20 Oct

Ornamental Plant for Dish Gardens: Haworthia Reinwardtii

Haworthia is a genus of compact and low growing succulent plants from South Africa. A number of species from this genus are commercially cultivated and sold as ornamental plants. Known for their dotted, mottled, striped and ridged leaves, Haworthia make excellent ornamental pot plants. When grown under suitable temperature, Haworthia can be grown in dish gardens, as ground cover, in rock gardens, as container plants or in window gardens.

Haworthia Reinwardtii

Haworthia Reinwardtii

Among common species, Haworthia Reinwardtii is perhaps one of the most popular and definitely easier to grow. It features compact rosettes of dark green leaves with white dots and reddish tips. Grown from offsets, it roots easily and forms thick clumps of leafy stems. Flowers, as of all Haworthias, are very small and inconspicuous.

Haworthia Reinwardtii grows in well-drained soil under partial sun. Propagated from divisions, this ornamental succulent should be watered only when soil is completely dry. Hold carefully during months of hot and high-humidity conditions.

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24 Sep

Lovely Shrubs for Your Garden: Euonymus

If you are looking for hardy, versatile and lovely shrubs for your garden, look no further. Try Euonymus; it is a genus of lovely and versatile shrubs and small trees. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Both evergreen and deciduous species of Euonymus are available for gardens as well as container gardening. From more than 170 species of Euonymus, there are plenty of choices. They can be grown as border plants, hedges, small foliage plants and some as ground covers.

Most species of Euonymus offer glossy evergreen foliage, conspicuous blooms and ornamental fruition. Originally native to south Asia, Australia and Madagascar, Euonymus has been successfully grown in almost all parts of the world as ornamental plants. Some of the species have medicinal benefits whereas some have been used traditionally for making wooden spindles for the textile industry. That is why Euonymus is commonly described as ‘Spindle Tree’.

Euonymus Japonica

From many popular species, Euonymus Japonica is perhaps the most popular and widely grown plant. It is quite hardy and easy to grow. This shrubby plant can be pruned easily for growing as border plant, shrub or topiary shapes. Euonymus Japonica grows as evergreen shrub up to 5 meters and bears glossy green leaves. Flowers are insignificant but fruits (showy pink berries usually produced in autumn) are attractive. There are several variegated species of Euonymus Japonica available at nurseries.

Euonymus Japonica, Evergreen Shrub

Euonymus Japonica, Spindle Tree, Image by John (Puzzler4879@flickr)

How to grow Euonymus Japonica

Euonymus Japonica is capable of growing in many different conditions without much fuss. It can tolerate poor soil and light conditions. The best place for Euonymus Japonica is a well-lit spot where it receives full or filtered sunlight for most time of the day. Water moderately; do not overwater (young plants, however, require moist soil). Propagation is easy from cuttings.

17 Sep

Tropical Flowering Shrubs for Poor Soil: Convolvulus Cneorum

Convolvulus is a genus of annual and perennial shrubs from tropical and Mediterranean regions. These easy to grow plants vary from climbers or trailing plants to shrubs and mound forming bushes. Plants and flowers also vary in size and spread. Flowers of Convolvulus plants are trumpet shaped and vary from white and pink to purple and mauve in color. These sun loving plants grow quite easily and survive very well in sandy, chalky and dry soil.

Convolvulus Cneorum, Flowering Shrub, Morning Glory

Convolvulus Cneorum, Image by Jessie Hirsch

Convolvulus Cneorum which is commonly known as Silver Bush grows as low growing plant and usually forms a think carpet of evergreen foliage. Because of its capacity to withstand drought and grow in poor soil, Convolvulus Cneorum is a good choice for rock gardens or as ground cover for sandy or poor soil. It is easy to maintain and should be pruned back after flowering.

How to grow Convolvulus Cneorum

Convolvulus Cneorum or Silver Bush grows well in sunny positions where it is protected from frost and long, dry spells of cold. These plants are easily propagated from seeds and require just sufficient water; do not over water.

Convolvulus Cneorum is generally related to the family of Morning Glory. Other popular species include: Convolvulus Mauritanicus, Convolvulus Tricolor and Convolvulus Arvensis.

14 Sep

Ornamental Flowering Plant for Gardens: Torenia Fournieri

Whether you are a beginner or a master gardener, you just cannot resist Torenia in your garden for its beautiful flowers and versatile usage. It is an excellent choice for hanging baskets and window gardens, as ground cover or as trailing plant in landscape borders, raised beds or indoor containers.

Torenia forms tender branches of usually 6 inches that can trail up to 30 inches which makes it a good plant for hanging baskets. Native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa, most species of Torenia require humid and moist conditions to thrive. These herbaceous plants are grown for their unusual flowers that are commonly known wishbone flowers. Each flower has a unique wishbone shape. These beautiful flowers come in purple, violet, pink, white and yellow colors.

Torenia, Wishbone Flowers

Torenia, Wishbone Flowers, Image by Kelly Teague

How to Grow Torenia Fournieri

Torenia has a lot of hybrid varieties and cultivars that grow as annuals (though some of them are perennials). These plants are best grown under partial shade in a fertile soil. Provide your Torenia plants with regular watering and do not allow the soil to dry out completely for long periods.

Torenia are easy to grow both from seeds or cuttings. Regularly pinch back Torenia to keep these plants in shape.

28 Aug

Fast Growing, Ornamental Ground Cover: Ajuga Reptans

Ajuga Reptans or Carpet Bugleweed is a quick solution if you are looking for a plant to cover wide empty spaces, beds or bare soil. As a vigorous growing groundcover, it would readily cover the ground to form a low growing thick mat of dark green or coppery leaves. Ajuga Reptans can also be used to control soil erosion as it spreads quickly via runners and grows almost in any type of soil with good drainage.

Ajuga Reptans Groundcover

Ajuga Reptans Groundcover, Image from wikipedia

Grown as ornamental groundcover, Ajuga Reptans is good for beds as well as landscapes where it provides a glossy dense mat of leaves and produces attractive flowers of blue or purple colors. Flowers grow on small stalks (up to 6 inches). These conspicuous flowers make a spectacular show in spring till midsummer. Ajuga Reptans can also be grown under tree or combined with shrubs in landscapes for a dramatic effect in flowering season. Rich in nectar, flowers of Ajuga Reptans attract birds, bees and butterflies.

How to Grow Ajuga Reptans

Ajuga Reptans is native to Europe and parts of Asia and Australia. It can be grown under shade or sun with regular watering. It does not have any special soil needs and grows in almost any soil with good water drainage. Propagation is done from softwood cuttings.