Begonia dregei

Common names: Dwarf Wild Begonia, Maple-Leaved Begonia, Wild Begonia, Wildebegonia, Grape-Leaf Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Begonia richardsiana
Begonia caffra
Begonia favargeri
Begonia homonyma
Begonia macbethii
Begonia natalensis
Begonia partita
Begonia parvifolia
Begonia richardsiana
Begonia richardsoniana
Begonia rubicunda
Begonia rudatisii
Begonia sinuata
Begonia suffruticosa
Begonia uncinata

Begonia dregei

Begonia dregei

Distribution and habitat: Begonia dregei is an erect perennial to 1m (39 inch) tall, but usually to 40cm (16 inch) tall in cultivation. This plant has developed at the base a caudex. Between different populations of the species there is a large variation in leaf shape and size. These plants are found in small isolated population in nature and they hybridize easily with one another.
Begonia dregei is native to southern Africa and occurs in forests, on rocky, mossy cliffs and steep banks, from the coast up to about 600m (2000 feet) in altitude. It is grown as an ornamental plant and there are numerous hybrids of this species.

Description: Begonia dregei is a semi-tuberous, fleshy perennial that grows to about 40cm (16 inch) tall, typically with a swollen stem base (caudex). The stem are pale green to reddish green or gray-brown, hairless, branched or branchless. The leaves are small with the blade above green, often with reddish or purplish veins and margins, sometimes white-spotted, especially when young, hairless, beneath paler green, hairless, asymmetric, in outline ovate to ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, base deeply to very shallowly cordate or almost truncate, margins entire, toothed or with three to five short or long lobes, the lobes themselves sometimes lobed or toothed, veins palmate. The stipules are persistent, linear-oblong to ovate-oblong.
The inflorescence appear in upper leaf axils. It is a few-flowered, bisexual cymose; the flowers are fragrant; the bracts are deciduous, ovate to broadly ovate or oblong. The male flowers are formed by tepals two, white, sometimes pink-tinged or pink, circular or kidney-shaped. The stamens are about 50, arranged in a flattened spherical mass and the anther connectives projecting. The female flowers have bracteoles absent or rarely present and then small and insignificant; the tepals are in number of five, same color as males, ovate, elliptic, almost circular or obovate. The flowers appear in spring and summer. The fruit is three celled capsule, about 1–2cm across the wings.

Houseplant care: Begonia dregei is quick-growing and in winter becomes semi-dormant and it may lose some of its stems and leaves. They are an interesting arty looking plant, makes them ideal as a bonsai like as they resemble small trees. Their preference for under potting also contributes to growing them in this manner. They respond to pruning to shape to please the eye.

Light: Give Begonia dregei plants bright filtered light all year round. Plants grown under natural sunlight on a windowsill will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer.

Temperature: During the active growth period normal room temperatures are suitable for Begonia dregei. In temperatures above 18°C (64°F) stand pots on trays of moist pebbles. During the winter keep these semi-dormant plants at a temperature of about 13°C (55°F) in bright filtered light as they retain their foliage while resting.

Watering: Water actively growing plants moderately, allowing the top couple of centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. As growth slows down, reduce amounts of water gradually. During the winter rest period give to Begonia dregei plants just enough water to prevent the potting mixture from drying out.
Use tepid water for these plants. Avoid getting water on leaves and flowers except for occasional necessary rinsing for grooming purposes.

Feeding: Apply a high-potash liquid fertiliser to actively growing plants about once every two weeks. Stop feeding the plants which are going dormant.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based mixture and coarse leaf mould. This species prefers a shallow pot. Put a layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage. When potting or repotting, simply sprinkle some mixture around the tuber and roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture.
These semi-tuberous Begonia dregei should be moved into pots one size larger each spring. When repotting always keep the tuberous swelling at the same level in the mixture. After maximum convenient pot size – 15-20cm (6-8 inch) – has been reached, top dress annually with fresh potting mixture.

Propagation: Begonia dregei plants are normally propagated from 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long tip cuttings of new growth taken in late spring or summer. Trim each cutting immediately below a leaf, dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder and plant it in 5 or 8cm (2-3 inch) pot containing a moistened equal parts potting mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case and stand it in bright filtered light. After rooting occurs (generally in three to four weeks), treat the rooted cutting as a mature Begonia dregei, but do not move it into the recommended potting mixture for the mature plants until it has made at least 15cm (6 inch) of top growth.

Begonia dregei grows very well from seed, and the new seedlings develop the swollen base very quickly. The seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Seed is best sown in early spring or summer. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia dregei.

Problems:
Begonia dregei is particularly prone to powdery mildew. All progeny hybrids are prone to this fungal disease.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Mealy bug will appear on Begonia dregei plants in abundance before they show up on nearby plants. All its hybrids are prone also to these bugs.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for Begonia dregei. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

Leaf nematodes and root nematodes are parasite to these plants.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting begonias in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on Begonia dregei plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on these plants.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Uses and display: Begonia dregei species is well worth growing for its curious swollen caudex, which often gives it a somewhat gnarled appearance and makes it an excellent subject for a bonsai pot. It makes a good specimen plant and can be used as table top plant or preferable placed on a south facing windowsill in winter and est-facing one in summer to provide them adequate natural light. This plant is often used in hybridization. It is interesting that it crosses with plants from different horticultural groups.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – upright
Height: 40cm (16 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 13oC max 18oC (55-64oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 18oC max 27oC (64-81oF)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 11

Begonia dregei Begonia dregei - female flowerBegonia dregeiBegonia dregei flowersBegonia dregei Begonia dregei - bonsaiBegonia dregei - female flower



Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Begonia caroliniifolia

Common name: Hand Begonia, Carolineabegonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Gireoudia carolineifolia
Begonia rotata
Gireoudia rotata
Begonia carolineifolia (misspelling)

Begonia caroliniifolia

Begonia caroliniifolia

Distribution and habitat: Begonia caroliniifolia is a perennial evergreen rhizomes form of begonia native to Southern Mexico and Central America. In the wild, these plants often lean against tree trunks or rocks, sometimes grasping them with their wiry roots.

In moist forest on steep,rocky slopes at an altitude of 50-495m.

Description: Begonia caroliniifolia is an upright rhizomatous with a striking woody trunk with palmately compound leaves that look like palm fronds. This plant does not branch freely and becomes quite large when well-grown, up to 60-100cm (24-39 inch) high. The stem is exceptionally tick, bearing the scars of the felled off leaves. This swollen trunk-like stems sprout decorative frilly-edged palmate foliage each leaflet with its own petiole, dense heads of small pink flowers.
The digitate leaves are arranged alternate and the leaflets are lanceolate with undulate margins. The leaves are hairless above, with long rusty hairs beneath glossy green, 30-40cm (12-16 inch) in diameter and have long reddish stalks 1-2.7cm (0.8-1 inch) merging into leaf-blades and densely hairy. The stipules are large, ovate-acuminate with outer surface hairy.
The light-pink flowers with yellow hearts are an added boon to this already beautiful plant. Dichotomous cymes are bearing pink flowers. Elliptic, obtuse bracts with outer surface hairy are subtending only the male flowers. The male flowers are 6.7-9mm across with two rounded-obovate perianth segments and filaments that are slightly fused at base. Female flowers are smaller and have two perianth segments and three persistent styles. The flowers are produced in late winter and spring. The flowers regularly for at least three months and sometimes longer and are followed by loculicidal three celled capsules about 9mm diameter and unequally three winged.

Houseplant care: Begonia caroliniifolia is an easy to grow plant and it is highly decorative not only its foliage but also its flower add colour and beauty.
A winter rest time seems is beneficial for these plants.

Light: Begonia caroliniifolia needs bright light without direct sunlight. Plants grown under natural sunlight on a windowsill will often perform best when provided with a south facing position in winter and est-facing one in summer. Do not rotate Begonia caroliniifolia if it is in the windowsill as the delicate stalk may break as the flower tries to reorient towards the sunlight.
Plants grown in too dark location will result in unnaturally pale foliage that is stretched towards the brightest source light. However plants receiving too much light will often have pale, bleached leaves with dry brown margins.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing Begonia caroliniifolia. Overwinter these plants at no less than 12°C (55°F).  These plants need a constant temperature to flourish.
For increased humidity stand pots on trays of moist pebbles.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia caroliniifolia plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Use lukewarm water when watering these plants.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing Begonia caroliniifolia plants. Do not apply fertiliser to newly repotted plants for about one month. Also do not fertilise sick or dormant plants because they are particularly susceptible to root damage.
Also remember that a soilless potting mixture will need more frequent fertiliser applications than most soil based potting mixtures.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Place a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the Begonia caroliniifolia plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size has been reached – probably 15-20cm (6-8 inch) . Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture.
When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.

Gardening: Begonia caroliniifolia tolerate temperatures only above at least 1°C (34°F). They are tender but very drought-proof. These plants make interesting subjects for containers or they grow well in the garden in areas with warm humid summers . Although they may be slow to establish.

Position: In warm sunny areas, Begonia caroliniifolia plants should not receive bright direct sunlight and light should be indirect (scattered off surrounding object) or filtered (by netting or trees). In northern regions this shading is often necessary during the spring and summer, but in fall and winter they will need far less shading.
Begonia caroliniifolia needs plenty of garden space (or a large tub) as it will spread its very large rhizomes over a considerable area.

Soil: Begonia caroliniifolia prefer a free draining, light and well aerated soil that tends towards being more acidic with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. If the soil is alkaline, add some sulphur to increase the acidity. To improve the drainage, add some compost or other organic matter when preparing the soil for these plants.
Use leaves to form a thick natural mulch layer around the plants that holds in the moisture and also breaks down to enrich the garden soil.

Irrigation: In the garden, water them deeply as required. They are succulent plants so they will accept quite dry conditions. Use tepid water to water these plants.
Water pot-grown Begonia caroliniifolia when the soil surface dries out – test with fingertip to 2cm (0.8 inch) depth. When water the plant ensure that the pot is saturated, but do not allow them to stand in water.

