Thursday, 16 February 2012

Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera Daisies            
One look at these beautiful daisies with their bold colors and it is easy to see why gardeners are fascinated with gerbera daisies. They are also known as Transvaal daisies. Their long-lasting flowers are gorgeous, with satiny petals surrounding a prominent center. Each gerbera daisy bloom can be as much as 4 or 5 inches across.The foliage grows as a low mound of large, rich green leaves. Native to South Africa, gerbera daisies are actually perennials in warm climates. In our climate, they are grown as an annual or an indoor plant.
Gerbera daisies are often used indoors because of their stunning beauty,but their longevity is limited. For optimum enjoyment, buy a plant that is just beginning to bloom and has several buds developing. Under the best of circumstances, gerbera daisies may bloom for 6 weeks or more. Once the plant begins to languish, let it go. If it is early summer, it could be planted out in a sunny location with well-drained soil where it may bloom on until frost.

Tips for Growing Healthy Gerbera Daisies
What are the light requirements for gerbera daisies? 
To do their best and bloom the longest, be sure gerbera daisies receive lots of light. They will need a sunny location and will even profit from additional artificial light.

How much water do they need? 
Gerbera daisies need to be kept evenly moist during the time they are blooming. When out of bloom, they can be allowed to dry slightly before watering.

Do they have any special temperature requirements? 
They will thrive in average to cool temperatures. If temperatures get too warm (above 70º), they may stop blooming.

Do gerbera daisies need much humidity? 
They will do well with average humidity. Indoors, mist the foliage once or twice a week during the winter. Avoid misting open blooms.

How much fertilizer do they require? 
When they are actively growing and blooming, gerbera daisies should be fed every other week with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Bachman's Excel Gro or Schultz's Blooms Plus.

What type of soil do they prefer? 
Gerbera daisies require well-drained soil. Use a high-quality peat based potting soil.

When should I repot my gerbera daisies? 
In our climate, they aren't usually kept over the winter, so they aren't repotted. When grown in a greenhouse, they are repotted in spring.

Will they need any grooming? 
They really don't need any grooming other than removing faded flowers and their stems. Avoid any leaf shine products. Gerbera daisy leaves are slightly hairy and resent being wiped.

How are they propagated? 
Gerbera daisies are propagated from seed, but it can take as long as 6 months to get to the blooming stage.
Troubleshooting Problems with Gerbera Daisies
What causes gerbera daisies not to bloom? 
If they have never bloomed, they may just be too young. They could also need more light and a warmer location. If they have been blooming and have stopped, they may be done for the season. They will bloom the longest where they get strong light,are fed regularly and are kept evenly moist and warm.

Why do gerbera daisies wilt? 
This can be the result of drying out or being kept too warm. When temperatures get much over 70º, sometimes they will wilt even if they have adequate moisture.

What makes their leaves turn black? 
This is from being kept too cold. Don't allow them to go below 45º.

If the leaves develop dark patches, what is the problem? 
Dark patches can be the result of leaf shine or watering with cold water.

When leaves brown, what is the cause? 
If the leaves turn brown and dry up, check to see if the plant is being kept too wet or too dry. Pick off the brown leaves and watch closely.

Are gerbera daisies prone to any disease problems? 
If they are kept too wet or planted too deeply, gerbera daisies will develop a crown rot that is almost always fatal. This can be avoided by using a well-drained soil, monitoring the water closely and making sure your daisy is planted a little bit higher than average.Occasionally, the leaves will develop a white mildew. This indicates the daisy is being kept too cool and humid.

