HOW TO CARE FOR A RUBBER PLANT

If you are looking for an indoor plant that makes a bold statement, then look no further than a Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica). Besides being an attractive low maintenance plant, it also purifies the indoor air. 

  • Common names           Rubber fig, Rubber plant.
  • Indian names:               Rubber plant ( Hindi and Kannada)
  • Botanical Name:          Ficus elastica 
  • Family :                             Moracae

      

Plant Features:

  • Plant type :                   Tree, Indoor plant.
  • Foliage type :               Evergreen, shiny oval leaves.
  • Life-Cycle:                    Perennial
  • Height :                          Up to 50 feet, Up to 3 m indoor variety.
  • Width/Spread:           25 feet / 6 feet trunk diameter
  • Flowering season:    All season
  • Flower:                         Yellowish green
  • Toxic:                             Rubber plant sap is toxic and causes mild irritation burning sensation in eyes if it comes in contact.
  • Propagation:              Rubber tree is commonly propagated from cuttings or air layering.

Popular varieties 

  • Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’– With variegated green and white leaves having overtones of burgundy and red veins.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’– Also called as “Indian Rubber tree”. It has dark green foliage with patches. Plants of this variety needs more natural light than most of the other variety.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Back prince’- This variety has thick dark green leathery foliage with bronze undertones and large rounded leaves.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Decora’- This variety has thick dark green leaves.
  • Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’-This variety produces larger green leaves that grow around 18 inches long.
  • Ficus elastica ‘tricolor’ – This variety has green leaves with patches of pink and cream. 

          

Rubber plant is an evergreen tropical plant that can grow up to 50 feet. It can be grown indoors (up to 3 m) as an ornamental plant. Para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is grown for for the production of commercial rubber.

Rubber plant care and  growing requirements :

Sunlight : Place the plant on a bright and well-lit spot that receives indirect or morning sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon sun. Otherwise, the leaves will eventually fall off.

Soil : Use well-drained quality potting mix and a container with proper drainage.

Water : Apply moderately, whenever the top one-inch of soil feels dry. Provide sufficient drainage to plant and avoid excess watering as it may cause root rot.

Humidity : Rubber plant prefers moderately cool, moist and humid air. For humidity, you can use a humidifier or set it on a tray with pebbles and water.

Pests : The rubber plant is resistant to pests and diseases. However, if grown in poor conditions and low light,  pests like spider mites and mealybugs cause a problem.

To treat the pest problems, as soon as you notice the insects on your Rubber Plant, spray the entire plant with insecticidal soap or Neem oil, making sure to get both sides of the leaves. 

Care

  • Wipe and clean the leaves with a damp sponge once in a week.
  • Avoid over-watering or misting of leaves with very cold water as rubber plant loses its leaves due to over watering or when sprayed with cold water. 

This is it, all about Rubber plant,  Easy to take care of and makes your home feel special!

I really love the large, dark, vibrant foliage of rubber plant. They really look beautiful and don’t require huge amount of care and do a brilliant job of  freshening-up indoor air!

I hope this article inspires you to add rubber plant to your home. If you have any other tips for caring Rubber plant please do share.We would love to know how you keep your plant looking healthy!

Happy-gardening

 

Care and Growing tips for ever-blooming beauty : Bougainvillea

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all– Mulan”, I can say this sentence is perfect for  Bougainvillea, which is always blooming and bursting with color around the year.

The inconspicuous flowers are surrounded by brightly colored papery bracts, which are purple or magenta to lighter tints in certain varieties. Bougainvillea is native to Brazil and is also known as a ‘Paper flower’.

  

Bougainvillea are tropical thorny rapid growing ornamental vines and prolific bloomers. Bougainvillea prefers a warm climate, full sun and good drainage.

Depending on the variety, bougainvillea can be grown on a trellis or over an arbor, against a building or fence, in containers, as a hedge, in tree form and as a bonsai.

