Archive

Archive for the ‘Flowering Plants’ Category

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



Begonias, 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 span: 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



Begonias, 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Brunfelsia paucifloraBrunfelsia paucifloraBrunfelsia paucifloraBrunfelsia paucifloraBrunfelsia pauciflora



Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Shrubs , , , , , , ,

Browallia speciosa

Common name: Amethyst Flower, Bush Violet, Lovely Browallia, Sapphire Flower

Family: Solanaceae

Synonymous: Browallia gigantea

Browallia speciosa

Browallia speciosa

Distribution and habiat: Browallia speciosa is a shrubby, woody perennial native to tropical South America growing in open areas, roadsides, pastures, vacant lots in moist and seasonally dry regions at elevations between 150-1200m (500-4000 feet).

Descriptions: Browallia speciosa is a blue-violet tender perennial usually grown as an annual flowering plant. When grown as an annual, it will typically rise to 0.5m (2 feet) tall. This plant has tubular, 5-lobed, purple-blue flowers with white centres and they are about 5cm (2 inch) wide . The flowers are blooming singly or in small clusters in the upper leaf axils, from late spring to fall. The oval leaves with pointed tips, up to 8cm (3 inch) long, are born on the plant. They are a matt-green colour and feel slightly sticky to touch.
Browallia speciosa is grown as a tropical annual. After it produces the show of flowers in its first year or so, it will often begin to decline, therefore it is practical to be discarded and grow a new plant in next spring.

Houseplants care: Indoors Browallia speciosa plants are prized for their vividly coloured, sapphire blue flowers. When grown in pots, their slim stems may need thin support, but they also make attractive trailing plants if grown in baskets.
As Browallia speciosa develop, nip out the growing tips of stems to encourage bushy growth.

Light: Provide a position offering bright light with at least four hours of direct sunlight every day.

Temperature: Browallia speciosa do best if they can be kept at a temperature of 12-16°C (54-61°F); temperatures much over 18°C (64°F) will tend to shorten the life of the flowers.

Watering: Water moderately, enough to make the potting mixture thoroughly moist, but allowing the top two-thirds to dry out between waterings.

Feeding: Once new plants are established, begin applications of standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks and continue throughout the whole of the flowering period.

Potting and repotting: Purchesed Browallia speciosa will normally be in 13cm (5 inch) pots of soil-based potting mixture and will not need repotting. They should be discarded after flowering.

Gardening: Browallia speciosa is typically grown as a warm weather annual. Pinch plants back to encourage branching. Prior to first fall frost, some plants may be cut back, planted in small containers and brought indoors for winter flowering.
Make sure to provide good ventilation if growing under glass.
Although cold temperatures will slow its growth considerably, it can tolerate the brisk air well and will continue to flower.

Light: Browallia speciosa plant grows  in sun to shade. Blooms best in warm shade. In hot summer areas, plants are best sited in sun dappled conditions, bright shade or afternoon shade.

Soil: Browallia speciosa performs well in humusy, consistently moist, well-drained soils.
Prepare the bed by working in a little compost or sphagnum peat moss. Plant Browallia speciosa 20 to 25cm (8-10 inch) apart in well-drained soil after the last frost date.
Mulch these plants with dried grass clippings, pine needles, wood chips or another organic material.

Irrigation: Browallia speciosa needs regular water. During the growing period, water moderately and keep it just moist in winter.

Fertiliser: Apply a low-nitrogen liquid fertiliser monthly during the growing season.

Propagation: Propagation of Browallia speciosa is by seed. If it is sown in early spring, plants will begin to flower in early autumn; later sowing will result in later flowering periods. Sow the seed thinly in small pots of moistened rooting potting mixture. Place the pots in a plastic bag or small propagation case and keep them at a temperature of 15-18°C (59-64°F) in medium light. When seedling are about 1cm (0.4 inch) tall, remove them from the plastic bag or propagator, water them enough to make the potting mixture barely moist and leave them until they are about 5cm (2 inch) tall. Then pot them individually in 8cm (3 inch) pots of soil-based mixture and treat them as mature plants. They should be moved on into 13cm pots (5 inch) after they have filled the smaller size with roots. Alternatively, six to eight small plants can be placed in a hanging basket measuring about 20cm (8 inch).

Recommended varieties:
Browallia speciosa cv. ‘Major’ general has erect stems 45-60cm (18-24 inch) tall that carry slightly drooping, 5-6cm (2-2.5 inch) long pointed egg shaped, bright green leaves on very short leaf-stalks. Violet-blue flowers 5cm (2 inch) across, which are produced from leaf axils and borne on short stalks, are tubular, but they flare out flat, dividing into five lobes. Most of the flowers have a white throat and some deep blue veining running along the lobes.

