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Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Common name: Flaming Katy, Christmas Kalanchoe, Florist Kalanchoe

Family: Crassulaceae

Synonymous: Kalanchoe globulifera

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Distribution and habitat: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is native to the island of Madagascar, where it grows in the relatively cool plateaus of the Tsarantanana Mountains. In its natural habitat, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana grows in humus soil and forms small upright shrubs. It has thick, waxy foliage with a succulent appearance.
In the greenhouse, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is grown as a flowering pot plant and is considered a biennial or even a triennial plant, meaning it takes two or three years from seed germination to reach the flowering stage, after which it is discarded.

Description: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a long-flowering perennial succulent that is rarely seen in its original form, having been superseded by a number of improved forms. These have become popular flowering plants to be bought in full bloom, during the winter and discarded when the flowering season has passed. Most are 30-35cm (12-14 inch) tall and bushy; the leaves are thick, fleshy, dark green, often edged with red, more or less circular and 2-3cm (0.8-1 inch) long. They carry their flower erect. The small flowers are arranged in dense clusters of between 20 and 50, each cluster spreading at least 3-4cm (1-1.5 inch). They will continue to bloom for two or three months.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana‘s hybrids make a big diversity display of forms and colours. The clasic Kalanchoe blossfeldiana‘s flowers consist of four petals that form a tubular-shape flower and can be red, yellow, orange, pink, purple and variant of these, but some hybrids have more that one row of petals.

Houseplant care: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is usually discarded after flowering. However, if it is pruned back hard and given spell in the garden, it will probably flower again next season.

They grow best in clay pots for aeration and need drainage holes in the bottom. Setting the container on a dish filled with rocks or gravel provides extra drainage.

Light: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana should be grown in sunny window.
When growing kalanchoe in containers, they can be boosted to produce more buds and flowers by giving them 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day.

Temperature: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana grow well in normal room temperatures.
Avoid temperatures below 5°C (40°F) because they can kill Kalanchoe blossfeldiana plant after a few hours.

Water: During the active growth period water sparingly – just enough to keep the potting mixture moist, allowing the top half of the mixture to dry out between waterings.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana have the tendency to become abnormally gross and flabby if they are overwatered.

Avoid using cold water when watering plants because it could shock the plant.

Fertilising: Apply week liquid fertiliser once or twice to flowering plants, during the growing season only. Pruned plants may be given a dose of full strength fertilising as a boost.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture with the addition of a small amount of coarse sand. Plants that are not to be discarded should be moved each spring into pots one size larger. Good drainage is important; have a shallow layer of clay-pot fragments at the bottom of the pot. The maximum pot size needed should be about 13cm (5 inch).

Propagation: To propagate Kalanchoe blossfeldiana take tip cuttings in spring and root them in 8cm (3 inch) pots filled with a mixture of peat moss and sand. Pot pots in a warm position in bright filtered light. Water the mixture whenever the top 1-2cm (0.4-0.8 inch) dries out. When roots have formed and new growth appears, move each young plant into a pot of standard mixture. Make sure that the pot is large enough to hold the roots. Thereafter, it should be possible to treat the plant as a mature Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.

Problems: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is relatively trouble free.

Susceptible to stem rot, if over-watered.

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids.
Treatment: Use a suitable insecticide and follow the instruction from the label.

Waxy fibres and honeydew on leaves and shoots indicate an infestation with mealybugs.
Treatment: Apply insecticide.

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew.
Treatment: Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

White tufts or white covering on the lower surface of the leaves indicates an infection with downy mildew.
Treatment: Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

Sudden wilting and pale green discolouration indicate a fungal infection (phytophthora).
Treatment: Remove infected plants. Avoid fungal infection by improving drainage and by avoiding over-fertilization.

Uses: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, when container grown, are ideal for sunrooms and bright windowsills and can be grown on the porch or patio. It is suited for hanging baskets, container plant and as indoor plant.

In garden,  Kalanchoe blossfeldiana can be used in border, ground cover and makes a stunning plant for rock gardens.

Recommended varieties:
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Tom Thumb’ is a miniature form never more than 15cm (6 inch) high with reddish foliage that carries small dark red flowers.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Vulcan’ is a long bloomer miniature form with large scarlet flowers and grows up to 20cm (8 inch), blooming in 20 weeks from seed.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Compacta Lilliput’ is a miniature form with red flowers that grows no more than 15cm (6 inch).

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Orange Triumph’ is a less frequently seen orange-flowered kind.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Goldrand’ is an less usually form with yellow flowers.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: 30-35cm (12-14 inch)

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

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Kalanchoe blossfeldianaKalanchoe blossfeldiana - flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 



Annuals, Flowering Plants, Indoor Plants, Succulents , , , , , , , ,

Impatiens walleriana

Common name: Busy Lizzie, Balsam, Impatiens, Garden Balsam, Zanzibar Balsam, Patience Plant, Patient Lucy

Family: Balsaminaceae

Synonymous: Impatiens sultanii
Impatiens holstii
Impatiens petersiana
Impatiens wallerana

Impatiens walleriana

Impatiens walleriana

Distribution and habitat: Impatiens walleriana is native to eastern Africa. It was widely naturalized in other parts of the world such as North America, Australia and several Pacific islands. Grows in bushland, along water courses and shady wetland margins. It thrives in rich moist soil and prefers a shaded or semi-shaded location. It is a herbaceous perennial plant in its native habitat.

Description: Impatiens walleriana are bushy, succulent stemmed and almost perpetual-flowering. These plants were given their botanical name (Impatiens) because of the apparent impatience with which they discharge their seeds when ripe and their common names (Busy Lizzie) because of the persistence with which they flower.

Impatiens walleriana is  growing to 30-38cm (12-15 inch) tall, with broad leaves. Leaves are mostly alternate, although they may be opposite near the top of the plant. The flowers are profusely borne with five petals and a spur. The seedpod explodes when ripe, an evolutionary adaptation for seed dispersal. It is the tall, lanky ancestor of a vast number of hybrids that have all the good habits and one of the drawbacks of the species. Among the many hybrid strains of the Impatiens walleriana are plants with flowers of all shades of white, pink, red and orange as well as bicoloured and some kinds have more than a single layer of petals. Foliage may be elliptic or heart-shaped and coloured any shade of green with or without a bronze sheen and red or brown speckles on the underside.