Bougainvillea can grow anywhere from 1′ to 8′ to 30′, depending on the species or variety. There are actually quite a few dwarf bougainvilleas species also. Some varieties are thorn-less also and some are with variegated foliage and with bi-color flowers.

Caring for a Bougainvillea:

Common Name: Bougainvillea, Paper flower, Kagaz ke phool.

Botanical name: Bougainvillea glabra.

Planting ideas: Bougainvillea can climb up walls and trellises, can be potted in big garden pots and you can hang rows of wire or string against the surface that you want covered.

Category: Shrubs, Tropicals and Tender Perennials, Vines and Climbers.

Water Requirements: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not over water.

Spacing: 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Precaution: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color: Magenta (Pink-Purple), Red, Scarlet (Dark Red),White, Orange

Bloom Time: Bloom around the year but profuse blooming during the summer.

Foliage: Evergreen, Smooth-Textured, Variegated.

Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic soil)

Propagation Methods: From herbaceous stem cuttings, From woody stem cuttings, From softwood cuttings, From semi-hardwood cuttings.

Seed collecting: Plants does not set seed, flowers are sterile or plants will not come true from seed.

Special precaution: Bougainvillea plants are prolific growers and need good pruning to force blooming and retain a pretty shape. Wear gloves when pruning bougainvillea. Some people can get a skin rash from pruning bougainvillea, similar to that from poison ivy. Keep a close eye on growth and adjust when necessary until the bougainvillea starts covering the wall or other surface.

Go ahead, plant and enjoy one of the hardiest, low maintenance and ever blooming plant that is the Bougainvillea!

Share any additional/ tips about the Bougainvillea in the comments below.We would love to know more about these beautiful flowers!

 

Happy-gardening

How to Grow and Care – Carnation

Carnations are known to have been used for the first time by Greeks and Romans in garlands. Its scientific name Dianthus roughly translates to “flower of love” or “flower of the gods”.

Carnations signify fascination, distinction, and love. Like many other flowers, different messages can also be expressed with the flower’s different color varieties. Light red carnations, for example, are often used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. White carnations are associated with purity and luck, and pink carnations are often given as a sign of gratitude.

Common names: Carnation, Divine flower, Clove pink

Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus

Varieties: 

Carnation varieties can be demarcated into three main groups depending upon flower size and their use.

  • Standard carnation – These have single large flower on an individual stem used as cut flower.
  • Spray carnation – Spray carnation is generally a bunch of flowers on short branches of a single stalk. The flowers are small and compact on each branch.
  • Micro carnation – These have shorter stems and higher production than spray varieties. These are used as ornamental pot plants besides its utility in flower arrangement.

Design Ideas: They can be planted in flower beds or containers.

Dianthus carpophyllus is a species of the genus Dianthus. It is a native from the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown. It is an herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 31 inches. The flowers are produced singly or together in a group and are sweetly scented. 

Carnations are grown in dozens of colors and are particularly well-known for their ability to last with less water for long periods of time without wilting or drying out. Some of the varieties can last in water up to three weeks.

Plant Features: 

Life-Cycle: Perennial

Height: 18 to 31 inches

Width/Spread: 3 feet

Flowering season: October to March

Flower: The original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple and have 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme

Foliage: Long narrow, needle-like, grey-green, evergreen in many areas

Planting/Growing Details: 

  • Sunlight: Full sun- around 6-8 hours of direct exposure to sunlight. It can be grown indoors and requires bright light, well-drained potting soil and good air circulation for germination and growth.
  • Water: Occasionally- whenever the soil dries out completely as the plant is drought-tolerant. They do not require much water, except in the summer months. Instead of splashing water, spraying is better way to moisten the plants. 
  • Sowing season: Summer
  • Sowing method: The seeds are sown and propagated by seed, cuttings or division. The seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. The seeds can be sown indoors and outdoors.

Care: The seeds are sown in fertile well-drained soil and prefers a lot of indirect lighting indoors. The seeds can be sown directly and proper care should be ensured to grow into beautiful plants. 

Pests: Insects and disease problems are infrequent. If in any case, insects or pests occur, treat them early with insecticides, repellents or pesticides.

