Fittonia is a lovely plant with delicately veined, deep green leaves. Although the most popular vein color is silvery white, you can also readily find fittonia with veins in pink, white, and green. They are available as trailing houseplants or low-growing creepers that are perfectly fit for terrariums or bottle gardens. As beautiful as they are, fittonia are difficult to raise as conventional houseplants; they require very high, constant humidity (typical to a terrarium), but cannot stand stagnant conditions.
At the start of the year I planned to photograph plants in flower on a weekly basis. This patently never materialised (the same fate happened to many of my other projects!) - I will have another go next year so please bear with me!
Below are a few late flowers in the big greenhouse. These here are all members of the Mesembryanthemum family.
Orchids come in such great varieties so there's always an Orchid that you like. The Phalaenopsis orchid for example has a family of 60 members . The Phalaneopsis orchid is also the most popular one.
One of my favorites is the Blue Vanda-orchid ( Vanda coerulea ) even as a cut-flower you can enjoy the Vanda-orchid for weeks. The Cymbidium orchids have a rich velvet look and are also available in many colors and even in different flower-sizes.
Every month the Houseplant of the Month appears here. It may be a newcomer , an old favourite or a special plant with unexpected qualities. But they all have one thing in common: they make life just that bit more beautiful.
Houseplant of the Month for November: the Cyclamen
Nothing can cheer you up quite like the spirited Cyclamen. With his cheerful colours and innocent demeanour he is your best friend in dark days.
|Many, see text.|
Aster (syn. Diplopappus Cass.) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. The genus once contained nearly 600 species in Eurasia and North America, but after morphologic and molecular research on the genus during the 1990s, it was decided that the North American species are better treated in a series of other related genera. After this split there are roughly 180 species within the genus, all but one being confined to Eurasia. The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (astér), meaning “star”, referring to the shape of the flower head. Many species and a variety of hybrids and varieties are popular as garden plants because of their attractive and colourful flowers. Aster species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Aster. Asters can grow in all hardiness zones.
The genus Aster is now generally restricted to the Old World species, with Aster amellus being the type species of the genus, as well as of the family Asteraceae. The New World species have now been reclassified in the genera Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus and Symphyotrichum, though all are treated within the tribe Astereae. Regardless of the taxonomic change, all are still widely referred to as “asters” (popularly “Michaelmas daisies” because of their typical blooming period) in the horticultural trades. See the List of Aster synonyms for more information.
In the UK there are only two native members of the genus: Goldilocks, which is very rare, and Aster tripolium, the Sea aster. Aster alpinus spp. vierhapperi is the only species native to North America.
Some common species are:
- Aster alpinus, Alpine Aster
- Aster amellus, European Michaelmas Daisy or Italian Aster
- Aster linosyris, Goldilocks Aster
- Aster pringlei
- Aster scaber
- Aster subulatus Hairless Fleabane
- Aster tataricus, Tatarian Aster
- Aster tongolensis
- Aster tripolium, Sea Aster
Some common North American species that have now been moved are:
- Aster breweri (now Eucephalus breweri), Brewer’s Aster
- Aster cordifolius (now Symphyotrichum cordifolium), Blue Wood Aster
- Aster dumosus L. (now Symphyotrichum dumosum) (L.) G.L.Nesom, New York Aster
- Aster divaricatus (now Eurybia divaricata), White Wood Aster
- Aster ericoides (now Symphyotrichum ericoides), Heath Aster
- Aster laevis (now Symphyotrichum laeve), Smooth Aster
- Aster lateriflorus (now Symphyotrichum lateriflorum), Lady in Black, Calico Aster
- Aster novae-angliae (now Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), New England Aster
- Aster novi-belgii (now Symphyotrichum novi-belgii), New York Aster
- Aster peirsonii (now Oreostemma peirsonii), Peirson’s Aster
- Aster pilosus (now Symphyotrichum pilosum), Frost Aster
- Aster scopulorum (now Ionactis alpina), Lava Aster
- Aster sibiricus (now Eurybia sibirica), Siberian Aster
The China aster is in a related genus, Callistephus.
- Aster x frikartii (A. amellus x A. thomsonii) ‘Frikart’s aster’. Two cultivars of this hybrid have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit, A. x frikartii ‘Mönch’; and A. x frikartii ‘Wunder von Stäfa’.