Seedlings begin to flower when they are 2cm tall and they rarely stop.

Houseplant care: Modern hybrids of Impatiens walleriana are treated often as annuals and discarded towards late autumn when they begin to go out of bloom in average room conditions. If kept, they tend to become unsightly.

Pinch back the plants to keep them bushy.

Light: These plants should be subject to hot direct sunlight, but they do need bright light.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable, but at temperatures about 24°C (75°F) these plants like high humidity. Place plants on saucers of moist pebbles and mist-spray the plants daily.
No Impatiens walleriana will tolerate temperature below 12°C (54°F).

Water: Water them moderately, allowing the top centimetre (04. inch) or so of the mixture to dry out between waterings. Never permit pots to stand in water. If the amount of light reaching the plants is reduced, they will enter a rest period, when they should be watered more sparingly, allowing the top third of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Never let the mixture dry out completely.

Fertilising: Apply standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks throughout the active growth period.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil-based potting mixture. Move permanent plants into pots that are one size larger when the pots become full of roots. A 13cm (5 inch) pot should normally be the largest size required.

Garden Culture: Plant the impatiens in the early spring, just after the final frost in temperate zones.

Pinch off all the plant’s blooms one week after planting to encourage branching branching and increased blooms.

Position:  Select a planting location that provides partial-to-full shade. Keep Impatiens walleriana out of direct sun. These beauties prefer light to medium shade.

Soil: Plant the impatiens in well-drained, organically-rich soil. Mix the native soil with an equal amount of peat compost.

Plant the impatiens about 15cm (6 inch) apart to promote taller plants. Position the plants 20 to 25cm (8-10 inch) apart for bushier spreads.

Water: Water the impatiens regularly, providing 1 inch of water per week. Adjust the watering schedule for varied weather conditions. Increase the schedule during hot, dry summer months. Decrease the schedule during periods of rainfall. Do not overwater.

Fertiliser: Use slow release fertiliser Water it in thoroughly. Repeat the application once in early summer.
Feed outdoor container of Impatiens walleriana with a liquid fertilizer once every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Propagation: Impatiens walleriana can be grown from seed sown in shallow trays of rooting mixture  of equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand or perlite early in spring. Enclose trays in a plastic bag and keep them in bright filtered light at a temperature of 18-21°C (64-70°F). When plantlets are about 4cm (1.5 inch) high, carefully transplant them into small individual pots filled with soil-based mixture. Plants will generally begin to flower after about six weeks.

During the summer, however, tip cuttings 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long can be rooted in water and transferred to soil-based mixture when roots a centimetre (0.4 inch) or so have formed. Or cuttings may be planted directly in an equal-parts mixture of peat moss and sand or perlite for later transferal to soil-based mixture. Treat well-rooted cuttings as mature plants.

Problems:
Wilting, falling leaves are the result of lack of water.

Rotting stem are the consequence of overwatering.
Treatmeant: Never allow the plants to stand in water.

Spindly growth is caused by too much warmth and inadequate light; plants are naturally become leggy with edge.
Treatment: Take cuttings and discard the old plant.

Poor flowering is caused by over-potting.

Loss of flowers is normally due to lack of light, but dry air, underwatering or attack by red spider mite will have the same effect if growing conditions are poor.

Hot, dry air and exposure to full sunlight may encourage red spiders mites.
Treatment: Daily mist-praying may help ward off attacks. Cut away badly infested leaves and adjoining stems and spray plants with an appropriate pesticide. Repeat the treatment after 3 days and again 10 days later. If mites persists, tray a different pesticide.

Watch out for aphids and whitefly.
Treatment: Remove and destroy badly infested plat growth. Keep plants clean at all times and use an adequate pesticide regularly.

Notes: Impatiens walleriana is regarded as an environmental weed in parts of Australia where was naturalized.

Availability:  Impatiens walleriana is available as potted flowering plants or as seeds. Seeds are usually sold in mixed or separate colours; the selection is given a name describing the attributes of the stain.

Uses: Impatiens walleriana is commonly cultivated in parks and gardens, typically grown in containers but also in bedding schemes. Mass in shady beds, borders and woodland gardens. Ground cover. Edging along walks or paths. It is used in Courtyard Gardens, Cottage or Informal Garden designs. Containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. Houseplant as annuals or as living indoor decor.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
High: 30-38cm (12-15 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 13°C max 24°C (55-75°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 27°C (61-81°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zones: 10a-11

Impatiens wallerianaImpatiens wallerianaImpatiens walleriana

 

 

 

 

 



Annuals, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , , , , ,

Caladium X hortulanum

Common name: Fancy-Leafed Caladium, Elephant Ear, Heart of Jesus, Angel Wings, Caladium

Family: Araceae

Synonymous: Caladium bicolor
Arum bicolor

Caladium X hortulanum

Caladium X hortulanum

Distribution and habitat: The genus Caladium indigenous to South America. They grow in open areas of the forest and on the banks of rivers and go dormant during the dry season. The wild plants grow to 40–90cm (15–35 inch) tall, with leaves mostly 15–45cm (6-18 inch) long and broad and have subtle white flowers.

Description: Caladium species are tuberous-rooted plants with heart-shaped leaves or arrow-shaped leaves on long stalks rising directly from the tubers. The Caladium species in cultivation are hybrids of mixed origin that are usually grouped under the name Caladium X hortulanum; many of them are known by varietal names.

The size of the paper-thin leaves varies considerably, but an average leaf in 30-38cm (12-15 inch) long on a similar length stalk. Colour can be practically all white with just the fainest tinge of green along the veins; or the leaves can be spotted, veined, blotched or marbled red, pink or white on green. Some kinds have much smaller than average, predominantly green foliage and these are far the easier to grow than the others. Although all varieties have flowers, they are grown for their spectacular foliage, rather than for flowers.