Browallia speciosa cv. ‘Silver Bells’ is a white flowered plant.

Availability: Sow Browallia speciosa seed indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date or purchase spring starter plants in six packs from nurseries.

Problems:
Aphids, leafhoppers and whiteflies may feed on Browallia speciosa new shots and its leaves.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate both aphids and whiteflies infestations and reduce high populations of leafhopper nymphs; thorough coverage of leaf undersides is important. It is very difficult to control adults effectively and no control is effective.

The base of the plant rots if the plant is given too much water.
Treatment: Once the base has started to turn black the plant cannot be saved and must be discarded.

Yellow leaves occur when the plant is too cold.
Prevention: Keep the plant in a warm position.

The plant is droopy. It needs more water.
Prevention: Water more frequently.

Fungal leaf spots and tomato spotted wilt virus may occur.
Treatment: Fungal diseases can be effectively controlled using recommended range of fungicide either systemic and non-systemic. Plant hygiene will help to prevent these diseases.   Ensure proper air circulation. This will help the plant to heal if does experience a fungal or pest infestation that must be treated.

Over fertilisation causes leaf growth at the expense of flower production.
Treatment: Use low-nitrogen liquid fertiliser in small dosage to prevent overfertilisation.

Companion plants: Browallia speciosa will make a stunning display when is planted together with Petunia species, Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato Vine) or Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alyssum).

Uses and display: Browallia speciosa is perfect to grow in all kinds of containers or hanging baskets, cascading down a wall. Can be planted in mass or large groups in beds, borders and woodland gardens. It looks great in rock gardens and makes a breathtaking potted specimen plant. It makes a splash of colour on a windowsill, especially if placed among foliage plants. It can be kept as houseplant for bright, warm locations in winter.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: 0.5m (2 feet)

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

Hardiness zone: 9-11

Browallia speciosaBrowallia speciosaBrowallia speciosa



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

Brassia verrucosa

Common name: The Warty Brassia

Family: Orchidaceae

Synonymous: Brassia verrucosa subsp. gireoudiana
Brassia aristata
Brassia brachiata
Brassia coryandra
Brassia cowanii
Brassia longiloba
Brassia odontoglossoides
Oncidium brachiatum
Oncidium verrucosum

Brassia verrucosa

Brassia verrucosa

Distribution and habitat: Brassia verrucosa is an epiphytic orchid native to Mexico, Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua), Venezuela, and Brazil. This large species is a warm to cool growing epiphyte of open humid, evergreen to semi-deciduous cloud forests on tree trunks and larger branches from altitudes of 900 to 2400m (3000-7900 feet).

Description: Brassia verrucosa are epiphytic orchids with unusually shaped flowers. It has upright, flattened, egg-shaped, medium green pseudobulbs about 8cm (3 inch) tall and 7cm (3 inch) wide. Each pseudobulb carries two leaves about 38cm (15 inch) long and 5cm (2 inch) wide. The flower stem which can be 30-90cm (12-36 inch) long, bears up to 16 fragrant blooms in spring and early summer. Each flowers grows up to 12-15cm (5-6 inch) long and 10cm (4 inch) across. Some forms, with flowers 20-25cm (8-10 inch) long and 10-12cm (4-5 inch) across, are sometimes thought to be a separate species and are given the name Brassia brachiata. The sepals and petals are pale green spotted with dark green, red or brownish purple, mainly near the base. The roughly diamond-shaped lip is white with dark green, wart like spots.
As the flowers open consecutively along the stem over a period of days, by the time the last are opening, the petals and sepals of the early flowers are a deeper color. The younger of the flowers are scented, but again there is a deterioration to an odor as they age. The flowers will stay on the plant for about 3 weeks.

Houseplant care: Brassia verrucosa is an easy to grow orchid. It likes to remain undisturbed for a few years and its habit of going to sleep for some months respected. When the flowers open they last better if removed to slightly cooler conditions.
Remove the dry, papery sheath from the base of pseudobulbs to prevent buildup of moisture and remove hiding places for pets.

Light: Give Brassia verrucosa bright filtered light all year long. Never expose these orchids to direct sunlight.

Temperature: Brassia verrucosa is a warm to cool growing orchid. Ideally, the year long range of temperature should be 15-23°C (59-73°F) during the day and 10-15°C (50-59°F) at night. When the temperature rises above 23°C (73°F) for more than two or three days at a time, stand containers on trays of moist pebbles or suspended water filled saucers below plants in hanging baskets or growing epiphytically on supports. In addition, mist-spray the foliage daily.
Also, good air circulation is essential: the air flow should be moist and gentle – no orchids like draughts.

