Saturday, June 30, 2007


OrchidA belle
The Orchids are one of the most exquisite and fascinating flowers in the world. In fact, so fascinated is the world with the Orchids that many countries have adopted different varieties of orchids as their respective
National Flowers. Orchids are proliferated across most countries. The orchid flowers are especially prolific in the tropics, where the majority of the species grow on the trunks and branches of trees. In the temperate zones, such as southern Australia, most Orchids grow on the ground.
No flowering plant has captured the attention of humans, or stirred their passions, in quite the way that Orchids have. In the past, Orchids have been hunted and collected in almost every part of the world. Today, millions of people remain devoted to the plant and its exotically beautiful "faces." The human fascination with these strangely compelling flowers is often refered to as Obsession with Orchids.
In 1735, Carl Von Lin (Linnaeus), a Swedish botanist, used the word Orchidaceae (taken from Orkhis), which led to further discoveries carried on by Darwin. Orchids belong the the family Orchidaceae. There are 2 different growth types of Orchids. Generally Orchids are divided into Monopodial, Sympodial varieties. Monopodial Orchids have a central stem of growth. Monopodial Orchids have no pseudobulbs, but produce new growth from the crown of the plant. Flowers are produced from the stem between the leaves, usually alternately from side to side.
Sympodial Orchids possess a rhizome, which sends out a shoot. This develops into a stem and leaves and eventually produces flowers. Later, from the base of this growth, a new shoot develops and goes on. The buds are often protected by a sheath.
Categories in Orchids :
Depending on their growth habits, Orchids are generally divided into three main categories-
· Epiphytic Orchids are grown perched high in the trees clinging to branches or in the trunk apex of the tree. They derive their nutrients from the air, rain, and any decaying vegetation, which the roots can contact. Epiphytic Orchids have specialised aerial roots, which have a white spongy layer of cells called velamen. This protects the inner root tissues and absorbs water. These roots will also often dangle free in the atmosphere.
· Lithophytic Orchids are seen covering the bases and forks of trees or filling crevices in rocks, and absorb a maximum supply of nutrients from decaying mosses.
· Terrestrial Orchids are seen under the ground, having a symbiotic relation with a special fungus, which in turn supports the orchid with the essential nutrients.
Orchids are broadly constituted into five Sub-Families-
5. Vandoideae
Facts About Orchids :
· Orchids have the largest variety of flowering plants with an estimated of 20,000 to 30,000 naturally occurring species .
· Orchids are seen growing in all the continents except Antarctica.
· In 1856, the first man made Orchid was cultivated.
· There are 2 species of Orchids growing in Australia and 3 species in the Arctic circle, growing underground plants with their flowers shooting up above the soil.
· In order to achieve pollination, some Orchids of the genus Ophrys (called bee Orchids) bear flowers resembling female insects in appearance and smell. Male insects are attracted to the flowers and attempt to mate with them, thus pollinating the flowers.
· The bloom time or the life of an Orchid depends upon the type of Orchid in bloom.
· Phalaenopsis are among the easiest and most rewarding Orchids to grow.
· The Orchid genus, Vanilla, is commercially important, and is used as a foodstuff in flavoring as the vanilla essence.
· Orchids are among the most highly prized of ornamental plants.
General Flower Structure of An Orchid :
· There are many variations in the structure and the color of an Orchid flower. Some Orchids have one flower on a stem, and other Orchids have more than a hundred together on a single spike. In color variations, African Orchids are white, while Asian orchids are often multicolored.
· A typical orchid flower is zygomorphic, i.e., bilaterally symmetric, with exceptions like the genera Mormodes, Ludisia and Macodes. The Orchid flowers growing on racemes or panicles can be: basal i.e. produced from the base of the pseudobulb, as in the
Cymbidium; apical i.e., produced from the apex of the orchid, as in Cattleya; or axillary i.e., coming from a node between the leaf axil and the plant axis as in Vanda.
· The basic Orchid flower is composed of three sepals in the outer whorl, and three petals in the inner whorl. The medial petal is usually modified and enlarged (then called the labellum or lip), forming a platform for pollinators near the center of the corolla. Together, except the lip, they are called tepals. Sepals form the exterior of the bud. They are green in this stage, but sometimes, if the Orchid blossom is, for example, Purple, the buds can show a purple tint.
· The reproductive organs of an Orchid are in the center (stamens and pistil), and have adapted to become a cylindrical structure called the column or gynandrium. On top of the column lies the stigma, the vestiges of stamens and the pollinia, a mass of waxy pollen on filaments. These filaments can be a caudicle (as in Habenaria) or a stipe (as in Vanda). These filaments hold the pollinia to the viscidium (sticky pad).
· The pollen are held together by the alkaloid viscine. This viscidium adheres to the body of a visiting insect. The type of pollinia is useful in determining the genus. On top of the pollinia is the anther cap, preventing self-pollination. At the upper edge of the stigma of single-anthered orchids, in front of the anther cap, is the rostellum, a slender beaklike extension.
· The Orchid ovary is always inferior (located behind the flower), three-carpelate and one or three-partitioned, with parietal placentation with few exceptions. If pollination succeeds, the sepals and petals fade and wilt but they remain attached to the ovary.


