21 Jun

Flowering Plant for Hot and Dry Landscapes: Kangaroo Paws

If you are looking for flowering plants for a low maintenance garden landscape, Anigozanthos should be on top of your list. Since they are native of south-west Australia, these hardy perennials would grow as very nice flowering plants in a dry and hot climate. Commonly known as Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthos are popular for their nice and usual flowers that also attract flocks of birds. Most species of Kangaroo Paws bloom in spring and summer; flowers vary in size and colors and appear on a long stalk exposing the nectar in the flowers.

Anigozanthos Manglesii (Kangaroo Paws)

Anigozanthos Manglesii (Kangaroo Paws), Image © SeanMack

How to Grow Kangaroo Paws

Kangaroo Paws grow in a well-drained soil, and prefer and sunny, warm places in the garden. They need protection from frost and grow well without requiring much water. Propagation is easy from divisions or seeds sown in early spring or autumn.

Kangaroo Paws also make good cut flowers for floral arrangements. Popular varieties of Kangaroo Paws are: Anigozanthos ‘Bush Ranger‘ with orange flowers, Anigozanthos ‘Dwarf Delight‘ with apricot colored flowers, Anigozanthos Flavidus with yellow and green flowers, Anigozanthos Manglesii with red and green flowers, and Anigozanthos ‘Pink Joey‘ with Solomon pink colored flowers.

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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.

30 May

Unusual Flowers of Jade Vine, Strongylodon Macrobotrys

Strongylodon Macrobotrys, also known as Jade Vine or Emerald Vine, is a perennial and evergreen vine from tropical forests of the Philippines. Known for its unusual flowers, a blooming Jade Vine makes a spectacular show of green and blue flowers hanging in long stalks. Flowering stalks are 5 feet in length or more and each covered by about 100 flowers.

Unusual Flowers of Jade Vine

Unusual Flowers of Jade Vine, Image from davidwyatt.me.uk

A mature Jade Vine would have bright green and soft leaves covering the woody stem. In it native rainforest, Jade Vine can grow as long as 75 feet, however, in cultivation it is pruned and trained to cover arches or grown over a pergola or display cascading stalks of it unusual flowers. Jade Vine blooms in spring and summer to attract birds. Fallen blooms change colors from emerald to blue-green and the purple as they dry out.

How to Grow Jade Vine

Being a native of rainforests, Jade Vine grows in humid and temperate zones where temperature does not fall below 15 °C. It does not tolerate frost. Grow Jade Vine is moist, fertilized and slightly acidic soil for perfect coloration of flowers; water regularly and provide it with plenty of sunshine.

Jade Vine can be grown from cuttings as well as seeds. In colder climates, Jade Vine can be grown in a greenhouse with adequate level of humidity and temperature. For pollination and seeds to produce, grow two vines side by side.

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.

Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum Nocturnum

Cestrum Nocturnum / Night Blooming Jasmine , 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.