Tag Archives: plant care

Plant At A Glance: PROVEN WINNERS’ POLKA DOT PLANT ‘HIPPO ROSE’

Proven Winners Polka Dot Plant

The polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) ‘Hippo Rose’, produced by Proven Winners, is a bright and beautiful plant, with spotted leaves that stand out, especially next to other plants.  Foliage is the main reason to grow this plants and it has been found to be an easy-to-grow plant for both sunny and shady locations.

Sure to be a favourite at local nurseries and garden centres this season, the polka dot plants are well suited for indoor use and in temperate to warm zones they can be grown outside.

Growing Conditions:
Light: bright light is best, but when tested in the University of Guelph Trial beds it did well in shade as well. If you prefer more colour then consider some direct sunlight, which should deepen the colours.
Water: keep the soil moist in the summer growing season. If your plant flowers and then goes dormant, reduce water and resume when new growth starts.
Fertilizer: during the growing season, feed weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer that includes micronutrients.
Soil: A light, fast-draining potting soil is perfect.

The ‘Hippo Rose’ was grown and evaluated in the various 2017 trials. It was very popular with visitors who came out to see the trials and in a survey at the University of Guelph, where more than 300 participants were asked to select 3 plants from a group of 21 for use in a mixed container, ‘Hippo Rose’ was the favourite.

For more information on the ‘Hippo Rose’ Polka Dot plant visit your local garden centre.
Additional Reading visit: www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/polka-dot-plant
www.thespruce.com/grow-hypoestes-phyllostachya-indoors-1902650

Decking the Halls with Plants of Jolly

Jill Jensen Botanicals

Ah the Holiday Season. Cool weather, warm fireplaces and time to decorate your home for the holidays! We all know the tried and true holiday plants (poinsettias, cyclamen and mistletoe just to name a few), but with a wide range of plants out there, lets look at some great alternatives that can be used year-round and dressed up or down depending on your style needs.

Agalonema ‘Osaka’ (top right)
Commonly referred to as a ‘Chinese Evergreen’, we chose this specific variety thanks to its beautiful creamy-white and green variegation. A beautiful tropical plant that thrives in low to medium light and easy to care for, dressing it up in a fun holiday container or a modern white or concrete planter can add the perfect touch to your home.

‘Blue Ellwoodii’ Cypress (bottom left)
Who wouldn’t want this cute green-blue conifer plant for the holidays? Dress it up in a minimalist concrete pot and you have a beautiful piece of the outdoors to enjoy inside during the cold months. These guys enjoy medium to bright light and require damp (but not wet!) soil. What’s not to love?

Anthurium ‘Flamingo Flower’ (centre)
A true tropical plant, Anthuriums love a bight, indirectly lit area. Great year round, they come in a variety of stunning colours such as red, coral and bright pink. With beautiful heart shaped leaves and blooms, they leave you with the impression of getting away from all the fluffy, wet white stuff on the ground and would be perfect as a hostess or teacher’s gift.

Selaginella Fern ‘Spikemoss Jori’  (bottom right)
Easy care? Check. Colour changing foliage? Check.  Not quite the same as the common “frosty fern” selaginella, ‘Jori’ is great as it offers beautiful green foliage that gets lighter and lighter as it cools. Perfect for the winter months when it starts to get a little chilly, these plants will start to lighten and turn white at the tips, giving it a cute snow kissed appearance.

Pteris ‘Silver Lace’ Fern (top left)
Delicate silver-green leaves are the standard for this fern. Great for a hostess gift or to keep for yourself, Pteris are good for low to medium light levels meaning they’re easy to place through out the home or office. Dress it up in a fancy pot and your décor options are endless!

With the holidays around the corner it’s easy to forget to care for your green friends in all the hustle and bustle. If you’re going away for a few days or longer it might be a good idea to water your plants before you leave, or consider doing a pebble tray. Instructions for these are abundant on the internet and a great option for plants need humidity as well.

Happy Holidays from the Jensen’s Team, and we look forward to seeing everyone at Canada Blooms in the new year!

— Article courtesy of the Jill Jensen Botaincal Team
Jill Jensen Team

For more information on tropical visit: http://www.jilljensenbotanicals.ca
or visit Jill and her team at Canada Blooms 2018

 

Daffodils: Harbingers of Spring

Tahiti Daffodil - The Gardener Magazine

By William Hrycan
Reprinted in part from the upcoming Fall 2017 edition of “The Gardener for Canadian Climates” magazine.

To me, daffodils are the sunniest, most upbeat spring flowering bulbs. Their nodding heads, with the trumpet-shaped cup surrounded by a ring of petals, seem particularly full of personality.

Daffodils are hardy, spring-blooming bulbs in the same family as amaryllis. Originally from the mountain meadows of southern Europe, they have been found in gardens all over Europe for centuries. Early North American pioneers brought daffodil bulbs with them to the New World to remind them of the gardens they left behind in Europe.