Houseplant care: All these plants need usually constant high humidity to maintain healthy foliage; since this is diffcult to achieve indoors, Caladium X hortulanum are often grown as temporary plants – very ornamental for short period when they are in leaf, but discarded when pass their prime. It is not necessary to discard them, however. After the leaves have died down, dormant tubers can be kept in their pots and given the right condition, will produce new growth in the following year.

Light: Caladium X hortulanum require bright light, but must not be exposed to direct sunlight.

Temperature: A temperature of at least 18-24°C (64-75°F) with a correspondingly high degree of humidity is essential for plants in leaf; pots should be kept on trays with moist pebbles and foliage mist-sprayed daily. Caladium X hortulanum must never be exposed to droughts or the leaves will crumple up within an hour or two.

Store dormant tubers in the dark at a temperature of about 15°C (59°F).

Water: Caladium X hortulanum are plants of tropical jungles. During the active growth period therefore, water them moderately, enough to make the entire potting mixture moist. But, as leaves begin to dry out and die down, reduce the frequency of watering. The tubers require a rest period of at least five months, from early autumn through early spring and during those months they should be watered only sparingly (once a month, say).

Fertilising: Apply half-strength standard fertiliser every two weeks in the active growth period only.

Potting and repotting: Use a peat based potting mixture and put fragments of clay pot or other drainage material in the bottom of the pot to improve drainage. Dormant tubers should be potted in fresh potting mixture in spring. Pots about 8cm (3 inch) in size are adequate for small tubers and for these with small leaves; 13cm (5 inch) pots are best for larger plants. Tubers should be buried at about their own depth from the surface – plant a 2cm (0.8 inch) thick tuber about 2cm (0.8 inch) below the surface. Maintain a temperature of at lest 21°C (70°F) to start growth.

Garden Culture: Caladium X hortulanum tubers need to be dug and stored each year before frost. Even in locations where Caladium X hortulanum may be left in the ground, the tubers seem to perform better when dug and protected from wet winter soils. Water should be gradually withheld as the leaves naturally start to yellow in fall, then the tubers dug, cleaned of soil and left to dry in semishade for about 10 days. The tubers should be dusted with an insecticide-fungicide prior to being stored in dry peat moss or vermiculite at temperatures between 10-16°C (50-60°F). This helps prevent rot.

Caladium X hortulanum require a warm, moist soil. A minimum soil temperature of 21°C (70oF) is preferred. If planted too early in the spring, cool soil temperatures will cause tubers to rot before they sprout.
In the warm, humid climates of zones 8 and 9, plant Caladium X hortulanum tubers directly into the ground in spring. In most other areas, to start Caladium X hortulanum indoors for outdoor planting, pot them up about 4-6 weeks before transplanting them in garden. Wait until the soil warms to plant outdoors. Peat pots will make transplanting easier on the plants.
Also, these species can be grown in containers in shaded positions outdoors. The great advantage of pot-grown Caladium X hortulanum is that they can be moved as needed to keep them warm. When nights become chilly in fall, bring them indoors and keep them in a sunny window, until the leaves begin to wither.

Position: Caladium X hortulanum grow best in the partial shade of open, high-branched trees. They will perform reasonably well in full shade, but the color may not be as outstanding.  Generally they will need protection for the direct sun light.
When grown around the bases of trees, make a 13cm (5 inch) deep bed of rich soil so the tuberous roots will have adequate space and a fair chance at moisture.

Soil: Grow Caladium X hortulanum in acidic soil that is moist and well drained. For best growth, a layer of pine bark mulch or compost should be incorporated into the soil to improve soil aeration, drainage and organic matter content.

Plant tubers 5cm (2 inch) deep and 20cm (8 inch) apart for small tubers and 30cm (12 inch) apart for large tubers.

Water: Caladiums are not drought tolerant and should be watered on a regular basis, but do not overwater them.
Add mulch to conserve moisture and keep the soil cool during the hot summer.

Fertiliser: Feed outdoor planted Caladium X hortulanum once a month during the active growth period. Do not allow fertilizer to contact the leaves. Water thoroughly after fertilization to prevent fertilizer burn.

Propagation: Detach small tubers from the parent at the time of restarting into growth. If it is potted up and cultivated as recommended above, each tuber will produce a new plant. The new tubers reach their maturity in one to two years.

Problems: Any problem (such as premature withering of the leaves) is likely to be caused by failure to provide suitable conditions: constant warmth and a high humidity are essentials.

Availability: Caladium X hortulanum can be bought as potted plants or as dormant tubers.

Toxicity: The Caladium X hortulanum plant may be poisonous so keep it away from pets and children. Contact with Caladium X hortulanum sap may irritate sensitive skin.

Uses: Caladium X hortulanum grow rapidly and are beautiful indoors as well as in a garden. Indoors, Caladium X hortulanum, because their need of high humidity, are best grown among other plants needing similar conditions.

It is excellent for providing foliage color spring, summer, and fall. This plant is primarily grown for its attractive foliage and is suitable for borders, containers and as a specimen.

Grouped together, they can look like they are in bloom. Caladiums grow equally well in containers and pair nicely with ferns and other soft textured plants like Astilbe species, with spiky leaved plants such as ornamental grasses and shade tolerant Iris and with coordinating colored blooms of Fuchsia and Impatiens.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – coloured
Shape – bushy
Height: 30-45cm (12-18 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright
Temperature in rest period – min 16°C max 18°C (61-64°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 24°C (61-75°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 8b-11

Caladium X hortulanumCaladium X hortulanum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Annuals, Bulbs, Corms & Tubers, Foliage Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , ,

Solanum pseudocapsicum

Common name: Christmas Cherry, Jerusalem Cherry, Kangaroo Apple, Nightshade, Madeira Winter Cherry

Family: Solanaceae

Synonymous: Solanum capsicastrum
Solanum diflorum
Solanum dunnianum
Solanum jaliscanum
Solanum tucumanense

Solanum pseudocapsicum

Solanum pseudocapsicum

Distribution and habitat: Solanum pseudocapsicum is native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America and become naturalised in southern Africa, North America, Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia. It is an small evergreen shrub usually growing 0.3-1m (1-3 feet) tall, but occasionally reaching up to 2m (6.5 feet) in height. It is found growing in forests, forest margins and waterways in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but it is occasionally also found in semi-arid and tropical environments. Sometimes it is considered a weed.