Fertiliser: While Begonia caroliniifolia are actively growing they will benefit from a regular application of water soluble fertiliser containing a 20-10-20 mix of the three major plant macro-nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Always follow the instruction that come with the fertiliser. Overfertilising the plant can damage the roots.

Propagation: Begonia caroliniifolia can be propagated by rhizome cuttings which are similar with stem cuttings. Like other stem cuttings, use cutting with nodes. Rhizome cuttings can be made at any length. The rhizomes do not have to have leaves to root and grow. Tip cuttings from rhizomes can be rooted upright with the cut end stuck 1.2-2.5cm (0.5-1 inch) into the rooting medium. When using the tips of rhizomes remove the largest leaves as they will probably fall off during rooting anyway. Dip the cut rhizome in hormone rooting powder. Plant it in a 8cm (3 inch) pot of a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Make sure the rhizome has good contact with the rooting medium but not buried more than half way. Enclose the new planted rhizome in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that rooting has occurred. Uncover the rooted plant and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater to avoid rotting. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plant into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant. Using this method of propagation it is obtained a new plant faster.

Propagation from seed: The seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia caroliniifolia.

Problems:
Mealy bug can be a common pest of Begonia caroliniifolia plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

A number of tiny mite species can be problematic for Begonia caroliniifolia. Infested leaves are yellow speckled and, if the infection is severe, may be covered with wool like substance on their undersurface.
Treatment: Control these mites with a suitable acaricide.

There are two kinds of microscopic, worm-like creatures parasite to Begonia caroliniifolia plants: leaf nematodes and root nematodes.
Treatment: The best form to control is to destroy affected plants. In open garden avoid replanting begonias in contaminated soil. In case of potted plants, infestation may be prevented ans controlled by routinely using sterilized potting mixtures and washing the plant pots.

Scale insects may feed on Begonia caroliniifolia plants.
Treatment: If infestation is localized, remove insects by wiping affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or dipping the plant in a solution of soapy water and alcohol.

Slags and snails are a problem in open garden.
Treatment: These pests are controlled using an appropriate molluscicide, both pellet and liquid forms or by hand pick at regular inspections.

Both the adults ans larvae of two kinds of weevils feed on Begonia caroliniifolia.
Treatment: Insecticides are capable of controlling these insects, but if they are inside the cavities of the plants, they will not be killed. To fully exterminate them, systemic insecticide are needed.

Whiteflies infest the under-surface of the uppermost leaves and if disturbed fly rapidly around the top of the host plants.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. Coverage of leaf undersides is important.

Bacterial leaf spot will produce water-soaked areas on the leaves that are surrounded by yellow rings. It may cause leaf drop and, in some cases, associated stem rot may occur.
Treatment: Once the disease is present, remove and destroy any affected leaves or stems and spray the plants with a bacterial leaf spot treatment.

Botrytis blight will produce gray moldy patches on leaves, stems and duds.
Treatment: This disease can be managed by improving the air circulation and plant hygiene by removing and destroying dead and dying leaves ans flowers. Use a suitable fungicide.

Powdery mildews produce unsightly white powdery patches on leaves, stems and buds.
Treatment: Manage this disease by restricting watering to morning so that water unwillingly splashed on leaves will quickly evaporate. Improve the air circulation around the plants. Severe cases may be treated with adequate fungicide.

Pythium rot root attacks the roots and stem bases of adult plants and cuttings. Affected plants at first will have a slightly wilted appearance, followed by yellowing their lower leaves. As the disease progress, the roots and stems turn black and musky, leading to the death of the plant.
Treatment: The use of sterilized potting mixture and use of appropriate fungicide will control this disease.

Rhizoctonia crown rot will be detected by the presents of brownish mould spreading from the soil to the infected stem base, a condition that will eventually lead to the collapse and death of the stem. This fungal disease appear only on plants that have been damaged or stressed by high temperatures or poor growing conditions.
Treatment: Maintenance of hygienic conditions and good cultural practice should prevent fungal growth. Fungicide sprays are also available.

A variety of viral diseases can attack  Begonia caroliniifolia plants causing symptoms like yellowing the leaves, pale yellow rings or spots, leaf malformation and stunted growth.
Treatment: Always use sterile potting mixture and treat insect infestations to prevent viral disease. Destroy all affected plants.

Uses and display: Begonia caroliniifolia is striking as a house plant and surely just as much an eye-catcher in your terrarium or as a exotic plant at home. It makes an excellent feature plant for any garden scheme. This distinctive and dramatic plant features large, light green compound leaves and an upright growing. It is an unusual specimens within its genus.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – upright
Height: 60-100cm (24-39 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 12oC max 16oC (55-60oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone 10a-11

Begonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifoliaBegonia caroliniifolia



Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , ,

Begonia incarnata

Common name: Metal-Leaf Begonia

Family: Begoniaceae

Synonymous: Begonia aucubifolia
Begonia ciliata
Begonia insignis
Begonia martiana
Begonia metallica
Begonia papillosa
Begonia subpeltata
Knesebeckia aucubifolia
Knesebeckia incarnata
Knesebeckia papillosa

Begonia incarnata

Begonia incarnata

Distribution and habitat: Begonia incarnata is a species of evergreen perennial succulent herb in the family Begoniaceae, native to Mexico. It is found in deciduous and pine forests of medium and high altitudes from 800 to 1700m (2600-5600 feet) or growing as secondary vegetation in damp places and shallow soils. This plant thrives in habitats that include wet and shaded slopes.

Description: Begonia incarnata is a fibrous-rooted hirsute begonia with fleshy stems and bushy habit, growing up to 90cm-1.2m (35-47 inch) tall. Its 15cm (6 inch) long and 10cm (4 inch) wide, oval leaves are alternate and lobed, tooth-edged and covered with white hairs. Leaf colour is olive green with metallic gloss and the deep-set veins are purple. The slender petioles about 2.5cm (1 inch) long. Sometimes stipules can be observed (at the base of the petiole) narrowly ovate , pointed, up to 1cm (0.4 inch) long, reddish.
The whitish, summer-blooming flowers are covered with pink hairs. The inflorescence with few flowers pedicellate – pedicels up to 2.9cm (1 inch) long – are clustered towards the apex of slender stalks – up to 7cm (3 inch) long. The peduncles and pedicels are without hairs. The flowers are unisexual and plants are monoecious or rarely dioecious. Male flowers are preponderant. The male flowers have 4 tepals (undifferentiated petals and sepals): two of them are external nearly circular up to 1.3cm (0.5 inch) long and the other two are shorter and narrower placed between the external tepals. In the middle of the male flowers are numerous elliptical stamens with the filaments bonded to the base and topped by anthers. The female flowers have 5 tepals oblong-ovate, up to 8mm (0.3 inch) long with the ovary which is continued by three styles united at the base. The flowers are accompanied by deciduous, narrow , bracts up to 8 mm (0.3 inch) long, pointed. The fruit is a capsule with 3 wings most probably with one wing larger then others.

Houseplant care: Begonia incarnata is primarily grown for its beautiful foliage, but the blooming can be a bonus for its appearance. Keep the leaves of Begonia incarnata clean and glossy by dusting them with a soft brush, supporting each leaf with the hand to prevent damaging it. Avoid using leaf-shine products. Pinch the plant tips and prune outer stems in the growing season to make a bushier plant. Regularly remove spent flowers to encourage new flowers to develop.

Light: Begonia incarnata needs bright light without direct sunlight to form great foliage, but can take some sun in winter.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable for actively growing Begonia incarnata. Overwinter these plants at no less than 13°C (55°F). This species does not tolerate temperatures below 10°C (50°F) and will suffer in dry air. For increased humidity stand pots on trays of moist pebbles. These plants need a constant temperature and fairly high humidity to flourish.

Watering: Water actively growing Begonia incarnata plants moderately, allowing the top couple centimetres (0.8 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter rest period water more sparingly, allowing the top half of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Water these plants avoiding wetting their leaves.
Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Promptly remove the standing water.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to actively growing plants.

Potting and repotting: Use either a peat-based mixture or a combination of equal parts of soil based potting mixture and coarse leaf mould. Place a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments in the bottom of pots for extra drainage.
Move the plants into pots one size larger every spring until maximum convenient pot size has been reached – probably 15-20cm (6-8 inch) . Thereafter, top-dress annually with fresh potting mixture.
When potting and repotting these plants, simply sprinkle some mixture around the roots and tap the container briskly to settle the mixture. Do not firm it down with the fingers.

Gardening: Begonia incarnata does not tolerate temperatures below 10°C (50°F), therefor in temperate regions it must be grown under glass. They do not like cold weather.
These shrub-likes begonias need tip-pruning in the early stages to encourage lateral growth and an overall pruning as adults to achieve the desired shape and size. This may be done at any time.
Begonia incarnata grow well in the garden and they are also well suited to being a potted plant.

Location: Begonia incarnata prefer semi-shade position. The ideal place to plant Begonia incarnata is where they get morning sun and dappled shade during the day but are protected from the hot afternoon sun.

Soil: Begonia incarnata prefer a free draining soil that tends towards being more acidic with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. If the soil is alkaline, add some sulphur to increase the acidity. To improve the drainage, add some compost or other organic matter when preparing the soil for these plants.
Use leaves to form a thick natural mulch layer around the plants that holds in the moisture and also breaks down to enrich the garden soil.

Irrigation: The leaves on Begonia incarnata are sensitive to water and need to be watered from below. Water will blister and discolor the leaves.
In the garden, water them deeply as required. They are succulent plants so they will accept quite dry conditions.
Water pot-grown Begonia incarnata when the soil surface dries out – test with fingertip to 2cm (0.8 inch) depth. When water the plant ensure that the pot is saturated, but do not allow them to stand in water.

Fertiliser: Add controlled-release fertiliser to the planting hole and apply a good general-purpose liquid fertiliser once a month.