How to grow daffodils:
Plant daffodil bulbs as soon as you start seeing them in stores. This may be the end of August or early September in cooler areas, but much later in warmer areas. Daffodils need at least six weeks to root before the ground starts getting too cold. If you’ve missed this window, plant anyway (sometimes those half-price bags of bulbs at the grocery store in late October are just too hard to pass up). Your bulbs will do better in the ground than they will in storage for the winter. Just don’t hold out much hope for bulbs planted less than a few weeks before the frost starts staying in the ground.

Once planted, water-in well and don’t allow the bulbs to dry out—the bulbs prefer to be grown in moist locations. When buying daffodils, look for bulbs that are large, plump, firm and free of any signs of mold or rot.

Find a nice sunny spot, ideally one that collects lots of winter snow. I like to plant them near shrubs or behind other perennials. The daffodils will pop out of the ground early and bloom before other plants get in the way, but the foliage of nearby plants will help hide the daffodil leaves as they go dormant by mid summer.

Before planting, dig holes deep and incorporate lots of rich organic matter into soil. Plant the bulbs twice as deep as they are wide, approximately 10–15 cm (4–6 in.) to the bottom of the hole, with the pointed ends up. Space bulbs 10–15 cm (4–6 in.) apart, and plant in large groups to maximize their impact.

Daffodils don’t usually need splitting or dividing, but if you find the clumps are getting too crowded or you want to spread them around, dig up whole clumps as the foliage starts to turn yellow, carefully separate large bulbs from each other, and shake the soil off. Large bulbs connected at the base can be pulled apart and replanted, but leave smaller daughter bulbs attached to the larger mother bulb; they will separate on their own when they’re large enough.

Daffodils like moist, well drained soil. If you’re gardening in light, sandy soils, water well in the autumn as the bulbs are preparing for winter, and water during spring growth, blooming and for six weeks following blooming to keep the bulbs happy as they store energy. If you’re gardening in heavy clay, moisture may be less of a problem, but keeping soils well drained can be challenging. In either case, add plenty of organic matter to the soil to improve moisture conditions. When daffodils do not thrive, the most likely reason is soil moisture conditions. Waterlogged soil will cause bulbs to rot quickly, while dry soils will cause bulbs to whither and dry out. Both conditions are fatal, particularly to newly planted bulbs.

William Hrycan is horticultural editor for “The Gardener for Canadian Climates” magazine. A landscape architect, photographer, devoted dad and self-confessed gardening addict who gardens wherever and whenever he can. The Gardener magazine has published since 1995 and is regarded as the definitive horticultural magazine for in-depth information for our challenging Canadian growing zones.

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Tropical Plant Care From Jill Jensen Botanicals

Tropical Plant from Jill Jensen Botanicals

From magazines to blogs, and Instagram posts in between, it’s hard not to notice how popular Fiddle Leaf Fig plants (Ficus lyrata) have become. But what happens when you’re in love with the design aesthetic of a plant but not sure how to care for it? Read below for some tips from everyone’s favourite plant expert here at Jill Jensen Botanicals, Randy.

Ficus lyrata are surprisingly easy to care for. Like most plants they enjoy a schedule, and benefit best from sticking to one. They do best in bright but filtered light (think a West or South facing window) and need to stay moist.

But what does “stay moist” actually mean? Well, throw away your measuring cups because these plants enjoy being watered well, meaning there is no sure way to water it each week. A good rule of thumb is to use your finger and place it down in the soil a few inches. Does the soil stick to your finger and leave you a bit dirty? Or, are you able to easily pull it out with little residue? If your answer is the first then you’re likely okay to wait a few more days before watering. However,if your answer is the second one, then perhaps its time to fill up a jug and give your plant baby some H20. Keep in mind it’s important that your plants have great drainage, and are not sitting in water.

What about consistent leaf drop? Are your leaves now soft and big brown patches appearing? Chances are this is due to over watering therefore your fiddle leaf figs needs a little less water and a little more time to dry out between waterings. Drooping leaves? Under watering may be the culprit here but careful not to suddenly give your plants a lot of water to make up for it — too much is just as bad as too little.

 

All plants may also go through a brief period of stress as they leave the beautiful (warm!) greenhouses they were once habituating to go into a home where the AC is on high, or the window has a draft in the winter. If it’s been a few weeks and your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t appear to be getting any happier then it may be time to re-evaluate its’ care schedule and placement. A great tip is to give your plants some fertilizer during the summer when they’re in their active growing stage. Look for a balanced houseplant fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20, and use every 4-6 weeks. Having the bottom leaves drop off during this time is completely normal as your plant is making room for new growth.

We’re consistently asked about transplanting plants but tropical plants, including those beautiful fiddle leaf figs, like to be a little pot bound. The best practice is to only plant into a new pot that is 1″-2″ larger than the current one. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to just place your ‘grower pot’ potted plant into a decorative pot instead. This way you can easily keep an eye on water levels and there is less stress to the plant as well. If you do need to transplant, stay away from your everyday gardening soil and purchase tropical plant soil from your local greenhouse instead. Spending a little extra money on soil could save you a lot of money on aspirin for the headaches you may have later on.

We invite you to follow us on Instagram @jilljensenbotanicals for pictures from the greenhouse!

www.jilljensenbotanicals.ca

Jill Jensen Team