Are they prone to any insect problems?
Other than the occasional aphid, the most common insect problem for a gerbera daisy is whitefly. The small white flies may be noticed flying around the plant and can be detected by looking at the back of the leaves. Control of white fly requires repeated treatments with insecticide.Check with one of our experts if you have questions about white flies or any other insect problem.
For Additional Information on Indoor Plants
Ortho's Guide to Successful Houseplants 
Rodale's Houseplants and Container Gardens
Taylor's Guide to Houseplants
Bachman's Information Sheet Mums and Azaleas and Cyclamen, Oh My!
Bachman's Information Sheet General Care for Indoor Plants
Bachman's Information Sheet Watering Basics for Indoor Plants
Recommended Products
Quality Bachman's Blooming Plants 
Exceloam Potting Soil 
Bachman's Excel Gro Fertilizer 
Gardening Tools and Gloves 
Watering Containers and Misters 
Artificial Lights and Fixtures 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Scadoxus puniceus ( Day Lily )

A Link To a Seconde Post For Seconde generationj Of Blood Lily  :

The spectacular paintbrush lily is one of South Africa's most striking bulbous plants. Growing naturally in shady areas in coastal bush, ravines and forest, it can be found in the northern provinces, Free State, KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape; with its distribution extending to Tropical Africa. This species is quite variable and a number of different forms occur throughout its distribution range. There are nine species of Scadoxus, of which three (S.puniceus, S.multiflorus and S.membranaceus) occur in South Africa. Closely related to Haemanthus, Scadoxus was separated in order to distinguish those plants with elongated stems (Scadoxus) from those with broad, stemless leaves (Haemanthus). The paintbrush lily was formerly known as Haemanthus magnificus. The name Scadoxus is derived from "doxus" meaning glory or splendour, and punicues means crimson, scarlet or purple.
Clump of Scadoxus puniceusIn spring and early summer the Scadoxus puniceus bears large dense heads (inflorescences) up to 15cm across consisting of numerous smaller scarlet flowers with bright yellow anthers. The flower stalk may reach up to 50-60cm and is often spotted with purple near the base. The inflorescences are borne within bracts which may be large and dark purplish red in colour. Sunbirds, weavers and other nectivorous birds feed on the nectar produced by the flowers.
The young inflorescence, protected by bracts and borne on the red/purple spotted flower stalk, appears first, followed by the stem which bears 6-8 leaves. The leaves are glossy green, reach 30-40cm in length and have wavy margins. They are held erect clasping at the base to form a pseudostem (false stem) which has red/purple speckled scale leaves at the base.
The large underground bulbs may be up to 10cm across and have a short thick stem at the base from which numerous fleshy roots arise. The plants are dormant in winter and use the large bulbs and roots to store moisture during this period.
The fruits are fleshy, round, shiny red berries up to ±1cm in diameter. They bear single soft pearl-like seeds inside. Ripe berries eaten by birds / monkeys
As within many of the closely related amaryllids, this bulb is poisonous and deaths have been reported following the ingestion of the bulb. However this species is widely used in traditional medicine to treat coughs and gastro-intestinal problems. It has also traditionally been used as part of a medicine taken regularly during pregnancy to ensure a safe delivery.
Growing Scadoxus puniceus
A popular garden subject, the paintbrush lily has been in cultivation in Holland since early 18th century. It does well planted in the ground or in containers. Plant in composted, well drained soil in a shady position. Do not move or disturb the bulb unnecessarily as flowering may be affected. Water regularly in summer and keep reasonably dry in winter. Amaryllis lily borer can cause severe damage to the whole plant, and slugs and snails can damage the foliage extensively.
The Scadoxus puniceus may be propagated from seed which must be sown fresh. It is slow-growing and will take 4-5 years before flowering.
This lovely plant is usually available at specialist indigenous nurseries or at your local National Botanical Garden. Be sure not to purchase them alongside the road or from sellers who cannot assure you of the plant's origin. Many of these plants are indiscriminately removed from the wild and sold when they are in flower.


Haemanthus multiflorus ( Blood Lily )

 Seconde Link for seconde Generation :


Size:Height: 2 ft. to 2 ft.
Width: 0 ft. to 0 ft.  
Plant Category:bulbous plants, perennials,  
Plant Characteristics:decorative berries or fruit, high maintenance,  
Foliage Characteristics:medium leaves, coarse leaves,  
Foliage Color:green,  
Flower Characteristics:erect, showy, single, unusual,  
Flower Color:reds,  


Bloomtime Range:Early Summer to Mid Summer  
USDA Hardiness Zone:11 to 11  
AHS Heat Zone:Not defined for this plant  
Light Range:Dappled to Sun  
pH Range:5.5 to 6.5  
Soil Range:Sandy Loam to Clay Loam  
Water Range:Normal to Moist  
Plant Care

How-tos : Fertilization for Annuals and PerennialsAnnuals and perennials may be fertilized using: 1.water-soluble, quick release fertilizers; 2. temperature controlled slow-release fertilizers; or 3. organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion. Water soluble fertilizers are generally used every two weeks during the growing season or per label instructions. Controlled, slow-release fertilizers are worked into the soil ususally only once during the growing season or per label directions. For organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, follow label directions as they may vary per product.