Watering: Water actively growing Brassia verrucosa moderately, giving enough to thoroughly moisten the potting mixture at each watering, but let approximately two-thirds of the mixture dry out before watering again. After flowering has ceased, encourage these plants to rest for a short time (about three weeks).
During this rest period give only enough water to keep the mixture from completely drying out or the pseudobulbs from shriveling.
While these orchids enjoy high humidity and moist potting mix, they will not tolerate wet feet. Never allow the root zone to sit in water.

Feeding: Give all actively growing orchids a foliar feed at half strength with every third or fourth watering. Feeding in important for healthy growth and flowering.
Like most orchids, the roots of Brassia verrucosa are sensitive to fertilizer salt buildup, so at all times, use fertiliser at half strength, and when watering, flush the pot thoroughly.

Potting and repotting: Any of the potting mixtures recommended for orchids will be suited. Brassia verrucosa can be grown epiphytically on a simple wooden support.
Move Brassia verrucosa plants into container two sizes larger whenever more room for new pseudobulbs is required – about once every two or three years. The best time for repotting these orchids is in spring. To reduce any root damage, soak the container where is grown the orchids for ten minutes in warm water to make roots more pliable and easier to remove from the pot.

Gardening: Brassia verrucosa likes a fairly open, free-draining medium and intermediate to warm temperatures during the growing season. In the colder months it will grow in the intermediate to cool range. They appreciate plenty of air movement.

Position: Provide them with good light but shaded from sun. Their native habitat usually offers longer light day (equal day and night length) and more brighter then they can get outside of this habitat. Orchids grown outside of these regions will need supplemental light during spring and fall to give optimal conditions. The colour of the leaves is a good indicator to show if the orchid gets enough light. They should be mid green in optimum light.

Soil: Brassia verrucosa is an epiphytic plant and grows in trees and anchors itself to the bark. Additionally, this orchid can be grown in a pot or an orchid basket filled with recommended orchid potting mixture.

Watering:  Water regularly, particularly through the growing period. Although some recommend giving them a dryer winter rest period, others grow them evenly moist all year round. In either case they should not be kept constantly wet, particularly in colder weather. These orchids come from areas high humidity for most of the year, so keep them well misted with good ventilation and evenly moist and change the watering practices at any stress signs shown by plants.

Fertiliser: A balanced fertiliser will work best for Brassia verrucosa. Feed them a weak weekly liquid fertilising by following the instructions on the fertiliser package except make the solution at quarter strength.
In case of overfretilising, flush the pot thoroughly.

Propagation: Divide plants with sufficient pseudobulbs in the spring. Cut the rhizome into two or more segments, making sure that each section carries at least two pseudobulbs.Plant each segment in a 7-10cm (3-4 inch) container or attach it to a support and water the plant very sparingly until the new growth appears. Thereafter, treat the growing plant as a mature Brassia verrucosa.

Problem: The colour of the leaves of Brassia verrucosa orchids is a good indicator to the health of the plant:  mid green indicates good health, dark green indicates the plant is growing in too little light, which may affect its flowering potential and yellow leaves indicates too much light.

Ants are not harming direct the orchids, but they have the potential to bring pest infestation as they carry many types of sap sucking insects: aphids, mealy bugs and scale insects. Also, the sweet honeydew sucking sap insects secret encourage sooty mold – a type of fungi –  to adhere and to grow on the plants, making them very unsightly.
Treatment: Ants can be controlled with ant baits and traps. Household water-based insecticide sprays can also be used, but do not spray directly into the plants. In case of severe infestations, where ants have built nests amongst the orchid, it may be necessary to spray with stronger insecticides.

Scale insects and mealy bugs sometimes attacks these plants, hiding 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.

Thrips suck the sap of flowers and inflorescences, resulting in failure of bud development, non-opening of flowers, distorted flowers with brown patches and colour breaks. Inflorescence attacked by thrips shows a typical distorted inflorescence development.
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.

Beetles eat the soft tissues of orchids such as the tender shoots and new shoots. Weevils attack is normally seen as holes in plants as they bore into the soft tissue to lay eggs after which the grubs will continue to eat and enlarge the stem cavity.
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.

Snails and slugs will occasionally crawl over and feed on buds, blossoms, leaves and tender stems, resulting in damages that may lead to a secondary infection.
Treatment: Use a snail and slugs pesticide to prevent and control them.

The most common types of fungi capable of infecting orchids are the fungal crown rot caused by Phytophthora; damping-off disease by Pythium; black spot by Alternaria, Helminthosporium and Anthracnose; leaf tip disease by Gloeosporium. Orchid flowers can be affected in the form of flower blight by Botrytis; flower spots by Curvularia. Symtoms usually appear during the wet season when it rains frequently and the days are cloudy.
When an orchid plant starts to show signs of wilting, it will be due to root rot caused by Fusarium. This is very serious because the fungus will stop the water from being conducted up to the leaves and the plant will shrivel and die within days.
Treatment: Fungal diseases can be effectively controlled using recommended range of fungicide either systemic and non-systemic. Ensure proper air circulation. This will help the orchid to heal if there is a fungal or pest infestation that must be treated.

