11 Feb

Flowering Shrubs for Borders and Landscapes: Eupatorium

Eupatorium is a genus of flowering shrubs of wide distribution across temperate regions of Asia, North Africa, Mexico and Europe. These tall and semi-woody shrubs produce tufts of fluffy flowers of purple, white, pink or mauve colors. Good for borders and dividers, these evergreen shrubs are equally good as landscape or garden specimen plants that withstand a bit neglect.

Though foliage of Eupatorium is a bit coarse, these flowering shrubs should be in your list because of their delightful summer flowers and the variety of sizes, textures and flowers.

Eupatorium Purpureum, Sweet Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium Purpureum, Image by Kingsbrae Garden (flickr)

Most of the species are self-seeding and can be grown from easily from seeds sown in fall. Eupatorium are not fussy about growing conditions. They only require moderate watering and a spot where they can receive good amount of sunlight. Most species of Eupatorium grow in a regular soil mix.

Eupatorium Cannabinum is the most popular of all species. Commonly known as Hemp Argimony, this perennial shrub grows up to 2 meters in dense cluster of erect branches. Flowers are pink and grow small fluffy tufts.

Eupatorium Perfoliatum is another popular species characterized by fluffy white flowers and fresh green leaves that are used in traditional medicine for curing flu and fever. It is called by many common names including: Boneset, Thoroughwort, Feverwort, Agueweed and Indian Sage.

The plant in picture is Eupatorium Purpureum (Joe Pye Weed).

05 Feb

Ipomopsis: The Standing Cypress Plant

Ipomopsis is a genus of lovely perennials, biennials and a few annuals from the family of Phlox. Native to North America and Europe, these lovely bloomers are excellent plants for small gardens as well as landscapes because of their prolific and showy scarlet flowers. Most species produce erect branches up to 2 to 4 feel and bear showy flowers in summer. Flowers attracts several birds espeiclaly hummingbird that act as pollinators. For these characteristics, Ipomopsis plants are usually called Standing Cypress, Red Gilia, Scarlet Trumpet, Texas Plume or Hummingbird Plant.

Ipomopsis Rubra, Standing Cypress Plant

Ipomopsis Rubra, Standing Cypress Plant, Image by Steven Polunsky

Easily raised from seeds, Ipomopsis are good plants for beginners as they are quite low on maintenance and grow rapidly. Most species of Ipomopsis would grow under shade as well as under bright sunlight which is preferred. It is not fussy about soil and grows in most soil and conditions. However a balanced and well-drained soil is good for these lovely bloomers.

Ipomopsis go quite good as border plants and are often used for cut flowers. They also make good filler plants in gardens with limited space. Some species of Ipomopsis are known to have been used as medicinal plants for the cure of headache, diarrhea and infections.

03 Feb

Lovely Summer Bloomers for Beginners: Coreopsis

Coreopsis is a genus of perfect summer bloomers for beginners. They withstand drought, require low maintenance, and grow in many soil types and climatic conditions. Originally native to North America, there are more than 100 species and varieties of Coreopsis for almost all garden styles. Some of them make good border plants, some do well in hanging baskets, some make good pot plants and some from nice flowering clumps.

Coreopsis Flowers

Coreopsis 'Fruit Punch' , Image by Terra Nova Nursery

Coreopsis are usually recognized for their daisy-like yellow or orange flowers that appear in summer and continue to bloom till fall – quite a long flowering season indeed. Almost all species of Coreopsis prefer lean and sandy soil in a sunny spot where they receive moderate watering. Established plants do not require much care and bloom very well without requiring additional fertilizer.

Coreopsis grow easily from seeds. Most species tend to form mounds of low-growing herbaceous plants, usually suitable for container gardening, or as ornamental bloomers in mix borders or garden beds.

02 Feb

Lovely Foliage Plants for Pots and Gardens: Calathea

Calathea are my favorite foliage plants for decorating gardens, patios and windows. They belong to the family of Maranta and like their cousins, these ornamental plants produce very beautiful foliage in a variety of colors and sizes. Some of them form dense clumps of short-stemmed leaves whereas some produce larger leaves on solitary plants. Some of Calathea plants produce blotched leaves, some have colorful markings on their leaves, and some have colored and patterned leaves.

Calathea, The Zebra Plant

Calathea, The Zebra Plant, Image by Ahmad Fuad Morad

Most species of Calathea come from tropical regions of the Americas and require warmth, higher levels of humidity and partial shade to grow perfectly. Water these plants regularly in a rich but well-drained soil. Do not overwater these plants.

Calathea can be propagated from divisions and grown as border or pot plants. Popular species include:

Calathea Concinna: Good as ground cover or border plant, this low-growing species requires regular watering and can be grown indoors.

Calathea Rotundifolia: Grows as a compact foliage plant. Produces bright, marginated green leaves with shades of red or brown beneath.

Calathea Ornata: Relatively larger plant; good for growing in containers as well as in the ground. Leaves are marked with rose-pink lines. Violet flowers appear on long spikes.

01 Feb

Hardy, Ornamental Flowering Shrub: Deutzia

Deutzia is a nice, low-growing and usually mound forming shrub that produces very ornamental flowers in summer. The genus offers more than 60 species and varieties (mostly from East Asia especially Japan) that add very nice and delicate show of colorful flowers in gardens. Most of the species are quite hardy and are capable of surviving drought or poor lighting conditions. Generally, these hardy shrubs grow in sunny or partially shaded spots where they receive regular water.

Deutzia Scabra

Deutzia Scabra (Bridal Wreath), Image by Martin LaBar (flickr)

Deutzia performs well when pruned regularly after every flowering season which occurs in later spring or early summer. Flowers are white with a touch of rose-pink or lavender. Though not very showy, flowers or Deutzia are delicate and appear in dense sprays to add a really charming effect to the landscape.

Most species of Deutzia are propagated easily from cuttings or layering. Popular species include Deutzia Gracillis and Deutzia Scabra (Bridal Wreath).