Harvest: Standard carnations are harvested at tight-bud or half open stage. Immediately after harvesting, the flowers should be kept in clean water for preservation.

Propagation: 

  • By seeds: The seeds should be sown in a well-drained soil up to 1/8 inch deep with a space of 12”. The compost should be moist but not wet. The soil should be firmed over seed and mist sprayed occasionally to moisten it. The seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. 
  • By cuttings: Cuttings taken from the terminal growth can also be used to propagate Carnations. The cuttings, varying from four to six inches long are taken and the basal leaves of at least two to three nodes are removed. Cuttings become ready for transplantation in 25 to 30 days. This method is preferably used in case of perennial Carnations. 

  • By division: Carnations can be grown by division through which we can rejuvenate older plants. Dig up an entire clump, and either pull it apart using your hands to separate the plant segments, or use two gardening forks inserted in the centre of the clump, to gently pry the plant apart. Replant each new division to plant a new perennial or annual, and water it in very well. 

         Hope this blog will inspire you to bring this beautiful carnation in your garden.

Happy-gardening

All That You Want To Know About Pomegranate

The pomegranate is a naturally dense, deciduous, bushy, multi-stemmed shrub that typically grows to heights of 10 to 12 feet and bears highly coloured fruit with many juicy seeds inside.

Pomegranate

HEALTH BENEFITS OF POMEGRANATE

  1. Pomegranates have been found to cut the risk of prostate cancer.
  2. Eating pomegranate seeds can help fight inflammation and the related inflammatory disorders.
  3. Pomegranates work wonderfully well in strengthening the gums and fastening loose teeth.
  4. Pomegranate Seeds Boost Digestive Health

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF POMEGRANATE

Common name: Pomegranate, Granate Apple

Botanical name : Punica granatum

Category: Edible Fruits and Nuts, Trees

Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Height: 15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing: 15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Colour: Red-Orange

Bloom Time: Mid Summer

Foliage: Evergreen, Deciduous, Good Fall Colour

Propagation Methods: From herbaceous stem cuttings, from hardwood cuttings, from seed;

direct sow after last frost, By simple layering.

Seed Collecting: Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing, Seed does not store well;

sow as soon as possible.

Word Of Caution: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

USES OF POMEGRANATE

Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, meal garnishes, juice blends, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine.

Pomegranate can be used to give a glistening effect on the skin. It can fight against nasty pigmentations, dark spots and ageing effects that imparts dullness to your skin.

Here are 5 types of quick masks that you can make at home to invigorate your skin.

 

With this, we have come to the end of our blog on pomegranate. We hope you had a good read.

Happy-gardening

How To Grow Chilli?

Chilli is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, and members of the Solanaceae family. There are many varieties of chilli plants, some of which are the hottest peppers known. They can be herbaceous or shrub-like but are branching with green-brown stems and simple oval leaves. The plants produces flowers with five petals, usually white in colour. They are found mostly in Britain, Australia, South Africa, India and other Asian countries.  Read more

How to grow Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Common Name: Brussels Sprouts

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

Vegetable Type: Cruciferous

Varieties: Abacus, Maximus, Cronus, Diablo

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, which means they are closely related to broccoli, cabbage, etc. They are a long-season growing crop, with time from plant to harvest taking around 6 months for best results. However, its health benefits are worth it. They are extremely high in fibre, protein, and have been shown to significantly lower cholesterol levels. Now to grow this diet starter of a plant, let’s see its main features.

NOTE: You can buy brussels sprouts seeds from our online garden store – the best place to buy seeds online. We deliver anywhere in India.

Brussels Sprouts flower

Brussels Sprouts flower

Plant Features

Life-Cycle: Annual

Height: 60-120cm

Width: 10-20cm

Flowering season: Early summer (April-May)

Flowers: Medium sized, four-petals, yellow

Foliage: Long, smooth, light green stalk-like leaves

Planting/Growing Details

Sunlight: Full sun, requires 6-8 hours of direct exposure to sunlight daily

Water: Moderately, keep the top one inch of soil moist, but make sure the soil is well-drained and loose

Sowing Season: Brussels sprouts are a cool season crop, and need to be sown two weeks before the cold season begins, depending on your climate.