Iris My compliments
Irises are wonderful garden plants. As the word Iris means rainbow, irises come in so many colors: blues and purples, whites and yellows, pinks and oranges, browns and reds, and even blacks. The genus Iris has about 200 species and is native of North Temperate regions of the world.
The habitat of iris also varies a lot. Some irises grow in deserts, some in swamps, some in the cold far north, and many in temperate climates. Bearded Iris and Siberian Iris are the two most
common types of iris grown.

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Facts about Iris :
· Irises come in many forms, shapes, colors and sizes and the sword-like foliage is attractive when the plant is not in bloom.
· Iris are among the best-known and loved among garden plants. Iris are hardy herbaceous perennials.
· The genus Iris is a large genus of
bulbous and rhizomatous perennials.
· The Iris was named after the Goddess of the rainbow because of it's many colours.
· A flower on the Sphinx is considered to be an Iris, and another appears on a bas-relief of the time of the 18th Egyptian dynasty.
· Pliny also knew the Iris and praised its medicinal virtues.
· The Iris was also a favourite flower of the Moslems, who took it to Spain after their conquest in the 8th century.

Growing Iris :
Before planting iris, improve the soil conditions, use a slow release fertilizer. To increase the organic matter content use compost, peat moss or well rotted manure. Fertilizer and organic matter should be worked thoroughly into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil.

· Wooded areas with good drainage and partial shade are ideal spots for the crested iris.
· Irises are grown from both seed and root separation.
· The roots, or Rhizomes, are easily separated and replanted.
· The Rhizome looks like a long, thin potato with roots underneath.
· When transplanting, separate the Rhizome. Make sure to have some root and a leaf or two in each section.
· Plant the Rhizomes near the surface with the roots below.
· Divide the clumps and plant single rhizomes, spacing them 8 to 18 inches apart according to effect desired.
· Spade planting hole about 10 inches deep and work 1 tablespoonful of fertilizer into the soil in the bottom of the hole.
· If the soil is heavy, some drainage material such as gravel or broken pottery should be placed in the hole.
· Fill the hole with the loose soil and place the root section so that it will not be covered more than 1 inch deep.
· Most Beardless Irises can also be propagated from seeds.

Iris Plant Care :

· Apply a thin layer of compost around the base of plants each spring, leaving the rhizome exposed.
· As flowers fade, cut back the flower stalks to the base of the plant.
· To encourage a second bloom on reblooming varieties, promptly remove faded flowers and maintain consistent watering throughout the summer.
· In autumn, trim away dead foliage and prune back healthy leaves to a height of 4 to 5 inches.
· Once the soil has frozen, apply a layer of mulch to help prevent roots from heaving out of the soil during alternate freezing and thawing.
· If heaving occurs, don't try to force plants back into the soil. Instead, cover rhizomes and exposed roots with soil.
· Divide bearded iris every 4 to 5 years, preferably in late summer. Each division should have one or two leaf fans. Older rhizomes that have few white feeding roots should be discarded.

