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Choosing Peonies as Perennial Plant Type

September 2, 2010

Imported Peonies

Peonies as Excellent Perennial Plant

Peonies are extremely hardy and relatively easy to grow. It has been known to be among the longest-lived perennial plants, which can survive up to many years if properly cared for. Because peonies are large plants and do not produce good foliage and flowers, it is always best planted to become the backbone of any flower border.

There are basically two types of peonies, Herbaceous peonies and Tree peonies.

Herbaceous Peonies
Herbaceous type can grow to a height of 2 to 4 feet. They can be divided into 5 different groups depending on the shape and petal arrangements. Among these, the most popular is the single or Chinese type, which only has one row of broad petals surrounding the yellow stamens. The flowers exist in wide range of colors such as white, yellow, red or even pink.

Tree Peonies
Tree Peonies are actually shrubs, and not trees as what many people have mistaken to known and can grow up to a height of 4 to 6 feet. The flowers for tree peonies are larger in size, often growing to about 10 inches in diameter and depending on which type, whether it is a Mountan or Lutea varieties, the colour can vary from pink to yellow.

To successfully grow peonies, select a good site where the soil is rich in organic matter. They will thrive in either clay soils or sandy soils but the latter will require addition of more fertilizers. Fertilizers can be either compost or well-rotted manure and they will only need to be added once per year. Also make sure that the area has proper drainage and the spot should receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Good air movement is also preferred to prevent spread of disease. Peonies also prefer a pH of between 6.5 to 7.0. And as in many cases if found that the pH is too low, one only needs to add lime to the soil to raise the pH for best growth of peonies.

To begin planting herbaceous peonies, try to obtain the tuber from the plant. Select the tuber, which has at least 3 to 5 buds present. Obtain help of an expert with regards to this. The buds are generally bright red in color and are usually found underground at the crown of the plant. Peonies are best planted in the early fall, but if you missed out too late, you can start during the spring by getting potted plants instead. If well cared for, peonies will start to bloom in May. The correct way of planting peonies is to ensure that the tuber is not set too deep underneath the soil. Make sure that the buds are only about 1-2 inch under the soil. If this is not done properly, the plants will end up having few flowers to bloom.

Tree peonies can be grown either from seeds or grafts, but most planters generally recommend grafts for beginners. The graft union should be at least 3 inches below the soil, as this will encourage the tree to grow its own roots and basal shoots.


Growing Bright & Healthy Fuschia Plant

August 25, 2010
Best choice for garden enthusiast

Bright Red Healthy Fuschias

Fuschias are naturally upright but have been bred to produce those types with weak stem so that they are perfect for hanging baskets (as seen in the picture). Fuchsia flowers are considered to be unique with brilliant two-tone colors that appears in shades of red, white, pink, and or even purple. There are several varieties around such as ‘Cascade’ which is especially suitable for hanging baskets.

Fuschias generally can only tolerate mild temperatures, which are not too cold or too hot. They will do best somewhere in between and therefore locating them around areas, which are partially shaded, should be the best. In order to ensure proper care for the plant, one of the most important aspects is to ensure that it will always has sufficient water. It has been recommended that during the summer, watering should be done at least twice a day until the water begins to drip from the bottom of the container. Carry out moisture test on the soil regularly and if found that the soil is too dry, water the plant immediately. Ensuring that the soil is always moist is the key to having healthy fuschias.

Fuschias also need to be fed regularly. Slow releasing potassium fertilizers are a better choice compared to liquid type because the regular watering regime will usually drain out the fertilizers fast. Therefore, using the slow releasing type will ensure that fertilisers are always present in the soil. Usually presence of yellowish leaves will indicate that the plant is underfed. With careful observations, signs of underfeeding can be detected fast.

Another thing about caring for fuschias is to check the plant regularly for pests and disease. Therefore, weeding must be regularly carried out to eliminate possible hosts for insects and disease and allow the flowers to receive the full benefit of the available moisture and nutrients. Consider applying pesticides to get rid of the stubborn pests.

Planting fuschias are usually carried out in early spring so that the plant will have enough time to establish before winter. Using well-drained soil with moderate humus content is a must. Fuschias can be grown from seeds but this will take time and is more suitable for experienced growers. Another method is to use cuttings to grow the roots and of course the easiest way is to buy stock direct from nursery.

Fuschias in tropical countries generally need less attention while for those in colder climate; this could be a problem. Usually before winter comes, a person must limit on the watering and application of fertilizers the latest by end summer. Consider mulching and bring them inside and place in warmer spots to prevent the plant from being damaged by frost.

Certain people prefer planting upright fuchsia in the ground or in pots to create border plantings. The plant should be properly spaced out few inches apart to ensure that it is easy to maintain and enough space for proper growth. If properly cared for, fuschias will usually bloom during summer to produce nice looking flower.

Planting Bluebell on any type of soil

August 19, 2010
bluebells planted during autumn

Growing bluebell in your lawn is a breeze

Bluebell is a native plant commonly found in Britain especially around Sheffield area. Bluebell is perfect for outdoor lawns where they will create a nice blue carpet and is perfect for landscaping. There are basically three major varieties of Bluebells, one is the British Bluebell and another two is the Spanish Bluebell and Virginia Bluebell (found in the US).  Recently there has been much hype about protecting the native British species from hybridizing with the Spanish type, mostly on concern to protect the true genuine local flower. The flowers of Bluebells as the name implies can be characterized as large bell-shaped violet blue hanging from an upright stalk. The plant itself is around 30cm of height and is known to have a unique honey fragrance.