Uses and display: Brassia verrucosa is an attractive orchid with showy flowers, which will make a wanted  addition to any orchid collection. It can be grown in a pot or basket or grown epiphytically on a wooden support. Display these orchids at eye level, where its flowers can be seen up close. They suit tropical, oriental and bush garden designs.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height: 30-90cm (12-36 inch)

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

Hardiness zone: 9a-11

Brassia verrucosa Brassia verrucosa Brassia verrucosa



Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Orchids , , , , , , , , , ,

Bougainvillea glabra

Common name: Paper Flower, Paperflower, Lesser Bougainvillea, Bougainvillea

Family: Nyctaginaceae

Bougainvillea glabra

Bougainvillea glabra

Distribution and habitat: Bougainvillea glabra is an evergreen, climbing shrub with thorny stems. It usually grows 3-4m (10–12feet) tall, occasionally up to 9m (30 feet). Tiny white flowers usually appear in clusters surrounded by colorful papery bracts, hence the name paperflower.
Bougainvillea glabra is native to Brazil growing in well drained sandy desert soils, slopes, mesas and disturbed rocky soil in a broad elevation range, anywhere from sea level to 750m (0-2500 feet). Its natural habitat is equatorial where day and night lengths are almost equal. Bougainvillea glabra in these areas tend to bloom year round. Elsewhere, best blooming occurs when the night length and day length are almost equal (in spring or fall).

Description: Bougainvillea glabra is a vigorous climbing species, which flowers at an earlier age than most kinds. It is a subtropical woody plant armed with spines. Though normally climbers – as seen outdoors in warm climates – they can be trained and pruned to keep them bushy indoors and there are some recently introduced dwarf-growing kinds that remain bushy without special attention. Their oval leaves are sparse and uninteresting, but they have decorative papery bracts surrounding small cream-white coloured flowers. The bracts appear in clusters of 10 to 20. Purple or magenta bracts are produced in late summer and fall and the varieties include other colours.
They tend to flower all year round in equatorial regions. Elsewhere, they are seasonal, with bloom cycles typically four to six weeks. But the real flowers are tucked away inside the papery bracts from summer to autumn.

Houseplant care: Bougainvillea glabra are not easy to grow indoors. Because they require better condition than are normally available, they are grown most successfully as windows plant. In naturally warmer areas they will do well in sunrooms or conservatories.
These plants have spines; use extreme caution when handling them.

Light: In order to flower, Bougainvillea glabra need at least four hours of direct sunlight every day during the active growth period. And they must have bright light at other times or they will not thrive in an indoor situation.

Temperature: Normal room temperature are suitable during the active growth period. In the winter rest period they should be kept cool but not bellow 10°C (50°F).

Watering: Water actively growing plants moderately, giving enough to moisten the potting mixture thoroughly; allow the top two-thirds to dry out between waterings. Amounts should be drastically reduced as the rest period approaches and the potting mixture should just be kept from drying out.

Feeding: Begin applications of a complete liquid fertiliser as soon as growth starts in early spring and continue the applications once every two weeks throughput the flowering period.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture with a little extra peat moss well mixed in. Move young plants into pots one size larger in early spring. Disturb the roots as little as possible because the plant might go into shock and take weeks to recover. Bougainvillea glabra blooms best when pot-bound. Do not repot these plants in pots unnecessary large.
Annualy top dress these plants with fresh potting mixture.

Gardening: Bougainvillea glabra is heat and drought tolerant and frost sensitive. They can usually tolerate die back from a freeze, but will withhold blooms for a while.
If unsupported, these plants will remain compact or behave as ground covers, while if given support they will climb vigorously, using their sharp thorns as a means of attachment.

Also, Bougainvillea glabra takes well pruning which is a useful attribute in styling bonsai. Because these plants generally blooms on new growth, each branch, as blooms begin to fade, should be cut back to a point somewhat shorter than the desired length. Seal all cuts to prevent rot. If rot is detected on a collected specimen, cut it out completely.

Position: Bougainvillea glabra needs full sunlight, warm weather to flower well. The length of time they will bloom is dependent upon the health of the plant and the environment they are in, the more sun and heat, the better. However, long days and short nights limit a Bougainvillea glabra ability to bloom, this plant preferring equal days and night length as flowering season.
It is rampant by nature and will cover a whole shed or large tree stump – but it is best trained over a trellis against a warm wall.

