Landscaping Ground Maintenance
4625 Westerville Road, Columbus
Mon-Fri: 8am - 6pm /
Sat-Sun - 10am - 5pm
09 May 2019

History Of Sedums: Learn About Sedum Stonecrop Plants


Some of my favorite low maintenance plants are sedums. I like to tuck them in amongst a rockery, along paths, in containers and even have a few as houseplants. Once established, these are the type of plant you don’t have to worry about when you go on extended holiday. They are succulents and not only useful as beautiful carefree specimens, but the history of sedums includes use as food and medicine.

Sedums can be found wild in most parts of the world. They are especially adapted to poor soils and can be very drought tolerant. They may be deciduous or evergreen, depending upon type. Additional characteristics vary by plant, with some low growing ground covers, others trailing, hanging specimens and still other varieties are taller vertical spectacles. The most common in the group have leaves that are plump and waxy with starry flower clusters that rise above the foliage – such as Autumn Joy sedum.

Sedum Plant History

The Sedum genus name comes from the Latin ‘sedo,’ meaning “to sit.” They are found in Europe, Asia, North Africa, Mexico and a few are even native to North America. Recognized species go by very colorful names such as Burro’s Tail, Gold Chain, Bird’s Bread, and Creeping Tom. The versatile plants are also in a bit of a tug-of-war surrounding their genus name. Some in the family are now classed as members of Hylotelephium, while others retain their Sedum status.

Such changes continue to occur in the botanical world as scientists unravel the genes of plants and reposition them to reflect more accurate family groups. As garden and greenhouse specimens, sedums have become popular since the early 1900s but were used by collectors as early as the 1800s.

History of Sedums as Food and Medicine

Anything you ingest should be carefully researched. This goes for the edible and medicinal varieties of sedum stonecrop plants. There are over 400 species in the family, some of which could cause illness if ingested. The juice in the succulent leaves and stems can be used topically to quell burn symptoms and on small scrapes and scratches.

One variety, Sedum sarmentosum, was reportedly used in Asia to treat inflammatory conditions. Several species of Sedum are undergoing trials as treatments for pain and swelling, with promising early results. As a food, sedums are used in salads and soups. S. sarmentosum and S. reflexum are the two most notable varieties that have a history of food use.

Fun Types of Sedum Stonecrop Plants

There are many unique forms of sedum plants. Here is a sampling of fun types to grow in your garden:

Groundcovers

  • Two-Row sedum (S. spurium) – An evergreen, mat forming species with numerous colorful cultivars
  • Broadleaf stonecrop (S. spathulifolium) – Silver to lime green leaves, branching, low, spreading plant.
  • Spanish stonecrop (S. hispanicum) – Close set, finely textured leaves that blend seamlessly into each other with blue-gray color.

Upright

  • Ice Plant stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile) – A vertical classic with a huge umbel of tiny starry flowers.
  • Coppertone sedum (S. nussbaumerianum) – Bronze foliage and orange-gold flowers.
  • Orpine (S. telephium syn. Hylotelephium telephium) – Bluish purple leaves and deeply hued stems.

Trailing

  • Burro’s Tail (S. morganianum) – Classic chubby, bluish green leaves reminiscent of a burro’s tail
  • Carpet sedum (S. lineare) – Tiny buttercup yellow foliage with dense growth and cascading habit.



Source link

24 Apr 2019

Ficus Microcarpa Easy To Grow Bonsai Ficus


The Green Island Ficus – Ficus microcarpa, [FY-kus my-kro-KAR-puh] is a slow-growing plant that belongs to the fig family Moraceae.

Ficus lyrata and Ficus benjamina tree are popular indoor Ficus trees. However, the root system oofBenjamina is considered invasive.

The ‘Green Island Ficus’ is different and known for its smaller size and more ‘friendly’ root system.

Ficus microcarpa is relatively easy to grow outdoors in warm, humid regions like South Florida but requires a little more patience in cooler areas.

In 2001, the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association (FNGLA) recognized the Green Island Ficus as the ‘Plant of the Year’.


Green Island Ficus Plant Care

A quick glance of the Ficus green island and its glossy green leaves one could mistake the plant for a jade plant at home in a tropical garden.

Size and Growth

In its native regions, Ficus microcarpa can reach over twenty feet tall with a massive canopy.