Propagation: Begonia incarnata ca be propagated by cuttings or seed.
Cuttings propagation: Take a 8-10cm (3-4 inch) long cuttings of nonflowering shoots in spring or early summer. Trim each cutting immediately bellow a leaf, carefully remove the leaf and dip the cut end of the stem in hormone rooting powder. Plant the cutting in a 8cm (3 inch) pot of a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagating case. Stand it in bright filtered light until renewed growth indicates that rooting has occurred. It will take about three to six weeks to root. Uncover the rooted cutting and begin to water it sparingly and to apply standard liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks. Do not overwater to avoid rotting. About six months after the start of propagation, move the young plant into a slightly larger pot of standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant.

Propagation from seed: seeds are very tiny and should be not buried when sown. Mix them with little fine sand before sowing. Sow seeds trays in any standard germination medium (equal parts of peat and perlite or equal parts of vermiculite and perlite). A light mist spray of the surface will settle the seeds adequately. Keep the propagating trays in warm, moist conditions (intermittent mist ideal) in bright light, but no direct sun.
Prick the seedlings out into individual cells or small pots 6-8cm (2.5-3inch) when the first three leaves are formed. Use same potting mixture as for mature plants. The seedlings benefit from dilute applications of soluble fertiliser every two weeks. Re-potting will be necessary in about six months or so. Pot the new plants in pots one size larger when the root ball fill the pot. Thereafter treat them as mature Begonia coccinea.

Problems:
Yellow patches on the leaves indicate a virus.
Treatment: There is no cure and the plant should be destroyed to prevent the infection spreading.

Brown or black spots on the leaves are signs of rot which can result from overwatering or poor air circulation.
Treatment: Drench with a mild solution of fungicide to prevent the rot spreading and move the plant to an airy spot.

White spots on stems and leaves indicate an attack of powdery mildew.
Treatment: Spray with a suitable fungicide and carefully remove any dead leaves or flowers as they may be affected. Repeat the treatment at regular intervals until all the white spots have gone.

Sudden leaf drop is caused by fluctuating temperatures and irregular watering.
Treatment: Cut back the stem tips and keep the plant warm and moist. The plant will grow new leaves quite quickly.

Scorched, brown leaf tips are caused by lack of humidity and water.
Treatment: Water frequently during hot weather and raise humidity by standing the pot in a saucer of pebbles which are kept constantly damp.

Life spam: With some care, Begonia incarnata will live for many years.

Companion plants: Contrast the glossy foliage of Metal Leaf Begonia with a Euphorbia pulcherrima (Christmas flowers) or Begonia semperflorens (Wax Begonia) to create an attractive display.
While they can be grown in the flower bed, try them among ferns, Cordyline species (cordylines), Croton species (crotons) and bromeliads as a contrast in height and shape.

Usage and display: Begonia incarnata are prized for their attractive foliage, but their flowers are an add-on to plants appearance. They grow well in the garden and they are also well suited to being a potted plant. These plants can be kept in standard pots or in hanging pots. It is the perfect choice for beds and borders as well as it is superb for baskets, containers and window boxes. Also Begonia incarnata is an wonderful choice for combination plantings.
It makes a wonderful specimen plant for a big room or hallway. Display it in a large pot on a pedestal to show off the leaves and their hanging clusters of flowers to best advantage.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – upright
Height: 90-120cm (35-47 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 10oC max 16oC (50-60oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – moderate

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Begonia incarnata flowersBegonia incarnata leavesBegonia incarnata



Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , , , ,

Campanula isophylla

Common name: Italian Bellflower, Star of Bethlehem, Falling Stars, Trailing Campanula, Bellflower, Jerusalem Star, Star Bellflower

Family: Campanulaceae

Campanula isophylla

Campanula isophylla

Distribution and habitat: Campanula isophylla is a perennial species found only on the cliff of Capo Noli, in Italian Alps. In their natural habitat, they grow like a trailing carpet over south-facing rocks. These plants have become popular pot plants in the Scandinavian countries, making excellent basket plants.

Description: Campanula isophylla is an easy to grow flowering trailer indoor plant. Its small, heart shaped, tooth edged leaves are bright green and rather brittle. If stems or leaf stalks are broken they exude a milky white sap with a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor. Star-shaped, cupped flowers, which are produced from the leaf axils, are 4-5cm (1.5-2 inch) wide and pale blue.
The many slender stems, each as much as 30cm (12 inch) long, will trail down naturally or else they can be trained upward on a small trellis. Flowers, which are normally produced between midsummer and autumn, continue in succession for two or three months, usually becoming so numerous that they hide the foliage. Single flowers last 3-4 days.
Campanula isophylla is a perennial, though often is grown as annual.

Houseplant care: Remove spent flowers of Campanula isophylla plants – which can be pinched off with the fingertips – in order to prolong the flowering season.
Campanula isophylla are fast growing plants and will last many years, but need special care to survive the winters. Cut back the long stems close to the potting mixture as soon as winter approaches.
They tend to trail or hang, but if it is provided support for the trailing stems with a frame or a trellis or if their stems are tied to thin canes, these plants can be encourage to a more upright habit.

Light: Although these plants do not require full sunlight, they should have bright light, ideally with some direct sunlight at all times. This should ensure close growth and abundant flowers. Campanula isophylla can bloom reasonably, well in a sunless window but only if they are stood on the sill.
Campanula isophylla are long day plants and need about 15 hours of daylight before flower buds will develop. Supplementary artificial light can induce the plants to bloom a little earlier in summer.

Temperature: Since flowers fade quickly in great heat, indoor Campanula isophylla should be given the coolest position possible in summer. In temperatures above 18°C (64°F) provide high humidity by standing plants on trays of moistened pebbles and mist-spray them regularly; this will help prolong the flowering period. In winter these plants should rest in a very cool temperature – ideally around 4°C (39°F) and certainly not above 10°C (50°F), the rest may be started as soon as flowering finishes. Higher winter temperature will curtail the next flowering season.
For optimum flowering avoid draughts and temperature changes.

Watering: Campanula isophylla like to have moist roots. During the active growth period and for the duration of the lengthy flowering period, they should be watered plentifully, as much as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist – but never allow pots to stand in water. Even during the winter rest period these plants should be given some water – enough to moisten the potting mixture – at approximately two-weeks intervals.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser once every two weeks, beginning when plants have filled their pots with roots (about six weeks after potting) and continuing until the flowering season ends.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. For best effect, plant three or four rooted cuttings in a single 8cm (3 inch) pot in early spring; move them into slightly larger pots whenever roots appear on the surface of the potting mixture (normally, every two or three months). Maximum pot size require; probably 13cm (5 inch). To fill hanging baskets, take several plants from a few 8cm (3 inch) pots at the time they need repotting. Since blue and white varieties bloom simultaneously , they can be effectively mixed together in one basket.

Gardening: Campanula isophylla is generally not a difficult flower to grow. Being native to the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere where it grows in moist soil of montane regions, it require exposure to light and airy conditions. It is a non-invasive plant and generally tidy when not in flower. Also this plant ca be grown well in pots. It is a tender perennial ideal for a hanging basket or container that is outside in summer but brought undercover when frosts are likely.

Position: Plant them in a bright place but away from direct sunlight. The delicate flower colours are preserved best in shade. This plants can be planted under direct sunlight as long as they are generously watered.

Soil: Campanula isophylla plants enjoy a rich, well draining, light soil. Add lime if the soil is acid.

Irrigation: Campanula isophylla plant need constant moisture during the active growing season.

Fertilising: Water soluble fertilizers are generally used every two weeks during the growing season or per label instructions. Controlled, slow-release fertilizers are worked into the soil usually only once during the growing season or per label directions.

Propagation: Take 5cm (3 inch) long tip cuttings (each with three or four pairs of leaves) from old plants just as new growth appears in early spring; handle them gently so as not to break brittle stems and leaf-stalks. Dip cut ends in a hormone rooting powder to seal them and assist rooting. Gently insert each cutting about 1cm (0.4 inch) into a moistened equal-parts potting mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or a substance such as perlite, enclose the pot in a plastic bag and keep it warm in medium light. The cutting will root in two or three weeks and can then be moved into standard potting mixture for adult Campanula isophylla. After another three or four weeks of medium light and only moderate watering, the young plant can be subjected to brighter light and treated as a mature Campanula isophylla.
Propagation can also be achieved by divining established plants, but division is less satisfactory than the tip cutting method because stems of divided plants are old and always appear rather woody. If plants are divided, the clump should be pulled apart into several sections and gently shaken free of most of the old mixture. Fresh potting mixture is important for the health of the new plant.

Problems:
Campanula isophylla like plenty of moisture, but fungus diseases sometimes occurs if the soil retains too much water or if the plant is kept in excessively humid conditions.
Treatment: If this happens, a proprietary fungicide will kill the fungus, but the plant obviously needs drier soil and air in order to keep the disease from recurring.

Leaves turn yellow and shrivel. This is usually due to lack of water, light, or nutrition.
Treatment: Keep these plants evenly moist in summer, provide them with good light and feed them fortnightly.

Long flowerless trailing stems are probably caused by excessive heat.
Treatment: Keep Campanula isophylla plants out of hot direct sun.

Aphids are occasionally a pest on Campanula isophylla plants.
Treatment: Apply a suitable insecticide.

Glasshouse red spider mite, slugs, snails or vine weevil may attack these plants.
Treatment: Use an adequate pesticide to combat these pests.

Leaf spot, powdery mildew or rust are the disease that may infest these plants.
Treatment: Adequate treatment with fungicide used as recommended on their labels.

Recommended varieties:
Campanula isophylla f. alba is a white-flowered form.

Campanula isophylla ‘Mayi’ has hairy, variegated foliage and slightly darker blue flowers.

Companion plants: Campanula isophylla is looking best in landscape when planted along with dwarf conifers, alpines, acers, rhododendrons, bulbs, pines, lilies and South African bulbs and seed.