Sowing Method: Start the seeds off indoors, until they reach a certain height before transplanting them outside. When the young plants are 10-15cm (4-6in) high and have around seven true leaves, transplant to their growing positions, leaving 60cm (2ft) between plants and 75cm (2.5ft) between rows. Before planting, water plants well and water well again after transplanting. However, after the initial transplanting phase, make sure not to overwater the plants as this can affect the quality of the crop yield.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Care: Make sure to use an organic fertilizer, with high nitrogen and boron content for your crop. Also spread out a layer of mulch over the soil to give a uniform feeding distribution for the plants. Mound the soil around the base to support the plants.

Pests: Birds and caterpillars are the main culprits which hinder the growth of this plant. They eat the leaves of the Brussels sprout in its initial stages. Make sure to keep a net or some sort of covering after transplanting the plants, to avoid this headache.

Harvest: The part that is harvested, are the buds which grow on the stems, in between the leaves. Usually the plant is ready for harvest around 6 months after planting. Wait for one frost to pass before harvesting, as sprouts are said to be the sweetest after a frost has passed. Simply snap them off of the stem, to harvest them. Cutting off the leaves makes the buds easier to reach, thus making harvesting an easier task.

Brussels Sprouts Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts Kitchen

Propagation: Brussels sprouts are primarily propagated by seeds.

As we can see, Brussels sprouts are a long-growing crop. For those of you who live in cooler climes such as hill stations, you can give this crop a go, and reap the rewards of your harvest. Use this sweet, crisp vegetable in your salads, or as a light snack on their own, with the satisfaction of having grown them yourself!

NOTE: You can buy brussels sprouts seeds from our online garden store – the best place to buy seeds online. We deliver anywhere in India.

Happy Gardening

How To Grow Cabbage

Cabbage

Common Name: Cabbage

Indian Names: Gobhi (Hindi), Muttagose (Tamil), Khosu (Kannada)

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

Vegetable Type: Cruciferous

Varieties: The different varieties of cabbage according to the different types are given below

  • White: Spring Greens, Dutch
  • Red: Ruby Ball, Red Acre
  • Savoy: Vanguard, Savoy King
Cabbage field

Cabbage field

The cabbage is a plant which is closely related to the cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and other cole crops. This plant is prepared in a variety of forms across various cuisines. It is rich in vitamins C and K, and dietary fibre. Over half of the cabbage produced in the world comes from China, as it is a very popular vegetable used in their cuisine. Let’s take a look at this vegetable’s main features.

Read more

How To Grow Brinjal

How To Grow Brinjal

Common Name: Eggplant, Aubergine

Indian Names: Baingan (Hindi), Badenekayi (Kannada), Kathirikayi (Tamil)

Botanical Name: Solanum melongena

Vegetable type: Berry (The brinjal is actually classified as a fruit!)

Varieties: White, Dwarf, Snake

The brinjal, which is commonly known as the eggplant or aubergine in the western world, is closely related to tomatoes and potatoes as it lies in the same Solanum family. It is a staple part of many cuisines all over the world, and used in many popular dishes, with one of the more famous ones (thanks to Disney) being ratatouille. They are also extremely healthy and can be prepared in many ways. Eggplants are high in iron, calcium, and fibre, and are a low-fat, low-calorie food as well. So before this vegetable finds its way onto your dinner table, let’s take a look at its main features.

Read more

Top-10 Easy Veggies to Grow For Beginners

You don’t need a green thumb to grow a bounty of fresh vegetables right in your backyard or balcony. Whether you’re a gardening novice or just want to start a vegetable garden with the least amount of time and effort, here are the top-10 easy to grow vegetables to give you a jump-start to grow delicious, fresh and inexpensive vegetables and fruits in your own backyard. Read more