14 Jul

Easy to Grow Flowering Plant for Beginners: Gaillardia

Gaillardia is a small genus of annuals and perennials from the family of sunflower and bear very colorful flowers over a long flowering season. Gaillardia is commonly known as Blanket Flower because of its colorful flowers that are reminiscent of colorful blankets of native Red Indians of Americas. They are native to Americas, and make an excellent choice for cut flower.

Gaillardia bears yellow, red, orange and sometimes bicolor flowers that bloom on long stalks. The plant itself grows up to 2 feet in height.

Gaillardia, Plants for Beginners

Gaillardia Flowers, Image by Mike Sutton

How to Grow Gaillardia

Gaillardia is quite easy to grow from seeds. It is frost and drought tolerant and well drained soil under bright sunlight. Among the most popular and commercially grown varieties Gaillardia x Grandiflora and Gaillardia Pulchella ‘Lorenziana’ are widely available as hardy plants for containers and flower beds. Gaillardia usually requires moderate watering. These self-seeding plants attract a lot of bees and butterflies to garden. Deadhead your Gaillardia plants to prevent it from becoming invasive.

09 Jul

Lovely Flowers from Chile: Salpiglossis Sinuata

Salpiglossis is a small genus of herbaceous plants from Chile grown for their colorful and lovely flowers. Most popular species of this genus is Salpiglossis Sinuata (also known as Painted Tongue) that bears large lovely flowers of yellow, orange, purple, scarlet and blue colors. These colorful flowers resemble closely with Petunia flowers.

Suitable for garden edges, borders, and in background of flower beds, Painted Tongue bear lovely flowers in late spring and continue to bloom last till summer. Salpiglossis Sinuata (Painted Tongue) is suitable for container gardening as well.

Salpiglossis Sinuata, Lovely Flower of Chile

Salpiglossis Sinuata, Image by Ricardo Hernández

How to Grow Salpiglossis Sinuata/Painted Tongue

Salpiglossis Sinuata requires bright sunlight and regular watering in a well-drained soil. These easy to grow plants can be propagated from seeds. Keep young plants moist and under shade until they are established and are ready to be transferred to beds or pots.

06 Jul

Lovely, Summer Bloomer for Warm Climates: Petunia

Petunia is one of the most cultivated annuals for their colorful flowers and ability to grow in many different conditions and places. Petunia can be grown in raised beds, hanging baskets, window boxes and containers for colorful flowers almost all through the year. Flowers of petunia grow in all shades of red, pink, purple, white, blue, mauve and yellow. The velvety flowers can be single, double, fringed or blotched.

The most popular species of this prolific bloomer is Petunia x. Hybrida which is a mix of Petunia Axillaris and Petunia Integrifolia. Petunia x. Hybrida comes in many different varieties ranging from dwarf flowering plants to trailing bloomers and compact ground covers. Petunia flowers in spring till summer but plants in warmer climates can bloom throughout the year. Other popular species include: Petunia Alpicola, Petunia Bajeensis, Petunia Parviflora, and Petunia Pubescens.

Petunia Flowers

Petunia Flowers, Image by Harmen de Vries

How to Grow Petunia

Petunia is easy to grow and low maintenance plant. Propagation is quite easy from seeds. Keep seedlings under indirect sunlight until they are able to be transferred in pots or beds. Young plants require bright sunlight and moderate water. Petunia is self-seeding plant and should be deadheaded to prevent it from invading the entire landscape.

29 Jun

Tropical Flowering Shrub: Hibiscus

Hibiscus is large genus of flowering bushes, small trees, herbs and shrubs from topical and sub-tropical climates. There are a number of ornamental species of Hibiscus popular among gardeners for their attractive foliage and lovely flowers.

Besides its value as ornamental flowering plant, Hibiscus is used in preparation of beverages and red tea which is rich in vitamin C and minerals. A flowering Hibiscus in your garden is bound to attract a lot of birds and butterflies.

