Outdoor plants

The problem of managing outdoor plants is that the habitat in which it is located is not the most suitable for our plants.

Hydrangeas

They are deciduous shrubs of the hydrangeaceae family, genus hydrangea. They are native to Asia and America. There is a great variety of species, but we will mention the hydrangea macrophilla, and more specifically those subspecies that produce globose flowers type “pom-pom”.
They require acidic substrates with good drainage. They are very demanding in irrigation which must be abundant, as well as the fertilizer. It is not recommended that you give it direct sun.
Flowering takes place from April to June. Once it is finished it is convenient to cut the flowers below the first immediate knot to the flower. They can be preserved as dried flowers being very decorative.
At the end of autumn, when the plants enter the winter rest, it is time to perform pruning and use the cuttings to reproduce them.
We must be careful in autumn and spring with powdery mildew (fungal disease).
The flowers of the hydrangea develop from buds formed the previous year, so pruning should be anticipated as much as possible, being carried out just at the end of the flowering period. The most advisable thing is to do a pruning, leaving the branches about 30-40 cm from the ground, so that on that structure it develops every year.
The pH will be fundamental to define the color of the flowers; at pH less than 5 the flowers will be blue (provided that the variety admits this hue); at pH above 5 the flowers will be fuchsias. White varieties are not affected by pH.
If we want to blur a hydrangea we will proceed as follows:
Once out of the winter break (March) we will begin to lower the pH of our substrate by watering with our usual solution to which we will lower the pH with iron sulfate or other sulfur products. Lowering the pH is intended to create an ideal medium for the absorption of aluminum.
Once the desired pH has been achieved in the substrate (5) and two months before the start of flowering, we will begin to provide aluminum sulfate; this product is toxic to plants except for hydrangea. Dissolve 10 g of aluminum sulfate in 5 l of water.
At the same time we will water with a nutrient solution whose nitrogen/potassium balance is around 1.2-1.5.
If, on the other hand, we want a hydrangea with flowers of intense fuchsia color, we will maintain the pH around 6 and water with a solution rich in nitrogen and phosphorus.

Geranium

 

Shrub plant of the geraniaceae family from South Africa. Its flowers can be orange, red, pink, white and purple and its leaves are lobed and of a color ranging from light green to dark. In our latitude they bloom throughout the year, being the strong peak from March to June and then from September to November.
They require slightly acidic substrates with good drainage (they do not withstand waterlogging). They are not very demanding in irrigation withstanding drought well. As for the subscriber, it requires a balanced solution throughout the year. It is a plant that has no problem living in full sun, although it prefers semi-shade; what they do not tolerate are temperatures below 0ºC.
At the end of winter it is convenient, in plants of several years, to carry out a severe pruning to renew the plant material and take advantage of the pruning to generate cuttings. During the cultivation cycle, the stems can be highlighted to favor the appearance of lateral shoots; the more shoots the more flowers.
As for reproduction, it is very easy to multiply them by cuttings during most of the year (removing the months of January and February).

 

 

There are several types of geraniums:

Common geranium or Pelargonium Zonale: popularly known as geranium, it is a large,fleshy, undulating plant, whose flowers are arranged in the form of bouquets of various colors, the most notorious being red.

 

Pelargonium Peltatum: It is also known as Gitanilla, it is a plant very similar to the common geranium, but with one main difference: its hanging bearing. The stems of the gypsy tend to be more hanging and creeping than those of the common geranium that grows more upright.

Pelargonium Crispum randi: This variety is better known as Lemon Geranium. It stands out for its toothed and very abundant leaves. Although its foliage is the most characteristic, its delicate flowers are also to be admired, they are presented in pink tones and grow more dispersed than that of the rest of geraniums. Its citrus aroma is reminiscent of lemon.

Interspecific Pelargonium: This is a hybridization between the zonale and the peltatum. Therefore, we can find the compact leaves and branches typical of common geraniums and, at the same time, a slight hanging bearing reminiscent of gypsies.