- ‘Kylie’ (A. novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke’ x A. ericoides ‘White heather’)
- ‘Ochtendgloren’ (A. pringlei hybrid)
The Aster Revolution
- Brouillet, Luc; Barkley, Theodore M.; Strother, John L. (2006), “Astereae”, in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+, Flora of North America, 20, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3,
- Floridata: Aster x frikartii
|Wikispecies has information related to: Aster (genus)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Aster|
- Aster in Plantarium Database – A Photo Guide.
- Ontario Wildflowers website Lots of info about Asters
- Pictures of Aster flowers thriving in the autumn sunshine
'Holy Mouse Ears': the miniature hostas in the mouse ears series are my favorites.
I am in stage four of my relationship with hostas. I have noticed that many of my customers go through these stages too.
Sansevieria trifasciata, otherwise known as the 'snake plant' or 'mother-in-law's tongue', is a common ornamental plant, for a few very good reasons. Like all easy houseplants, it thrives on neglect. Low light and infrequent, irregular, waterings serve this plant well, which is great for those who want the tropical look, without the bright light and humidity to support it. Many people who have grown…
We've traditionally had problems meeting the consistent moisture demands of Episcia, especially the hybrids with pink in their leaves ('Pink Panther' and 'Unpredictable Valley' being two that have died as a result). The problem is that they are awesome, and I want to grow them. Semi-Hydro seemed like a good method to try, so when I got a cutting of 'Jim's Patches' in mid December I figured it would be the perfect time to try it out.
Some plants are so common while others are seldom seen and difficult to find. For years I'd heard of achimenes and read about them in gardening books but I'd never seen them in garden centers. When I went on an internet search to find them, I only discovered one bulb site and a few eBay sellers who sold achimenes rhizomes. After finally growing them last year, I don't know why they aren't more popular.
My favorite flowering houseplant is the gloxinia. You don't see them very often in the garden centers, probably because their large, stiff leaves make them hard to ship. I've also noticed that the large plants that I used to get back in the 70's just don't exist anymore - florists and garden centers don't grow their own plants any longer. But while the plants might be smaller than I remember them, I still enjoy growing them.
You can get anything on eBay. I've been using the site for years and have recently expanded my eBay experience. Last summer I ordered some iris rhizomes from a grower in Indiana and they were better than anything I could have bought locally. Yesterday I received something else from eBay - african violet leaves.
I've been growing african violets for a long time but all of the plants that I have are generic plants that I've acquired from garden stores.
The vegetable garden is planted, the flower beds are growing and the rain is falling. It's good day to spend some time with the african violets.
I noticed that one of the eBay violets has a small plantlet emerging from the potting mix. I planted them in early March so it's a two or more month process to go from a leaf to a plant.
There is so much variety in the plant world. You can think you know a plant only to find out that there are a whole host of different species and varieties that you knew nothing about.
I learned this lesson with streptocarpus. While I'd never grown this plant, I knew about it. I'd seen lots of pictures of this member of the Gesneriad family in various gardening books.
Orchids are one of the largest families of flowering plants with over 20,000 different species. When you focus only on orchids that are grown as houseplants, the number is much smaller. The easiest of all orchids to grow is the phalaenopsis, sometimes called the moth orchid. This genus of orchid has become very common and easy to find. You can go to a garden center, a grocery store or even a home improvement store and find a good selection of phalaenopsis plants.
I believe that my love of miniature gardening began in the late 1960s or early '70s. Terrariums were reemerging as a popular and low-care way to enjoy houseplants. I checked out several books on the subject from the local library, some of which included lists of where plants and supplies could be obtained through the mail. I ordered a few catalogs and a whole new world of plants was revealed to me.
Echeverias are beautiful succulents and there are so many varieties of Echeveria that it makes the genus seem infinite.
The majority come from higher elevations in Mexico - where humidity is low and temperatures do not get too hot. Their growth season is summer and they should be watered somewhat regularly during this time, and given a strong drought in winter months.
The name Lithops comes from the Greek word lithos which means stone-like or stone appearance. Hence, the common name for this fascinating plant: Living Stones.
Lithops originate from South Africa and are normally found in rocky terrain. They are a miniature favorite of succulent collectors and amateurs alike. They are somewhat easy to grow as long as they are watered
Sometimes you have to see through the eyes of a stranger to notice bits of your hometown that are too familiar. Ever since A Little Bit of This and That published her piece about Eggplant Cactus on her blog referring to a plant she photographed while visiting San Diego, since then I have become acutely aware of how widely grown the family