Uses and display: Campanula isophylla is and ideal plant for use in hanging baskets and raised pots. Alternatively, they can be trained upward on a small trellis. Also, Campanula isophylla plants are good in rock gardens in filtered shade. These plants deserve special settings—close-up situations in rock gardens, niches in dry walls, raised beds or containers. As they are trailing kinds are ideal for hanging pots or baskets and wall crevices; vigorous, spreading growers serve well as groundcovers for small areas on slopes in mild-winter climates.
Flower-filled baskets can be brought into the living-room window, or flower-covered pots can to used as centerpieces or in table-top compositions.

 

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – climbing and trailing
Height: 30cm (12 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 4°C max 10°C (39-50°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 21°C (61-70°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 5-8

Campanula isophyllaCampanula isophyllaCampanula isophyllaCampanula isophylla Campanula isophyllaCampanula isophylla



Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Ground cover, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , ,

Camellia sinensis

Common name: the China Tea Plant, Tea Plant, Tea Shrub, Tea Tree, Tea Tree Camellia, Black Tea, Green Tea, Chinese Tea, Common Tea, Tea, Tea Camellia

Family: Theaceae

Synonymous: Camellia angustifolia
Camellia arborescens
Camellia assamica
Camellia dehungensis
Camellia dishiensis
Camellia longlingensis
Camellia multisepala
Camellia oleosa
Camellia parvisepala
Camellia parvisepaloides
Camellia polyneura
Camelia sinensis (Misspelling)
Camellia thea
Camellia theifera
Camellia waldeniae
Thea assamica
Thea bohea
Thea cantonensis
Thea chinensis
Thea cochinchinensis
Thea grandifolia
Thea olearia
Thea oleosa
Thea parvifolia
Thea sinensis
Thea viridis
Theaphylla cantonensis

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

Distributiona and habitat: Camellia sinensis plants are evergreen, medium sized woody shrubs growing to a height of 2 to 2.4m (7-8 feet) native to South East Asia and China. It is found growing at the forest edges and gaps, at high altitudes, in well drained soils where it grows as a tree of up to 15m tall. This is the species of plant whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce the popular beverage tea. Today it is grown as a cash crop in plantations at high altitudes in East Africa. In Tanzania, Camellia sinensis plants have been noted to escape from cultivation and are considered to be invasive in parts of the Usambaras.

Description: Camellia sinensis is a small evergreen shrub cultivated to a height of 1.8m (6 feet), but growing wild much taller and much branched. The bark is rough and grey. The leaves are dark green, lanceolate or elliptical, on short stalks. They are usually 5-10 cm (2-4 inch) long, blunt at apex with the base tapering and shortly serrate margins. The young leaves are hairy, but older leaves become glabrous.
The flowers with mass of yellow stamens appear solitary or two or three together on short branchlets in the leaf axils. They are somewhat drooping on short stalks with a few small bracts, 2.5 to 4cm (1-1.5 inch) wide. The flowers are up to 4cm (1.5 inch) diameter, formed from five up to o nine white, occasionally pink, petals, unequal, strongly rounded, concave, spreading and caducous. The petals are surrounded by five sepals imbricate, slightly united below, ovate or rounded, blunt smooth and persistent.
It is up to one year and four months from buds blossom to fruits mature. The fruit is a smooth, flattened, rounded capsule splitted into one to five chambers, each chamber containing a solitary seed.

Houseplant care: Camellia sinensis is an attractive, glossy green leaves plant which grows indoors to a height of about 60cm (24 inch) or more and usually needs a minimum of attention. It has become a popular indoor species, partly become of the novelty of the fact that as the common name suggests, the processed young leaves of the plant yield commercial tea. Although one bush growing indoors would not yield a great amount of tea, indoor growers can try their hand at harvesting the young shoots and making their own tea. When sufficient growth has been made to allow the growing point of future shoots to be picked, these young leaves can be naturally sun dried. When these leaves are dried, they can be lightly rubbed between the hands, thus producing tea leaves. It is said that the tea is best quality when is made from tea leaves used immediately after drying and not months after.
Indoor cultivation of Camellia sinensis is bound to be plagued by some problems as these plants are very sensitive to any change in their position, temperature, humidity and moisture.

Light: Grow Camellia sinensis in bright filtered light throughout the year.
In warm weather, they are better moved in the garden – the pot can be buried in the soil – or to a semi-shady spot on a verandah.

Temperature: In the dry warmth of the average home Camellia sinensis will not flower, but they grow well in cool porches, patios and plant rooms such as conservatories. An ideal temperature during the bud-forming stage (autumn and winter) is between 7 and 16°C (45-61°F). Camellia sinensis cannot survive for long time indoor temperature above 18°C (64°F). Stand the pots on trays of moist pebbles and mist-spray the plants at least once a day.

Watering: During the active growth period water plentifully but never allowing the pot to stand in water. During the rest period – about six weeks from the end of the flowering season until late spring or autumn (depending on the variety) – water only enough to keep the potting mixture from drying out.
They drop their buds easily, especially if they do not get enough water when they are forming flower and leaf buds – and in any case, they are unlikely to flower well indoors, unless they are grown in a cool, conservatory type situation.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks during the active growth period.

Potting and repoting: Use equal parts of peat moss, coarse leaf mould and a lime-free soil based potting mixture. Move plants into slightly larger pots in spring whenever necessary. After maximum convenient size pot has been reached, top-dress the plant with fresh potting mixture at the end of each rest period. Do not repot plant in flower.

Gardening: Tropical and subtropical climates best suit the growth of Camellia sinensis. These plants needs warm weather and shade to grow fruitfully.
Camellia sinensis plants will grow into a tree if left undisturbed, but cultivated plants are pruned to waist height for ease of plucking. Young plants can be pruned early at about 20cm (8 inch) to promote a low, spreading branches, as needed.

Position: A half-day of sun or partial shade makes good planting place for Camellia sinensis. Plants will grow in full sun, but in colder locations will do best when protected from winter sun and winds. It does well in the dappled shade beneath larger trees.

Soil: Camellia sinensis will grow well in moist, free draining, fertile acid soils. For best results enrich the soil with well rotted compost and preserve the moisture by adding a tick layer of mulch.
The ideal time to plant Camellia sinensis out in the garden is in early fall or spring, but summer time is good enough if the plants are kept moist. After preparing the soil, dig a hole 60cm (24 inch) wider than the root ball, re-filling with conditioned soil after centering the plant.

Irrigation: These shrubs prefer a generous watering regime during growth period. Regular watering will encourages new growth.

Fertilising: Fertilize lightly in early spring with a balanced mix. Use a slow-release source of nitrogen for plants  heavily harvested, ideally no later than mid summer.

Harvesting: When being harvested for tea the shoots and 2-3 top leaves are harvested every 8-10 days. However, it is their spring leaf tips that are valued the most. Camellia sinensis usually will produce an abundant crop twice a year, once in the spring and again in the summer. Harvesting can be done every seven to 15 days during these periods, until the plant no longer produces new growth. Plucking should be done by hand so as not to damage the plant or bruise the leaves. Hold the stem and gently pinch the stem with one hand. With the other hand, gently pluck the desired leaves from the stem. Place freshly plucked leaves in a shallow basket while continuing to harvest. Using the basket to house the leaves while harvesting will allow air to flow within the leaves and discourage wilt.
Camellia sinensis plant is a perennial crop with life span of several decades even up to several hundreds years. When under good management, Camellia sinensis plants can be harvested on a small scale in 3-4 years after planting. In 5 years, it can reach a big annual output and then remain at it for above 30 years.

Propagation: Camellia sinensis can be grown from seed but the seed has a hard shell, so before sowing it must be soaked in tepid water for up to 48 hours. This can speed up the germination process considerably. Sow the seed just bellow the surface and firm down the soil. To germinate, these seeds must have a temperature of about 23°C (73°F). A seed propagator or greenhouse is ideal, but a useful alternative seed raiser can be organised. Simply sow the seed in plastic pots, water, then place the whole pot in a polythene bag, making it airtight, before putting the pot in a position where the required temperature can be achieved. Wherever possible, water the plant from the base. Refresh the air and water every two or three days.
While the plant is still a seedling, about 5-15cm (2-6 inch), a regular mist-spray of water will assist growth. Transplant the plant when is about 15-20cm (6-8 inch) tall to a 20-25cm (8-10 inch) pot.

Also Camellia sinensis plants are usually propagated by cuttings. However, this procedure is quite difficult to carry through successfully. The amateur gardener is advised to purchase a healthy young tree from a reputable nursery or plant supplier.

Problems: Camellia sinensis naturally shed older leaves, so a small amount of leaf loss is normal. Large amounts of dead, yellowed, or blotchy leaves can be a sign of disease or pest.

Algal leaf spot caused by Cephaleuros virescens. Infested plants have roughly circular, raised and purple to reddish-brown lesions developed on their leaves.
Treatment: Usually Cephaleuros does not harm the plant. Prevention methods include: avoiding plant stress and avoiding poorly drained sites. Promote good air circulation in the plant canopy to reduce humidity and duration of leaf wetness.

Brown blight and grey blight are caused by Colletotrichum sp. and Pestalotiopsis sp. Small, oval, pale yellow-green spots first appear on young leaves. Often the spots are surrounded by a narrow, yellow zone. As the spots grow and turn brown or gray, concentric rings with scattered, tiny black dots become visible and eventually the dried tissue falls, leading to defoliation. Leaves of any age can be affected.
Treatment: These diseases are very difficult to eradicate or even to manage once established. Avoid plant stress. Grow Camellia sinensis  bushes with adequate spacing to permit air to circulate and reduce humidity and the duration of leaf wetness.

Blister blight is caused by Exobasidium vexans. Small, pinhole-size spots are initially seen on young leaves less than a month old. As the leaves develop, the spots become transparent, larger and light brown. After about 7 days, the lower leaf surface develops blister-like symptoms with dark green, water-soaked zones surrounding the blisters. Following release of the fungal spores, the blister becomes white and velvety. Subsequently the blister turns brown and young infected stems become bent and distorted and may break off or die.
Spores that land on a leaf with adequate moisture will germinate and infect it, producing visible symptoms within 10 days. The fungus can directly penetrate the leaf tissue. The basidiospores have a low survival rate under conditions of drought or bright sunlight. The life cycle of the fungus is 3–4 weeks.
Treatment:  Apply an appropriate foliar or systemic fungicides to protect the plants.

