Bougainvillea Care

Bougainvilleas are perhaps the most popular and one of the most widely grown tropical vines.

A native to the coast of Brazil. In the 1760′s the French botanist Philibert Commerson discovered the colorful vining plant and named it bouganvillea after his friend and captain, Louis A. de Bougainville, a noted lawyer, mathematician, and explorer from Canada.

The Bougainvillea often has spiny, cascading stems which end with colorful bracts of red, orange, purple and other shades to shield small white, inconspicuous flowers.

Bougainvillea can be used in a multitude of ways:

Cultural Requirements

Water and Soil

Bougainvillea will thrive in almost any soil as long as it is well-drained and fertile. Soils that work for other plants you grow will be fine for your bougainvillea.

Growers use a soil media that drains well but make sure you don’t let the plants dry out between waterings. If you want to be successful with bougainvillea keep containers moist but also they need to be well drained. No sitting plants in standing water!

DO NOT USE SAUCERS under your bougainvillea pots.

A healthy bougainvillea in a container will drink a lot of water during the warm times of the year. In cooler periods or when you bring your bougainvillea indoors for the winter, the water requirement will be much less.

SO how much water does a Bougainviilea need for proper plant care and blooming. As always it depends on:

  • Soil type
  • Root system
  • Size of the plant
  • Air temperature

Don’t water just to water your plants. Inspect your plants regularly, and learn when they are close to wilting. Then give the plant a good, thorough soaking just before it reaches the wilt stage.

Remember during the summer heat plants will use up water quickly, so inspect often.

Light

For the best results put your bougainvilleas in full sun. If you want good blooming give them at least 5 hours a day of full sunlight as a minimum. More hours of direct sun is better. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well. Your plants will thrive in shade or partial shade, but only have nice growth with little or no blooms.

Don’t expect your bougainvillea to flower indoors. If possible, keep your plant outdoors and give it the maximum sun exposure. Any flowering you may receive indoors is a bonus.

Temperature

Bougainvilleas are hardy throughout the South but young growth will be damaged by frost. Optimum growing temperatures are warm days (70-85of) and cool nights(60-70of).

A light frost will not kill the plant, but you can soon expect all the leaves and bracts to fall off. In this case, the plant will regrow if not subjected to more frosts for longer duration.

Fertilizer

Bougainvillea can be heavy feeders. Here is some quick fertilizer tips.

  • High phosphorus with micronutrients, as well as additional iron and magnesium
  • Slow or timed release fertilizers are acceptable. Make sure you follow the fertilizer label
  • Plants grow best with small amounts of nutrients constantly available
  • Do not apply fertilizers to dry soil – Do not overfertilize – in this case less is better than more

Pests

//

Caterpillars, mites, aphids; Leaf spot if foliage and/or soil stays too wet, especially in cool weather. Contact your local nursery or garden center for treating the pest. Make sure you READ AND FOLLOW the label.

Where and How to use Bougainvillea

  • Hanging baskets
  • 1 to 3 gallon pots either sheared as bush, staked, or trellised.
  • Trained as a tree – standard
  • Summer annual up North.
  • In the South grown as groundcover, hedge, trellis, standard, or cascading planter plant.

What to Expect From Bougainvillea when it arrives at the Garden Center

Bougainvilleas aren’t fond of changes. Any shipping over 2 days and you may experience some leaf drop and possible total defoliation. Don’t worry, give the plants a good drink and they’ll come right back out in about 3 to 4 weeks and usually full of flowers.

Plantcare.com

Care for Your More Common Plants

Green and blooming plants are popular gifts for many special occasions. They bring life and sunshine into any home or office. Below are a few helpful tips to care for some of the more popular plants.