How-tos : Fertilize MonthlyNow is the time to begin fertilizing with a water-soluble fertilizer. Continue through the end of summer.

Conditions : Partial ShadePartial Shade is defined as filtered light found beneath trees with high limbs. Partial shade usually offers some protection from direct afternoon sun.

Conditions : Dappled LightDappled Light refers to a dappled pattern of light created on the ground, as cast by light passing through high tree branches. This is the middle ground, not considered shady, but not sunny either. Dappled remains constant throughout the day.

Conditions : Moderate Light for HouseplantsPlace houseplants that require moderate light within 5 feet of an eastern or western exposure window.

Conditions : Bright Light for HouseplantsHouseplants requiring bright light should be placed within 2 feet of an eastern or western exposure window or within 2 to 5 feet of a southern exposure window.

Conditions : Full SunFull Sun is defined as exposure to more than 6 hours of continuous, direct sun per day.

Problems : Waterlogged Soil and SolutionsWaterlogged soil occurs when more water is added to soil than can drain out in a reasonable amount of time. This can be a severe problem where water tables are high or soils are compacted. Lack of air space in waterlogged soil makes it almost impossible for soil to drain. Few plants, except for bog plants, can tolerate these conditions. Drainage must be improved if you are not satisfied with bog gardening. Over-watered plants have the same wilted leaves as under-watered plants. Fungi such as Phytophthora and Pythium affect vascular systems, which cause wilt.If the problem is only on the surface, it maybe diverted to a drainage ditch. If drainage is poor where water table is high, install an underground drainage system. You should contact a contractor for this. If underground drains already exist, check to see if they are blocked.
French drains are another option. French drains are ditches that have been filled with gravel. It is okay to plant sod on top of them. More obtrusive, but a good solution where looks aren't as important, think of the French drain as a ditch filled with gravel. Ditches should be 3 to 4 feet deep and have sloping sides.
A soakway is a gravel filled pit where water is diverted to via underground pipes. This works well on sites that have compacted soil. Your soakway should be about 6'wide and deep and filled with gravel or crushed stone, topped with sand and sodded or seeded.
Keep in mind that it is illegal to divert water onto other people's property. If you do not feel that you can implement a workable solution on your own, call a contractor.

Tools : Watering AidesNo gardener depends 100% on natural rainfall. Even the most water conscious garden appreciates the proper hose, watering can or wand.

    Watering Cans: Whether you choose plastic of galvanized makes no difference, but do look for generous capacity and a design that is balanced when filled with water. A 2 gallon can (which holds 18 lbs. of water) is preferred by most gardeners and is best suited for outdoor use. Indoor cans should be relatively smaller with narrower spouts and roses (the filter head).

    Watering Hose: When purchasing a hose, look for one that is double-walled, as it will resist kinking. Quick coupler links are nice to have on ends of hoses to make altering length fast. To extend the life of your hose, keep it wound around a reel and stored in a shady area. Prior to winter freezes, drain hose.

    Sprayers: Are commonly thought of as devices for applying chemicals, but can really be a step saver for watering houseplants or small pots of annuals rather that dragging out a hose or making numerous trips with a watering can. The backpack sprayer is best suited for this. Take care not to use any kind of chemical in tanks used for watering!
    Sprinklers: Attached to the ends of garden hoses, these act as an economical irrigation system. Standing Spike Sprinklers are usually intended for lawns and deliver water in a circular pattern. Rotating Sprinklers deliver a circle of water and are perfect for lawns, shrubs and flower beds. Pulse-jet sprinklers cover large areas of ground in a pulsating, circular pattern. The head usually sits up on a tall stem, except for when watering lawns. Oscillating sprinklers are best for watering at ground level in a rectangular pattern.

