25 Oct

Lovely, Tropical Shrub for Landscapes: Lollipop Plant

Pachystachys is a genus of evergreen shrubs from tropical parts of South America, West Indies and parts of Africa and the US. These prolific bloomers produce attractive bracts and flowers almost throughout warm months and make decent accent plants in gardens as well as good indoor plants.

From about 12 species in the genus, Pachystachys Lutea is perhaps the most popular and widely grown for its intense yellow blooms. Usually known as Lollipop Plant or Golden Shrimp plant, Pachystachys Lutea spreads quite easily and fills empty landscapes very well. The plant grows up to 1.5 meters and bears dark green leaves and golden yellow bracts around white flowers. It is a good choice for borders as well as indoor containers grown under full to partial sunlight. Lollipop Plant usually starts blooming in spring and continues to bloom through summer and fall. To keep these shrubby plants in shape, it is recommended to prune them back once flowering season has ended.

Pachystachys Lutea, Lollipop Plant

Lollipop Plant, Image by Roland & Sonja

How to grow Lollipop Plant

Pachystachys Lutea is not fussy about soil and water. It grows quite well is regular soil mix and requires regular watering. It propagates easily from cuttings as well as seeds. When grown indoors, place Lollipop Plant near a well-lit window where it receives normal humidity and temperature between 18 and 27 ◦C.  Increase watering if leaves fall.

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.