25 Feb

New Haworthias in my Succulent Garden

I just added a couple of new Haworthias in my succulent garden.







18 Feb

Zaluzianskya capenis: the Night Blooming Phlox

Zaluzianskya is a small genus of flowering annuals and perennials grown for their lovely flowers. Native to South Africa, most plants in the genus of Zaluzianskya are drought-tolerant and low growing plants that can be grown in containers or in the ground.

Among many popular species, Zaluzianskya capensis is grown widely for its lovely and fragrant flowers. In fact, the plant is known for intoxicating and potent fragrance that its flowers emit. Flowers of Zaluzianskya capensis start blooming early in the day and the fragrance becomes stronger and stronger with the passage of time. As the night approaches, the small white flowers emit a potent and somewhat addicting fragrance that reminds of vanilla or almonds. That is why the plant is commonly described as Midnight candy or Night Blooming Phlox.

Zaluzianskya capensis

Zaluzianskya capensis/ Image via flickr

Zaluzianskya capensis is quite easy to grow from seeds that germinate easily when sown in early spring. Young plants require average watering and partial sun. Mature plants can be grown under shade or full sun. However, it should be protected from frost and long spells of cold.

Generally Zaluzianskya capensis benefits from a rich soil that is moist during the summer but well-drained in winter.

14 Feb

Lovely Flowering Shrub for Sandy Soil: Chamelaucium uncinatum

Chamelaucium is a genus of evergreen shrubs from semi-arid regions of Australia especially the Western Australia. Several species of this genus are however grown as cut flowers in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. These evergreen shrubs are known for their small and beautiful flowers. One of the widely known species is Chamelaucium uncinatum or Geraldton Wax Plant.

Chamelaucium uncinatum

Chamelaucium uncinatum/ Image by Arthur Chapman

Chamelaucium uncinatum is characterized by needle-like waxy foliage and small white flowers that usually have a touch of pink or lilac. The shrub grows up to 5 meters and serves as an easy to maintain hedge or screen. As it is native to semi-arid climate, Chamelaucium uncinatum prefers a well-drained soil and occasional watering. The best place for Chamelaucium uncinatum is a garden is a bright lit spot where it is protected from over watering and long spells of cold. Besides Chamelaucium uncinatum, many hybrids and cultivars are also sold commercially. Most of these varieties share common characteristics and grow easily from woody stem cuttings.

12 Feb

Hedychium, the Ginger Lily Plant

Hedychium is a genus of tropical rhizomatous plants with dense foliage and clusters of beautiful, fragrant flowers from the family of common ginger, turmeric and cardamom.

Hedychium gardnerianum, Kahili Ginger

Hedychium gardnerianum / Image by Eric Hunt

The genus of Hedychium is represented by many popular species and their hybrid varieties. These easy to grow plant make beautiful foliage plants for gardens and landscapes. Most species grow as clumps of large green and glossy leaves. The lance-shaped leaves grow on long stalks that appear from thick rhizomes. These long stalks bear clusters of conspicuous flowers in midsummer. Flowers of Hedychium emit lovely fragrance especially in the evening making it an excellent houseplant.

Hedychium prefer rich and moist soil. The best place to grow them is a semi-shaded spot in the garden where they get ample amount of water but protection from frost in winter. Hedychium can be grown easily from rhizomes.

Popular varieties include:

Hedychium ‘Carnival’ – glossy green leaves with fragrant flowers of orange or yellow color.

Hedychium densiflorum ‘Assam Orange’ – hardy and easy to grow plant with lovely pinkish-orange flowers.

Hedychium ‘Elizabeth’ – beautiful hybrid variety with delicate flowers of salmon color.

Hedychium gardnerianum – commonly known as Kahili Ginger, this plant produces very fragrant and lovely yellow flowers.

Hedychium ‘Slim’s Orange’ – narrow, glaucous foliage and small orange-red flowers.

07 Feb

Symphoricarpos albus, the Snowberry Shrub

Symphoricarpos is a genus of deciduous shrubs known for their beautiful berry-like white fruit. Originally native to North America, these hardy shrubs can be grown in many different climatic conditions. Most species of Symphoricarpos prefer full to partial sun, average watering and almost any type of soil that does not retain water.

Symphoricarpos albus, Snowberry Shrub

Symphoricarpos albus/ Image via flickr

From more than 15 species, Symphoricarpos albus is the one that is widely known and cultivated for its beautiful foliage and white berry-like fruit. The plant grows up to 5 feet and spreads vigorously across 6 feet or more. Cultivated from seeds or suckers, Symphoricarpos albus best performs when grown in partial sun and pruned regularly.

The pinkish-white flowers of Symphoricarpos albus are quite insignificant but are followed by formation of large clusters of white berries in winter. These clusters of white berries add to the beauty of the plant in winter when it sheds most of its leaves.

Symphoricarpos albus is capable of resisting frost and survive long spells of winter. The plant can be used in hedges and borders as a low-maintenance shrub.

Common names of Symphoricarpos albus include Snowberry and Waxberry.

02 Feb

Hardy and Lovely Shrub for Arid Gardens: Maireana sedifolia

Maireana is a genus of compact and attractive perennial shrubs from the family of popular ornamental shrubs like Iresine and Amaranthus. Among many popular shrubs from this genus, Maireana sedifolia is a widely grown shrub in Australia and other parts of the world. The plant is characterized by small succulent leaves that grow abundantly along upright branches.

Maireana sedifolia

Maireana sedifolia/ Image by Justin Taylor

The plant is commonly known as Pearl Bush or Cotton Bush because of its attractive succulent leaves. The beautiful foliage is also useful in cut flower arrangements. Maireana sedifolia is native to Western Australia and grows as a hardy and drought tolerant plant. The plant grows well in a well-drained soil and under bright sunlight; however it can be grown under partial shade too.

Maireana sedifolia is not fussy about soil requirements until it is well-drained. On average, the plant grows as a compact shrub (up to 3 feet) and can be pruned easily according to the requirements.