Freesia Flowers

Freesia Flowers
Freesia Innocence
Freesia is a genus of about 14 species. Freesia bulbs are usually grown for use as
Cut Flowers. All the 14 species of Freesia are African in origin. Of The 14 Freesia species, 12 are native to Cape Province, South Africa, the remaining two to tropical Africa, with one these species extending north of the equator to Sudan. Freesia flowers are very fragrant, typically white or yellow, and are borne in spikelike racemes. This blooming beauty captures your heart and is a springtime favorite.
Facts About Freesia :
· Freesia bloom was named by Dr. Freese (1785-1876) , a native of Kiel, Germany.
· The flowers come in a great variety of colors - white, golden yellow, orange, red, pink, mauve, lavender, purple and bicolors.
· Freesia perfume has a light, sweet, soap-like
floral scent - trendy in soaps, lotions and so forth.
· Freesia flower bouquets are also used for gifting on
special occassions. Freesia flowers are symbolic of innocence.
· Freesia are very poularly used in the perfume, scented oils and baths and other related industries.

Growing Freesia Flowers :

· The corms should be planted close - six will do nicely in a 5 inch pot.
· Soil should be light and should be drained well.
· Place the top of the corm, 1 inch below the soil.
· For winter flowers, plant freesia in late summer or early fall and keep them cool until frosts are due.
· During winter, bring freesia bulbs in and keep them in a sunny window.

Plant Care :

· Freesias are propagated by offsets of bulbs and seeds.
· Freesia plants need full sun and cool night temperatures, preferably between 45 and 40 degrees.
· Keep the plants well watered while the leaves and flowers are developing.
· When the leaves begin to brown after the flowers have faded, the plants may be gradually dried off and the corms saved for the following year.


Daffodil Chivalry
Daffodils, the flowers symbolising friendship, are one of the most popular flowers exclusively due to their unmatched beauty. Daffodils belong to the genus
Narcissus. Daffodil flowers have a trumpet-shaped structure set against a star-shaped background. Often the trumpet is in a contrasting color from the background. The name Daffodils includes the cluster-flowered yellow Jonquils and the White Narcissi , as well as the include as the more common trumpet shaped flowers (right), members of the genus Narcissus.

Miniature Daffodils :
Daffodils come in all sizes, from 5-inch blooms on 2-foot stems to half-inch flowers on 2-inch stems. Largely for show purposes, but also for guidance in gardening, certain species and named cultivars have been determined by the American Daffodil Society to be miniatures and must compete by themselves in Daffodil shows.

Difference Between Daffodils and Narcissus :
There is literally no difference between Daffodils and Narcissus. The two words are synonymous. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for the commonly called daffodils. Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus.

Facts About Daffodils :

  • The garden Daffodil's ancestors come from the states around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Spain and Portugal, and the Middle East, such as Turkey. The earliest record mentioned about Daffodils was around two or three hundred years BC.
  • Grown extensively by the ancient Greeks and especially by the Romans, Daffodils nevertheless became a forgotten flower until about 1600, and even in 1860 there were fewer than 350 cultivated hybrids.
  • Around 1629, a group of Englishmen took the Daffodil out of the weeds and put it into the garden. Daffodils were in favor again.
  • During the days of the American experience and the expansion west, Daffodils were well established as a "must have" in the garden.
  • Daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans who thought that the sap from Daffodils had healing powers. Actually the sap contains crystals that can irritate the skin.

Growing Daffodils :

Daffodils grow perennially from bulbs. In temperate climates they flower among the earliest blooms in spring. Daffodils often grow in large clusters, covering lawns and even entire hillsides with yellow.
Depth, as a general rule, needs to be thrice the height. This means large bulbs should have depth of 6 to 8 inches, medium size 3-6 inches and smaller size 2-3 inches. Always remember that the load of soil prove helpful to protect the bulbs from breaking too easily and keep them upright for a longer duration. If this fact is ignored and enough depth is not given then the Daffodil will bend down very soon. Though Daffodil blooms will come in bigger clumps, the bulbs and flowers will be scant. Here are the steps to grow Daffodils.

  • Choose a well-drained, sunny place, with slightly acidic soil.
  • Plant your Daffodils so that their top (pointed end) is at least two times as deep as the bulb is high (top of a 2" bulb is 4" deep).
  • Plant bulbs deeper in sandy soil than in clay.
  • High-nitrogen fertilizer should be avoided.
  • Daffodils need lots of water while they are growing.
  • After blooming, never cut the foliage until it begins to yellow (usually late May or June).
  • Then is the time to dig them. Wash the bulbs thoroughly and let them dry completely (at least a week).
  • Put them in onion sacks (or panty hose) and hang them in the coolest place you can find until ready to plant. Good air circulation will keep storage rot at a minimum.

