Category Archives: Shrubs and Bushes

25 May

Delightful Flowering Shrub for Saline Soil: Limonium

Limonium is a genus of more than 120 annual and perennial shrubs that bear peppery flowers on strong, thin stems. Actual flowers of Limonium are usually minor and surrounded by colorful bracts of blue, pink, yellow and white. These attractive bracts and flowers can be used in dried flower arrangements. Most varieties of Limonium bear in coastal areas ranging from Canary Island through most parts of Mediterranean region towards central Asia.

Limoniums are also known as Statice.

Flowers of Limonium Sinuatum

Flowers of Limonium Sinuatum

How to Grow Limonium

Growing conditions vary within different varieties of Limonium. Some of these species grow natively in saline conditions whereas some grow in well-drained yet moist sandy soil. Most species can be propagated from seeds or divisions. Limonium grows under full or partial sun and makes excellent fillers in rock gardens and landscapes. Plants bloom is spring and summer.

Popular Varieties of Limonium

Limonium Latifolium: Commonly known as Sea Lavender, Limonium Latifolium is a summer flowering shrub and bears clusters of colorful blooms.

Limonium Perezii: This showy of variety Limonium bears large leaves and grows in to woody shrub of dense clumps. Flowers are white, purple and blue. The plant prefers partial sun, well-drained soil and ventilated position.

Limonium Peregrinum: An evergreen shrubby plant that bears rose pink flowers on woody stems. It prefers rich soil, good drainage, regular watering and humid climate.

24 May

Beautiful Landscape Tree, Pandanus

Pandanus is a large genus of about 600 trees and shrubs from Asia and Africa. Most plants in this species have broad and dense leaves. These deciduous plants produce male and female flowers on separate plants. Fruits resemble the fruit of pineapple plant. Pandanus are a good choice for planting outdoors for their handsome foliage. They also make spectacular container plants for ornamental purposes.

Pandanus Utilis, Landscape Tree

Pandanus Utilis, Landscape Tree

How to Grow Pandanus

Since most species of Pandanus grow alongside coastal belts, they require humidity and generous watering. Most species can be propagated from stem cuttings, offsets, tubers, or by layering.

Popular Varieties of Pandanus

Pandanus Utilis: Commonly known as Madagascar Screw Pine, Pandanus Utilis turns into a medium sized tree of about 20 meters. The trunk is stout and bears a canopy of twisted, fan-like leaves. Leaves are usually 2 meters or long. This is a perfect plant if you are looking for a striking landscape design. Grown for its leaves that are used for many purposes, Pandanus Utilis is evergreen tree and can be propagated easily from root balls, cuttings, or offsets.

Pandanus Utilis Fruit

Fruit of Pandanus Utilis

23 May

Night Blooming Jasmine: Cestrum Nocturnum

Cestrum Nocturnum, commonly known as Night Blooming Jasmine, is a flowering shrub of tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is also a must have in every gardener’s collection of the Indian sub-continent where it is called Raat ki Raani (Lady of the Night/Queen of the Night). Grown for its intoxicating fragrance, the Night Blooming Jasmine makes an excellent shrub for gardens.

Cestrum Nocturnum, Queen of the Night

Cestrum Nocturnum (Queen of the Night), Image © H. G. Mukhopadhyay

Cestrum Nocturnum bears small and white flowers by the beginning and the end of summer. Flowers bloom in hot and humid nights and emit smell that is unique and different from other flowering plants. Smell of Night Blooming Jasmine is sensual, enticing and quite exhilarating. It fills the passer by with delicate and intoxicating feelings. This plant is natively Caribbean and it is also known as Dama De Noche in Spanish.

How to Grow Night Blooming Jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine is normally grown in subtropical regions as an fragrant plant for its strongly scented aroma. The ideal soil for this plant is clammy and sandy with humid climate. The plant spreads itself when it grows and can obtain the height of twelve feet, but does not spread more than four feet. The plant’s stems are like creepers, with bigger leave approximately between four and eight inches in length The flowers of Night Blooming Jasmine are relatively smaller colouring white or green in color and blossom off the creepers. There are also some verities found with yellowish flowers. Cestrum nocturnum is a fast growing shrub in the suitable conditions.