Soil: For best results, plant Bougainvillea glabra in a light well-drained soil.

Irrigation: Although drought tolerant, they need plenty of moisture during the flowering season. Give copious quantities of water in the hot weather, but allow almost to dry out in winter.

Fertilising: Fertilise once in the spring with a low nitrogen fertiliser and maybe once again in the fall.

Propagation: Cuttings of new growth 15cm (6 inch) long may be taken in spring. After dipping the cut ends into hormone rooting powder, insert them in a moistened equal-parts mixture of soil-based potting mixture and coarse sand or perlite. The potted cutting should then be placed in a heated propagating case and kept at 23°C (73°F) in bright filtered light. Roots will form in eight weeks after which plants can be repotted in standard mixture. Considerable care is required when repotting to avoid damage to the delicate roots of the young plants.

Problems: It is not common for Bougainvillea glabra to be affected by pests and diseases, but some problems may appear due to unbalanced feed and poor conditions.

Overfeeding will produce masses of foliage but very little in the way of colorful bracts.

The old established method of forcing flowers is to withhold water to a point of causing severe stress to the plant.

Caterpillars, aphids and scale  may infest Bougainvillea glabra plants.
Treatment: Use a suitable pesticide to eradicate these pests.

Bougainvillea glabra may also develop chlorosis as response to mineral deficiencies:
Nitrogen deficiency: Older leaves turn a pale green and the veins are usually a reddish color. New growth will be stunted.
Phosphorus deficiency: The veins will turn red to purple and the plant as a whole will look purplish.
Potassium deficiency: Causes the edges of older the leaves to be a purple color and the leaf tips will be a brownish color.
Magnesium deficiency: First appears on older leaves where they turn a spotted yellow or tan color.
Zinc deficiency: (rare) Will look almost like magnesium but here the leaf will be twisted.
Iron deficiency: Young growth is stunted and pale, but the veins on the leaf remain green.
Calcium deficiency: Dead areas appear in young growth and the tips soon die.
Treatment: Recommended remedy for any of the deficiencies above is the application of a complete micronutrient blend.

Root rot will appear when plants are over-watered or are subjected to water logged conditions.
Treatment: These situations are easier to be prevented. Apply a broad spectrum fungicides during transplanting or planting in landscape.

Fungal and Bacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas and ropogonis) infections appear as dark necrotic spots on leaves and bracts and  puckered and distorted growth. Defoliation will occur when leaf spotting, blighting or marginal necrosis becomes severe. Care must be taken that fungus does not invade other trees and shrubs around.
Treatment: Maintaining dry foliage is the primary control measure. Remove and dispose infected leaves and/or plants from the growing area. Apply fungicides as preventive measure.

Uses and display: Bougainvillea glabra can be easily grown as a hedge, an arch or a tree on the ground and in pots. It is a characteristic porch and arbor vine in warm countries and sometimes grown in greenhouses. It can groomed as a ground cover, pruned as an espalier, trained as a tree or contained in a pot in a variety of shapes. This plant is ideal for bonsai. Also, this plant can be grown in hanging basket with a hard pruning to maintain the shape and size, making a splendid specimen for balcony or sunroom.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – climbing and trailing

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – moderately
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 – low

Height: 5-6m (15-20 feet)
Spread 3-5m (10-18 feet)

Hardiness zone: 9a-11

Bougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabraBougainvillea glabra



Climber, Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , ,

Justicia brandegeeana

Common name: Mexican Shrimp Plant, Shrimp Plant, Shrimp Flower, False Hop

Family: Acanthaceae

Synonymous: Beloperone guttata
Calliaspidia guttata
Drejerella guttata

Misspelling: Justicia brandegeana

Justicia brandegeeana

Justicia brandegeeana

Distribution and habitat: Justicia brandegeeana is an evergreen shrub native to Mexico and also naturalized in Florida. It is a sprawling, suckering, tropical evergreen shrub which grows to 1m (3 feet) tall (rarely more) with spindly limbs. This shrub is cultivated for its very decorative flowers and long lasting flowering season.
Pollination is usually by hummingbirds.

Description: Justicia brandegeeana is a perennial shrub and will last for several years. It has become a quite common indoor plant. It is popularly known as Shrimp Plant because of its drooping, shrimp-like flower spikes. The most prominent parts of these spikes are terminal bracts, which are heart-shaped, reddish brown or pink and up to 2cm (0.8 inch) long. The bracts almost conceal white flowers that protrude from between them. The 10-13cm (4-5 inch) long flower spikes are produced continuously during the growing season, which lasts for as much as 10 months a year.
The leaves, which have 2-3cm (0.8-1 inch) long leaf stalk and are carried on upright woody stems, are 2-8cm (0.8-3 inch) long, oval, fresh green and slightly hairy.
Unless Justicia brandegeeana is kept well trimmed, it tend to become a rather untidy shrub; also, if it is left alone, it usually grows over 60cm (24 inch) tall. It therefore needs cutting back annually if it is to hold its shape and retain a manageable size at the same time.
This shrub is expected to last for 10 to 20 years.