Daffodil Plant Care :

  • Like most perennials, Daffodil will do well with about 1 inch of water per week while they are actively growing and blooming - from March to May.
  • Mulch can be tremendously helpful for Daffodils in conserving moisture.
  • The best thing you can do for your Daffodil bulbs is to provide them rich, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter in it.
  • Most organic bulb fertilizers can be placed right into the planting hole because they're very gentle and nonburning.
  • Since Daffodil is a perennial, every 5 to 10 years, divide the clumps of bulbs in early summer.


Chrysanthemums are one of the most popular flowers in the world, next only to the Rose.
Chrysanthemum was named by Carolus Linnaeus from two Greek prefixes, 'Chrys', which means golden (the color of the original flowers), and 'anthemon', meaning flower.
Chrysanthemum Facts :
· Chrysanthemums are tropical flowers. Chrysanthemums were originally grown in the Eurasian region.
· Chrysanthemums belong to the Asteraceae (Compositae) family, which is one of the largest families of flowering plants with over 1,000 genera and about 20,000 species.
· The Chrysanthemum was brought to Japan by
Buddhist monks in AD 400. Japanese emperors so loved the Chrysanthemum flower that they sat upon Chrysanthemum thrones. Chrysanthemums, kikus in Japanese, were featured on the Imperial Crest of Japan.
· Even today, a number of Japanese cities hold spectacular annual chrysanthemum exhibitions.
Growing Chrysanthemums :
Chrysanthemums are easy to be grown and are propagated by division of roots, cuttings and seeds. Chrysanthemums are not specific to any season. Chrysanthemum plants can be grown in any kind of soil, but they require a sunny weather for best performance. Chrysanthemums have a long flowering period. Chrysanthemum seeds are sown in those areas which experience low rainfall during the rainy season. Usually, the Chrysanthemum seedlings are transplanted after about a month of sowing. But sometimes seeds can also be sown directly in situ and seedlings thinned out after germination. Chrysanthemum plants flower in about three months of sowing. Order chrysanthenum seeds now and add color to your garden with the flowers which bloom all the season.
Chrysanthemum Plant Care :
· After the transplants, the Chrysanthemum beds should be weeded, hoed and watered regularly.
· In some cases staking of Chrysanthemum plants is necessary.
· After a few weeks, the Chrysanthemum seedlings are pinched to make them bushy.
· Fertilizing the plant is an important step in caring for chrysanthemums. Do fertilize when the plants are ready for bloomin and discontinue fertilizing after flower buds are formed. Order your fertilizer now and enhance the blooming of your chrysanthemums.
· A careful check should be made of diseases and insect pests and prompt control measures adopted to control them.
· The faded Chrysanthemum blooms should be regularly removed as it helps to prolong flowering.
· Chrysanthemums are susceptible to aphids and plant bugs, leafspot and stunt, and foliar nematodes. However, Chrysanthemums benefit from winter protection.

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise are one of the most colorful flowers in the world. The name Bird of Paradise comes from the spectacular flower shape which resembles a birds beak and head plumage.
Birds of Paradise Joyfulness
Birds of Paradise, also known as Crane flowers are one of the most beautiful
Exotic Flowers. Birds of Paradise are native to South Africa. Birds of Paradise bloom from September through May. The flowers of the Birds of Paradise resemble a brightly colored bird in flight and so the name Birds of Paradise.
Facts About Birds of Paradise :
· Birds of Paradise are the mid-sized staples of tropical bouquets.
· Birds of Paradise need to be bound together, or supported in some way in larger vases and may bruise smaller flowers.
· Birds of Paradise are often thought of as the symbol of
tropical flowers.
· Birds of Paradise are a medium-sized exotic blooms that instantly evoke palm trees, but do not last longer than a week.
· The name Birds of Paradise comes from the spectacular flower shape, which resembles a birds beak and head plumage.
· Because of the banana shaped leaves and other plant characteristics Birds of Paradise was classified in the
banana family Musaceae.
Some More Popular Species of Birds of Paradise :
· Strelitzia alba/syn. S. augusta - White Birds of Paradise
· Strelitzia caudata/Swaziland Strelitzia - African desert banana
· Strelitzia nicolai - White, or Giant Birds of Paradise; Wild banana
· Strelitzia reginae/S. parvifolia - Strelitzia, Birds of Paradise, or Crane lily
Growing Birds of Paradise :
· The soil around Birds of Paradise plant needs to be kept moist all spring and summer but should be allowed to dry out slightly between watering in the fall and winter.
· Try to avoid temperatures below 50 degrees. Birds of Paradise need indoor temperatures.
· Feed your Birds of Paradise every other week during spring and summer with a liquid such as Schultz's Instant Plant Food or a water-soluble fertilizer such as Bachman's Excel-Gro, and a quality peat-based potting soil.
· Cut back to once a month in fall and winter.
· A quality peat-based potting soil such as Bachman's Exceloam is perfect for the Birds of Paradise plant.
· When Birds of Paradise plants are young and actively growing, repot them every spring so that they have plenty of room.
· As the Birds of Paradise mature (and have bloomed for a year or two), they can be carefully divided. Remember that this will keep the plant from blooming again for several years! Birds of Paradise are also propagated from seed.
Birds of Paradise Plant Care :
· The Bird of Paradise does require a good amount of sunlight.
· Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system for the Birds of Paradise.
· Watering can be reduced after establishment.
· Feed Birds of Paradise plants with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.
· Floral preservative for Birds of Paradise is recommended and is available commercially.