The selected varieties commonly sold and cultivated in North America are a little smaller, reaching 8′ feet tall if left unattended.

The plant is typically grown as a low hedge or as a ground cover. The shape is managed by pruning to keep the Ficus at the desired height.

Some people keep it trimmed from an early age to maintain it as a small Japanese bonsai tree.

The Ficus microcarpa ‘Green Island’ features dense green foliage with small, rounded leaves. The glossy foliage is often used to help complement surrounding plants.

As a slow grower, the plant is easy to manage but the root system tends to spread quickly, which is why it shouldn’t be planted close to other vegetation or structures.

Flowering and Fragrance

The plant rarely flowers. It’s grown for its dense deep green glossy leaves, offering shade or helping to establish a perimeter.

Light and Temperature

The ficus is a tropical plant and thrives in warm, humid locations. It’s recommended for USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11.

In areas with dry or cool weather, the plant should be grown indoors or moved indoors in the fall.

Outdoors, it should receive full sun to partial shade.

Microcarpa can handle full sun and is recommended in regions with high humidity while part shade is preferred for drier areas, helping the soil retain more moisture.

When placed indoors, ensure that it gets plenty of light throughout the day.

Consider setting it in an enclosed porch as the large glass windows often help trap in more humidity compared to the rest of the house.

Watering and Feeding

This low-maintenance shrub doesn’t require frequent watering except when young.

Until mature, water two to three times per week throughout the warmer months. Fertilizer isn’t needed.

After the plant matures, it only needs infrequent watering, about once every one or two weeks.

Give it a deep thorough watering, saturating the soil without completely drowning the plant.

Soil and Transplanting

Use ordinary soil with good drainage. The ficus is an easy plant to grow and tends to take root in almost any conditions unless the air is too dry or cool.

If the plant is grown in a container throughout the year, transplant it every two years to freshen the soil or if it outgrows its home.

Transplant in the early spring before active growth starts.

Maintenance and Grooming

Grooming is the main maintenance task when caring for the Green Island Ficus. It is easy to keep small with pruning.

Always use sharp pruning tools and trim throughout the year as needed.

TIP: Remove dead branches to encourage denser growth.


How to Propagate Ficus Microcarpa ‘Green Island’

Propagation is possible with root cuttings. The root system spreads quickly, often reaching several feet.

The roots can be divided and separated to spread the plant or grow new plants.

Take a cutting from a younger plant, dip it in root hormone and plant it in its own four-inch starter container.

Don’t cover with plastic. Simply set it near a window and keep watered.

Within a few weeks, the cutting should take root, becoming its own new plant.

It can then be transplanted to the ground or kept in the container as a small bonsai.


Ficus Microcarpa Pests or Disease Problems

Green Island Microcarpa is easy to care for with no major pests or disease problems to worry about.

However, mealy bugs and scale insect pests do set up residence on the underside of leaves and along leaf axils.

Inspect plants for pests and apply Neem oil for control.


Suggested Ficus Green Island Uses

Green Island is best grown as a low hedge or as a small Ficus bonsai plant.

The plant grows easily indoors as a small house plant or outdoors. When planted in large containers and planters it makes an attractive bush when pruned for shape.

When grown from cuttings it’s easy to keep trimmed as a small bonsai tree.





Source link

09 Apr 2019

Roca Toys Big Gardening Activity Box Giveaway


By
Shelley Pierce | April 8, 2019



Get Your Kids Excited About Gardening!

During this week’s giveaway, ROCA Toys is giving you the opportunity to win a green limited-edition curated big gardening box full of things that will help get your kids outside enjoying nature.

What’s in the Big Box

Gardening Tools with STEM Learning Guide “Good Bugs for Your Garden”

Gardening Gloves

4 Seedling Planters to grow their first plants

Garden Stickers

Bee Coloring Mask

Crayons

DIY Garden Picture Frame

How to Enter:

  1. Follow RocaToys and Gardening Know How on Instagram.
  2. Locate and “like” the Instagram post on @gardeningknowhow announcing the Roca Toys giveaway.
  3. Tag as many friends as you can on this Instagram giveaway post.  Each tagged friend is an entry!

The contest is open to U.S. participants and will end at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Winner will be announced on Thursday, April 11, 2019.  Winner will be notified through Instagram messenger.  (See rules for more information.)

Connect with ROCA Toys:

http://www.rocatoys.com

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!





