Tag Archives: flower

Growing Begonia ‘Autumn Ember’ p.p.a.f. (Begonia rhizomatous hybrid)

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin

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Begonias are some of the easiest plants to grow in containers in a home environment. Our newest hybrid, ‘Autumn Ember’ has taken the begonia world by storm with its brilliant orange leaves. This rhizomatous begonia hybrid is a cross between Begonia ‘Marmaduke’ and Begonia ‘Angel Glow.’ Selected out of a group of seedlings, ‘Autumn Ember’ shows the brightest orange coloring, especially when they are newly emerging as juvenile leaves. When grown with other begonias, ‘Autumn Ember’ literally glows in comparison and when seen from afar, the mass of orange leaves catches the attention of all who gaze upon it.

Growth Habit:
Medium-sized leaves spread by rhizomes and can be pinched to create a well-branched bushy form. The color intensity of the leaves depends on the amount of light. In the wintertime, we have noticed there is no green at all, and believe it is the quality of light at that time that turns the leaves orange. The older leaves will eventually fade and soften in color.

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The Beautiful Desert Rose- How to Grow and Flower Adeniums

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin

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Desert Rose ‘Red’ (Adenium obesum)

 

Adeniums are well-loved for their gorgeous flowers and their bulbous, caudiciform trunks. They are highly sought after plants and can remain a manageable size for years making them valuable container plants.

History
Adeniums are arid land plants native to sub-Saharan Africa and although there are several species, Adenium obesum is the one that’s frequently grown as an ornamental. The common name is Desert Rose and when plants are in bloom, they create a spectacular floral display.

Ornamental Beauty
When grown from seed, the plant forms a caudex, or swollen base or trunk, and this adds to its ornamental beauty. In recent years, much hybridization has been done creating a diverse range of flower colors and interesting floral forms. In order to propagate these hybrids, the mother plant is grafted onto a seedling, thus giving the plant a full, attractive caudex as well as a wide array of flowers in various colors, sizes and shapes.

Temperatures
Because they can tolerate dry conditions, adeniums are well suited for the home environment being able to tolerate quite a bit of neglect. Keep temperatures high, preferably above 60˙F, although they can take it a bit cooler if grown very dry. Really the hotter, the better, so a 70˙F or higher air temperature is best.

Light
In their native habitat, adeniums grow in full sun so they need good light to thrive. Direct sunlight is preferable, especially when they are in their active growth phase during the summer months.

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How to Grow Scented Geraniums

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin

Joy Logee Martin, Byron’s mother and the second generation owner, loved her scented geraniums. It wasn’t unusual to find scented geranium leaves pinned to her lapel. “Scenteds,” as they were often called, were popular in the early 1900’s and although they didn’t have big showy flowers like their cousins, their surprisingly fragrant foliage made them the shining stars in bouquets. It wasn’t unusual to have scents such rose, lemon, lime, orange, nutmeg, almond, apple, anise, pine, musk, violet, lavender, balm, oak, or peppermint emanating from a grouping of flowers.

“Scenteds” have other uses too. They were often found in sachets and potpourri bowls or their leaves would be placed in a crystal bowl of water and the fragrance would waft throughout the household. The Rose Scented Geranium became popular in cooking. It wasn’t unusual to have rose flavored honey or rose flavored shortbread, simply by soaking the leaves and extracting the rose flavor out of the leaves and then using the liquid as a food flavoring.

Certain conditions are required to enhance the flowering and foliage of growing Scented Geraniums.

Growing Conditions
Like so many in this genus, they tolerate dry conditions making them excellent subjects for the container gardener. Since Scented Geraniums are dry land plants, they need a period of dryness between watering where the soil is brought to visual dryness or even a slight wilt of the foliage. Then fully saturate the soil and let the water run through. If wet conditions are a problem, a clay pot is a good choice for your container since it allows the soil to reach dryness quicker than glazed terracotta or plastic containers.

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Camellias – Delightful Winter and Spring Bloomers

By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin

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Camellia ‘High Fragrance’ (Camellia lutchuensis hybrid)

Camellias are well-loved flowers, nicknamed the “tea flower” with hundreds of different species boasting unusual colors and forms. They are flowering shrubs from Asia and are well known for their prolific floral displays in winter and spring. Camellias were first grown in China and Japan where they were depicted in art, on wallpaper and even on early porcelain. In the early 1700’s, the camellia made its way to England. Camellia sinensis, the tea of commerce, was brought to England for the tea industry.

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