Houseplant care: Justicia brandegeeana thrive in containers and survive well as houseplants with a long flowering season. Apart from periodical pinching out of growing points to encourage bushy growth, mature Justicia brandegeeana require cutting back annually. Cut away up to half the top growth (down to any leaf axil) just as the plant is beginning to make new growth in the spring.

Light: Bright light with some direct sunlight is essential for satisfactory production of the colourful bracts.

Temperature: Normally warm room temperatures suit Justicia brandegeeana plant, but too much heat makes for soft and spindly growth. The recommended winter temperature is 18°C (64°F).

Watering: Water Justicia brandegeeana sparingly – enough to make the potting mixture barely moist and allowing the top two-thirds of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings.

Feeding: Feed Justicia brandegeeana plants from late winter to early autumn only using standard liquid fertiliser once every two weeks.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture with the addition of a one third portion of peat moss. Move these plants into pots one size larger every spring until the maximum convenient size – probably 15cm (6 inch) – have been reached. Thereafter top dress the plant annually with fresh potting mixture.

Gardening: Justicia brandegeeana is winter hardy to hardiness zones 9 to 11. Roots may survive in zone 8. Frosts will kill it to the ground, but it comes back in spring. As it dislikes temperatures below 7°C (45°F), it is best grown under glass in cooler temperate areas, where it is excellent as a potted houseplant, owing to its ability to tolerate low light and some neglect. The plants grown in containers may be overwintered in a warm sun room or watering can be severely reduced to force plants into dormancy for winter storage in a dark, cool, dry location. Alternatively, Justicia brandegeeana can be treated as a fast-growing annual plant in hardiness zone 9 or colder.
The shape is generally long and spindly. If trimmed back regularly, it can maintain a bushy habit and will not need support. If the branches are allowed to grow long, they will become unable to support themselves and sag towards the ground. Prune annually after flowering for a more compact, formal appearance and to encourage branching. Keeping the shrubs tip pruned will promote fullness as well as increase flowering.
These plants grow quickly and may form buds in the first year.

Position: Justicia brandegeeana can handle a variety of environments, more sun on the coast, more shade inland. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in sheltered, frost free spot in cold climate. The colourful flower bracts tend to bleach out in full sun, so these plants are generally best grown in part shade with some protection from hot afternoon sun. Bright light with some direct sun is ideal for bloom formation. This plant thrives in the shade in tropical areas.

Soil: Plant Justicia brandegeeana outdoors in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It does best in well-drained sandy or loamy soil, but will tolerate most soil types which drain well.

Irrigation: Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Keep soil evenly moist from spring through fall. Allow to stay only slightly drier in winter.

Fertiliser: Feed with a general purpose fertiliser before new growth begins in spring.

Propagation: Tip cuttings 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long will root easily in spring. Insert each cutting in a small pot containing a moistened mixture of equal parts of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite. Enclose the pot in a plastic bag and keep it in a bright filtered light. Rooting should occur in six to eight weeks. To produce a bushy plant, pot three or four cuttings together in the recommended potting mixture for mature Justicia brandegeeana. Water sparingly and do not move the pot into direct sunlight for another month or two.

Problems:
Yellow leaves are caused by overwatering.
Treatment: Allow the soil to dry out almost completely before watering again and always use a pot with a drainage hole to prevent soggy soil. Water less in winter.

Leaves may drop if soil is either too wet or too dry.
Treatment: Test the soil by pushing a stake into the potting mixture. If the stake is dry, the plant should be watered. If the stake is too wet can be caused by poor drainage, cool conditions and oversized pots.

These plant are susceptible to fungal leaf spot and rust.
Treatment: Apply fungicides and repeat the treatment as directed on fungicide instructions. Provide adequate air circulation and water the  plants in the morning, so plants get a chance to dry out during the day.

Watch for whiteflies and spider mites, particularly when grown indoors.
Treatment: Successive sprays of insecticidal soaps or white oil will eradicate whiteflies infestations. For spider mites, spray with a suitable insecticide and raise the humidity by standing the pot on a saucer of moist pebbles.

Justicia brandegeeana are prone to become leggy plants.
Treatment: Constantly pinch and prune, start new plants from cuttings.

Pale leaves is usually caused because the plant is lacking food.
Treatment: Feed the plant.

Drop or pale flower heads is because the plants need more light.
Treatment:  Move the plants to a brighter location.