Anthuriums are one of the most popular tropicals with a long vase life of about six weeks and even more depending on the variety and season.

Anthurium Hospitality
Anthuriums are herbaceous epiphytes, native to tropical America. Anthurium is a genus of more than 800 species found in the New World tropics from Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay. The Anthurium is also known as Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flower (Flamingo Lily) or Tail Flower. Anthuriums are grown for their brightly colored flower spathes and their ornamental leaves.

The red, heart-shaped flower of Anthuriums is really a spathe, or waxy, modified leaf flaring out from the base of a fleshy spike (spadix) where the tiny real flowers grow. The anthurium flowers appear as a roughness on the spadix as compared to a smooth spadix. Most common colors of anthuriums are red and shades of red.

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Facts About Anthuriums

  • In Greek, the name Anthurium means tail flower.
  • Anthurium plant stem lengths may grow to a height of 15-20 inches depending on the size of the spathe, i.e.,the bigger the spathe, the longer the stem.
  • The anthurium leaves are usually simple, large, attractively coloured and borne on long stalks.
  • The anthurium flowering stalk is slender, ending in a fleshy column crowded with many unisexual flowers.
  • There are present leafy bracts which may be white, yellow, red, pink, orange or green.
  • Anthuriums are the popular foliage plants.
  • Anthuriums are grown for their attractive flowering bracts which are popular with the cut flower trade.
  • There are 3 broad categories in spathes. They are standard, obake and tulip. Standard is by far the most common shape.
  • Anthuriums, come in a wide variety, including: Flowering, Velvet Leafed, Pendulous or Hanging basket types, Palmate leafed.
  • All parts of the anthurium plant, are poisonous. If ingested, may cause mild stomach disorders.
  • The anthurium plant sap can cause skin irritation.
  • The inflorescence of anthuriums are popular as they have a long shelf life.
  • Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), the plant with the largest inflorescence in the world, is an unusual plant in the family Araceae, which has the largest inflorescence among flowering plants.

Growing Anthuriums :

Anthuriums can be grown by 4 methods. They are by Vegetative reproducation, Seeds, Tissue culture, and Fertilization.
Anthuriums grow on a wide range of soil types ranging from sandy loams to heavy clays.

  • Anthuriums need a highly organic soil with good water retention capability and good drainage.
  • A well-drained soil is important to prevent rotting of stems and roots.
  • Anthuriums should be planted in raised beds of 1.3 to 2 metres wide and 20 cm deep.
  • Anthuriums should not be planted more than 5 cm deep, as deep planting results in rotting of stems and roots.
  • Stake the anthurium after planting for support.
  • Water the anthuriums immediately after planting.
  • A layer of coconut husks, semi-rotted wood, or sugar cane baggasse may be used.
  • Mulching is needed for the anthuriums plants.
  • Anthurium plant roots grow into the mulch and spread.

Anthuriums plant care :

  • Remove dead & unsightly foliage and faded or brown flowers.
  • Use a peat moss base.
  • Anthuriums need a high light, but not direct sunlight.
  • Water your anthurium thoroughly, but allow it to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Do not over-water the anthuriums as it may cause root damage and yellowing of the leaves.
  • Fertilize anthurium plant about every other month.
  • Avoid draughts, and strong temperature fluctuations.
  • In winter anthurium plants need a 6 weeks of rest period at a 15°C with little water. This allows the plant to flower profusely again in the following season.