Horse hair blight is caused by Marasmius crinisequi. Black fungal threads resembling horse hair are attached to upper branches and twigs by small brown discs. The fungus penetrates and infects the twigs from the discs and produces volatile substances that cause rapid leaf drop.
Treatment: Remove a and destroy all crop debris from around plants; prune out infected or dead branches from the plant canopy.

Twig dieback and stem canker is produced by Macrophoma theicola. The first symptoms include browning and drooping of affected leaves. As the disease spreads into the shoots, they become dry and die. The entire branch can die from the tip downward. Dying branches often have cankers shallow, slowly spreading lesions surrounded by a thick area of bark. The fungus usually requires wounded plant tissue to gain entry and initiate infection.
Treatment: Control of this disease should be attempted through a combination of chemical and cultural methods. Fungicides should be used during the spring at leaf drop to prevent spread of this disease. These fungicides will act as a protectant against the fungus but will not cure the disease after infection has occurred. Fungicides should also be sprayed following pruning, especially during the spring when temperature and moisture is ideal for the fungus. Pruning of plants to allow for good air circulation throughout the plant and proper spacing of camellias will help to reduce, the incidence of disease. Avoid excessive applications of nitrogen as tender new growth is more susceptible to the fungus than that which has hardened. Infected plants should be removed from healthy plants to prevent spread of the disease.

Camellia flower blight is caused by Ciborinia camelliae. Small, brown, irregular-shaped spots appear on the flower petals; the whole flower is turning brown; finally, flowers are dropping from plant. This disease emerges early in spring during periods of high moisture.
Treatment: Remove all infected flowers from plants and remove all crop debris from around plants. Drench the soil with appropriate fungicides can help to reduce the intensity of the disease.

Root rot caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. The leaves are turning yellow; plant growth is poor; entire plant is wilting; roots are discolored; rapid death of plant is occurring.
Treatment: This disease is difficult to manage once plants become infected so control methods should focus on protecting plants; always plant Camellia sinensis in well-draining soils which are not as favorable for the survival of the pathogen; application of appropriate fungicides can help to protect plants from infection.

Poria root disease (Red root disease) caused by Poria hypolateritia. The foliage is yellowing. The plant is wilting and / or occur sudden death of part of plant. The withered leaves remain attached to the plant for several days. Uprooting the plant reveals whitish mycelium and red discoloration of the roots.
Treatment: Remove and discard any visibly infected plant and any adjacent plants which are showing signs of yellowing. Remove any stumps or trees within infested area. All living and dead roots which are about pencil thickness or more should be removed from the site by digging using a fork. All material collected should be destroyed by burning. The plants surrounding the infested area should be treated with an appropriate fungicide applied as a soil drench and the cleared site should be planted with grass for a period of two years before Camellia sinensis is replanted.

Scab, Sunburn and Salt Injury. Symptoms of scab are rather varied; however, it usually appears first as a tiny, water-soaked, and often raised area on the underside of the leaf. These spots enlarge and may become corky, brown in color, and of irregular size and shape. The condition may also appear on the top of the leaf. Too high a concentration of salts in the soil or in the irrigation water or the use of heavy doses of fertilizer coupled with inadequate irrigation will cause this condition. This problem will develop rapidly in container grown plants.
Treatment: Place the plant in draped shade. Do not expose plants to increased light radiation without acclimatisation. Plant them in a medium with good drainage. An occasional heavy irrigation will help to leach away the excess salts.

Damage caused by scale insects is usually serious, but not deadly to the Camellia sinensis plant. If the problem goes undetected for a long period of time with no treatment it is possible for all or part of the plant to be killed. Plants infected with scale insects appear unhealthy and produce very little new growth. Scale insects that attack foliage are usually seen on the underside of the leaf. Symptoms on the upper leaf surface appear as chlorotic areas. Heavily infested leaves will often drop off.
Treatment: Use a suitable insecticidal spray. Plants should by spaced to allow air to circulate between them and pruned to open them and allow air to circulate through them. This will aid in the reduction of insect populations. Insecticide applications are usually made during the spring after bloom and in the fall prior to blooming. Spring applications will greatly increase mortality of scale crawlers

Spider mites may be found on both the under and upper sides of leaves and may not be detected until high populations have occurred. Infested plants exhibit a speckled appearance on the upper leaf surface resulting in a silver or bronzed cast.
Treatment: Use a suitable acaracide to control mites insects. Often, some control may be obtained by spraying foliage with a hard spray of water.

Aphids are commonly found in large numbers on the shoots of new growth. They injure plants by sucking their juices with long feeding tubes. Aphids also excrete honeydew which attracts ants and promotes the growth of sooty mold.
Treatment: A heavy stream of water may be used to wash aphids off of young foliage. Also it can be used the soap sprays. Insecticidal sprays may or may not be necessary for control of these insects. Aphids are generally a problem only during periods when new growth on camellias is soft and succulent.

Camellia sinensis plants are hosts for a number of beetles, weevils, grasshoppers, caterpillars and other insects that chew or consume plant tissue. The size, shape and location of the injury may help to determine the pest responsible.
Treatment: Control of these pests is through proper insecticidal sprays applied to the foliage.

Buying tips: Inspect plants closely before buying. Look for wounds or scars at the base of the plant that can become cankerous and cause the plant to die. Check the root system as well. Look for white roots. If the roots are brown, the plant have been poorly cared for or may have a soil borne disease.

Note: White tea, yellow tea, green tea and black tea are all harvested from Camellia sinensis plant. The difference in the teas is dependent on the age of the leaves and post-harvest processing to attain different levels of oxidation.
The first tea plant to be discovered, recorded and used to produce tea is dating three thousand years ago.

Uses and display: Camellia sinensis are primarily used for commercial production of green ans black teas. Also these shrubs are used as ornamental evergreen hedges as they respond well to regular trims. In cold weather climates, this shrub is used as indoor potted plant.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: 1.8-2.4m (6-8 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 7oC max 16oC (45-61oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 7oC max 18oC (45-64oF)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 7b-9b

Camellia sinensis  flowersCamellia sinensis hedgesCamellia sinensis potted plantCamellia sinensis treeCamellia sinensis harvested leavesCamellia sinensis seeds



Commercial Cultivation, Evergreen, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Shrubs , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Callisia fragrans

Common name: Basket Plant, Chain Plant, Inch Plant, False Bromeliad, Purple Succulent, Basketplant, Fragrant Inch Plant, Octopus Plant

Family: Commelinaceae

Synonymous: Spironema orthandrum
Rectanthera fragrans
Spironema fragrans

Callisia fragrans

Callisia fragrans

Distribution and habitat: Callisia fragrans is endemic to Mexico and naturalized in the West Indies, scattered locations in the United States, and a few other places.
Callisia fragrans is a long-lived creeping herbaceous plant with leaves crowded into rosette-like clusters and spreading laterally via long runners. It occurs in pinelands, hammocks and disturbed areas.

Description: Callisia fragrans is a sprawling plant. It has elliptic, pointed leaves up to 25cm (10 inch) long and 5cm (2 inch) wide carried on fleshy stems up to 90cm (35 inch) long. The fresh, glossy green leaves tend to become reddish purple in strong light. In young plants the short teams are arranged in a rosette-like shape, but they rapidly lengthen. The occasional flowers are white and fragrant, clustered towards the tips of long flowering stems. Individual flowers are almost stalkless with three elongated petals, short-lived that wilt at noon. The fruit are small, three-celled, capsules.

Houseplant care: Callisia fragrans is very hardy and may able to take much abuse as overwatering or neglect of watering. It is odd-looking plant and grows fast. Provide ample room for this big, spreading plant.

Light: Give Callisia fragrans bright light including about three or four hours a day of direct sunlight at all times.

Temperature: Callisia fragrans thrive in warm rooms. It is advisable, however, to give them a short winter rest period at 10-16°C (50-61°F), if possible.

Watering: During the active rest period water plentifully, enough to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist, but never allow pots to stand in water. In rest period water sparingly, giving enough to make the potting mixture barely moist and allow the top two-thirds to dry out between waterings.

Feeding: Use standard liquid fertiliser once every two weeks in the active growth period only.

Potting and repotting: Use either soil-based or peat-based potting mixture. Callisia fragrans grows fast and needs repotting every spring; large specimens may require 12 or 15cm (5-6 inch) pots. If a plant begins to lose its lower leaves it should be replaced.

Gardening: Callisia fragrans flourishes in warm subtropical climates but can tolerate a mild frost.
Pinch plants frequently to encourage branching and prevent long, scraggly growth.

Position: Callisia fragrans can be planted in part sun to shade. If grown in shade the plants are full and compact; in sun the leaves color more brightly.

Soil: The substrate for Callisia fragrans should be gritty loam. It grows well in fertile soils.

Irrigation: Callisia fragrans prefers moist soil, but once established will tolerate extensive drought. When watered this plant can get of good size. If no rain, water regularly every 1-2 weeks, moistening the soil thoroughly. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering again and do not allow plants to stand in water. During the winter rest period, stop watering.
Expect this plants to shed their leaves while getting established.

Fertilisation: For healthy growth use a fertiliser for flowering plants which can be added to the irrigating water, every 20-25 days. Alternatively, sprinkle the plants with a slow release fertiliser every 3-4 months.

Propagation: Take 5cm long tip cuttings in spring or summer. Insert one cutting of Callisia fragrans in a 5 or 8cm pot of standard potting mixture, and keep in bright filtered light, watering sparingly. After two or three weeks, when the new roots have developed, treat them as mature Callisia fragrans.

Recommended varieties:
Callisia fragrans cv. ‘Melnikoff’ have lengthwise white or cream coloured stripes of different widths.

