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Colorful annuals that you can grow in winter season!

Winter season is always the best time to grow beautiful flowers in your garden. If you are planning to grow some beautiful blooms in your garden then the right time to sow seeds in October- November. Some seeds grow in colder times that is in December and January.

In India,  you will find different seasons and diversity. Winter season make our surrounding colorful and this is all because of the beautiful flowers. These blooms always spread happiness around us. For healthy growth and  flowering, proper amount of sunlight, water and care are very important. 

Site, Soil and watering :

Selects the site according to your landscape which receives a good amount of sunlight for colorful annuals. Watering needs to be done carefully. Smaller plants are more susceptible to over or under-watering. Use good soil which contains a good amount of organic compost like vermicompost which is rich in nutrients.

Winter flowering annuals :

Petunia, cockscomb, zinnia, calendula, chrysanthemum, cineraria, and marigold are some best colorful annuals  that we can grow in the Indian climate during the winter season. Flower plants need soil up to 5 inches deep. So, dig a hole in the soil and bury the seed about 2 inches deep. After 6 weeks, you will see the seeds sprout into saplings. 

Tips for growing winter annuals:

  1. Plants annuals in a sunny area and close to each other.
  2. Don’t overwater and keep the soil moist.
  3. This bright colorful annuals suitable to make ornamental edging, container gardening and for hanging baskets
  4. Use these colorful flowering pots for instant display.
  5. This bright color annual helps to attract butterflies, honey bees in your landscape.

Petunia

One of the most popular annual flowering plants, they are quick-growing and known for their beautiful blooms pink, purple, violet, red, white. Winter is the perfect season to grow petunias in the garden. Petunia seeds can be sown when the temperature is cool. Petunias are perfect for hanging basket and container gardening. The seeds are very small, so one needs to take extra care while sowing. Sprinkle seeds on well-drained soil and gently push them down. Light sandy soil is ideal. Do not cover them with soil, as they need light to germinate. 

Petunia

Cockscomb or celosia

Cockscomb known for its unique flowers, it produces feathery flower spikes in a pyramidal fashion resembling ostrich-plums in various colors, deep rust red is the most common color, although purple, yellow and pink varieties have gained popularity in recent years. It is best to grow cockscomb plants in large groups. Germination time is five days to two weeks. Celosia prefers full sunlight and can tolerate little shade. Maintain  moist soil with regular watering.          

Celosia

Cineraria

The Cineraria plant, the term cineraria means “ash gray,” so it’s not surprising to be called the ashplant. These plants are not suited for growing in hot, dry climates. Cineraria should be grown in partial to full shade and planted in slightly acidic, rich, well-drained soil with high compost content. Water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

Cineraria

 

Zinnia

Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow, as they grow quickly and bloom heavily. Zinnia flowers can create a massive burst of color in the garden. Grow zinnias in a spot with full sun for most prolific blooms. Zinnias are very drought tolerant and don’t usually need any supplemental watering. If your soil is poor, you can add some compost to give the plants a boost, but they will grow in even bad soil. Zinnia is one of the first flowers to bloom in the space. 

Zinnia

 

Marigold

No annual is more cheerful or easier to grow than the marigold. Marigolds are a very versatile flower. They enjoy full sun and hot days and grows well in dry or moist soil. This hardiness is one of the reasons that they are often used as bedding plants and container plants. Plant the marigolds in a prepared garden site that has been tilled to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches and amended with a layer of compost or other organic matter. Space the plants about 8 to 10 inches apart. Increase the spacing by 2 inches if you grow a large variety.

 

Marigold

Dianthus

Dianthus flowers (Dianthus spp.) are also called “pinks.” Plants are small and usually between 6 and 18 inches tall. Dianthus flowers are most often in pink, salmon, red and white hues. The foliage is slender and sparsely spread on thick stems. Dianthus plants grow easily from seeds sown indoors in trays or sown directly outdoors. For dianthus plants choose a location in full sun with loose, well-drained soil. The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure)  encourages plant growth and blooms. Water them only at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and prevent mildew spotting.

 

Dianthus

Grow these colorful annuals to your garden, which adds color contrast wherever you need them!  

Which winter annual will you choose? We love to hear from our garden lovers. Do tell us in the comment section below.

 Happy gardening

 

How to grow Phlox?

Phlox is a plant that produces delicate star-shaped masses of white, pink, red, purple or blue flowers. A blooming ornamental beloved by birds and butterflies, it’s a beautiful addition to any garden. Phlox is a genus of 67 species of perennial and annual plants in the family Polemoniaceae. They bloom all season long and do well in the winter sun.

Choosing Your Phlox

If you’re going to use phlox plants in your garden, choose the color and height that fits best with your landscaping plan. Some low-growing varieties make a lovely ground cover, while taller plants can be used as a backdrop for shorter ones. If you’re buying phlox from a home and garden store, it’s best to pick a plant that has more buds than blooms.

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How to care for Plumeria during winter season

Plumeria spp. is a medium, flowering ornamental tree native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America to Brazil.  It is a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) and is known by its common name plumeria or frangipani. It is also known as the Hawaiian lei flower for its use in creating leis and Haku lei (crowns). It is easy to grow in hot and dry areas. It has widespread use in tropical landscapes around the world and is frequently associated with  temples and graveyards. 