This perennial bushy shrub is living up to 10 years and has twiggy branches  which carry small, dark green leaves and insignificant star-shaped flowers which bloom in summer. The flowers are followed by highly decorative, long lasting, non-edible berries.

Description: Solanum pseudocapsicum has slightly hairy, lance-shaped leaves with stalks less than 1cm (0.4 inch) long. Each leaf is up to 8cm (3 inch) long and 3-4cm (1-1.5 inch) wide and has undulated edges. The leaves are densely arranged along the many short branches that develop from woody stems. Flowers appear from leaf axils, usually in twos or threes, on 2cm (0.8 inch) long flower stalks. Each flower is about 1-2cm (0.4-0.8 inch) across and white with central core of orange-yellow stamens. The oval berries that follow in late autumn to early winter are 1-2cm (0.4-0.8 inch) in diameter and are green, backed by green bracts. The bracts remain green, but the shinny berries gradually turn orange-red as they ripen and they remain attractive most of the winter months.

Houseplant care: Solanum pseudocapsicum is acquired when the display of berries starts and generally discarded when the berries have shriveled and fallen off. This is a waste, however as the plants will fruit again the following year if kept under the right conditions. They can be kept outdoors during the summer months.

In late spring, just before putting the mature plant outdoors, prune it drastically, cutting out two-thirds of the previous year’s growth. For bushy growth thereafter, pinch out the growing tips of new growth in spring. Mist-spray Solanum pseudocapsicum daily throughout the entire flowering period in order to encourage the fruit to set.

Light: Stand Solanum pseudocapsicum in direct sunlight indoors throughout the fruiting period (beginning in early autumn and ending in early spring). Plants to be retained for a second year must be kept outdoors, but sheltered from the midday sun throughout late spring and for the whole summer.

Temperature: During the autumn and winter months keep these plants at a temperature no higher than about 15°C (59°F), if possible, and give them high humidity. Warm rooms and dry air will considerably shorten the life of the berries. Stand the plants on trays or saucers of moist pebbles and mist-spray them once a day.

During late spring and summer, while plants are outdoors, normal summer temperatures are suitable. In dry weather mist-spray daily the specimens being kept outdoors. Be sure to bring the plants indoors before there is a risk of frost. Minimum tolerable temperature is 10°C (50°F).

Water: Water plentifully as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist, but never let the pots stand in water. If a plant is to be retained for a second season, give it a short rest period for about four or five weeks just before putting it outdoors. During this period water the plant only enough to keep the potting mixture from drying out completely.

Fertilising: Apply standard liquid fertiliser once every two weeks, except during the brief rest period.

Potting and repotting: Plants which are acquired in late autumn or early winter will not need repotting until mid-spring. To keep the plants for a second fruiting season, move them into pots one size larger (probably 13cm (5 inch) size) before placing them outdoors. It is best to use a soil-based potting mixture.

A young Solanum pseudocapsicum raised from seed should be carefully moved into a bigger pot whenever root crowding is indicated by the appearance of roots on the surface of the potting mixture or through the drainage holes.

Solanum pseudocapsicum are not normally retained for a third fruiting season.

Gardening: Solanum pseudocapsicum is sometimes cultivated as a garden ornamental. In a frost free zone, Solanum pseudocapsicum will develop into a nice 0.6-1m (2-3 feet), woody shrub. These plants are growing best in moisture-retentive and well-draining soil. Water them well and let the soil become moderately dry between waterings. They are sun-lovers and hence it is best to plant them in a sunny location. For best results make sure that the plants are receiving sufficient sunshine and not grown in too windy place which can be too dry for them.

To encourage bushiness, prune Solanum pseudocapsicum regularly or pinch the growing points. Also remember to feed the Solanum pseudocapsicum with liquid fertilizer during the active growing period. Plants grown outdoors get pollinated from the wind or insects that carry the pollen from flower to flower.

Propagation: Seed sown in the early spring will flower and fruit the same year. Sow the seed in a small pot or shallow pan of moistened rooting mixture, spacing the seeds 1cm (0.4 inch) apart just bellow the surface of the potting mixture. Place the container in a plastic bag or propagating case and keep it in bright light filtered through a translucent blind or curtain until germination occurs (probably in two or three weeks). Uncover the container and grow the seedlings on in a position where they can get maximum bright light with at least two hours a day of direct sunlight. Water enough to keep the rooting potting mixture just moist throughout and begin to feed the seedlings when they are about 5-8cm (2-3 inch) high.

About eight weeks after the start of propagation, transplant the young plants singly into 8cm (3 inch) pots of soil-based potting mixture and treat them in the same way as mature Solanum pseudocapsicum. If possible, place them outdoors and keep them there until the berries begin to form in the autumn.

Problems:
Leaf fall indicates overwatering.

Early berry drop indicates either too little light or hot dry air.

Solanum pseudocapsicum is sometimes infested by aphids, whiteflies or spider mites.
Treatment: Regular misting with tepid water will help to prevent an infestation of spider mites, which prefer hot, dry conditions. Use an insecticide, if needed.

Plants that do not bloom usually because they are not getting enough light.
Treatment: The cool rest followed by a warm, sunny summer should trigger a flush of new flowers followed by peppers. Do not forget to fertilise it during the growing season.

Plants bloom, but do not form fruits because they are not pollinated.
Treatment: Plants grown indoors need some help to pollinate. Use a small, clean paintbrush to dab the stamens in the center of the flowers, moving from flower to flower to spread the pollen around.

Notes: Solanum pseudocapsicum is regarded as a significant environmental weed in some regions of Australia and New Zealand.

Solanum is a large and diverse genus of flowering plants, including two food crops of the highest economic importance, the potato and the tomato.

Uses: Solanum pseudocapsicum is well worth growing as a single plant in a pot for the patio where it will become an asset for many years. It is normally bought as an annual indoor plant but can be grown for a number of years. The berries produces by Solanum pseudocapsicum are long-lasting and will “decorate” the plant right through the winter.

