10 Nov

10 Lovely Flowering Varieties of Hibiscus for Your Garden

Hibiscus also known as Rosemellow is a large genus of flowering shrubs. These lovely bloomers are known for their beautiful satiny flowers that come in many different colors. If you garden in warm, temperate, subtropical and tropical regions, growing Hibiscus can be rewarding.

For your inspiration, I am displaying 10 beautiful varieties of Hibiscus.

Pink Hibiscus

Image by HPatri (flickr)

Yellow Hibiscus

Image by Gertrud K.

Hibiscus red

Image by Brian Valentine

Hibiscus white flower

Image by Roy Cohutta

Hibiscus moscheutos 'saxon'

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘saxon’/ Image by szakszonlaszlo (flickr)


Image by Martien Uiterweerd

Hibiscus schizopetalus

Hibiscus schizopetalus/ image by Pratap Bhanja

Pink Hibiscus flower

Image by Neuro (flickr)


Image by Eckenheimer (flickr)

Hibiscus moscheutos

Hibiscus moscheutos/ Image by Frederico Ferdinand

08 Nov

Lovely Flowering Shrub for Garden Borders: Spiraea thunbergii

The plant featured today is Spiraea thunbergii. It is one of my favourite flowering shrubs because of its delicate spring flowers and interesting foliage. Spiraea thunbergii grows up to 5 feet as a dense, twiggy shrub and produces attractive narrow leaves. The beautiful foliage grows on wiry stems that densely branch out from the main stem of the plant. The interesting formation of leaves gets more beautiful in fall when the green color of leaves turns to golden-yellow to orange and bronze. The leaves fall of in winter and start sprouting again in early spring.

Spiraea thunbergii

Spiraea thunbergii / Image by Wikimedia Commons

Flowering starts in spring and last for many weeks. The white delicate flowers of Spiraea thunbergii form small clusters that cover the entire plant. Exposure to full sun encourages growth of flowers. Because of its interesting foliage, beautiful flowers and growing habits, Spiraea thunbergii makes an excellent border plant for gardens and landscapes.

Spiraea thunbergii can be easily grown in a slightly moist but well-drained soil. This lovely shrub loves sun but tolerates light shade. As with most plants in the Rose family, propagation of Spiraea thunbergii is done from layering or cuttings.

31 Oct

Lovely Flowering Shrub: Chaenomeles speciosa, the Japanese quince

Chaenomeles speciosa, commonly known as Japanese quince, is a beautiful flowering shrub from the family of Rose. Native to China and Japan, Japanese quince is a popular plant in horticulture. It is often used for forming hedges, screens, and garden borders.

Chaenomeles speciosa

Chaenomeles speciosa/ Image by Etringita (flickr)

Japanese quince grows as a dense and broad flowering shrub that grows 6-10 feet tall and wide. This lovely shrub is known for its beautiful cup-shaped flowers that appear in late winter and early spring. Flowers are usually red, pink or white. Flowering is followed by formation of berry-like fruits called quince.

Japanese quince growing in a container

Japanese quince growing in a container/ Image by Cpike55151 (flickr)

Japanese quince moderate watering and a well-drained soil. This shrub loves bright sunlight and blooms profusely when provided with ample sunlight. The plant can be propagated easily from cutting.

Besides Chaenomeles speciosa, a number of cultivars are also grown for their beautiful flowers. Popular varieties include:

Japanese quince

Japanese quince/ Image by kuromeri (flickr)

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Cameo’  produces double flowers of pink colors. The plant grows as a low growing shrub (4′ to 5′ tall) with bright green foliage and few thorns.

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Contorta’ is characterized by twisted stems and lovely  white flowers.

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Texas Scarlet’ is another low-growing plant (to 4′ tall) with few thorns. Flowers are bright red.

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Toyo-Nishiki’ is a rather unusual form with red, pink and white flowers in the same flower cluster.

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Geisha Girl’ is a compact deciduous shrub with semi-double salmon-pink flowers borne on leafless branches in early spring.

30 Oct

A beginner’s guide to growing a Gardenia Bonsai: 4 Amazing Tips To Grow One

A lot of people love to grow and cultivate gardenia bonsais because of their elegant appeal, amazingly beautiful flowers and remarkable fragrance. The shrub is known for its delicate white flowers and glossy green leaves and because of that it’s used in many modern homes in order to complete their look. The gardenia bonsai can be grown outdoors in zones seven to nine, but you may also consider it as a houseplant until the summer months. When doing so, you’ll easily be able to protect it from temperatures that are harmful to its health. With that in mind, below we’re going to take a closer look at A beginner’s guide to growing a Gardenia Bonsai.

Temperature and location

To enhance flower growth and foliage, a gardenia bonsai needs to be exposed to diffused light or direct light up to 4 hours per day. During its active growing season you should expose it to temperatures between seventy and eighty five degrees Fahrenheit, which are basically the temperatures between spring and fall. During wintertime though, you’ll need to take greater care of and expose it to temperatures that will never go below forty five degrees Fahrenheit. Also, since gardenia bonsais require extra humidity, you should place yours next to a tray filled with pebbles and water or next to other leafy shrubs.

Watering the Bonsai

You should make it a point to keep the soil moist, but without being soggy. In the warmer seasons though, you’ll need to consider watering the bonsai every day but how will you determine if you’ll need to water it or not? Well, that’s simple and all you need to do is check the color and feel of the soil’s surface. Once it dries up, the soil will tend to have a light color and when touching the surface, it will feel a bit dry.

The gardenia bonsai should be placed in a shallow dish with around two inches of water and remember that it’s important to allow it to soak moisture when the soil starts to look and feel moist or for a minimum of twenty minutes. However, if the soil dries out completely, you’ll just need to immerse the pot in water for maybe five minutes until the soil is thoroughly wet.

Pruning the Gardenia Bonsai

To maintain the bonsai’s bushy appearance in the spring, you may want to cut its unbranched and long growths. It’s important to keep the cut above the leave joint when pruning and since it has flower buds that grow at the end of its branches, be sure you take extra care so you don’t pinch out all of them. After the bonsai has flowered, you may go ahead with enhancing the shape of your plant by pruning these branches.

Fertilizing Your Gardenia Bonsai Tree

From the beginning of spring through fall, it’s recommended you’ll use half strength acid type fertilizer once a month. Some of the leaves may change their color and turn yellow with green veins so if this happens, then you improve their appearance by applying iron chelate. Lastly, you should remember that gardenia flower buds will likely drop off before they even start blooming. There are many factors which can cause this to happen and some of them include:

  1. Premature bud drop
  2. Sudden temperature changes
  3. Night temperatures exceeding seventy degrees
  4. Insufficient amount of light
  5. Under watering

As you can see, by following the tips of A beginner’s guide to growing a Gardenia Bonsai you’ll easily be able to grow a Gardenia Bonsai that will not only look wonderful, but at the same time offer your room or the space in which you’ll place it in a new and refreshing feel.

This guest post is written by Mauricio Greene. He is a bonsai expert and runs the site Bonsai Tree care. Mauricio aims to create a community that cares and cultivates these amazing plants, and importantly, appreciates the beauty and tranquility they provide.