It is also the national flower of South Korea (Hibiscus Syriacus) and Malaysia (Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis).

Hibiscus Flower

Hibiscus Flower

How to Grow Hibiscus

These sun loving, flowering plants should be pruned regularly to gain prolonged flowering. Hibiscus should be provided with well drained and mulched soil with moderate watering and regular fertilizer.

Popular Varieties of Hibiscus

Common Hibiscus can be grouped in four types: Hibiscus Mutabilis, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis, Hibiscus Syriacus and Hibiscus Schizopetalus.

Hibiscus Mutabilis is known with many names: Persian Rose, Rose Mallow, Cotton Rose, and Confederate Rose. All of the names are given to this variety for its fairly large and attractive flowers. This shrubby plant bears dense cover of bright leaves and flushes of flowers that change many colors – white in the morning, pink in the noon, and red in the evening.

Hibiscus Sinensis grows as an evergreen shrub in almost all tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. It is widely grown as ornamental hedge that bears red, bell-shapes flowers. Some varieties also produce white, pink, orange or yellow flowers. Hibiscus Sinensis is usually known as China Rose.

Hibiscus Syriacus which is also known as Rose of Sharon is another popular variety that grows best as ornamental shrub of about 2.7 meters. Flowers are white, mauve and blue.

Hibiscus Schizopetalus also known as Coral Hibiscus or Japanese Hibiscus bears attractive and bigger flowers of red or orange-red colors. Countless hybrids of Hibiscus Schizopetalus available as houseplants.

Pink Hibiscus Flower

Pink Hibiscus

20 Jun

Colorful Foliage Plant for Indoor/Outdoor Gardens: Episcia

Episcia is a genus of eight perennial and herbaceous plants from tropical regions of Central and South America. Grown as ornamental houseplants for their beautiful foliage, Episcia produce colorful, often variegated, broad leaves of green or reddish-green colors. Variegation is usually yellow and flowers vary from red-pink, orange, purple and white. One of the common houseplant species of Episcia genus is Episcia Cupreata which bears coppery-green or bright green leaves, sometimes showing variegation of yellow, red or silver colors.

Flowers on Episcia Cupreata are usually yellow. The plant is commonly known as Flame Violet. A number of hybrid species with colorful flowers and foliage namely Episcia ‘Tricolor’, Episcia ‘Tiger Stripe’, Episcia ‘Metallica’, and Episcia ‘Chocolate Velour’ are also grown commercially.

Episcia Cupreata

Episcia Cupreata, Image from www.sci.muni.cz

How to Grow Episcia

Most species of Episcia would grow indoor as well as outdoor when provided with moderate watering and partial sunlight, and protected from frost. Propagation is easy from leaf cuttings or seeds.

12 Jun

Beautiful Ground Cover for Landscapes: Creeping Jenny

Lysimachia or Creeping Jenny is a genus of several annual and perennial plants from temperate and subtropical regions of Asia and Europe. Usually used as border plants and ground covers, Lysimachia bear attractive yellow flowers in spring. The most popular species from of this genus is Lysimachia Nummularia (Creeping Jenny), which is suitable for growing as ground cover or in hanging baskets. When grown as ground cover, it makes a nice mat of fresh green color.

Creeping Jenny, Ground Cover Plant

Creeping Jenny, Image from 9daysqueen.blogspot.com

How to Grow Lysimachia Nummularia/ Creeping Jenny

Lysimachia Nummularia grows in full shade as well as under partial sun. It requires plenty of water and can be grown as foliage plant for hanging baskets. The plant can be propagated easily from cuttings. Lysimachia Nummularia is also known as Moneywort.

08 Jun

Charming, Flowering Vine for Topical Climates: Mandevilla

Charming fragrant flowers, bright showy leaves, and tendency to grow beautifully against trellis and walls make Mandevilla a popular houseplant. Native to tropical regions of Central and South America, Mandevilla is an easy to grow climber. These summer bloomers bear attractive flowers of pink, white, yellow and red colors. They can be grown in hanging baskets, against fences, trellis and over pergolas.