Conditions : Regular Moisture for Outdoor PlantsWater when normal rainfall does not provide the preferred 1 inch of moisture most plants prefer. Average water is needed during the growing season, but take care not to overwater. The first two years after a plant is installed, regular watering is important. The first year is critical. It is better to water once a week and water deeply, than to water frequently for a few minutes.

Conditions : Moist and Well DrainedMoist and well drained means exactly what it sounds like. Soil is moist without being soggy because the texture of the soil allows excess moisture to drain away. Most plants like about 1 inch of water per week. Amending your soil with compost will help improve texture and water holding or draining capacity. A 3 inch layer of mulch will help to maintain soil moisture and studies have shown that mulched plants grow faster than non-mulched plants.

Conditions : Outdoor WateringPlants are almost completely made up of water so it is important to supply them with adequate water to maintain good plant health. Not enough water and roots will wither and the plant will wilt and die. Too much water applied too frequently deprives roots of oxygen leading to plant diseases such as root and stem rots. The type of plant, plant age, light level, soil type and container size all will impact when a plant needs to be watered. Follow these tips to ensure successful watering:* The key to watering is water deeply and less frequently. When watering, water well, i.e. provide enough water to thoroughly saturate the root ball. With in-ground plants, this means thoroughly soaking the soil until water has penetrated to a depth of 6 to 7 inches (1' being better). With container grown plants, apply enough water to allow water to flow through the drainage holes.
* Try to water plants early in the day or later in the afternoon to conserve water and cut down on plant stress. Do water early enough so that water has had a chance to dry from plant leaves prior to night fall. This is paramount if you have had fungus problems.
* Don't wait to water until plants wilt. Although some plants will recover from this, all plants will die if they wilt too much (when they reach the permanent wilting point).
* Consider water conservation methods such as drip irrigation, mulching, and xeriscaping. Drip systems which slowly drip moisture directly on the root system can be purchased at your local home and garden center. Mulches can significantly cool the root zone and conserve moisture.
* Consider adding water-saving gels to the root zone which will hold a reserve of water for the plant. These can make a world of difference especially under stressful conditions. Be certain to follow label directions for their use.

Conditions : Normal Watering for Outdoor PlantsNormal watering means that soil should be kept evenly moist and watered regularly, as conditions require. Most plants like 1 inch of water a week during the growing season, but take care not to over water. The first two years after a plant is installed, regular watering is important for establishment. The first year is critical. It is better to water once a week and water deeply, than to water frequently for a few minutes.

Conditions : Indoor WateringPlant are composed of almost 90% water so it important to supply them with adequate water. Proper watering is essential for good plant health. When there is not enough water, roots will wither and the plant will wilt. When too much water is applied too frequently, roots are deprived of oxygen and diseases occur such as root and stem rots.
The type of plant, plant age, light level, soil type and container size all will impact when a plant needs to be watered. Follow these tips to ensure successful watering:
* The key to watering is frequency. Water well then wait long enough until the plant needs to be re-watered according to its moisture requirements.
* When watering, water well. That is, provide enough water to thoroughly saturate the root ball. With containerized plants, apply enough water to allow water to flow through the drainage holes.
* Avoid using cold water especially with houseplants. This can shock tender roots. Fill watering can with tepid water or allow cold water to sit for a while to come to room temperature before watering. This is a good way to allow any harmful chlorine in the water to evaporate before being used.
* Some plants are best irrigated by sub-irrigation, i.e. watering from the bottom up. This avoids splashing water on the leaves of sensitive plants. Simply place the pot in a shallow pan filled with tepid water and let the plant sit for 15 minutes to allow the root ball to be thoroughly wet. Take out and allow sufficient drainage.
* Use an unpainted dowel to help you determine when to re-water larger pots. Stick it into the soil ball & wait 5 minutes. The dowel will absorb moisture from the soil and turn a darker color. Pull it out and examine. This will give you an idea of how wet the soil root ball is.
* Roots need oxygen to breath, do not allow plants to sit in a saucer filled with water. This will only promote disease.