African Violets are lovely small plants, which may bloom at anytime. They prefer bright indirect sunlight and grow well under fluorescent light. Cut off the flowers after they die and provide good ventilation. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times and feed monthly spring through fall with a nitrogen-free fertilizer.
Areca Palms grow well indoors, in bright indirect sunlight and may be placed outdoors for the summer in an area of filtered light. Ensure that the plant has good drainage and keep it away from drafts. Never let the plant sit in water. Mist the fronds occasionally with warm water and feed monthly.
Azalea plants produce beautiful blooms February through May. They require specific care, such as good rich potting soil and full sunlight. Azaleas should be fed every two weeks during the growing season. Remove all dead flowers and keep the soil on the wet side.
The Boston Fern is the ideal hanging basket plant. It requires a little extra care in that it likes good, rich potting soil and should be misted frequently with warm water. Boston ferns grow well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and feed weekly.
Bromeliads are beautiful, exotic plants requiring some extra care and attention. Bromeliads grow best indoors in bright indirect sunlight. Use good rich potting soil, keep the soil evenly moist and feed about every eight months. Bromeliads bloom April through June.
Croton plants require full sunlight and should be pinched back occasionally for good shape. Croton plants are poisonous and should not be kept around children. Keep the soil barely moist and feed every two weeks when young. Fertilize weekly after maturity.
Cyclamen have beautiful dark green foliage with unique “upside down” blooms that flower December through May. Cyclamen are dormant for the summer and should be repotted in late summer and kept cool. Stop watering in late spring and resume watering in late summer. Feed every two weeks while in growth. Bright indirect sunlight and evenly moist soil is best. Cyclamen are poisonous and should not be kept around children.
Diffenbachias are easy care plants with large leaves, making it an effective remover of indoor air pollutants. Diffenbachias are poisonous if ingested. Do not keep around children. Place this plant in bright indirect sunlight and let its soil become moderately dry between waterings.
Dracaena plants are easy to grow indoors in bright indirect sunlight. Good general purpose potting soil is fine and should be kept evenly moist. Leaf tips may turn brown if the plant is under-watered. Feed every two weeks.
Gardenias are wonderfully fragrant blooming plants, but generally require a little extra care and attention. Gardenias grow best inside the house with bright indirect sunlight. The plant requires good rich potting soil, kept evenly moist at all times. Mist the plant frequently with warm water, feed every two weeks and prune in early spring. Gardenias flower June through August.
Gerbera plants produce beautiful blooms July through September and are very easy to grow. They prefer full sunlight. Be careful the crown of the plant is above the soil and provide good drainage. Allow the soil to become moderately dry between waterings and feed every two weeks during growth periods.
Hydrangeas are gorgeous blooming shrubs with showy color June through December. They require full sunlight and good, rich potting soil kept evenly moist. Prune the plant way back in early spring and feed every two weeks during growth with fertilizer suitable for acid loving plants.
Ivy plants are easy care leafy green plants perfect for hanging baskets. Ivy grows well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist, mist occasionally with warm water and feed every two weeks during growth periods.
Kalanchoe are succulents and bloom January through July. Kalanchoe grow best indoors in full sunlight. Use good general purpose potting soil with a little added sand. Avoid getting water on the leaves, be careful not to over-water and feed only twice a year, once in April and once in July.
Norfolk Island Pines require a little extra care and attention. Bright indirect sunlight is best and over-watering must be avoided. Turn the plant occasionally to keep it symmetrical. If possible put the pine outside during the summer in bright light. Feed every two weeks and do not fertilize in the winter.
Orchids are exquisite blooming plants, requiring just a little extra care. Orchids grow well in bright indirect sunlight and may produce flowers at anytime. Avoid cold drafts. Most orchids have sphagnum moss potting mix and should be kept evenly moist. Be careful not to over-water. Feed every two weeks during the spring and summer with orchid fertilizer.
Peace Lilies are beautiful large-leafed plants, which produce white blooms April through October. They require full sunlight and should be placed away from drafts. When watering, drench the soil and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed every two weeks during the summer months only.
Philodendrons are easy care plants, which grow best indoors in bright indirect sunlight. This plant is a climber if given proper support. Philodendrons are poisonous if ingested. Do not keep around children. Keep this plant’s soil barely moist and feed it every two weeks when in growth.
Pothos are easy care climbing green plants. Pothos do well indoors in bright indirect sunlight, but will grow in rooms with less light as well. Keep this plant’s soil evenly moist and supply good drainage. Pothos is a good climber, if given proper support. Otherwise, pinch back to maintain its shape. Fertilize every two weeks.
Schefflera are beautiful, easy care leafy green plants. They grow well indoors in full sunlight. When watering, drench the soil and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed monthly spring through summer.

What do I do with the Poinsettia once I receive it?

The poinsettia likes moderately bright light, but they will tolerate low light for sometime.  Water when the dirt or soil feels dry to the touch. Make sure all excess water drains from the pot or container.  If the plant does not completely drain, the poinsettia will experience root rot.  Poinsettia’s prefer temperatures, that are 60-70 degrees during the day and 60 – 65 degrees at night. Please avoid excessively cold or hot temps.  To keep your poinsettia long-lasting, add fertilizer periodically.

Easter Lily

THE EASTER LILY HOLIDAY TRADITION

Each holiday is marked by cherished traditions that bring joy, comfort, and warmth, and provide continuity from one generation to the next. Easter has its share of traditions: egg decorations and hunts; gift baskets and chocolate bunnies, sunrise church services, parades, and, of course, the Easter Lily. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life – the spiritual essence of Easter.

History, mythology, literature, poetry and the world of art are rife with stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the elegant white flowers. Dating back to Biblical lore, the lily is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. One of the most famous Biblical references is in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ told his listeners: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet….. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Often called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it that the beautiful white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress. Churches continue this tradition at Easter time by banking their alters and surrounding their crosses with masses of Easter Lilies, to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting.

Since the beginning of time, lilies have played significant roles in allegorical tales concerning the sacrament of motherhood. Ancient fables tell us the lily sprang from the milk of Hera, the mythological Queen of Heaven.