Anemone comes from anemos, the greek word for wind, thus giving Anemone the name wind flower.
Anemone Anticipation
The genus Anemone consists of 120 species of perennial flowering plants, which grow from tubers. Anemones grow wild in many European countries, in North America, and Japan. Anemones are closely related to Pasque flower (Pulsatilla) and Hepatica (Hepatica); some botanists include both of these genera within the genus Anemone.
Facts About Anemones :
  • The name Anemone comes from Greek and roughly means
wind flower, which signifies that the wind that blows the petal open will also, eventually, blow the dead petals away.
  • The Anemone plants are perennial herbs with an underground rootstock, and radical, more or less deeply cut leaves.
  • The elongated flower stem bears one or several, white, red, blue or rarely yellow flowers. There is an involucre of three leaflets below each flower.
  • The fruits often bear long hairy styles, which aid their distribution by the wind. They produce cup-shaped yellowish, white, purple, violet, or red Anemone flowers.
  • Among the most popular are the autumn-flowering Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis).
  • Yellow wood anemone (Anemone ranunculoides), also known as the Buttercup Anemone, is a similar plant with slightly smaller flowers of rich yellow colouring.
  • In medicine, Anemone is used as a treatment for cramps, menstrual problems and emotional distress.
  • Varieties of Anemone :

    Broadly, there are three types of Anemone flowers-
    · Spring flowering type, which has either rhizomes or tubers.
    · Tuberous Mediterranean, which flowers in spring and summer.
    Anemone Species:
    Popular species of Anemones and their common names are as follows:
    · Anemone blanda - Blue Anemone
    · Anemone coronaria - Poppy Anemone
    · Anemone hupehensis - Chinese Anemone
    · Anemone hupehensis var. japonica - Japanese Anemone
    · Anemone narcissiflora - Narcissus Anemone
    · Anemone nemorosa - Wood Anemone
    · Anemone ranunculoides - Yellow Woodland Anemone/buttercup anemone
    · Anemone sylvestris - Snowdrop Windflower
    · Anemone canadensis - Canada Anemone
    · Anemone fulgens - Scarlet Windflower
    · Anemone pulsatilla - Pasque Flower
    · Anemone apennina - Apennine Windflower
    Growing Anemones :

    Different Anemones have different growing requirements. Most Anemones should be planted in the fall. If the planted Anemone is tuberous, separate the tubers in summer, when the plant is dormant. If rhizomatous, separate the rhizomes in spring. If the Anemone has fibrous roots, divide the plant in early
    spring or autumn but keep the plant in the pot for a year until established.
    · Windflowers should be grown in very well-drained, moderately fertile soil in a lightly shaded or sunny location.
    · Plant the tubers in the fall or spring, unless you live north of their adapted zones; in this case, plant in the spring.
    · Before planting, soak the tubers for a few hours or overnight; if you soak them overnight, you will be able to see the slightly swollen areas from which shoots will grow.
    · Plant the tubers 3 to 4 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart.
    · If not sure which end is up, lay them on their sides.
    Anemone Plant Care :

    · Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
    · For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge.
    · Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
    · Cut right back to the ground in late Autumn. They will shoot away again in Spring.



    Amaryllis belladonna is a very colorful and showy flower and hence the flower is symbolically used to represent the meanings - splendid beauty or pride.
    Amaryllis is a monotypic (consisting of only one species) genus of flowering plants containing the Belladonna Lily, popularly known as the Amaryllis belladonna lily. Amaryllis is native of South and Central America and the Caribbean. The Hippeastrum genus of flowering bulbed plants is erroneously named as the Amaryllis or Christmas Amaryllis.