How-tos : Planting BulbsPlant bulbs at a depth that is three times their height, and at least 1-1/2 bulb-widths apart. Work a little bone meal fertilizer into the bottom of your hole, and then place the bulb upright in the hole. The more pointed end is almost always the top. If you have trouble telling which is the top, look for evidence of where a stem or roots were last year. If in doubt, plant them sideways. Fill in with soil gently, making sure there are no rocks or clods that would impede the bulb's stem. When planting a great number of bulbs, dig out an area to the specified depth, place bulbs and replace soil. This ensures that ground has been properly prepared and bulbs are evenly spaced.Plant bulbs in natural drifts rather that formal rows: bulbs can fail or be eaten, leaving holes in a formal arrangement, or will shift with freezing and thawing. If you have trouble with gophers or squirrels eating your bulbs, try sprinkling red pepper in the holes, covering the bulbs with chicken-wire, surround bulbs with sharp shards of gravel or other substance, or planting rodent-repelling bulbs like Fritillaria nearby.

How-tos : Pinching and Thinning PerennialsOnce you plant a perennial, it does not mean that you will enjoy years of maintenance-free gardening. Perennials need to be cared for just like any other plant. One thing that distinguishes perennials is that they tend to be active growers that have to be thinned out occasionally or they will loose vigor.
As perennials establish, it is important to prune them back and thin them out occasionally. This will prevent them from completely taking over an area to the exclusion of other plants, and also will increase air circulation thereby reducing the incidence of diseases like botrytis and powdery mildew.
Many species also flower abundantly and produce ample seed. As blooms fade it is advisable to deadhead your plant; that is, to remove spent flowers before they form seed. This will prevent your plants from seeding all over the garden and will conserve the considerable energy it takes the plant to produce seed.
As perennials mature, they may form a dense root mass that eventually leads to a less vigorous plant. It is advisable to occasionally thin out a stand of such perennials. By dividing the root system, you can make new plants to plant in another area of the garden or give away. Also root pruning will stimulate new growth and rejuvenate the plant. Most perennials may be successfully divided in either spring or fall. Do a little homework; some perennials do have a preference.

How-tos : Planting PerennialsDetermine appropriate perennials for your garden by considering sun and shade through the day, exposure, water requirements, climate, soil makeup, seasonal color desired, and position of other garden plants and trees.
The best times to plant are spring and fall, when soil is workable and out of danger of frost. Fall plantings have the advantage that roots can develop and not have to compete with developing top growth as in the spring. Spring is more desirable for perennials that dislike wet conditions or for colder areas, allowing full establishment before first winter. Planting in summer or winter is not advisable for most plants, unless planting a more established sized plant.
To plant container-grown plants: Prepare planting holes with appropriate depth and space between. Water the plant thoroughly and let the excess water drain before carefully removing from the container. Carefully loosen the root ball and place the plant in the hole, working soil around the roots as you fill. If the plant is extremely root bound, separate roots with fingers. A few slits made with a pocket knife are okay, but should be kept to a minimum. Continue filling in soil and water thoroughly, protecting from direct sun until stable.
To plant bare-root plants: Plant as soon as possible after purchase. Prepare suitable planting holes, spread roots and work soil among roots as you fill in. Water well and protect from direct sun until stable.
To plant seedlings: A number of perennials produce self-sown seedlings that can be transplanted. You may also start your own seedling bed for transplanting. Prepare suitable planting holes, spacing appropriately for plant development. Gently lift the seedling and as much surrounding soil as possible with your garden trowel, and replant it immediately, firming soil with fingertips and water well. Shade from direct sun and water regularly until stable.

Glossary : Some SandSome Sand refers to a soil that drains fast, but has lower water holding capacity due to the presence of a little organic matter. A good workable soil that needs added fertilizer due to lower fertility levels and adequate water. Usually gray in color. Forms a loose, crumbly ball that easily falls apart when squeezed in the hand.

Glossary : Sandy LoamSandy Loam refers to a soil that drains well, with excellent air space, and evenly crumbled texture when squeezed in the hand. A good workable garden soil that benefits from added fertilizer and proper watering. Dark gray to gray-brown in color.