Source link

25 Mar 2019

How To Care For The Cup-and-Saucer Vine


The Cobaea scandens [ko-BEE-uh SKAN-dens] is a fast-growing vine with beautiful flowers.

While technically a perennial, many choose to grow the Cobaea as an annual flowering plant vine.

It comes from South America, and Mexico, where a Jesuit priest named Father Cobo discovered the plant.

The vine is part of the Polemoniaceae family and goes several different common names, including:

  • Cup-and-saucer vine
  • Cathedral Bells
  • Monastery Bells
  • Mexican Ivy

The climbing plants grow in gardens throughout the US Southwest, but also in enclosed areas, such as a greenhouse or conservatory.

To learn more check out the following plant growing tips for the cup and saucer vine Cobaea scandens.


Cobaea Scandens Care

Size and Growth

Cobaea scandens is one of the fast-growing climbing vines with many branches and leaves.

The stems and foliage are green and can be trained to grow along trellises and other structures.

If left to grow without grooming, the plant may eventually span 24′ feet from a single set of roots.

Saucer Plant Flowering and Fragrance

The flowers are the reason for the name cup-and-saucer. The bell-shaped flowers bloom in the late summer and feature green foliage around the base, resulting in a look that resembles a cup in a saucer.

During the first year of growth, the plant should bloom later in the summer. Older plants tend to bloom a little earlier.

The flowers are violet with yellow stamens that produce no scent. While most plants have the violet-colored flowers, the colors are sometimes closer to a rose-purple.

Light and Temperature

If possible, avoid placing the plant in an area where it receives shade throughout the day. The plant prefers lots of full sun.

The cup-and-saucer vine is recommended for growing outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 10.

It doesn’t tolerate frost and should be kept indoors during the winter in cooler regions.

When grown indoors, normal room temperature is fine for the plant during the summer.

In the winter, it should not be left outdoors in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering and Feeding

Like most plants, the Cobaea scandens requires more water in the summer and less in the winter.

Give the plant plenty of water throughout the summer months and decrease watering in the colder months.

From March to September, plants need to water once per week. Water soluble liquid fertilizer is recommended during this period.

NOTE: To avoid excessive growth, skip the fertilizer and water the plant each week.

Soil and Transplanting

Young plants grow better in sandy soil, instead of using rich soil with fast drainage. The sandy soil helps the roots retain more water.

As the plant grows, and the roots use more water, shift to a regular potting soil or compost mixed with garden soil.

Transplant older plants into large pots at the start of spring after the danger of frost passes.

This allows the plants and root system to get off to a go start for the growing season.

Maintenance and Grooming

Groom the plant to help produce larger blooms. With the younger plant, cut a few of the side shoots in the spring. For older plants, trim the side shoots in February.

Without trimming, the foliage will hide some of the flowers and inhibit growth. Trimming helps give the flowers more sunlight and room to blossom.


How to Propagate Cobaea Cathedral Bells

Propagate the plant using seeds or cuttings. The seeds are large and easy to grow. Just follow these steps:

  • Plant the seeds in a tray of sandy potting soil
  • Keep the tray in a room that stays about 60° degrees Fahrenheit
  • After the seedlings appear, keep the tray at 60° degrees Fahrenheit
  • After several leaves appear, place the seedlings in their own pots
  • Use three-inch or four-inch pots with sandy soil and water weekly

Cuttings can be taken in the early spring when trimming back the foliage.

Place the cuttings in a pot with sandy soil and cover with plastic.

After the cuttings take root, keep them in a relatively cool room.

The first flowers from the cuttings should appear in June.

During the following spring season, transplant the new plants into larger containers if needed.


Cathedral Bells Vine Pests or Diseases

The cobaea scandens is a healthy, hardy plant, but there are a few issues to pay attention to. Spider mites and aphids may attack the plant, especially in dry conditions.

Red spider mites are hard to remove from this plant. If the spider mites are present, trim the plant back in the spring to help revive the plant.

Using an insecticide (Neem oil) may stop the infestation and is typically effective against aphids.


Uses For Cup and Saucer Vine

When grown in frost-free zones, allow the vine to climb outdoors against a trellis, fence, facing wall or other structure.

In cooler regions, the plant should be grown indoors or in enclosed areas, such as a greenhouse, conservatory, or an enclosed porch. Remember cup and saucer plants grow quickly and require a lot of room.





Source link