Availability: Callisia fragrans is often sold bareroot tips which have already aerial roots formed. They will root readily and grow quickly. Alternatively, buy Callisia fragrans seed or palnted in pots or hanging baskets from specialised nurseries.

Note: Callisia fragrans is a known weed in subtropical gardens where forms a dense spreading ground-cover that can rapidly overtake bushland areas. It therefore has the potential to crowd out native species and prevent their regeneration. It becomes extremely aggressive and dominant in the places where it is found.

Uses and display: Callisia fragrans can be used decoratively in many ways: as edgers in hanging baskets, urns and window boxes spillover; as a groundcover beneath Zingiber (Gingers), Musa (Bananas) species and other taller tropicals; or to fill bare spots in the garden. It suits tropical designs.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – climbing and trailing
Height: 15-30cm (6-12 inch)
Spread: 1.2-1.8mcm (4-6 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 10°C max 16°C (50-61°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 21°C (61-70°F)
Humidity – low

Hardiness zone: 10b-11

Callisia fragransCallisia fragransCallisia fragransCallisia fragrans flowersCallisia fragrans Melnikoff



Evergreen, Garden Plants, Ground cover, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Calathea makoyana

Common name: Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows, Brain Plant, Calathea Peacock

Family: Marantaceae

Synonymous: Calathea olivaris
Goeppertia makoyana
Maranta iconifera
Maranta makoyana
Maranta olivaris
Phyllodes mackoyana

Calathea makoyana

Calathea makoyana

Distribution and habitat: Calathea makoyana is a species of evergreen perennial native to eastern Brazil, occurring in the undergrowth of the tropical forests. It grows from a thick rhizome and reaches a height of 30-50cm (12-20 inch). In their native environment, the soils are sandy and seasonally moist, not consistently wet.

Description: Calathea makoyana is a tropical plant with decorative foliage. Although the leaves may seem to rise directly from the root stock, they are normally connected to short multi-trunked or clumping stems. It has roughly oval leaves 25-30cm (10-12 inch) long on 25-30cm (10-12 inch) long stalks and they turn slightly to display the pinkish-maroon underside as well as the green upper surface. Both surfaces have very fine lines running from the central vein in a V-shape to the leaf edges, along with elliptic patches dark green on the upper surface and deep maroon on the underside. The new leaves are rolled up when they emerge and are pinkish-red on the undersides.
Flowers may be seen peeping through pale green bracks on mature plants, but they are insignificant. They are white and appear periodically throughout the year.
The Calathea makoyana plants will reach their maturity and ultimate height in an interval between 5 to 10 years.

Hoseplant care: Typically tropical, Calathea makoyana need heat and humidity and shade from direct sunlight. Remove the dying or discoloured leaves.

Light: Calathea makoyana prefers medium light – for example at a tree-shaded window. Bright light is often the cause of spoiling the foliage.
Move the plant outdoor in the spring and summer, bringing them indoors in autumn.

Temperature: A temperature ranging between 16°C (60°F) and 21°C (70°F) is ideal. In warmer rooms high humidity is essential and the foliage should be mist-sprayed daily. Rainwater is excellent for this, since it leaves no unsightly white lime deposit.

Watering: During the active growth period water plants plentifully – as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist. In the rest period water moderately, enough to make the potting mixture moist, but allow the top centimetre (0.4 inch) or so of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Use water at room temperature.

Feeding: Calathea makoyana should be given generous amounts of standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks during the active growth period. Additional, foliar fertiliser with nitrogen or iron content can be used if the foliage colour needs improvement.

Potting and repotting: Add up to one third leaf mould or peat moss to a soil based potting mixture. In later case, however, the mixture must be kept constantly supplied with application of liquid fertiliser when plants are in active growth. Healthy plants need to be moved into pots one size larger every year – which should preferably take place in late spring or early summer.

Gardening: Calathea makoyana can be grown outdoors in warm, sheltered, frost free climate in draught-free conditions.
The dead leaves should be pruned away.

Position: Bright or direct light will cause the leaves to appear washed out. Calathea makoyana plants need shade from full sun, but can stand a little morning sun.
Very low light will cause leaf colour to pale.

Soils: Calathea makoyana thrive in well-drained acidic soils and will grow in clay, sand or loam soils as long as they are given sufficient organic material. Amend garden soil with organic matter such as compost and ground bark to enhace both drainage and water-holding capacity.
Keep the plants mulched with 3cm (1 inch) of organic matter such as ground bark. Work the mulch into the bad as it rots and replace it with fresh one.
Space the plants 30cm (12 inch) apart in beds.

Irrigation: Water only as the soil begins to dry. Water thoroughly, keep soil evenly moist to touch (not saturated). Do not allow plants to sit in water. In winter, water only when the soil becomes dry and do not soak the soil to avoid root rot.
Prepare to water outdoor plantings very regularly, using shaker hoses or dip irrigation.

Fetiliser: Feed with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks during spring and summer and once a month during autumn and winter. Do not fertilise the plant too often as overfertilising may cause leaf spots.

Propagation: In late spring divide any overcrowded clumps of Calathea makoyana, making sure that some roots remain on each part. Plant the sections in 8cm (3 inch) pots of moistened standard mixture, enclose them in plastic bags and keep them in medium light. Remove the plastic bag when the new roots have formed on the sections.

Problems:
Brown tips or edges on leaves indicate low humidity, fluoride in water or too much fertilizer.
Treatment: Increase the humidity around plants by placing the pots on trays of moistened pebbles. Use only soft water to water the plant or to spray the foliage. Flush the pot with water to wash the potting mixture from fertiliser surplus.

Plants do not thrive in low humidity where leaves may roll or brown up.
Treatment: Increase the humidity around plants by placing the pots on trays of moistened pebbles. Additionally mist-spray the plants with soft water. Water the plant adequatelly in high temperatures.

New leaves that are lighter in color are not getting enough nitrogen or iron.
Treatment: If the fertiliser does not contain nitrogen and iron nutrients, use a foliar spray that lists these nutrients on their label. Improvements should appear within a few weeks.

Calathea makoyana plants tend to be vulnerable to root rot.
Treatment: Avoid constantly wet soil. Water the plants only when necessary as recommended.

Spider mites are common plant pests of the Calathea makoyana plant. Signs of an infestation include bronzing, flecking or scorching of leaves. Once injured, the leaves will fall off and the plant may die if the infestation is not controlled.
Treatment: To control spider mites, ensure the plant has adequate water. Occasionally hose the dust off leaf surfaces to remove and kill spider mites. For heavier infestations use suitable miticides, but these do not affect the eggs and must be repeated in two-week intervals until the mites are under control.

Watch for aphids and scale insects.
Treatment: Remove the scale insects by gently scraping them off. Aphids should be removed by hand. Isolate plants that show signs of insect pest infestation to prevent infestation of other plants.

Slugs and snails may damage the beautiful foliage of these plants.
Treatment: These pests are controlled using an appropriate molluscicide, both pellet and liquid forms or by hand pick at regular inspections.

Bacterial diseases which may affect Calathea makoyana plant is Pseudomonas leaf spot.
Fungal diseases which may affect Calathea makoyana plant are Alternaria leaf spot, Fusarium root rot and Helminthosporium leaf spot.
Parasitic nematodes which may affect Calathea makoyana plant are Burrowing and Root-knot.
Viral diseases which may affect Calathea makoyana plant is Mosaic.
Treatment: Prevent and treat most fungal and bacterial diseases with a broad spectrum bio-fungicide which uses a patented strain of Bacillus subtilis that is registered for organic use. Isolate or discard affected plants to contain the diseases. Sanitize the soil and containers of the affected plants.

Note: Calatheas are closely related to marantas and species from the two genera are often confused.

Companion plants: Calathea makoyana plant is excellent in combinations with Burbidgea scheizocheila (Golden Brush Ginger) and cane Begonia species and looks sweet beneath Medinilla magnifica (Malaysian Orchids) and Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palms). It will work good when planted with Orchid, Aglaonema or Bromeliad species.

Uses and display: The handsome leaves of Calathea makoyana plant are the attraction for tropical gardeners and indoor plant lovers as well. These warm climate plants will grow well under taller plants in their dappled shade or under trees. They will make a wonderful ground cover foliage in shaded positions.
Also, this plant is perfect for home or office if humidity can be provided. It is perfect for all kinds of containers and is very decorative on a small table or in a hanging basket. Calathea makoyana plant are mostly used for sub-tropical patio planting or as container plants. They look best when grouped with other foliage plants. Also, as these plants need high humidity and are relatively small in size, they can be used in a bottle garden or terrarium.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – variegate
Shape – bushy
Height: 30-50cm (12-20 inch)
Spread: 45-60cm (18-24 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – medium
Temperature in rest period – min 16°C max 21°C (61-70°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 21°C (61-70°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Calathea makoyana leafCalathea makoyana Calathea makoyana Calathea makoyana flowersCalathea makoyana



Evergreen, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , , ,

Calanthe triplicata

Common name: Christmas Orchid

Family: Orchidaceae

Synonymous: Orchis triplicata (Basionym)
Alismorkis angraeciflora
Alismorkis diploxiphion
Alismorkis furcata
Alismorkis gracillima
Alismorkis veratrifolia
Amblyglottis veratrifolia
Bletia quadrifida
Calanthe angraeciflora
Calanthe australasica
Calanthe bracteosa
Calanthe brevicolumna
Calanthe catilligera
Calanthe celebica
Calanthe comosa
Calanthe diploxiphion
Calanthe furcata
Calanthe furcata f. albolineata
Calanthe furcata f. albomarginata
Calanthe furcata f. brevicolumna
Calanthe gracillima
Calanthe matsumurana
Calanthe veratrifolia var. stenochila

Calanthe triplicata

Calanthe triplicata

Distribution and habitat: Calanthe triplicata is a species of terrestrial orchid native to Oceania, Asia and the islands of eastern Africa. This orchid is found growing in humus rich soils of rainforest shaded floors, near creeks, at elevations of 500 to 1500m (1640-4921 feet). These perennials reach heights of 40 to 100cm (16-39 inch).
The name ‘Calanthe’ is derivated from the Greek ‘kalos’ meaning beautiful and ‘anthos’ meaning flowers.

