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.

16 Sep

Cunonia Capensis: The Red Alder of South Africa

Cunonia is a small genus of flowering trees and shrubs with evergreen and ornamental foliage. Most of the species are distributed across South Africa whereas some grow towards east coast in to Natal. The most popular of all species is Cunonia Capensis which is grown as ornamental foliage plant in gardens. It bears beautiful glossy green leaves with shades of red and pink. Flowers are very showy and appear in dense spikes of cream color. These fragrant flowers attract butterflies, garden birds and honey bees that pollinate flowers and spread seeds of the plant.

Cunonia Capensis

Cunonia Capensis, Image by Tony Rodd

How to Grow Cunonia Capensis

Cunonia Capensis is an excellent choice when you are looking for a decent foliage plant for all seasons. It requires moderate water (do not over water but do not allow the plant to dry for a longer period). Almost all species of Cunonia grow under partial sunlight and bloom in mid-summer.

Cunonia Capensis is commonly known as Red Alder or Butterspoon Tree.

12 Sep

Beautiful and Unusual: Agave ‘Blue Glow’

Today I am featuring Agave ‘Blue Glow’ which is one of my favorite of all agave plants in my collection. Agave ‘Blue Glow’ is supposed to be a hybrid between Agave Attenuata and Agave Ocahui – ‘Blue Glow’ has long narrow leaves (from Agave Ocahui) with a terminal spines and almost no marginal spines (from Agave Attenuata). Dark blue-green leaves have red margins that glow when seen at eye-level with sunlight in the background. Agave ‘Blue Glow’ is relatively slow growing plant that tends to grow solitary. It forms a compact rosette of up to 18 inches in height and spreads as wide as 2 feet- suitable for growing in containers. The plant in picture is about 2 years old and was grown from a small offset.

Agave 'Blue Glow'

Agave 'Blue Glow'

 

Agave ‘Blue Glow’ prefers bright sunlight but protection from direct harsh sun of summer. It is quite hardy, easy to grow, and drought tolerant. I am growing my plant in a terracotta pot in my roof garden.

Agve 'Blue Glow' Leaves

Agve 'Blue Glow' Leaves