The pure white lily has long been closely associated with the Virgin Mary. In early paintings, the Angel Gabriel is pictured extending to the Virgin Mary a branch of pure white lilies, announcing that she is to be the mother of the Christ Child. In other paintings, saints are pictured bringing vases full of white lilies to Mary and the infant Jesus.

The legend is told that when the Virgin Mary’s tomb was visited three days after her burial, it was found empty save for bunches of majestic white lilies. Early writers and artists made the lily the emblem of the Annunciation, the Resurrection of the Virgin: the pure white petals signifying her spotless body and the golden anthers her soul glowing with heavenly light.

It seems the thirteenth-century Barthololmeus Anglicus had this in mind when he wrote: ‘The Lily is an herbe with a white flower; and though the leaves of the floure be white, yet within shineth the likeness of gold.” So goes the saying, ‘To gild a lily is to attempt, foolishly, to improve on perfection.” To many artists and poets it seemed that, if any flower could have one, the lily had a soul.

In yet another expression of womanhood, lilies had a significant presence in the paradise of Adam and Eve. Tradition has it that when Eve left the Garden of Eden she shed real tears of repentance, and from those remorseful tears sprung up lilies. The spiritual principle held here is that true repentance is the beginning of beauty.

A mark of purity and grace throughout the ages, the regal white lily is a fitting symbol of the greater meaning of Easter. Gracing millions of homes and churches, the flowers embody joy, hope and life. Whether given as a gift or enjoyed in your own home, the Easter Lily serves as a beautiful reminder that Easter is a time for rejoicing and celebrating.

The following poem by Louise Lewin Matthews captures the spiritual essence of the Easter Lily:

Easter morn with lilies fair
Fills the church with perfumes rare,
As their clouds of incense rise,
Sweetest offerings to the skies.
Stately lilies pure and white
Flooding darkness with their light,
Bloom and sorrow drifts away,
On this holy hallow’d day.
Easter Lilies bending low
in the golden afterglow,
Bear a message from the sod
To the heavenly towers of God.

-Louise Lewin Matthews

Written and posted by http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/lily/lily.html

Did you know?

Billy Heroman’s is responsible for all of those beautiful planters you see around Baton Rouge.  Our plant personnel takes care of Airports, Doctor’s Offices, Malls, Downtown Buildings, etc.  Not only do they plant them… They also water, trim and maintain them so the customer doesn’t have to worry.

Poinsettia Care – How do I take care of this thing?

Poinsettia care begins with proper light, water, and temperature conditions. During the holidays, while in full bloom, they typically enjoy semi-cool, humid locations in bright, indirect light with plenty of moisture. Poinsettia plants should be watered thoroughly; taking care not to drown them by ensuring adequate drainage is available. Likewise, avoid letting them sit in water-filled saucers, which can lead to root rot. Adding plants nearby can help increase humidity levels in dry rooms, as will humidifiers.

Once flower bracts have fallen, you have the option of discarding the plant or keeping it an additional year. For those choosing to continue with poinsettia care, decrease regular watering to allow the plant to dry out some. However, don’t let it dry out completely. Also, relocate the poinsettia plant to a cool, dark area until spring or around April.

Orchid Care

BHFPhalo

Orchids are easy care plants that typically bloom for three to ten weeks. With a little attention, they will last for years.  Place your orchid in bright indirect light away from drafts. An ideal temperature range is 65 to 85 degrees.  Avoid any temperature extremes or placing orchids near heating/cooling vents.  Orchids need to be watered every 5 days, and they need perfect drainage. Feed orchids once a month with a liquid fertilizer.

DO NOT LEAVE ORCHIDS IN STANDING WATER!

To re-bloom an orchid, cut just below the lowest flower and 1/4 inch above the next node.

Orchids prefer to be root bound and repotting is only necessary every three years.

Croton Care

Croton
Instructions
  1. Step 1

    Give crotons several hours of bright, direct sunlight per day. The more light the plant receives, the more colorful the leaves will be. Grown in inadequate light, the leaves will be mostly green with yellow veins. Leaves may also fall off in low light.

  2. Step 2

    Place plant on a tray of pebbles to give it the little humidity boost it needs. Water will be absorbed by the pebbles and create humidity as it evaporates.

  3. Step 3

    Keep the potting mix moist, but be careful not to allow water to stand on top of soil. Reduce watering in the winter, allowing the top of the soil to dry out between waterings.

  4. Step 4

    Prune branches in early spring if plant outgrows its space or if a bushier plant is desired. Plant will branch where pruning takes place. Croton plants may get tall and spindly without pruning.

  5. Step 5

    Take care to watch for spider webbing on leaves. Red spider mites commonly infest croton plants. They are hard to see with the naked eye, but will leave webs. Remove infested leaves and apply pesticide to plant. Left alone, red spider mites will kill an entire plant, so action must be taken.