Bluebells can be planted on almost any type of soil, which is moist and rich in compost. Bluebells will grow under full sunlight but they will do best in shaded area especially under trees and shrubs. Bluebell seeds can be obtained through gardener or if you happen to find bluebells in the wild, look for mature plants with baby bulbs. One can also obtain the seeds from the plant as well if you intend to start from scratch. The seeds are easily identified as having hard shiny black surface, tiny in size and spherical in shape. Bluebells are best planted in the autumn. Before planting the seeds, it has been recommended that the seeds should be kept in the freezer for at least 1 to 2 weeks in order to stimulate natural winter condition in the wild. While the seeds are in the freezer, the grower can start to prepare the planting patch by raking it vigorously with rake to get loose soil. Once the seeds are ready, sprinkle and spread them evenly throughout the entire patch. During the first year, don’t be surprised to see shoots will start to appear which looks just like normal grass. The flowers will only start to bloom during the third and fourth year during mid to late spring and will usually last for about 3 weeks.

Once the patch of Bluebells has been established, the person would not have to worry much because the plant itself is considered hardy. They will usually attract bees, butterflies and will be pollinated in the process. To obtain proper growth, always ensure that the soil is moist and if needed add compost once per year. Another thing to note is that deer and cattles (if you happen to have one around) like to graze on bluebells and trampling will sometimes cause damage. Watch out for sign of pest and disease and if needed do weeding to get rid of unwanted growth on the patch.

Some expects recommend to split existing bulbs when the leaves have died down and transplant to provide new drifts of color and to remove spent flowers to prevent self-seeding. The rewards and satisfaction of having bluebells are certainly great and it is definitely worth the wait.

Some other flower plants recommendation: How to get Chrysanthemum to grow

Chrysanthemum for your Flower Garden

August 17, 2010
Beautiful Chrysanthemum

Well-grown young foliage

Chrysanthemum (also known as mums) is perhaps one of the easiest flowering plant to grow and which requires moderate level of maintenance. According to historical facts, It is a native plant to China and later introduced to Japan before moving further to the West. Chrysanthemum can be served as tea and sometimes used as herb to cure influenza. Chrysanthemums are generally classified based on their shapes and petal arrangements and nowadays, cultivated chrysanthemums appear in different variety of colors such as yellow, white, pink, lavender or even bright red.

Those interested in planting Chrysanthemum can either start off by acquiring seeds, cuttings or young divisions which can easily be purchased from nursery. Check with the supplier for the seedlings’ information as they will tell you which one is the hardy mums. Early flowerings cultivar are usually considered a hardy type because one of the most challenging part in chrysanthemum cultivation is ensuring that the plant is able to survive through winter. This is due to the fact that Chrysanthemum actually has a shallow root system and therefore severe cold and repeated cycles of freezing and thawing during winter could bring devastating effect. To ensure that the timing is correct, they are best planted in early spring as soon as the soil begins to warm up so that the plants have time to established itself and prepared for the dangers of freezing during winter time.

Other than that, in order to successfully grow and cultivate Chrysanthemum, the person must also ensure that the following requirements are met:

Location for Sunlight
First of all, select a location whereby the plant will receive sufficient sunlight and in most cases, up to five or six hours of exposure is best needed to produce a healthy plant. Try to avoid planting too close to night lights as this will disrupt the plant cycle and thus inhibit proper growth and also flower formation. One must also know that Chrysanthemums are “photoperiodic” meaning that they will only bloom in response to shorter days and longer nights. Therefore location for sunlight is one of the most important criteria.

Soil which has good drainage
Another important point to remember is that the plants are to be grown in well-drained soil, enriched with compost. Avoid at all cost, low-level site areas whereby rainwater will collect. Even if at higher ground without proper drainage, there is actually a way to overcome the situation by constructing raised beds using pretreated wood. However, this method may incur extra cost and is not advisable. Conduct your research properly and perform soil testing to check the moisture before start planting.

Try to avoid overcrowding
When planting, try to create sufficient space between one plant to another to avoid extensive root competition. For best results try to have at least 20 – 30 inches of space. This is to ensure they have enough space to properly bloom and mature. Overcrowding is also important to prevent spread of disease.

Feed with fertilizers
Apply fertilizers every 2 weeks and ensure that the fertilizer is a balanced type prepared specifically for mums. Check with the supplier for good recommendations.

Check regularly for disease
Among the known conditions affecting mums are the formation of warty patches on the underside. Plants with this condition, are identified to be suffering from white rust and the only way to contain it from spreading is to destroy the affected ones. There are in fact lots of other known diseases and this knowledge can usually be obtained by going to through information either from the library or Internet.

Finally, in order to ensure nice and proper bloom, there is a technique which planter usually apply which is called “pinching”. Pinching” simply means removing the tips and first set of leaves, therefore stimulating the chrysanthemums to send out side-shoots. This method can only be applied during spring when the new growth has already reached 4-6″ in length. However, this practice must stopped by mid-June to ensure that the plants have enough time to bloom before winter comes or else it won’t survive. Therefore, be careful on the act of pinching.

Lovely flowers for your considerations: Fuschias for hanging baskets

Hello and Welcome to FlowerPlants

August 16, 2010

Just an introduction, FlowerPlants is a wordpress blog dedicated to providing tips and knowledge about successfully growing garden plants especially flowers. We will be updating the site soon with new content. Do check back often.