It makes a great ornamental garden plant in frost free climate.

Availability: Solanum pseudocapsicum are usually sold in late autumn or early winter, at time when the berries have started to change their colour – from green through yellow and orange to orange-red.

Recommended varieties:
Solanum pseudocapsicum Variegatum is a variegated form which has leaves splashed with creamy yellow or edged with creamy white.

Toxicity: Do not eat the fruit of Solanum pseudocapsicum though as they contain toxins. Keep the berries away from children. Ingestion may result in mild poisoning, but it is generally not life-threatening. It may cause gastric problems, including vomiting and gastroenteritis. They are also highly poisonous to dogs, cats and some birds.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers and berries
Shape – bushy
Height: 45cm (18 inch)
Wide: 45cm (18 inch)

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

Hardiness zone: 9a-11



Annuals, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Shrubs , , , , , , , , , ,

Calceolaria herbeohybrida

Common name: Lady’s Purse, Slipper Flower, Pocketbook Flower, Slipperwort, Pouch

Family: Calceolariaceae

Synonymous: Calceolaria crenatiflora
Calceolaria multiflora

Calceolaria herbeohybrida

Calceolaria herbeohybrida

Distribution and habitat: Calceolaria genus consists of about 388 species of shrubs, lianas and herbs, and the geographical range extends from Patagonia to central Mexico, with its distribution centre in Andean region. Calceolaria species have usually yellow or orange flowers, which can have red or purple spots.

Description: From the many species of this genus, the only Calceolaria generally grown indoors is the Calceolaria herbeohybrida. These have a very decorative foliage and flowers but can be kept only for a single season. Calceolaria herbeohybrida  life span indoors is about a month or several weeks of flowering time before being discarded.

Calceolaria herbeohybrida leaves are large – up to 20cm (8 inch) across – roughly heart-shaped and grouped around the base of a single central stem. Above the leaves rise several branching stalks 30-60cm (12-24 inch) tall, each carrying loose clusters of pouch or slipper-shaped flowers, which vary in size (according to seed stain) from 1cm to 5cm (0.4-2 inch) across, in any one of various shades of red, orange, yellow or reddish brown. Most of the flowers of Calceolaria herbeohybrida are spotted or blotched with contrasting colour.

Houseplant care: Keep plant in a place that is free from drafts and direct sun, both of which will scorch its soft leaves.

To keep the Calceolaria herbeohybrida flowering for as long as possible, proper light and temperature and plentiful watering and high humidity are essential.
Light: Keep Calceolaria herbeohybrida in a spot with bright light but not direct sunlight.

Temperature: Calceolaria herbeohybrida should be kept in cool room temperature: 7-10°C (45-50°F) at night; 13-16°C (55-60°F) during the day.

Water: Water often plentifully as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist. Never allow the potting mixture to dry out; dry potting mixture can cause the plant to collapse.

Avoid watering over the crown of the plant because it may cause it to rot.

Standing the pot on a tray of damp pebbles or peat will also extend the life of the Calceolaria herbeohybrida by raising the humidity level.

Fertiliser: Do not fertilise Calceolaria herbeohybrida while in bloom.

Propagation: Commercial growers raise Calceolaria herbeohybrida from seed sown in early summer, overwintering the young plants cool at between 7-10°C (45-50°F) and sell them in early spring, when the flower buds are just beginning to open.

Problem:
Calceolaria herbeohybrida are susceptible to root and crown rots from the soil being too wet or fluctuations in watering.
Treatment: Avoid overwatering and water the plant regularly.

Limp leaves usually indicate the plants are too dry.
Treatment: Immerse the pot in a bucket of water and allow the potting mixture to become thoroughly wet. When the bubble stop rising from the potting mixture, remove the pot and allow the excess water to drain away.

A careful watch should be kept for aphids which are Calceolaria herbeohybrida‘s greatest enemy. They can develop to epidemic proportions in a very few days.
Treatment: Remove and destroy badly infested plat growth. Keep plants clean at all times and use an adequate pesticide regularly.

Gray mold, whiteflies, and spider mites can also be a problem.
Treatment: Use an adequate pesticide following the instructions on the label.

Uses: Calceolaria herbeohybrida is used primarily as pot plants and given as gifts in the late winter and early spring. They are a nice addition to a bright windowsill in winter and are a cheery gift with their bright colors and unusual flowers.

Buying tip: Choose a Calceolaria herbeohybrida plant with plenty of unopened buds to enjoy several weeks of blooms.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: 30-60cm (12-24 inch)

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

Calceolaria herbeohybridaCalceolaria herbeohybridaCalceolaria herbeohybrida

 

 

 

 

 



Annuals, Flowering Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , ,

Chrysanthemum morifolium

Common name: Florist’s Chrysanthemum, Pot Mum

Synonyms: Anthemis grandiflora
Chrysanthemum stipulaceum
Dendranthema grandiflorum
Dendranthema morifolium
Matricaria morifolia

Family: Asteraceae

Chrysanthemum morifolium

Chrysanthemum morifolium

Distribution and habitat: Chrysanthemums are perennial flowering plants which are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.

Description: Chrysanthemum morifolium is herbaceous plant with deeply lobed, dark green upright leaves and large flower heads can be yellow, white, purple or red. The plant is 0.30–0.91m (1–3 feet) high and wide. The Chrysanthemum morifolium is inspiring with a lots of beautiful flower forms and colours to choose from. Favorites for autumn colour once most other annual or tough perennials have past in rest period, Chrysanthemum morifolium will bloom until late in the winter season.

Florist Chrysanthemum morifolium varieties are not hardy for growing outdoors in cold climates. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get Chrysanthemum morifolium to rebloom, so it is treated as an annual and tossed out after the blooming season is over. Plant it outdoors in the spring to possibly get another season of blooms.

Houseplant care: Care for the potted Chrysanthemum morifolium (often used as annuals) is quite easy, while garden Chrysanthemum morifolium treated as perennials require a little more dedication.