    Ornamental plants of Amaryllidaceae family are mistakenly called lilies. Amaryllidaceae species can be distinguished from members of the lily family (Liliaceae) by the anatomical placement of the ovary. Amaryllidaceae species are considered more advanced in evolution than the lilies. Sometimes the amaryllis family is included in the Liliaceae.
    Amaryllis is cultivated for its beautiful and colorful flowers. The Amaryllis flower stem is erect, 5-60 cm tall, 1-3 cm in diameter, and hollow. The Amaryllis stem bears 2-5 large flowers at the apex, each flower 10-20 cm broad, with six brightly coloured tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). A stunning amaryllis flower with dark red markings, or different colors appear on the stalks. Common size bulbs often produce two 20-22 inches stems. Huge amarylllis flowers up to 6 inches across will also appear.
    Facts About Amaryllis:
    · Amaryllis is a perennial flowering plant.
    · Amaryllis bulbs are 3-11 cm in diameter, and produce 3-7 long-lasting leaves of 10-60 cm long and 1-5 cm broad.
    · Amaryllis have narrow, flat leaves and with lily-like flowers borne on separate, leafless stalks.
    · Amaryllis are widely distributed throughout the world, especially in flatlands of the tropics and subtropics.
    · The Amaryllis hybrids are known as Hippeastrum.

    Growing Amaryllis:
    · A well drained soil is a prerequisite to grow Amaryllis.
    · The planting space should be 6-12 inches above the ground.
    · Plant the amaryllis bulbs in late September or early October.
    · Plant amaryllis with one-third to one-half of the bulb above the growing medium surface.
    · Plant bulbs about a 1 foot apart and leave the tops less covered with soil.
    · The soil should be mulched to conserve moisture and also helps to control weeds.
    · After planting, thoroughly water the Amaryllis bulb.
    · A mixture containing equal parts of peat and perlite is excellent.
    · In general Amarullis bulbs come to flowering in 7-10 weeks.
    · Grow outdoors only after danger of frost has passed.

    Amaryllis Plant Care:
    · Remove the spent blossoms of Amaryllis to prevent seed formation by cutting the stem off just above the bulb.
    · Place the amaryllis plant in a sunny window.
    · Water the amaryllis plant regularly.
    · Fertilize the amaryllis plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer regularly.
    · Do not fertilize the amaryllis bulbs without leaves, it may kill the bulb.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007


    Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas or Parrot Lily is a South American genus of about 50 species of flowering plants, mainly from cool, mountainous regions in the Andes. Their means is friendship.

    Facts About Alstroemeria :
    • Alstroemeria flowers bloom during late spring or early summer.
    • Alstroemeria come in orange, pink, rose, purple, red, yellow, white or salmon colors.
    • Alstroemeria is named after the Swedish botanist Klas von Alstroemer, who was a pupil of the great botanical classifier Linnaeus.
    • The genus Alstroemeria consists of about 50 species.
    • Alstroemeria leaves are upside down. The leaf twists as it leaves the stem, so that the bottom is facing upwards.
    • Alstroemeria is more like grass where the veins go up the leaves but none branching across. This can also be seen in grasses, irises and lilies.
    • Alstroemeria flowers are no fragrance.
    • If you look at an Alstroemeria stem you can sometimes see a spiral growth pattern on the stem.
    • This is due to the production of new cells in a spiral sequence and this is the cause of the head moving the way it does.
    • Most modern hybrid Alstroemeria plants are propagated in a laboratory.
    • Not all Alstroemeria have striped petals.
    • Alstroemeria stop producing flowers if they get too hot.

    Some Species of Alstroemeria :

    • Alstroemeria aurea - Lily of the Incas.
    • Alstroemeria aurantiaca - Peruvian Lily/Alstroemeria Princess Lily
    • Alstroemeria caryophyllacea - Brazilian Lily
    • Alstroemeria haemantha - Purplespot Parrot Lily
    • Alstroemeria ligtu - Lily-of-the-Nile
    • Alstroemeria psittacina - Lily of the Incas, White-edged Peruvian Lily/White Alstroemeria
    • Alstroemeria pulchella - Parrot Lily, Parrot Flower, Red Parrot Beak, New Zealand Christmas Bell

    Growing Alstroemerias :

    • Plant alstroemeria in full sun in well-drained soil.
    • Add a light application of organic fertilizer to the planting hole.
    • Place the plants no deeper than they were growing in the containers.
    • Set the plants 1 foot apart.
    • Mulch around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost.
    • Water well until soil is completely moist.

    Plant Care of Alstroemeria :

    • Cut off old flower stems with bypass pruners.
    • Mulch around but not on top of the plants in early spring with 3 inches of organic compost.
    • Water well weekly until soil is completely moist in summers with no rainfall.