Recommended varieties:
Justicia brandegeeana cv. ‘Yellow Queen’ is a rarer form with yellow bracts.

Justicia brandegeeana cv. ‘Fruit Cocktail’ has yellow and green bracts with pink flowers.

Companion Plants: In a location with filtered shade, plant near an exotic fern, such as the Dicksonia antarctica (Tasmanian Tree Fern) or groundcover Nephrolepis exaltata (Sword Fern).
Can also be used to cover the unattractive base of tropical foliage plants, such as Ensete ventricosum (Abyssinian Banana) or Philodendron x ‘Xanadu’ (Xanadu Cut-Leaf Philodendron).
They can be folded in among Zingiber (Gingers), Musa (Bananas) and Canna species (Cannas) for a contrasting look. Also Justicia brandegeeana can be associate with Begonia (Begonias), Porphyrocoma pohliana (Brazilian Fireworks) or Curcuma longa (Curcuma).

Uses and display: Justicia brandegeeana are grown as ornamentals in tropical and subtropical gardens and as conservatory plants in temperate areas. These showy perennials are good plants for mixed borders and beds where they produce masses of ornamental flowers. These plants are great display  anywhere a splash of continuous colour is needed since they bloom almost all year long. They will display the best color when planted in a bright location that receives direct sunlight. In cooler climates, Justicia brandegeeana plants can be grown in containers and brought indoors for overwintering.
Although featured this striking plant in the garden, Justicia brandegeeana can be used in different settings. Their lush foliage and distinctive flowers make them a natural for a tropical garden. They are also showy and long-blooming enough to feature by themselves in a large container or as a focal point in a part-shade location.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Features – flowers
Shape – bushy
Height indoor: 60cm (24 inch)
Height outdoor: 1m (3 feet)

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

Hardiness zone: 9-11

Justicia brandegeeanaJusticia brandegeeanaJusticia brandegeeana



Evergreen, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants, Shrubs , , , , , , , , , ,

Billbergia nutans

Common name: Queen’s-Tears, Friendship Plant, Hardy Queen’s Tears, Hardy Friendship Plant

Family: Bromeliaceae

Synonymous: Billbergia nutans var. nutans
Billbergia nutans f. rupestris
Billbergia nutans var. schimperiana
Billbergia nutans var. striata

Billbergia nutans

Billbergia nutans

Distribution and habitat: Billbergia nutans is an epiphytic bromeliad native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. It is often found growing on tree branches in the South American rainforests. They have small roots, mainly used for anchoring themselves on trees, so these tree-dwelling plants gather moisture and nutrients through their leaves.

Description: Billbergia nutans is the most popular of all bromeliads. Young plants grow into upright rosettes. As the leaves age, they arch outward. They usually have only five to eight narrow stiff sward-shaped leaves arranged in a tube shaped rosette of which the upper half flares outward. Its arching leaves are 25-35cm (10-14 inch) long and about 1cm (0.4 inch) wide, leading to a graceful appearance which require some room to spread out. Their olive green colour may become reddish if the plant is grown in full sunlight. The 2cm (0.8 inch) long pendant flowers have pink, blue edged petals and they are backed with 5-8cm (2-3 inch) long pink bracts with papery-looking.
The flowers appear only when the plant reaches its maturity, usually in 2-3 years. They will live for no more than a week or two. There is no regular flowering season for Billbergia nutans, which they may bloom at any time of year. Nor do they have an annual rest period.
Billbergia nutans gets one of its common names, Queen’s Tears, from the drops of nectar that weep from the flowers when the plant is moved or touched. Because Billbergia nutans readily produces offsets that can be shared with friends, it is also commonly known as Friendship Plant.

Houseplant care: Billbergia nutans plant is often used as an ornamental plant and it is the easiest to grow and most adaptable bromeliads for indoor use. Given an adequate amount of warmth, they will usually grow continuously.

Light: Bright light with at least three or four hours of direct sunlight every day is essential for good leaf colour and regular flowering.

Temperature: Billbergia nutans grow well in normal room temperatures. Varieties of this species can also tolerate quite cold temperature – down to about 7°C (45°F). In the summer, this particular plant enjoys warm temperatures outdoors between 18 to 27°C (64-81°F).
These plants will thrive in moderate humidity, but still benefit from being kept in a spot where they can be misted often to increase humidity.

Watering: Throughout the year, water moderately, enough to make the potting mixture thoroughly moist, but allow the top centimetre (0.4 inch) or so of the potting mixture to dry out between watering.
Water the center of the rosette and keep room-temperature rainwater or naturally soft water in its urn (centre of the rosette) at all times. Empty old water from the urn once a month by turning plants upside down and refill it with fresh water. Do not soak base of plant, which can lead to root rot.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertiliser regularly, about every two weeks. Let the liquid not only to penetrate the potting mixture, but splash over leaves and lodge in central cups. Alternatively can be used a foliar fertiliser and spray it on the leaves.