Faded blooms of potted Chrysanthemum morifolium should be removed to prolong flowering. Pinch them off as close to the stem as possible and Chrysanthemum morifolium will quickly form new blossoms instead of using nutrients to form seeds. Also, Chrysanthemum morifolium grown indoors require good air circulation. The secret to keeping blossoms fresh for several weeks is to keep Chrysanthemum morifolium in a cool place and well-watered.

Light: Keep Chrysanthemum morifolium in natural bright light or in direct sunlight, whether indoors or out. Chrysanthemum morifolium need plenty of sun for proper growth. Keep them away from night lighting, as this disturbs their flowering cycle.

Unlike other houseplants, Chrysanthemum morifolium requires natural light for healthy growth. This plant loves bright light and to encourage buds to open, it will need to be placed in a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.

Water: Water Chrysanthemum morifolium regularly throughout the year. Soak the pot of Chrysanthemum morifolium until water runs out through the drainage holes of the pot bottom. After the initial soaking, water daily or until soil is moist. Apply enough water to moisten the soil, yet not enough to leave it wet and soggy. Do not allow the potted soil to dry out, as this will harm the plant. It is advisable to water the potted Chrysanthemum morifolium with warm (not too cold) water.

An average room humidity will be good enough for Chrysanthemum morifolium. If the room is dry, use a spray bottle to mist potted Chrysanthemum morifolium plants once per day to increase the relative humidity.

Temperature: The potted Chrysanthemum morifolium will do well in cool temperatures 13-18°C (55-65°F) rooms; Flowers may not last as long if kept in a warm room.

Fertilise: Fertilizing is needed before the blooming period. Use a fertilizer that is high in potassium and nitrogen as it will promote a larger number of flowers and increase the size of the blooms. Water both before and after applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for correct fertiliser dosage. Do not fertilize during the rest period which will occur in the winter months.

Potting and repotting: Repot Chrysanthemum morifolium in the fall using an fertile soil mixture and prune the plant. Choose a container with drainage holes. Plant Chrysanthemum morifolium in a 18cm (7 inch) container that will accommodate the root ball comfortably. Use a growing medium made up of two parts potting soil, one part peat moss and one part organic compost. Keep the potted Chrysanthemum morifolium in a location that receives full morning sun and partial afternoon shade during the first year of growth.

For spent Chrysanthemum morifolium pot: Allow the Chrysanthemum morifolium plants to go dormant over the winter. Keep Chrysanthemum morifolium pot outside once the blooms die and mound the pots with dried leaves or garden refuse to prevent premature freezing. Prune Chrysanthemum morifolium in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back stems to about 30 to 45cm (12-18 inch) or shorter for bushier plants. Water mum plants in the spring as new growth begins and color returns to the plants. Keep them well watered throughout the spring, fertilizing once a week for the first couple months and then ceasing fertilization once blooms are present.

Garden Culture: Plant perennial garden Chrysanthemum morifolium during spring in full sun for optimum root establishment prior to winter. Choose a site with well-drained soil. Let 15-30cm (6-12 inch) space between bedded Chrysanthemum morifolium to allow for growth and air circulation. Tall cultivars may grow up to 0.9m (3 feet) tall, while dwarf varieties remain low and bunchy.

Prepare perennial garden Chrysanthemum morifolium for winter by mulching with up to 10cm (4 inch) over the plant. Do not cut back stems until spring to encourage overwintering success. In spring, remove the mulch from the beds of over-wintered Chrysanthemum morifolium and cut back dead plant material. Fertilize regularly during the early spring growing season to encourage late summer and fall blooms. Pinch back one-third of the new growth at a leaf bud junction up to three times during the summer prior to flowering. This routine maintenance creates a full, round perennial bush that will produce beautiful fall display in the garden. Water the Chrysanthemum morifolium every other day when the soil becomes dry.

For strong growth remove any lateral branches and leave the plant with only three stems to help developing buds. The branches should be removed when they are small and soft so as not to take away from the growth of the buds and stems.

Propagation: Chrysanthemum morifolium can be easily propagated through stem cuttings or root ball division. Take cuttings in early spring and root in soil mixture with sand on the surface, at 16°C (61°F). Place in a cold frame with ventilation and harden off in mid-spring.

Divide Chrysanthemum morifolium plant as needed in spring or fall after flowers are finished.

Problems: Chrysanthemum morifolium can be attacked by aphids, earwigs, nematodes, capsid bugs, leaf miners, whiteflies, thrips, and spider mites.

Potential disease problems include Botrytis, leaf spots, rust, powdery mildew, stem and root rots, verticillium wilt, aster yellows and viruses.

Uses: Chrysanthemum morifolium is used in beds, as cut flowers, for planters, as pot plant, display or borders.

Blooming houseplants are one way to add colour into any décor. Plants that are constant bloomers will keep a room lively. Chrysanthemum morifolium is one of the most popular plants available for providing long-lasting flowers to enjoy indoors or on porches and patios. The wide variety of flowers colours suit just about any indoor décor or patio planter colour scheme. Chrysanthemum morifolium can be grown in larger pots indoors or outdoors in the summer months. Chrysanthemum morifolium make colorful table plant or window plant. It is perfect for all kinds of containers and makes a breathtaking potted specimen plant.

Also, Chrysanthemum morifolium can be used for eye catching thematic arrangements, garlands, buttons, etc. Interior decoration with flower arrangements is most important use of Chrysanthemum morifolium as cutting flower due to long vase life of the flower.

Well known as a decorative flower, the Chrysanthemum morifolium is an amazing plant, which has not only beautiful flowers, but is also very good at filtering a variety of polluting compounds from the air. Chrysanthemum species are very effective at removing benzene, a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) associated with most chemicals, plastics, cigarettes and off-gasing. Also removes trichloroethylene (found in solvets and cleaners), formaldehyde and ammonia.

Note: Chrysanthemum morifolium leaves are poisonous. Keep it out from children and pets to avoid the risk of ingest it.