Glossary : LoamLoam is the ideal soil, having the perfect balance between particle size, air space, organic matter and water holding capacity. It forms a nice ball when squeezed in the palm of the hand, but crumbles easily when lightly tapped with a finger. Rich color ranges between gray brown to almost black.

Glossary : Bulbsbulb is a modified, underground stem.

Glossary : EvergreenEvergreen refers to plants that hold onto their leaves or needles for more than one growing season, shedding them over time. Some plants such as live oaks are evergreen, but commonly shed the majority of their older leaves around the end of January.

Glossary : PerennialPerennial: traditionally a non-woody plant that lives for two or more growing seasons.

Glossary : pHpH, means the potential of Hydrogen, is the measure of alkalinity or acidity. In horticulture, pH refers to the pH of soil. The scale measures from 0, most acid, to 14, most alkaline. Seven is neutral. Most plants prefer a range between 5.5 and about 6.7, an acid range, but there are plenty of other plants that like soil more alkaline, or above 7. A pH of 7 is where the plant can most easily absorb the most nutrients in the soil. Some plants prefer more or less of certain nutrients, and therefore do better at a certain pH.

Glossary : Heat ZoneThe 12 zones of the AHS Heat Zone map indicate the average number of days each year that a given region experiences ""heat days"" or temperatures over 86 degrees F(30 degrees Celsius). That is the point at which plants begin suffering physiological damage from heat. The zones range from Zone 1 (less than one heat day) to Zone 12 (more than 210 heat days). The AHS Heat Zone, which deals with heat tolerance, should not be confused with the USDA Hardiness Zone system which deals with cold tolerance. For example: Seattle, Washington has a USDA Hardiness Zone of 8, the same as Charleston, South Carolina; however Seattle's Heat Zone is 2 where Charleston's Heat Zone is 11. What this says is that winter temperature in the two cities may be similar, but because Charleston has significantly warmer weather for a longer period of time, plant selection based on heat tolerance is a factor to consider.

Glossary : Plant CharacteristicsPlant characteristics define the plant, enabling a search that finds specific types of plants such as bulbs, trees, shrubs, grass, perennials, etc.

Glossary : Flower CharacteristicsFlower characteristics can vary greatly and may help you decide on a ""look or feel"" for your garden. If you're looking for fragrance or large, showy flowers, click these boxes and possibilities that fit your cultural conditions will be shown. If you have no preference, leave boxes unchecked to return a greater number of possibilities.

Glossary : Foliage CharacteristicsBy searching foliage characteristics, you will have the opportunity to look for foliage with distinguishable features such as variegated leaves, aromatic foliage, or unusual texture, color or shape. This field will be most helpful to you if you are looking for accent plants. If you have no preference, leave this field blank to return a larger selection of plants.

Glossary : Soil TypesA soil type is defined by granule size, drainage, and amount of organic material in the soil. The three main soil types are sand, loam and clay. Sand has the largest particle size, no organic matter, little to no fertility, and drains rapidly. Clay, at the opposite end of the spectrum, has the smallest particle size, can be rich in organic matter, fertility and moisture, but is often unworkable because particles are held together too tightly, resulting in poor drainage when wet, or is brick-like when dry. The optimum soil type is loam, which is the happy median between sand and clay: It is high in organic matter, nutrient-rich, and has the perfect water holding capacity.You will often hear loam referred to as a sandy loam (having more sand, yet still plenty of organic matter) or a clay loam (heavier on the clay, yet workable with good drainage.) The addition of organic matter to either sand or clay will result in a loamy soil. Still not sure if your soil is a sand, clay, or loam? Try this simple test. Squeeze a handfull of slightly moist, not wet, soil in your hand. If it forms a tight ball and does not fall apart when gently tapped with a finger, your soil is more than likely clay. If soil does not form a ball or crumbles before it is tapped, it is sand to very sandy loam. If soil forms a ball, then crumbles readily when lightly tapped, it's a loam. Several quick, light taps could mean a clay loam.

Glossary : FertilizeFertilize just before new growth begins with a complete fertilizer. 
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