Mandevilla Amabilis

Mandevilla Amabilis, Image from flowersofmaui.com

How to Grow Mandevilla

Mandevilla demands well drained and rich soil. For profuse flowering, provide your Mandevilla plants with bright but filtered sunlight in a warm spot. Water and fertilize them regularly; avoid overwatering and protect from frost. The easiest way to propagate Mandevilla is from softwood cuttings.

Popular Varieties of Mandevilla

Mandevilla Splendens: A beautiful summer bloomer, Mandevilla Splendens bears showy flowers of pink color. The plant grows as an evergreen creeper and can be grown in hanging baskets.

Mandevilla Laxa: Also known as Chilean Jasmine, Mandevilla Laxa grows as a deciduous vine. Growth is often vigorous and requires pruning of wood stems. Flowers are fragrant and can be used in flower arrangement to add colors and fragrance.

22 May

Dazzling, Lovely Flowers of Portulaca

Portulaca (Buy seeds online), commonly known as Moss Rose, is a drought tolerant flowering ‘weed’ that bears splashes of colorful flowers in hot and dry climates. Both annual and perennial species of Portulaca are grown commercially and used as ground cover. Almost all species have small and fleshy leaves; grow without requiring much care, and love full sun.

Portulaca Grandiflora, Moss Rose

Portulaca Grandiflora (Moss Rose), Image from wellgrowhorti.com

How to Grow Portulaca

Portulaca is a perfect plant for beginners. They are propagated easily from seeds and adapt themselves in many different conditions – as container plants, as ground cover for hot and sunny locations, in hanging flowering baskets, ornamental plants for window gardens, or grown for edging rock gardens and pathways. Provide Moss Rose with moderate water in a well drained soil.

Popular Varieties of Portulaca (Moss Rose)

Portulaca Grandiflora: The most popular and commercially grown species, Portulaca Grandiflora is a prolific bloomer that bears dazzling flowers of dozens of colors (yellow, pink, orange, red, white, cream) in single as well as double forms. Easily grown from seeds (usually self-seeding), Portulaca Grandiflora loves full sun, moderate watering and well-drained soil.

Other popular hybrid species of Portulaca include: Double Sunset Fire, Tequila Series, Margarita Series, and Sundial Series.

14 May

Euphorbia Milii, The Crown of Thorns

I have been growing Euphorbia Milii (also known as Crown of Thorns) for many years and I grow it for many purposes. It makes a nice hedge plant, it is an excellent flowering bush for container gardening, and it adds beautiful colors to a landscape.

Euphorbia Milii Plant

Euphorbia Milii

Euphorbia Milii is a bushy succulent and bears small yet attractive flowers almost throughout the year. The stem is covered with sharp and dense spines, and bright green leaves near the growing ends. Flowers are red, pink and white though you can find a wide range hybrid Euphorbia Milii that bear more colorful flowers (yellow, orange, cream and many mixed colors). Hybrid varieties are usually grown as grafted plants and display larger flowers.

How to Grow Euphorbia Milii

The actual home of Euphorbia Milii is Madagascar, however it has been successfully acclimatized and grown commercially in many parts of the world. Euphorbia Milii requires well drained soil, moderate water and good sunlight, however, it can survive drought and high temperature. It can be propagated from cuttings that can be rooted or grafted on a stock. When growing from cuttings, allow cuttings to dry for a few days and then plant them in a mixture of moist soil and peat moss. Keep the medium barely moist till plants are established. Over watering would rot these tender cuttings.

Euphorbia Milii, White Flower

Image from riverrocksucculents.com

Euphorbia Milii can be used as hedge plant, pruned down for edging, grown to cover spaces in rock garden or landscape, or kept as indoor ornamental plant (provided with ample sunlight).

Euphorbia Milii is named after Baron Milius who introduced these plants on France.

Hybrid Euphorbia Milii, Pink-Yellow Flowers

Image from panoramio.com