Availability: Potted Chrysanthemum morifolium is available from late summer to fall when the plant will already have bud sets ready to bloom when purchased from retailers. Choose a plant with plenty of buds that are just beginning to open to enjoy about 6-8 weeks of blooms.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height:0.30–0.91m (1–3 feet)
Wide: 0.30–0.91m (1–3 feet)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright
Temperature in active growth period – min 13°C max 18°C (55-64°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 5a-9b



Annuals, Cutting Flowers, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Top Anti-Pollutant Houseplants , , , , , , ,

Cyclamen persicum

Common name: Persian cyclamen

Family: Myrsinaceae

Cyclamen persicum

Cyclamen persicum

Distribution and Habitat: Cyclamen persicum is a species of flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing from a tuber, native to rocky hillsides, shrubland, and woodland up to 1,20 m (3,900 feet) above sea level, from south-central Turkey to Israel and Jordan. It also grows in Algeria and Tunisia and on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Crete, where it may have been introduced by monks. Cultivars of this species are the commonly seen florist’s cyclamen.

Availability: Cyclamen persicum is a tuberous-rooted flowering plant best treated as temporary indoor plant, to be brought into home just as the buds begin to open, enjoyed wile flowering and discard wen the flowering is over.

Cyclamen persicum is often seen for sale throughout the fall and winter, in less hardy zones, as a houseplant. Plants which are already in bud normally appear on the market from about early winter until spring in hardy zones. Bought plants should remain decorative for two or three months. Plants are usually bought in 8cm (3 inch) or 12cm (5 inch) pots.

 Description: Numerous flowers, produced on individual stalks 23cm (9 inch) long or more, comprise several petals – of which there are usually five – standing almost erect. The flowers may be pure white, deep red or various shade of pink, salmon, mauve and purple. Some have white edgings on the coloured petals; some have ruffled petals edges and some more closely resemble the wild species in that they are small, delicate and pleasantly perfumed, whereas most cultivated forms have no perfume and have flowers 2cm (0.8 inch) or more long.

The flowers stalks of Cyclamen persicum plants rise up among leaves that are variably market in silver, sometime with a wide silver margin or irregular silver marbling. The leaves have 10cm (4 inch) long leaf-stalks that rise directly from the flattened, corky tuber of the plants.

Cyclamen persicum can flower for two to four months, with individual blooms lasting up to three weeks. Once flowering stops, the plants can survive for several more months.

Houseplant care: Remove dead flowers as they fade and is important to remove the entire flower stalk along with the flower. This is easily done by twisting the stalk and pulling sharply. Any damage or yellowing leaves should also be cleanly pulled away. When the plants have finished producing flowers, they can be discarded. However for those who wish to attempt to bring a Cyclamen persicum into flower another year, proceed as per “Dormancy period instructions” below.

Light: Cyclamen persicum should be given in the winter – during the flowering period – bright light without direct sunlight .
While the plant is dormant during the summer, keep it out of bright light.

Temperature: Keep Cyclamen persicum cool at all times. A temperature of between 13°C (55°F) and 18°C (64°F) is ideal, if possible. Warm conditions will greatly shorten the life of these plants, but plenty of humidity improves matters; this can be achieved by placing pots on trays of moist pebbles or an individual pot can be kept in a bowl of moist peat moss. Avoid drafts as well as hot, dry air.

Do not expose to temperatures below 10°C (50°F).

Water: Cyclamen persicum tubers are only half-buried in potting mixture and water should never be poured onto the tubers, which are liable to rot. Instead plants should be watered from below by placing the pot in shallow water-filled bowl; this permits the potting mixture to take up as much water as it needs. After ten minutes the soaked pots should be lifted out and allowed to drain.

Some growers put the pot of Cyclamen persicum on thin pieces of wet foam rubber (or fiberglass), which is kept moist being placed in a shallow saucer or bowl of water; from this the plant automatically takes up its water needs. This is also an alternative way to achieve high humidity.

Fertilising: Apply liquid fertiliser about once every two weeks.

Dormancy Period: Cyclamen generally go dormant for the summer. They do not like the lack of rain and excess heat, so they take a siesta. By middle of spring Cyclamen persicum  start getting tired and the leaves will begin to yellow and die. When they go fully dormant depends on their growing conditions. If they are houseplants and the heat is kept high, they will peter out more quickly. On the other hand, some of them do not ever appear to go fully dormant.

During the summer, dormant cyclamen can be kept indoors, in a cool, dark spot with good air circulation or outdoors, in a shady spot. If placed outdoors, make sure to turn the pot on its side to keep the rain out. If the soil gets too wet during dormancy, the tuber will rot. A little water is not going to do any harm, but the soil cannot remain wet.

Repot with fresh soil and a slightly larger pot while the plant is dormant. Cyclamen persicum does best planted in a soil-based potting mix, with the top of the tuber just slightly above the soil line.

Begin watering again in early autumn. By then the plant is starting new growth. Move the pot indoors before a frost.

Uses: Cyclamen persicum is used on a terrace, in flower-boxes, hanging baskets or in beddings:
In warm climates can use Cyclamen persicum for their perennial gardens.

While Cyclamen persicum is more popular as a potted plant, can be used as cut flower. Cyclamen cut flowers last in a vase for a surprisingly long time, two weeks or more, and offer the advantage of having a wide range of bright or soft colours at a time when there is not much choice, during the winter. They prefer pure water (neither gel nor a preservative). The stems must be cut back regularly at the base and cut into buttonholes lengthways (about 2cm (0.8 inch)) before being put back in the vase.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: 15-30 cm (6-12 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – no watering
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright
Temperature in active growth period – min 13°C max 18°C (55-64°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 10a-11



Annuals, Bulbs, Corms & Tubers, Cutting Flowers, Flowering Plants, Indoor Plants ,

Euphorbia pulcherrima

Common Names: Poinsettia, Christmas Star, Christmas Flower, Painted Leaf, Lobster Plant, Mexican Flameleaf

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Synonymous: Euphorbia erythrophylla
Euphorbia fastuosa
Pleuradenia coccinea
Poinsettia pulcherrima

Euphorbia pulcherrima

Euphorbia pulcherrima

Distribution and habitat: Euphorbia pulcherrima is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. It is found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. It is also found in the interior in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas. Reports of Euphorbia pulcherrima growing in the wild in Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to be confirmed by botanists.

Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6 to 4m (2-16 feet).

Description: Euphorbia pulcherrima is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. Growers in Scandinavia and California developed the strains that have been scaled down for use indoors. All Euphorbia pulcherrima are winter flowering shrubs notable for their coloured bracts. Modern forms are often no taller that 30-45cm (12-18 inch) with lobed or fiddle-shaped leaves that are 10-15cm (4-6 inch) long, toothed and coloured deep green etched with paler vein marking.

The greenish-yellow flowers are insignificant, but each cluster of tiny flowers is surrounded by 10 to 20 actively coloured bracts, which look like narrowly pointed (or roughly heart-shaped) broad leaves. In the most showy forms, these leaf-like bracts are 20-25cm (8-10 inch) long. The colored bracts are most often flaming red but can be red, pale green, cream, pink, white or marbled. All Euphorbia pulcherrima are short-day plants, flower-bud and bract formation can be initiated only by an eight-week period of no more that 10 hours of light and no less than 14 hours of total, uninterrupted darkness per day. In addition, the plants are treated with a dwarfing chemical that effectively reduces stem length. The resultant short-stemmed plants crowned by large and handsome bracts are normally sold when they are in full bloom in early winter, but they may also be timed for Christmas.

Houseplant care: Under favorable conditions, the bracts will remain attractive for two months or even longer. Thereafter, most people discard the plant, but it is possible (through not particularly easy) to keep and bring them into flower again in the following season.

Light: Keep Euphorbia pulcherrima in bright filtered light – full sunlight filtered through a translucent blind or curtain.

Temperature: Cool room temperature is suitable for Euphorbia pulcherrima. Daytime temperature should be between 13-18°C (55-65°F), with a minimum at night of 10°C (50°F). High temperatures will shorten the life of the colorful bracts. Avoid temperature fluctuations and warm or cold drafts.

Place the Euphorbia pulcherrima in a drought-free position by keeping the pots plunged in containers of moist peat. Do not expose the plant to gas fumes.

Water: Water the plant carefully, allowing the soil almost to dry out between waterings. Use the leaves as an indicator and water well as soon as any sign of wilting is observed. When is time to water the plant,  the potting mixture should then be thoroughly saturated.

Fertilising: No feeding is necessary.

Keeping the plant for another season:  After the bracts have faded and fallen, cut top growth down to 3-5cm (1-2 inch) from the base and allow the potting mixture to become almost – but never completely – dry. When growth stops, keep the dormant plant at normal room temperature, in bright filtered light, until middle of the spring; then flood it with water. The plant, still in its old pot, will soon begin to grow again.

The stump of the old plant can be allowed to develop an entirely new season’s growth. Repot the newly growing plant in a fresh soil-based mixture after shaking off the old potting mixture. Do not use a larger pot than the original one for a newly growing old plant. Bigger pots merely encourage the rapid growth of lush foliage at the expense of the flowers and bracts; the result is likely to be a huge plant which is unrecognisable as a Euphorbia pulcherrima. Once reported, treat the restarted old plant  as a newly purchased plant, except that it should be given monthly application of a standard liquid fertiliser, until middle-autumn. Thereafter to stimulate flowering it is vital to subject plants to a strict regimen of short-day for the next 8 weeks: Give the plant no less than 14 hours of darkness per day – cover them with a black plastic bag from early evening for about 14 hours. During the day plants need to receive bright light, recommended natural daylight.

The resulting plants are usually taller than commercially produced Euphorbia pulcherrima. The dwarfing chemical used by professional growers is rarely available for use by amateurs.

Propagation: Euphorbia pulcherrima can be propagated by cuttings from the tips of the new growth, taken in summer. Taken 12-15cm (5-6 inch) long cuttings from the new  side shoots and root them to make new plants. The end cut should be treated with water to seal in the latex and they should then be inserted in small pots containing a mixture of equal parts of peat moss and coarse sand. Keep the pots at room temperature in filtered sunlight and water only enough to make the mixture barely moist. Allow the top two-thirds to dry out between waterings. When rooting has occurred (normally in three or four weeks) and the cuttings are growing actively, move them into pots of fresh soil-based potting mixture and treat them as mature Euphorbia pulcherrima (see Keeping the plant for another season section after repotting).

Culture: When grown outdoors, Euphorbia pulcherrima grow best in full sun through to about half shade. They need to be placed where they do not receive a spillover of night light from a street or house window, as flowering is stimulated by shortening of the daylight hours. They like rich, well-drained soil and need protection from frost and strong winds. They can be pruned after flowering in spring to encourage a more compact shrub.

Problems: Euphorbia pulcherrima is generally problem free if given enough light and not overwatered.

Loss of flower heads and browning of the leaf edges indicate insufficient humidity.
Treatment: Correct the humidity by misting the plant regularly.

Uses: Euphorbia pulcherrima is widely cultivated as a garden ornamental in tropical and subtropical areas and grown commercially as a pot-plant, in particular for sale during the winter period. Euphorbia pulcherrima‘s brilliant red floral display held against rich green foliage has made this species a holiday favorite. Its appealing presentation of the traditional Christmas colours has so endeared poinsettia that it is now second only to the Christmas tree as the most popular holiday plant.

Recommended varieties:
Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Barbara Ecke Supreme’ is a much branching plant with very large cardinal red bracts closely surrounding the central flowers.

Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Mrs Paul Ecke’ is featured with fewer stems and blood red bracts.

Euphorbia pulcherrima ‘Ecke’s White’ has long lasting creamy white bracts.

Toxicity:  Euphorbia pulcherrima‘s toxicity is relatively mild. Its latex can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. It is also mildly irritating to the skin or stomach and may sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting if eaten. Sap introduced into the human eye may cause temporary blindness. Use gloves when handling Euphorbia pulcherrima to avoid any accidents.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – bushy
Features – flowers

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

Hardiness zone: 10b-11

Euphorbia pulcherrima

 

 

 

 

 

 



Annuals, Flowering Plants, Indoor Plants, Shrubs , , , , , , , , , ,

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