing a large yellow flower with silky sheen.

Astrophytum Senile Flower

Astrophytum Senile

Astrophytum Capricorne with a yellow flower.

Astrophytum Capricorne Yellow Flower

Astrophytum Capricorne

Notocactus Mammulosus with a nice yellow-pink flower. This plant has been flowering vigorously for many years.

Notocactus Mammulosus Flower

Notocactus Mammulosus

Gymnocalycium Pflanzii bearing pinkish cream flower.

Gymnocalycium Pflanzii

Gymnocalycium Pflanzii

Last of all, this Cycas Revoluta is sprouting new leaves. This plant is more than 35 years old and was grown from seed.

Cycas Revoluta Leaves

Cycas Revoluta

26 Apr

Bottlebrush – Flowering shrub for hedges and screens

Bottlebrush are evergreen flowering shrubs from Australia and consist of about 34 species of shrubs known as Callistemon. The name comes from cylindrical, brush-like flowers that actually resemble a bottlebrush.

Callistemon Shurb with Red Flowers

Image © daevon29 on Flickr

Callistemon is available commercially in many colors. Most of the species are low growing shrubs that grow fast and attain a height of 4 to 4.5 meters. With regular pruning Callistemon can be used as dense hedges or screens in landscapes, gardens and lawns. Normally, Callistemon grow vigorously and should be pruned after flowering to encourage dense and bush growth.

Callistemon Pink Flower

Image from http://las.new-england.net.au

Callistemon prefer well-drained and moderately rich soil in sunny locations. Generally, they would tolerate drought and flower profusely with just small quantity of annual feed. Protect it from cold spells (below 7° F). When grown indoors, Callistemon requires a sunny spot, regular fertilizer (good dose of potassium) and moderate water.

Flowering varies according to the species – white, green, cream, pink and most popularly red. If you are looking for a low maintenance flowering shrub for your garden, Callistemon could be the best choice for a nice flowery show throughout the spring and summer. Flowering is followed by seed capsules.

White Callistemon Flower

Image from tubestock.com.au

Callistemon/Bottlebrush can be grown from seeds as well as cuttings sown in spring. It can be a good candidate for a bonsai experiment too.

25 Apr

Crape Jasmine, Flowering Bush

Normally known as Moonbeam, Chandani (in Urdu) and Crape Jasmine, Tabemaemontanus Coronaria is an excellent evergreen and ornamental bush for lawns and gardens. Abundance of dazzling white flowers justifies the name Moonbeam – just watch the beauty of its small white flowers under moonlight.

Crape Jasmine, Tabemaemontanus Coronaria

Image © Tony Rodd

Culture

Tabemaemontanus produces glossy leaves of dark green color and gains a height of 1.8 meters or so. The ash grey trunk is woody and grows short twigs. Like most species of Tabemaemontanus, Moonbeam can be pruned to grow in limited space as ornamental bush. The plant exudes milky sap which is used in preparation of psychedelics. The juice from the leaves is used to cure ophthalmia.

Flowers of Tabemaemontanus Coronaria

Wild plants would bear scattered white flowers; however, some hybrid species of Tabemaemontanus Coronaria bear double, fragrant flowers of pale-yellow color. These charming blooms can be used as cut flowers that last long and make excellent decoration.

Moonbeam, White Flower

Image © Windydear on Flickr

How to Grow Moonbeam/Crape Jasmine

The origin of this ornamental bush is not known but it grows wildly in most parts of Indian sub-continent. Tabemaemontanus Coronaria does not require much care. It grows well at sunny locations in tropical and sub-tropical climates (plants in bright sunlight produces more blooms) where it receives moderate water throughout the year. Tabemaemontanus can be grown from layers or cuttings.

Tabemaemontanus was named by a 16th century botanist. Tabemaemontanus literally means ‘used for garlands.’

12 Apr

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07 Apr

Adenium Obesum, The Desert Rose

Adenium Obesum, also known as Desert Rose, is a succulent and caudex forming shrub from southern region of Africa and Arabia. Adenium are popular for their unusual shapes and spectacular flowers. This slow growing flowering shrub can ultimately turn in to a small tree with large swollen trunk/caudex.

Adenium Obesum can be used in landscape or grown as container plants. They can also be trained to make good bonsai specimens. Beware that sap from Adenium plants is toxic.

adenium plant

Culture

Desert Rose or Adenium Obesum grows as tall as 1 to 3 meters in height. It produces green, leathery leaves that grow near the tips of branches. Adenium blooms in late spring and sometimes in mid fall. Flowers are red and pink with whitish shade and resemble the flowers of Frangipani.

These days a number of hybrids are commercially grown and sold as houseplants. These hybrids bear spectacular flowers of many different shades. You can also find many different hybrids grafted on a single rootstock all producing flowers of different colors.

Adenium Obesum is a popular houseplant in temperate zones of India, Thailand and Vietnam.

adenium flowers

Cultivation

In temperate zones, Adenium can be grown from seeds. However, they are mostly cultivated from cuttings or grafting though plants grown from seeds acquire better caudex and trunk shape.

Water, Soil and Temperature

Adenium prefers sunny location, very well drained soil, and a minimum 10 C temperature in winter. They should be watered carefully as overwatering may rot the stem. Adenium prefer bright sunlight and can be grown outdoors easily. In winter, it can be grown indoors near a sunny window where it is protected from frost. Adenium prefers slightly alkaline soil.

Fertilizer

In order to develop a perfectly developed caudex and vigorous flowering, you need to fertilize your adeniums regularly. (Good lighting condition also encourages production of more carbohydrates that ultimately form better caudex. Also lift your Adenium a little above from soil every time you re-pot it to encourage good caudex formation.)

hybrid adenium flowers

Popular Adenium Species

Popular species of Adenium include: Adenium Swazicum, Adenium Somalense, Adenium Arabicum, Adenium Boehmianum, Adenium Multiflorum, Adenium Crispum and Adenium Obesum.

Adenium Crispum is relatively compact species and bears striking flowers. It is difficult to grow and does not withstand cold or hot, humid conditions. As grafted plant, Adenium Crispum can grow into a tall shrubby tree.

Adenium Multiflorum has brownish bark and bears white, pink, crimson and red flowers with predominant white base. It remains compact and grows in columnar style to attain a height of 3 meters. Adenium Multiflorum is also known as Impala Lily.

Adenium Boehmianum produces fleshy stem and can be grown easily from seeds, cuttings and grafting. Adenium Boehmianum is not grown commercially and thus cannot be found commonly.

Adenium Arabicum resembles Adenium Obesum and bears crimson and pink flowers. It can be grafted easily on a rootstock. Adenium Arabicum bears fleshy green leaves and makes a perfect show plant.

Adenium Swazicum is an evergreen dwarf shrub from Swaziland. It is usually used to develop hybrid plants because of its floriferous habit. Adenium Swazicum is relatively a hardy plant.

All images are taken from flowerpictures.net