Plant Profiles – Schefflera Arbicola

 

varigated_arbacola

Varigated Arbacola

Schefflera arbicola or commonly known as the Hawaiian Umbrella Tree is originally from Taiwan but can grow well in the United States. The Hawaiian Umbrella tree has most hardiness in USDA zones 9a which get down to about 20°F, 9b which get to about 25°F, 10a that reaches 30°F, 10b at 35°F, and 11 which can reach down to 40°F and these USDA zones will be warmer then 70°F.

 

When planting the Hawaiian Umbrella Tree place in full sunlight too partial shade for best growth can grow up to ten to twelve feet tall and will need about six too eight feet in spacing for best root growth, also the soil pH level’s will change the quality of the tree in growth, the Hawaiian Umbrella tree can grow with a soil pH level of about 5.6 to 6.0 when you test in between these numbers you will have a soil pH that is Acidic but when you test the soil pH and it reads 7.6 or 7.8 your soil pH will be more Alkaline which is ok. The blooming color will be red and the blooming time will accrues around early winter through mid spring.

The Beautiful Gardenia

 

Gardenia is a picture perfect shrub with dark to bright green leaves and very fragrant white flowers. Native to southern China, Taiwan, Japan, and nearby regions, it can be used as a house plant in cold climates. The flower starts out white and turns to a creamy yellow as it ages. The scent of the flowers are sweet and very powerful, enough to perfume an entire room better than any deodorizer spray. We use their flowers in our work trucks to soften the air and deodorize the cab.  After a long day in the sun, it makes the ride home much more pleasurable!  

Growing these plants require an acidic soil, ideally moist but well drained. Unfortunately, pests like these plants too mainly sucking insects like White Flies that lay their eggs in them leading to little sucking larvae. Black sooty mold is the evidence they leave behind. Scale insects are a second “most common” problem found. Fortunately, these insect problems can easily be controlled with environmentally friendly soap or oil sprays found at stores like Home Depot, Lowes or even Walmart. Also they dont like the freezing cold either, so if it looks like freezing weather, please protect them.

Planting Gardenias is as easy as any other shrub. They do well in sun to partial shade. Keeping in mind that they like acidic soil, oak trees and pine trees are acidic and will get along well with gardenias. The areas around these trees should be acidic and though grass may not do well at their base, gardenias will.

 

Plant Prifiles – Society Garlic

Society Garlic
Tulbaghia violacea

 

society_garlic

Society Garlic

Category:
Bulbs

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:
3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Purple

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Herbaceous
Chartreuse/Yellow
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

 

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise (Sterilities reginae) is an exotic plant that originated from South Africa. It can add beauty and charm to any garden. It shows well in a garden with mostly tropical plants, but it can also work well with any type of garden style. Add it in a flowerbed as a central focal point to add sophistication and drama to your garden.

 

 

bird_of_paradise

Bird of Paradise

bird of paradise looks like a colorful bird in flight. The blooms come in bright colors, usually a mixture of bright yellow and deep orange, with a tinge of red mixed with bluish purple at the center. The leaves resemble those of the banana plant; however, they are much thicker and firmer in comparison. The foliage is dark green in color and has rigid lines. The bird of paradise is trunk less, but can form in clumps. It can grow as high as 5 feet and in some cases even higher. The blooms are long lasting appearing in threes in each stalk.

Consideration

Before planting bird of paradise in your garden, assess the location where you will put the plant. Bird of paradise does best with at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Keeping the bird of paradise exposed to bright light all day is also necessary. They do best in temperatures of 68 to 72 degrees F during the day and 50 to 55 degrees F during the night. They are generally hardy at about 20 degrees F. You can plant bird of paradise directly into a mixture of potting soil, sand and peat moss. Adding bone meal into the soil mixture, especially when you plant them in huge pots or barrels, will keep the roots healthy. Keep in mind for the bird of paradise to bloom in pots they have to be crowded. Water. Regularly, at least once or twice a day during warmer weather. Ensure that the soil drains well, whether in pots or directly in the ground.

Time Frames

Keep the soil evenly moist for the most part of the year; however, keep them dry from November through February. So, if you plant directly on the soil, be sure to plant on a raised bed or surround it with sand bags when you are expecting heavy rains and cover with plastic on stakes to prevent water seepage from the rain. Add balanced fertilizers (10-10-100 from March through September. Propagate the plants in early spring by dividing the rhizomes underground. Lift the plants from the pot before the new growth begins. Cut the rhizome with a sharp knife, ensuring that each division has a fan with roots attached to it. Transfer each division in smaller pots, water daily and keep in a dry location but with bright indirect light for about 8 weeks. During this time, the plant will recover and grow more roots to get ready for transplanting under direct bright sunlight. It takes 2 to 3 years for flowers to bloom on divided plants. If you plant bird of paradise in seed forms, it may take up to 10 years before the plant will bloom.

Types

There are several species of bird of paradise but the most popular types are the “Orange Bird of Paradise,” “White Bird of Paradise,” “Giant Bird of Paradise” and “Juneau Bird of Paradise.” The “Orange Bird of Paradise” is the one most commonly referred to as the bird of paradise. There is also a variety called “Mandela’s Gold,” which has bight yellow color with a blue tongue in the middle. The “White Bird of Paradise” grows as high as 18 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. The flowers are white with light blue tongue and purple bract. The flowers are bigger than the “Orange Bird of Paradise.” The “Giant Bird of Paradise” can grow as high as 30 feet with fan-like leaves and flowers just as the “White Bird of Paradise” except the bract has a red color. The “Juneau Bird of Paradise” is somewhat similar to the “Orange Bird of Paradise,” except that the flowers are smaller and the leaves are spherical in shape.

Prevention/Solution

The most common problems seen with the Bird of Paradise are leaves that are drying out, leaves that are curling, leaves rotting at the base and insects. Leaves drying out may be due low humidity when the location is too dry. Cut the dry leaf and then place the plant in a location with higher humidity. When kept in a location that is too cold, the leaves tend to curl and turn black. Relocate the plant in a warmer location away from the window during colder months. Too much light would leave the leaves curl up even when they are green, so put them away from too much direct light during warmer months. When the base is rotting, it is an indication that the soil is not draining well. Ensure that the pot has enough drainage holes and that there is no blockage. The common insect problems seen are mealy bugs, scales, white flies, ants and aphids. Use ladybugs and insect sprays to get rid of them.

 

 

 

Plant Profiles – Mandevilla, Dipladenia

Mandevilla splendens Mandevilla is native to southeastern Brazil, but will do well in Florida.

 

dipladenia

Mandevilla, Dipladenia

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee)
Genus: Mandevilla (man-de-VILL-uh)
Species: splendens (SPLEN-denz)

Category:
Tropical
and Tender Perennials
Vines and Climbers

Height:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pink
Red
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:
Evergreen
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements: 5.6 too 6.5 (acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the root ball
From softwood cuttings
By simple layering