Potting and repotting: Billbergia nutans are the least demanding of bromeliads where potting mixture is concerned; they grow well in either the standard bromeliad mixture or in an equal-parts combination of soil based mixture and leaf mould. Because their roots are not extensive, they can be accommodated in relatively small pots. A 13cm (5 inch) pot will allow several rosettes producing several flowers heads to develop, but Billbergia nutans looks often best when is grown as single specimen with its tall tubular shape. It is best to plant these plants in heavy clay pots rather than plastic ones, to avoid the possibility of their being knocked over. Young plants should be moved into pots one size larger in early spring when it appears necessary.

Gardening: In southern areas it will live in the garden or decorate a patio or terrace and bloom for long periods with very little attention. Divide the clumps every few years. Give them a spray of water every so often in summer if it is dry. This bromeliad is hardy down to freezing temperatures, but prolonged exposure to low temperatures will affect the blooming season.

Position: During summer, provide partial shade to Billbergia nutans plants. At other times of the year, bright but indirect light is required for the health of this plant.
Full summer sunlight can destroy the flowers.

Soil: Being epiphytic, Billbergia nutans can be grown in the fork of a tree, where the cascading flowers can be well displayed, but can also be grown in the ground or in a pot. Like most bromeliads, it will survive in dry, shaded garden beds. The soil should be well drained and can consist from one part gardening soil to two parts perlite or tree bark mixture. Use bromeliad mix or orchid potting mixture for potted plants.

Irrigation: Billbergia nutans gathers most of its moisture from the air through the leaves and flowers. During the summer months, the leaves, flowers, and roots should be watered daily to keep them moist, but never soggy. Any flower cups pointing upward should be filled with water. Keep the center of the plant filled with water but allow the soil to dry out between each wetting. During the fall, winter, and cooler parts of spring, the plant should be misted every few days and watered enough to keep the soil just shy of dry.

Fertilizer: During the summer months, offer this plant a balanced fertilizer once every other week. Flower cups can be filled with the fertilised liquid, and the leaves misted, as well as the soil watered. During other times of the year, reduce fertilisation to once a month.

Propagation: Propagate in spring by means of offsets, but do not remove them until they are 10-15cm (4-6 inch) long and began to assume the characteristics of the parent plant. Very young offsets rarely root successfully. Plant offsets shallowly, retaining any roots that may already have developed, in small pots of bromeliad mixture and place them in medium light. It may be necessary to insert a thin stake as support for an offset until it develops enough roots to anchor it down. Make the potting mixture barely moist, allowing the top 2-5cm (0.8-2 inch) of the mixture to dry out between waterings. Firm rooting is likely to occur in eight weeks. Thereafter, treat the new Billbergia nutans plants exactly the same way as mature plants.

Problem: Billbergia nutans plants tend not to attract diseases and they never need pruning.

If mature Billbergia nutans do not produce blooms can be because the plant is not getting enough light.
Treatment: Move the plant to a brighter location. This plant can be moved outdoors for the summer to a partially shaded spot. Encourage bromeliads to flower by adding a pinch of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to the water or fertilizer.
Additionally, place a ripe apple or a few apple cores around the plant and enclose the whole thing in a clear plastic bag for a week or two. Ripening apples produce ethylene gas that encourages flower buds to form. Keep the plant out of direct sun while it is covered with plastic to prevent it from getting too hot.

Brown tips on leaves are caused by dry air.
Treatment: Although billbergias are more tolerant of dry air than other bromeliads, they benefit from frequent misting with water to increase the humidity.

Uses and display: Billbergia nutans plant is suitable for growing indoors or as epiphytic bromedliad in a conservatory. In warmer climates, the Billbergia nutans can be grown outdoors in well-drained soil or in pots on a terrace or patio or can be anchored in the fork of a tree, replicating its natural habitat. To look at its best, grow these plants in a hanging basket or suspended pot at eye level, where arching leaves and pendant flowers can be seen up close.

SUMMARY:

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – variegated
Features – flowers
Shape – rosette
Height: 45-60cm (18-24 inch)

PROPER CARE:
Watering in active growth period – moderately
Light – bright
Temperature in active growth period – min 7°C max 24°C (45-75°F)
Humidity – low

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Billbergia nutansBillbergia nutansBillbergia nutans



Bromeliads, Flowering Plants, Garden Plants, Indoor Plants , , , , , , , ,

OLALA Agency | Software house, Cloud services & Advertising
Sponsored by
Powered on Amazon cloud |