With its delicate-looking flowers and rich foliage, Mexican heather is perhaps the most common Cuphea species grown in U.S. gardens. It’s typically grown as a heat-loving perennial in the south and summer-specific annual in the north because of its tenderness to frost. But with the right care, this beautiful bloom can survive winter climates across the U.S. – you might just need to bring it indoors once the weather turns cool.
Tulips are some of the most colorful, versatile flowers you can have in your garden. These flowers come in dozens of varieties, require little maintenance compared to other plants, and bloom beautifully after you plant them. However, many people wonder if they can plant tulip bulbs in pots and keep them there or if they need to eventually replant tulips in the ground.
If you’re considering planting tulips, you will want to know the ins and outs of these flowers before beginning your planting process. Knowing all about tulips will ensure that your flowers stay healthy throughout the summer and live in the best possible conditions for them to thrive. Read on to learn more about the care and planting of tulips.Read More about Can I Leave Tulip Bulbs in Pots After Flowering?
Sunflowers are just about the epitome of sunshine and summertime. Bright and sunny, they seem to be smiling as they track the sun with their tall heads. Sunflowers are so easy to grow. Their is so much about Sunflowers to them, from creating privacy in the garden to enticing birds or providing a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers. Anyone can plant sunflower seeds and enjoy the benefits of this wonderful plant. We’ll tell you everything you need to know.
How To Plant Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds will sprout best if you plant them with the narrow pointed seed-end facing down. While it isn’t strictly necessary to do this, it does give the sunflowers the best possible start in life. And why wouldn’t we want to give them that? They’re going to repay us with beautiful blooms and nutritious seeds after all. The narrow end of the seed is where roots will emerge, so putting this end down saves the plant from having to right itself in the ground.Read More about Do You Plant Sunflower Seeds Pointed Up or Down?
Amaryllis are large, trumpet-shaped flowers that bring a punch of color to any home or garden. Gardeners typically start with amaryllis bulbs, which look similar to an onion, that then sprout long, thin leaves and the iconic blooms. Amaryllis flowers come in eye-catching colors, can be over twelve inches wide, and can last for over seven weeks! But after that first flower starts to fade, many will ask: what do you do with amaryllis after they bloom?
The Basics of Re-Blooming
Amaryllis thrives in an environment with a nine-month wet period and a three-month dry period. By mimicking this cycle, you can encourage your plant to re-bloom after a forced dry or dormant period. Removing all foliage before the dormant period allows the bulb to retain vital nutrients and energy stores. Most importantly for all plants, provide your amaryllis with all the water and fertilizer it needs while it is growing.
After the Flowers Fade
Once your flowers begin to whither, it is best to cut them off before they start to form seeds. Creating seeds pulls vital nutrients and energy away from the rest of the plant. Keeping your amaryllis bulb healthy and full of available energy is the best way to promote re-flowering.
As the flower stalk dries out and starts to turn brown, cut it down within an inch of the bulb. Green leaves and stems should be left to continue photosynthesis, the process in which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into energy utilizing sunlight. By allowing photosynthesis to continue, your plant will build stores of nutrients and energy needed for the next re-blooming period.
Replanting Your Amaryllis Bulbs
If your amaryllis needs to be replanted, the best time to do so is when it is not in bloom. The plants prefer to be in a small pot with very little extra room (“pot-bound”). The pot should only be approximately one inch wider than the amaryllis bulb, but deep enough for the roots to have space to grow.
Loosely add a well-draining soil below and around your bulb, with one-third of the bulb remaining visible. Ideally, the top of the bulb should be above the edge of your container. Your pot must have drainage holes on the bottom to prevent mold and root rot.
Unlike other bulb species, such as hyacinth and tulip, amaryllis bulbs do not require a chilling or dormant period to bloom. With the right environment and care, your plant can continuously re-bloom after it stores enough nutrients and creates enough energy.
In areas where frost is not an issue, amaryllis can be grown outdoors year-round. Otherwise, they will need to be inside during the cold months and inside or outside during the warm months. Keeping your amaryllis in full sun (or as much sun as possible) will allow it to synthesize the energy needed to bloom again as soon as possible.
If you live in an area with freezing winter temperatures, or would just like to control when your amaryllis blooms, you can force your plant into a dormant period. During the dormant period, your plant remains alive but it is using very little energy and nutrients. By saving energy, the bulb will be ready to grow when the appropriate conditions are met (warm and sunny).
Once your blooms have died and been trimmed off, bring your plant inside to a dark, dry location, like a closet or basement. Ideally, the temperature would be between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the stems and leaves dry out and die off naturally before trimming down to the bulb. You can also remove the bulb from the soil to save space and allow it to rest as-is during this period.
Do not water or fertilize during dormancy, but check the amaryllis periodically for mold or other issues. After two to three months, you can move your plant to a sunny location and begin watering and fertilizing as normal. This forced dormancy will allow you to try to schedule your blooms around certain times of year or holidays.
The Holiday Amaryllis
The amaryllis has become a holiday staple in many homes, with pre-planted bulbs in decorative pots available for purchase a couple of months before the winter holiday season. If you would like to have your existing plant bloom for the holidays, stop fertilizing the plant in August.
In September, move your amaryllis into its dormant location and stop watering. Cut back the foliage down to the bulb as it starts to dry out. Follow the dormancy procedures until early November, when you can put your bulb back into a warm spot with sunlight and water as normal.