Description: Calanthe triplicata is an attractive evergreen, large orchid. The leaves are deep green, strongly ribbed and grow up to 50cm (20 inch) long and 15cm (6 inch) wide. Each orchid have a number of 4 to 10 leaves per shoot arising from a fleshy conical pseudobulb. It retains its leaves for several years. The nodding, spurred flowers that grow in one or two flower speaks on long, erect steams. The racemes are bearing cluster of 18 to 40 large white flowers about 5cm (2 inch) across with yellow or orange calli. The petals and sepals are narrow and equal in size, while the lip is several lobed. The characteristic features of Calanthe is the union of the column with the lip. The flowers will last 3-4 weeks. They are turning blue-black when damaged and with age.  The fruit is a capsule 3-4cm (1-1.5 inch) long.
Calanthe triplicata orchid blooms from fall through winter with multiple successively opening flowers.
The list of Calanthe triplicata synonymous can be longer.

Houseplant care: Calanthe triplicata is an orchids whose cultivation conditions are very easy to follow as this orchid is not sensitive to overwatering as other orchid species. In addition, its deep green leaves are decorative when the orchid is not in bloom.
A weekly sponging of leaves is advisable for Calanthe triplicata orchids grown indoors. Remove the spent flowers and leaves as they form.

Light: Provide Calanthe triplicata with bright filtered light at all times.

Temperature: Normal room temperature should be suitable throughout the year. Ideal temperature range for the active growth period is 15-27°C (59-81°F) and for the rest period 10-21°C (50-70°F). It is an intermediate orchid grower. Ensure that a high level of humidity is retained. To do this stand the pots on trays of moist pebbles and mist-spray these orchids daily.
Good ventilation is strongly recommended to avoid rot due to high moisture levels required by these orchids, but drafts should be avoided. Do not place them near vents.

Watering: In general the rule is plentiful watering for these types of evergreen orchids, especially during the summer months. During the rest period, after flowering is finished, give them only enough water to keep the potting mixture from drying out completely.

Feeding: Calanthe triplicata orchids need regular and generous feeding, thriving on a rich compost and application of liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks during the growing season.

Potting and repotting: The potting mixture for Calanthe triplicata orchids should be a rich one, preferably incorporating peat moss and treated hardwood sawdust with some blood and bone added (about one heaped dessertspoon to a 15cm (6 inch) pot). These orchids do not need repotting every year, once every thee years will suffice. When potting Calanthe triplicata, the pseudobulbs must be half buried into the potting media.
Grow Calanthe triplicata orchids in pretty big pots 15cm (6 inch) pot) with a fairly wide base or, eventually, provide weight and stability as they grow quite tall.

Gardening: Calanthe triplicata orchids need shelter from excessive hot sun and protection from frost. They grow well as a pot plant.

Position: Calanthe triplicata will withstand direct sun but prefers shade. Place it where will receive filtered sunlight only until mid-morning, remaining in full shade for the rest of the day.

Soil: In the wild, this evergreen orchid grows best in light well – drained soils and is often found where there is an accumulation of leaf litter. Calanthe triplicata thrives in well drained but moist soils rich in organic matter and well mulched. It is best in pots planted in orchid compost.

Irrigation: Calanthe triplicata is native to climates with heavy rainfall almost all year round. Therefor these orchids species will require regular watering. As they are evergreen species, they do not really have a rest period and should be watered throughout the year as long as the temperatures are not falling below 15°C (59°F). This orchid can become deciduous; if water is reduced in the autumn and the plant is kept cool the leaves may drop. It will resprout in the spring. If the temperature is a bit warmer and it retains the leaves, keep it slightly moist through the winter.

Fertiliser: Feed active growing Calanthe triplicata orchids with liquid fertiliser every two weeks. Overfertilising will produce soft, lush growth at the expense of flowers.

Propagation: Propagation of Calanthe triplicata orchids is by division. Divide and repot pseudobulbs in the spring after flowering. To do this separate the older pseudobulbs from the main plant, place them in a slightly moist potting mixture and wait for the new shoots to appear from the base of the pseudobulbs.

Problems:
Calanthe plants are susceptible to spider mites, so it is important to provide ample humidity with air movement.
Treatment: Spray the infested orchids with a suitable insecticide and raise the humidity by standing the pot on a saucer of moist pebbles.

Scale insects and mealy bugs sometimes attack these plants, lurking in particular under the dried-up leaves on pseudobulbs and at the base of old flower stalks after these have been cut back.
Treatment: Physically removing the scales and then controlling the immature stages with chemical sprays may help lightly infested plants. Use an adequate pesticide to combat the insects infestation.

Slugs and snails like them so watch out.
Treatment: These pests are controlled using an appropriate molluscicide, both pellet and liquid forms, or by hand pick at regular inspections.

Note: Calanthe triplicata common name is Christmas Orchid because it is flowering during the Christmas in its southern hemisphere.  So, basically they flower during the summer months. The rest period for this orchid is winter period triggered by cold weather and short daylight. If the orchids are kept in warm environment, they are evergreen orchids so watering should be not be retained.

Availability: Calanthe triplicata are very popular hobby orchid in Asia and North America.

Uses and display: Grown mainly in pots, Calanthe triplicata can also work well in sheltered, shady rock gardens – as much for its foliage as for its flowers. This orchid suits tropical, cottage and bush design gardens. It can be grown in pot or hanging basket as accent or border plant. It thrives in shadehouse conditions – so pop it on the floor. Also this orchid is suited to growing outdoors in pots or as a landscape plant in tropical and sub-tropical climates. In landscape, it needs to be plant it in semi-shaded moist situation such as under a tree.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – upright
Height: 40-100cm (16-39 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bight filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 7oC max 21oC (45-70oF)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16oC max 27oC (61-81oF)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 10-12

Calanthe triplicata Calanthe triplicata



Cutting Flowers, Environments, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Orchids , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bryophyllum daigremontianum

Common name: Mother of Thousands, Alligator Plant, Mexican Hat Plant, Devil’s Backbone

Family: Crassulaceae

Synonymous: Kalanchoe daigremontiana

Bryophyllum daigremontianum

Bryophyllum daigremontianum

Distribution and habitat: Bryophyllum daigremontianum is a succulent perennial plant native to the Fiherenana River valley and Androhibolava mountains in southwest Madagascar. It has been introduced to numerous tropical and subtropical regions, such as Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, parts of the Canary Islands and Australia. Like other members of the genus Bryophyllum, it is able to propagate vegetatively from plantlets (epiphyllous buds) that develop on the leaf edges. The plantlets that grow on the edges of each leaf fall easily and root wherever they land.
It is commonly found growing on gravelly and sandy soils. This succulent plant is a weed of bushland and disturbed sites such as roadsides, along fence lines, around rubbish tips and abandoned rural dwellings. It also occurs frequently along creeks and rivers where it is spread by floodwaters.

Description: Bryophyllum daigremontianum grows from a single unbranched stem 45-90cm (18-35 inch) tall, which carries opposite pairs of fleshy, shiny, lance-shaped leaves that are 10-25cm (4-10 inch) long. The leaves grow at an 8° angle to the stem and are bluish green with purple blotched undersides. The saw-toothed leaf edges curl slightly inward. The tiny plantlets that form in the gaps between the teeth often have tiny aerial roots attached. One leaf can carry as many as 50 such plantlets in a single season. Pink flowers, which bloom only on mature plant, are roughly tubular, 2cm (0.8 inch) long and pendent. They are carried in rather flat clusters at the top of 30cm (12 inch) tall stalks in late autumn and early winter. The plant dies after blooming. Flowering is, however, not an annual event and will occur sporadically if at all. Particularly in climates with distinct seasonal temperature differences, flowering is most frequently observed at the beginning of a warm season.
Bryophyllum daigremontianum take a year or two to mature.

Houseplant care: Bryophyllum daigremontianum requires minimal care and can tolerate dry conditions and high temperatures. It is an unusual, fast growing succulent.

Light: These plants like bright light; do not subject them to direct sunlight.

Temperature: Bryophyllum daigremontianum thrive in normal room temperature.

Watering: During the active growth period water moderately, but allow the top centimetre (0.4 inch) or so of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. In the rest period water sparingly.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser once a month during the active growth period.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. Move small plants into pots one size larger every spring. A Bryophyllum daigremontianum big enough to need 15cm (6 inch) pot is usually unshapely and best discarded.

Gardening: Bryophyllum daigremontianum is not frost-hardy and typically dies if subjected to temperatures below freezing. Within its hardiness zone, Bryophyllum daigremontianum have the potential to escape from cultivation and spread into natural environments becoming a problematic weed. Therefore, precaution have to be taken when grow these plants in garden.
Newly transplanted Bryophyllum daigremontianum have the tendency to wilt. It is recommended to stake the taller ones to keep them growing straight until their roots are reestablished; these plants can be also planted deeper than the original root to give more support and promote more root growth. They will soon resume their growth.

Position: Plant Bryophyllum daigremontianum in full sun or partial shade. Leaves will develop a pinkish-red colour with lots of light, or will stay a greener coluor under less bright conditions.
It is very heat resistant, if planted in shade.

Soil: Bryophyllum daigremontianum thrive in well draining, sandy soil. The plants establish well in leaf litter or other debris on shallow soils.
Space the plants 15-25cm (6–10 inch) apart to make room for the leaves to display their plantlets.
To promote new plants, do not mulch the ground around Bryophyllum daigremontianum. The plantlets which loosen from the plant will grow much better if allowed to fall directly onto soil rather than onto mulch.

Irrigation: Water well when plant the Bryophyllum daigremontianum. After that these plants can be neglected or if watered, do so no more than once or twice a week. These succulent plants are adapted to dry conditions and can survive long periods of drought.

