22 Oct

Easy to Grow Ferns for Hanging Baskets: Pellaea

Ferns are my all-time favorite plants for their delicate, fresh and decent foliage. They are quite compromising plants that would grow almost anywhere in homes, offices, gardens, greenhouses, window gardens and hanging baskets. There are a number of popular ferns grown and commercially as successful ornamental plants. Pellaea is perhaps one of the less known species of all ferns. Originally native to South Africa, Pellaea is a relatively smaller but very attractive plant.

Pellaea Mucronata

Pellaea Mucronata

Pellaea makes a good low-growing plant that can be used in garden landscapes as filler as well as attractive foliage plant. Pellaea is equally good for hanging baskets because of its delicate stems that are usually covered with small and fresh-green leaves. In its native climate, Pellaea grows in rocky mountains; thus you can mimic same conditions in your indoor or outdoor gardens to grow these beautiful ferns easily in your rock garden.

Pellaea Rotundiflora or Button Fern which is easy to grow in temperate as well as cold climates, it is nice plant for hanging baskets. It bears dense round leaves. Pellaea Viridis is another popular species which loves and grows natively in warm and humid climate. It also grows beautifully in hanging baskets.

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.

Image source

18 Oct

Creeping Fig Vine: Love it or Hate it?

I have kind of love and hate relation with Creeping Fig. I love for its quick and creeping growth (good for quick results) and I hate it because when it outgrows my pruning efforts to cover almost all kinds of surfaces or objects.

Ficus Pumila or Creeping Fig is a fast growing, in fact, vigorous growing creeper which is suitable for many purposes: quick growing ground cover, evergreen creeper to cover walls and trellis, thickly leaves vine for hanging pots, nice woody and leafy plant for topiaries, and for many other purposes.

creeping fig vine

Creeping fig grows rapidly and creeps up almost all surfaces and objects via its aerial roots. Stem is covered with dense foliage which is bright green to dark green depending on light condition. Native to eastern Asia, Creeping Fig is widely under cultivation is most climates (except very cold or freezing environments). The plant requires consistently moist soil and grows well in ground as well as in containers. Older plants tend to form hard woody stem, however, new branches are quite easy to prune or train.

Cutting root quickly and are the easiest way to propagate Creeping Fig. Take cuttings in spring and plant them in a regular potting mix. Keep them under partial sunlight until new growth is visible.

10 Oct

Evergreen, Fragrant Flowering Bush: Cheiranthus, Wallflower

Cheiranthus are flowering perennial and annual plants of wide spread origin. Usually grown as free-flowering plants, Cheiranthus can be found in Europe, Asia, the Americas and parts of Mediterranean regions. Known for their sweet scented flowers of yellow, orange, pink, blue or purple shades, Cheiranthus are good flowering plants for growing under sun or partial shade. A number of double and multi-colored flowering species of Cheiranthus are also available.

If you are growing them outdoor, Cheiranthus are good plants for flower beds as they flower in late winter and continue to bloom till early spring. One of the most common species from this genus is Cheiranthus Cheiri that grows as small bushy plant and yields yellow or brownish-yellow flowers in spring.

Cheiranthus Cheiri is usually known as Wallflower.

Cheiranthus Cheiri, Wallflower

Cheiranthus Cheiri, Wallflower, Image by David Monniaux

How to grow Cheiranthus/ Wallflower

Most species of Cheiranthus grow easily from seeds as well as cuttings. These plants can grow under sun as well as partial shade and prefer a very well drained soil. Water requirements are moderate. Pinch young plants to encourage bushy growth. Flowers of Cheiranthus Cheiri are fragrant and last long; good choice for flowering arrangement, as cut flowers or in potpourri.

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.