The stronger understanding about Cestrum Nocturnum is that normally it smells in the night. Although the smell could be stronger in the nights due to the full blossoming of the flowers but it also smells during the day in the season. Night Blooming Jasmine works fabulously as a mixed border additive. It is also fascinating when used as a freestanding plant. Cestrum nocturnum also possess luscious attraction for butterflies  and some types of caterpillars that consume its leaves as a source of food.

Night Blooming Jasmine is reported to cause respiratory problems from the scent, and feverish symptoms following ingestion to the people who are respiratory sensitive or are asthmatic.
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About the Author: This guest post is compiled by Jahanzeb Nazir Malik who is an avid gardener, an environmental activist, and a lawyer by profession. He also writes his blog on food, culture, art, entertainment and architecture.

20 May

Ceanothus, Lovely Flowering Shrubs for Cold Climates

Ceanothus is a genus of about 50-60 flowering shrubs (up to 3 meters) and small trees (up to 7 meters) that bear fragrant blue, pink, white or lilac flowers. Both evergreen and deciduous varieties of Ceanothus are available for growing as ornamental flowering plants. Ceanothus are at their best when blooming in late spring or mid-summer. Flowers are tiny but densely clustered to form a rich display of soft and fragrant blooms.

Ceanothus 'Cynthia Postan', Flowering Shrub

Ceanothus 'Cynthia Postan', Image from cambridge2000.com

With a little effort, Ceanothus can be trained to form effective ground cover, hedge or climber. Prune only when required, the best time to prune Ceanothus is after the end of flowering spell.

How to Grow Ceanothus

Most species of Ceanothus would grow from softwood cuttings sowed in later spring or mid-summer. Propagating from seeds can be challenging. In winter, soak Ceanothus seeds in hot water for 12 hours and then store them at 1° C for three months. Sow stratified seeds when temperature is between 16-18°C. Germination may take one to three months.

Once established, Ceanothus is easy to care. It requires well-drained and mulched soil, average watering under full sun, and protection from frost. Ceanothus is not a hungry plant and can grow on nutrients available in soil and water without any extra feed.

Popular Varieties of Ceanothus

Ceanothus Concha (Californian Lilac): Suitable for alkaline soil; withstands drought, grows up to 4 feet, makes a bushy plant and blooms in late spring.

Ceanothus Delileanus (Gloire de Versailles): Another bushy variety. Gloire de Versailles is deciduous and bears pale-blue flowers from mid-summer to autumn.

Ceanothus , ‘Blue Mound’: An evergreen shrub, producing dark-blue flowers in late spring. Blue Mound can grow as tall as 5 feet and, spread up to 6 feet.

Ceanothus, ‘Autumnal Blue’: Autumn Blue is evergreen, grows upright and bears light blue flowers in late summer. It can grow as tall as 10 feet.

Ceanothus ‘Puget Blue’: One of the mostly cultivated varieties of Ceanothus, Puget Blue makes a good flowering shrub.

Ceanothus Thyrsiflorus (Skylark): Excellent climber and prolific bloomer. Skylark flowers blooms in late spring or early summer.

18 May

Poinsettia, Ornamental Shrub for Indoor and Outdoor Gardens

The cheerful colors of Poinsettia (Euphorbia Pulcherrima) always remind me of holidays. This ornamental and colorful shrub is an excellent choice for any indoor or outdoor gardens.

Native of Mexico and Central America, Poinsettia belongs to Euphorbiaceae which is a large family of succulent plants. Unlike most plants of this family, Poinsettia is quite showy plant that bears large bracts of pink, bright red, yellow, white and variegated colors.

Colorful Pionsettia Shrub for indoor and outdoor Gardens

Pionsettia, Image from oldmillnursery.wordpress.com

Poinsettia usually forms a short and thick trunk with a brown, rough bark. New leaves are soft and bronze that ultimately turn in to green, hard and leathery succulent leaves. The plant exudes milky sap from wounds which can cause irritation on skin.

How to Grow Poinsettia

Poinsettia is easy to care and fast growing shrub that makes an excellent ornamental plant for any garden. Poinsettia requires a well-drained and mulched soil, and bright sunlight (morning exposure to sun for a couple of hours is enough, if you are growing your Poinsettia indoors). The plant can be propagated from cuttings that root readily. Cuttings are, however, prone to rot if planted in soggy soil. Protect Poinsettia from frost in cold climates.

Poinsettia is also known as Christmas Plant, Lobster Plant or Mexican Flame Leaf.