Fertilising: Use a water soluble fertiliser on Bryophyllum daigremontianum plants, following the directions given by the manufacturer.

Propagation: Plantlets growing at the base of the plants may be dug up at any time, replanted in 5-8cm (2-3 inch) pots of standard potting mixture and treated as mature plants. Or plantlets may be picked from the leaves and shallowly planted in standard potting mixture.

Problems: Bryophyllum daigremontianum is generally problem free, but their succulent leaves are a great attraction for insects like mealy bugs, scale or aphids.
Treatment: Control mealy bugs by wiping the infested leaves with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Remove brown scale insects by gently scraping them off. Aphids should be removed by hand. Isolate plants that show signs of insect pest infestation to prevent infestation of other plants.

Prune tall growth and old flower stems and allow plenty of air flow around your plant to avoid powdery mildew.
Treatment: If the plant becomes infected with powdery mildew, potassium bicarbonate can be used to control it.

If rot affects the plant, it normally starts at the root.
Treatment: It is recommended to discard affected plants and start new ones from plantlets.

Toxicity: All parts of the Bryophyllum daigremontianum plant are poisonous (they contain daigremontianin and other bufadienolides), which can even be fatal if ingested by infants or small pets. It is also poisonous to humans.

Note: Bryophyllum daigremontianum is a widespread weed of pastures, grasslands, open woodlands, waste areas, disturbed sites, fence lines, roadsides, embankments, and railways in subtropical, semi-arid, tropical and warmer temperate regions. It is commonly found growing in rocky sites or on poor soils. It prefers rocky outcrops in dry savannas and urban open spaces.
Bryophyllum daigremontianum has been introduced to many parts of the world as an ornamental plant. However, these uses cannot compensate for this plant’s overall negative impacts.

Uses and display: Bryophyllum daigremontianum is more ideal for container growing than landscape planting because it can be difficult to control in outdoor gardens. Both, its unusual leaves which carry the plantlets and its tubular cluster of flowers have ornamental value. Arranged with other succulents, Bryophyllum daigremontianum makes a lovely desert window sill planter. It is a great looking as specimen plant as well as mass planting or group planting.
Bryophyllum daigremontianum is growing in shallow rocky soils, so it is an excellent plant for rocky gardens and xeriscaping.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – upright
Height: 90-120cm (36-48 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 16°C max 24°C (61-75°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 24°C (61-75°F)
Humidity – low

Hardiness zone: 9b-11

Bryophyllum daigremontianumBryophyllum daigremontianum - plantletsBryophyllum daigremontianum - flowers



Evergreen, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Succulents , , , , ,

Brunfelsia pauciflora

Common name: Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow, Morning-Noon-and-Night,Kiss Me Quick, Brazil Raintree

Family: Solanaceae

Synonymous: Brunfelsia calycina (basionym)
Brunfelsia pauciflora var. calycina
Franciscea pauciflora (basionym)

Brunfelsia pauciflora

Brunfelsia pauciflora

Distributiona and habitat: Brunfelsia pauciflora is a species of flowering semi-deciduous shrub, endemic to Brazil, growing in light woodland and thickets. This shrub is growing up to 3m (10 feet) with a 3.6m (12 feet) spread. It is cultivated for its fragrant flowers. The species name, bonodora, is from the Latin, and means ‘sweet-smelling’.

Description: Poted Brunfelsia pauciflora are small shrubs, up to 60cm (24 inch) high with a 30cm (12 inch) spread, that have 8-15cm (3-6 inch) long lance-shaped, glossy, yet leathery leaves and showy, often fragrant, flowers. Its common name, Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow, comes from the way its flowers are changing in colour form one day to the next. Each bloom opens violet-purple, fade to pale lavender-blue, becomes almost white and is dead by the fourth day. Flat, five-lobed flowers are up to 5cm (2 inch) across, with a small, white, puckered eye – the entry point for insects to a short tube behind the floral surface. Flowers appear in clusters of up to 10 on the end of long stems, but open singly. Under favourable conditions, Brunfelsia pauciflora can bloom throughout the year.

Houseplant care: Brunfelsia pauciflora is the only one species from Brunfelsia genus grown indoors. Prune old plants drastically in spring or just at the end of the rest period if they have one. When pruning take out as much as half the previous year’s growth. To encourage more vigorous bushy growth, pinch out the growing tips – this can be done any time.

Light: Bright light, including three or four of direct sunlight daily, is essential throughout the year for satisfactory flowering.

Temperature: During the active growth period normal room temperature is suitable. Stand pots on trays of damp pebbles for increased humidity. Where warm, humid condition are provided in winter, these plants will not have an appreciable rest period, but they will not suffer as a result. If such condition are not provided, move Brunfelsia pauciflora to a really cold possition – ideally between 10°C (50°F) and 13°C (55°F) – so they can have at least a four to six weeks rest.

Watering: In the active growth period water moderately, enough to make the potting mixture thoroughly moist, but allow the top 1cm (0.4 inch) of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. If plants are given a rest, water them only enough during the rest period to keep the potting mixture from drying out completely.

Feeding: Give actively growing plants an application of standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks to promote vigorous growth.

Poting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. Brunfelsia pauciflora flower best when their roots are confined in small pots – 13-15cm (5-6 inch) at most. Repot in fresh potting mixture every spring, but do not increase pot size. Simply replace the old mixture with new.

Gardening: Brunfelsia pauciflora are long-lived, romantic flowering shrubs. Warm subtropical gardens are ideal, but the plants will also flourish in colder climates. They will even endure light frost, but will be deciduous during the cooler months. Outside of its hardiness zone, grow Brunfelsia pauciflora in a pot so it can be moved indoors when temperatures drop.
They are quick and easy to grow. No pruning is needed for garden plants except to control growth and spreading. A light trim after flowering will help keep it tidy yet bushy.

Position: Brunfelsia pauciflora do best in full sun but needs some shady protection during the heat of the day to look their best. Also do well in filtered shade.

Soil: Provide rich, moist, but well drained soil with liberal quantities of compost worked into it. Brunfelsia pauciflora prefer acidic soil with a pH balance just below the neutral 7, so mulch with pine-needles, moss or acidic compost around their bases.

Irrigation: Keep the soil moist around the Brunfelsia pauciflora , but not overly wet. Do not allow the soil to dry out. If rain is not imminent, water the soil, especially during the hot summer days.
Container plants should be checked daily for moistness. Reduce watering plants in containers in fall.

Fertiliser: Fertilise plants with 10-10-10 (nitrogen-phosphate-potassium) water-soluble fertiliser, using full strength for garden plants once a month and diluted in half for container plants every two weeks. Only fertilise the plant during spring and summer months.

Propagation: Propagate Brunfelsia pauciflora in spring when tip cuttings of new growth are available. Dip cutting 8-13cm (3-5 inch) long in hormone rooting powder and plant it in an 8cm (3 inch) pot containing a moistened equal-parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Place the cutting in a plastic bag or propagating case and stand it in bright filtered light. When new growth is produced (in four to six weeks), uncover the young plant, begin moderate watering and apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks. About four months after the start of propagation, move the new Brunfelsia pauciflora plants into standard potting mixture and treat it as a mature plant.

Problems:
Pale or yellow leaves result from potting mixture that is not acid enough.
Treatment: Repot the plant in potting mixture that contains some peat and add some iron sulphate to the water when watering. Another way of ensuring healthy deep-green foliage is to sprinkle a handful of nitrogenrich fertilizer granules around the root zones and to water it in immediately thereafter. Do not overdo this treatment at the expense of potassium-rich fertilizer, though, otherwise the plant will have gorgeous foliage but the production of flowers will be diminished.

Weak growth is a sign of aphids, which suck the sap of the plant.
Treatment: Wash them off with a gentle stream of tepid water.

Fine webbing at leaf axils and under the leaves is made by the red spider mite, which thrives in dry conditions.
Treatment: Raise the humidity around the plant by mist spraying and standing the pot on a tray of moist pebbles. Serious infestations should be treated with a suitable insecticide.

Mealy bugs and whitefly may infest the  Brunfelsia pauciflora plants.
Treatment: Apply sprays of suitable insecticides.

Can get thrips when plants are grown under glass.
Treatment: Although thrips are susceptible to insecticides, their control is difficult as they are capable of flight and they may hide inside the buds and other floral structures and out of the reach of the insecticides. Hence, multiple sprayings may be needed with severe infestation.

Recommended varieties:
Brunfelsia pauciflora cv. ‘Floribunda’ is a profusely flowering miniature kind.

Brunfelsia pauciflora cv. ‘Macrantha’ has flowers measuring up to 8cm (3 inch) across.

Companion plants: Brunfelsia pauciflora makes a good companion to Rhododendron (Azaleas) and Fuchsia species (Fuchsias). Grow it with Cineraria (Cinerarias) or Muscari species (Grape hyacinths) placed at its feet to enhance the colour of its blooms. Canna, Tibouchina, Lantana speacies are good companions for these colourful shrubs, highlighting each other.

Toxicity: Brunfelsia pauciflora plant is toxic, especially the fruit. The plants are known to be poisonous to domestic animals such as cats, dogs and horses due to their brunfelsamidine content.
Also caution should be taken due to its strongly scented flowers, reason for which Brunfelsia pauciflora is not the ideal plant for hay-fever sufferers.

Usage and display:  With pruning, Brunfelsia pauciflora can be kept to a manageable 60-90cm (2-3 feet) size and makes an excellent indoor plant. In mild climates, Brunfelsia pauciflora makes an attractive specimen shrub or use it in a mixed hedge or foundation planting. Can be used for creating perfumed spots in gardens, designing tropical gardens and hedge or screen seaside gardens or as a specimen plant. It is great for privacy screening on decks or blocking unsightly views.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers, frangrance
Shape – bushy
Height indoors: 60-90cm (24-36 inch)
Height outdoors: 3m (10 feet)
Spread outdoors: 3.6m (12 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 10°C max 13°C (50-55°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 24°C (61-75°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 9-11

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