Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kalanchoe gastonis bonnieri; Donkey's Ears;

   My small succulent garden;

The still closed flowers;

Pretty mottled leaves;


   Very attractive bell like flowers emerge from the red sheathes.

Donkey ear plants (also known as Kalanchoe gastonis bonnieri) are plants originating from Madagascar that have leaves resembling the shape of a donkey's ear. These plants are succulents and may be grown indoors or outdoors, in a temperate climate. Donkey ear plants require little care to thrive, as succulents can go for a length of time without being watered. Donkey ear plants produce brightly colored blooms that are known to attract insects and nectar seeking birds.

Plant the donkey ear plant in a pot with soil, or outdoors if you can guard the plant against frost. Potted plants may be kept outdoors and brought inside during the winter. Select a pot large enough for the plant to allow it to grow. Use potting soil that is permeable and includes a mix of peat, soil and sand. Small rocks may be added to the pot when planting to encourage drainage.

Keep the plant in an area where it will receive both sun and shade. During the winter, place the donkey ear plant near a window to expose it to sunshine.

Water the donkey ear plant approximately once a week, or less often as needed. Do not saturate the soil, as over-watering can harm the plant.

Monitor the donkey ear plant for baby plants. Baby plants appear at the tips of the leaves. These baby plants may be removed and planted to create new donkey ear plants.


Believe it or not:

Whether you tend a garden or not, you are the gardener of your own being,
the seed of your destiny.
-   The Findhorn Community

Photos TS

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Dahlia Imperialis; Tree Dahlia; a wonderful show!

Tree dahlia/ Dahlia imperialis;
 fast growing perennial from South America.
 It grows three to five metres high with tall, sturdy  canes topped with large lavender flowers in autumn and winter.
Prune the plant in winter after  flowering.

* Remove all the dead wood.

* Cut down the canes that flowered last autumn; these are the ones to use for propagation.

* You can see a big bulbous bit at the bottom. That is the bulb of the dahlia that will shoot in spring and be three to five metres high again by autumn.

* Cut canes into 50 centimetre lengths. Ensure you have at least two nodes per cane, because they’ll actually root and shoot from those nodes.
* Lay a cane horizontally along a trench. They shoot from the nodes and in no time at all, you’ll get a lovely clump.
* When new growth gets to a metre high, nip the tips out. The canes won’t get as tall but will be sturdier and more resistant to wind damage.

Plant type: herbaceous tuber
Hardiness zones: 9-10
Sunlight: hot overhead sun
Soil Moisture: constantly moist
Soil: enriched soil, mildly acidic to mildly alkaline

Windblown blossoms, tiny droplets hanging on the petals like tears.

Believe it or not:
I had a lovely holiday; now I am back with new vigor!

Thank you to all who have send me a message. Very much appreciated.