In the Garden
If you live in hardiness zones 8-10 (frost-free), your amaryllis bulbs can be planted outdoors directly in your garden. Garden amaryllis tend to bloom once in spring and will go dormant over winter if it is cool enough. In a warm enough location, it is possible for the plants to re-bloom more times throughout the year.
Like with potted amaryllis, water when needed. Fertilizer is only needed before the plant putting up its flower stalk during the growth period. Trim off leaves and stems as they begin to turn yellow and die off.
Picking Your Amaryllis
Amaryllis has many varieties that differ in flower color and size. You can pick the best one for your needs or preferences. Here are a few of our favorites:
- “Cherry Nymph” will produce multiple smaller blooms with bright red flowers on two stalks
- “Clown” has eight-inch wide blooms of striped red and white petals
- “Evergreen” is a vibrant, light-green hue that can add a tropical feel to your home
- “Rilona” has subtle, apricot orange petals, an unusual color for amaryllis
- “Ferrari” will wow everyone with vibrant red blooms that are over twelve inches wide
- “Dancing Queen” a great variety for zones 8-10, a great fit for Florida it has beautiful white & red striped large flower pedals
Once you have your amaryllis bulb and the right pot for it, place the plant in a well-lit area that is between 65 and 75 degrees
Optimal Amaryllis Care
Once you have your amaryllis bulb and the right pot for it, place the plant in a well-lit area that is between 65 and 75 degrees
Outdoors, your amaryllis can handle partial shade to full sun. Once blooms are present, the plant prefers some shade to allow the flowers to stay bright as long as possible. Indoors, it is best to place your bulbs in a sunny window, southern exposure being ideal, during the growth period.
After you first plant your bulb, water sparingly until you see a couple of inches of growth out of the top, then water frequently. The amaryllis bulb will contain everything the plant needs nutrient-wise for the first flowers, but when attempting to get your plant to re-bloom, use a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to rebuild nutrient stores.
For the best flowers, turn your pot every couple of days as the flower stalk is growing. This will keep the stalk growing straight for the tallest blooms. If the bud is too heavy, a support stake can help keep it upright. Once the flower starts to open, keep the plant out of direct sunlight to prolong its life of the flower.
By giving your plant the best opportunity to store nutrients and energy throughout the year, your amaryllis will continue to provide you with beautiful blooms.
Orchids are essentially indoor plants. They might seem relatively easy to take care of but the pruning step of planting these fairly little plants is a bit technical. Great care is required while pruning them. Some of the simple steps could be followed, to make it a healthy plant inside your garden. So, grasp your scissors. I will tell you when you need to prune and how to do it perfectly.
Pruning is necessary for your orchids, it keeps them fresh and healthy. It also provides you a chance to detect unfolding problems. Another important benefit of pruning is that you remove or cut the diseased tissue. This tissue may be the habitat of disease-causing fungi, bacteria, or viruses. The most important benefit of Orchid pruning is that more buds and flowers appear after pruning.Read More about How Do You Prune Orchid Plants?
Flowering bulbs are the plant most closely associated with Spring. Not sure of that statement? Easter is celebrated after the Spring equinox and the white lily is the traditional Easter flower. If your goal is to have a yard full of flowering bulbs in the Spring, you’ll need to get started in late fall. Where to get them? There are many places online where you can buy bulbing plants easy enough, some sites even specialize in bulbing plants alone. However if you have a bulbing flower, they generally propagate themselves quite easily. Taking them out of their pot and separating them out is an easy way to grow the number you have for next year. In a future blog we will discuss doing this and storing them for next year. For this blog we want to introduce you to a list of bulbs you might want to plant yourself.
Bluebells (Hyacinthoides spp.)Read More about Flower Bulbs to Plant in Fall
If you’ve ever seen the striking blue daze flowers, also known as Evolvulus glomeratus or dwarf morning glory, chances are you wanted some for your own garden, front yard, or house. These plants have a unique bright blue color. Not purple that looks blue, but true blue, which is actually quite rare in the flower world. This delightful evergreen shrub grows very low to the ground, making it perfect for covering sizeable areas.
Blue Daze Flowers: Evolvulus Glomeratus
These funnel-shaped, small blue flowers are about one inch in diameter, and the plant itself will grow about two or three feet in each direction and about one foot high. They also need full sun and are hardy enough to offer their amazingly blue blooms during the entire summer all the way to the first frost. They’re resilient, so they will thrive and flourish in areas that are maybe too dry or hot to grow anything else.Read More about How Do You Grow Those Striking “Blue Daze” Flowers?
Growing hydrangeas is a wonderful task for flower gardening enthusiasts. These beautiful, large shrubs provide show-stopping blooms throughout the summer season. Hydrangeas are hearty in most zones in the United States and will come back every year if they are treated properly. Planting in the right location with plenty of drainage and extra care in temperatures under 0 degrees will help in keeping them strong.
Growing Hydrangeas as Perennials
Most Hydrangeas Will Come Back
In most cases, hydrangeas are woody perennials that will return every year if they are kept healthy and strong. There are some types of hydrangeas, often promoted and sold as gifts, that are less hearty than other kinds, so it is important to know what you are dealing with. If you are simply planting a hydrangea that someone gave you, you might run the risk of it not surviving the winter.Read More about Do Hydrangeas Come Back Every Year?