Plumeria obtusa

  • Common name: Frangipani, Pagoda tree
  • Botanical name: Plumeria spp. L.
  • Height: 10-15 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
  • Spacing: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade.
  • Water requirement: Moderate, don’t over water.
  • Bloom Color: White, Yellow, Pink and Red
  • Bloom Time: Year-round flowering, Flowers in flushes throughout the year
  • Foliage: Green Shiny, Leathery textured.
  • Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings, by grafting or by air layering.
  • Uses in landscape: Accent tree, suitable for road median planting, suitable for avenue planting, look good near water bodies.

    General information about growing plumeria

Plumerias can be grown in the ground or containers as indoors or on a balcony. During the months of active growth, ample sun, food, and water are essential. Healthy plumeria will grow vigorously and bloom regularly and profusely when they receive at least 6 hours of full sun per day and an ample amount of the proper fertilisers. Plumeria love lots of water, but can’t tolerate wet feet, so they must be planted in well drained soil.

How to care in the winter season for Plumeria?

In winter season Plumeria foliage starts turning yellow and even starting to defoliate. Fortunately, this is a natural response to the local climate turning cool to cold. It is very common for Plumerias at this time of the year.

Depending on the variety and flower color, some plants will either start partially or completely defoliate around November. Don’t worry. It’s beneficial for plants to go dormant. They store their energy until the weather warms up, then pushes new foliage and flowers.

Caring for your Plumeria in the winter is simple. Do not water too much and if your plants have no leaves, better to not water them at all until they start to push new foliage in the spring. It is not necessary to add fertilizers at this time.

I hope this information will help you to take care of this wonderful tropical plant in winter season!

Once you know the tricks for plumeria plant care, you’ll be rewarded with fragrant flowers all year long!

Happy gardening

 

Colorful Geraniums – Growing and Care

Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) are an all-time favorite of gardeners. They are beautiful, colorful, and some species emit a lovely scent. Growing geranium plants are easy as long as you can give them what they need. Here’s how to grow geraniums in your home and garden!

What are Geraniums Exactly?

Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial and perennial. Geraniums are commonly known as cranesbills. They are found throughout temperate regions of the world and in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. The name ‘cranesbill’ is derived from their appearance of the fruit capsule of some species, which is shaped like a long unsprung column and like the bill of a crane.

Not all geraniums are in fact geraniums. Some are pelargoniums. “True Geraniums”, which are hardy, native and wild plants that make excellent ground cover and space filler in your garden and landscape.

A pelargonium is a hybrid species of the geranium plant. The difference between geranium and pelargonium is in how they flower. The noticeable differences are that geranium has a flat-like saucer shape while a pelargonium has a trumpet-like shape of flower that faces upward from the stem, rather than a flat five-petal flower head.

Pelargonium flower

Geranium flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Botanical Name: Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum)
  • Varieties: Meadow Cranesbill, Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill, Clark’s geranium
  • Design Ideas: It is suitable to be grown as a flower bed, hanging baskets or containers on patios or balconies.

    Plant Features:

  • Life-Cycle: Annual, biennial and perennial.
  • Height: 6 inches to 3 feet
  • Width/Spread: Up to 2 feet
  • Flowering season: Year-around flowering, Flowers in flushes throughout the year.
  • Flower: The flowers have five petals and are colored white, pink, purple or blue, with distinctive veining.
  • Uses in landscape: Geraniums play plenty of garden roles beyond being accents in the perennial border, where they provide soft color for many weeks. Some geraniums can be used as ground covers. Geraniums are an excellent choice for containers, hanging baskets  and in rock-garden.
    Planting/Growing Details :
  • Sunlight: Locate your geraniums in an area with at least six to eight hours of sunlight.Potted geraniums are excellent indoor plants and can be grown under bright light for growth and flowers.
  • Water: Allow soil to dry to some extent between watering, then water thoroughly. During the winter, water much less, but do not let the roots dry out entirely. Geraniums do best when given a period of dormancy through the winter months, during which they use less water and do not grow much.
  • To encourage blooming, deadhead spent flowers.
  • To promote bushy growth and avoid legginess, pinch the stems.
  •  Propagation:
  •  By seeds: They are easily grown from seed and can help acquire a collection of different varieties.
  • By cuttings: Geraniums are easily cloned by taking rooting cuttings and stuck into coarse, sandy medium in small pots. The spot should be kept warm in indirect light and watered well. After roots are formed in 2-3 weeks, move the new plants into full sun and water.

 Pest and Disease – Common problems can be low light or too much or too little water. The leaves will turn yellow as an indication you are watering too little or too much. In this case, try to even the watering out and move the geraniums to a brighter place.

Follow these tips presented here to make your geranium flourish and as you learn to grow them successfully, you’ll want to have more and more colorful geranium in your garden.

Happy gardening

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!

“The large, dark, vibrant foliage of rubber plant looks really beautiful and the plant with minimal care does a brilliant job of  freshening-up indoor air! That’s all you need to know about the Rubber plant to get started! Plant one at your home and take care of this delightful plant”

 

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

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