 

 

Bird of Paradise Plant

 

Perennial herbaceous plant of the strelitziaceae family of scientific name strelitzia reginae. It is native to South Africa and can reach up to 2 m in height, although there are dwarf varieties that do not exceed 50 cm and are ideal for pot cultivation. It is so prized that some tribes only use it to adorn the chief’s hut. It has a spectacular flowering reminiscent of the head of a bird, hence its name, with orange and violet tones. The leaves are large and broad, oval, with the central rib very marked and carried by long petioles. They present the inflorescences in long erect and cylindrical stems ending in a spathe (set of leaves of particular shape and consistency that surrounds certain inflorescences) leathery of green color. Inside this spathe you can find between 5 and 8 flowers and usually last 8-10 days. Its fruit is an orange and feathery capsule. It is a very long-lived plant.
It blooms from late autumn to late spring and not earlier than five years of age. It needs average temperatures of 10ºC to bloom. It is one of the most used plants as a cut flower.

 

It is not a plant especially sensitive to climatic conditions and once established in its pot it withstands a wide range of climates.
It is especially demanding in terms of light, although it adapts to semi-shaded locations; the more light the greater the flowering. The substrate can be 70% blonde peat or preferably coconut fiber and 30% worm humus, or also, 50% blonde peat, 25% sand and 25% worm humus. It is good, as to all tropical ones, to put a plate with gravel underneath so that the drainage water when evaporating contributes moisture to the environment that surrounds the plant especially in winter with the use of heating and in summer with air conditioners.
It develops well in a temperature range between 15 and 25ºC, but temperatures below 0ºC can seriously damage it. It requires a regular supply of water and a nutrient solution that provides macros and micronutrients, and like all the plants that we want to have inside our homes, a good drainage.
During the first 5 years of life it should be transplanted every year, in summer, increasing the size of the pot gradually, but without large jumps. Arriving at the age of 5 we will no longer transplant it and place it in its final pot; we will simply proceed to remove the surface layer of substrate every year and replace it with new substrate once the flowering is finished and with the plant at rest (summer). This is because once it reaches flowering age, pot changes stress it out a lot and it could stop blooming that year.
It is not usually pruned, the floral stems will simply be cut once they are withered, and we will remove the basal leaves that are dying.
To multiply it, at the beginning of summer the plant is taken out of the pot (this can be done as long as it has not bloomed, that is, before 5 years of life) and the rhizome is divided into two. It is transplanted into a new substrate and conditioned in a warm, draft-free place. The new plants will take root in a month and a half or two months.

 

 

Rose Bush 

Shrub or climbing plants, perennial or deciduous, usually spiny, of the rosacea family. The flower is called a rose. They require a location open to the sun and protected from strong winds.
The substrate should be slightly acidic and well drained. It is demanding in water being advisable to establish a good supply of water and reduce the frequency, which water little many times; we will favor a deep root system. Flowering occurs throughout the year except in the winter months.
Like most plants, it requires a nutrient solution that includes primary and secondary macronutrients, as well as micronutrients. It is demanding in the amount of fertilizer to contribute.
We will carry out the pruning in the period of inactivity, that is, at the end of winter. We will reduce the main stems to 25 cm and remove the dead wood.
Most rose bushes are propagable by woody cuttings which we will plant in late autumn.

 

 

 

 

Jazminero 

Plants of the genus jasminum are native to the tropical and subtropical areas of the Old World. We are going to refer to the perennial variety that grows as a climbing shrub; common jasmine or jasminum officinale.
The flower is small, white in color and occurs in clusters. It has a strong aroma and lasts 24 hours; it has medicinal properties. Flowering occurs from May to October.

 

It is a plant that can be grown in semi-shade or full sun. They require abundant light and do not tolerate frost. It is very good for the thermal oscillations that occur in our area between day and night (15ºC).

 

As for the substrate, it has to have good drainage; for example, 70% peat and 30% sand with a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot.
It is demanding in water and fertilizer, but we have to be careful with watering it excessively; this is the main cause of the death of potted plants.
It reproduces easily by woody cuttings of that same year.
The jasmine plant belongs to a category of fast-growing climbing species and striking and very odorous flowering. Pruning jasmine helps control its growth, encourage the exit of more vigorous stems and improve flowering. It must be done at the end of winter and its function is to remove the pacifiers and dead wood, respecting the main stems.

 

 

Oleander 

Oleander is a plant of the apocinaceae family (Nerium oleander), also known as flowering laurel and laurel rose, is of Mediterranean origin.
They are evergreen shrubs of medium size, of disordered growth and flowering in cluster. Flowering occurs in spring and autumn and the flowers are pink and white, although yellow and red can be found.

 

They are evergreen shrubs of medium size, of disordered growth and flowering in cluster. Flowering occurs in spring and autumn and the flowers are pink and white, although yellow and red can be found.
It is not demanding in terms of substrates (it can be slightly acidic or alkaline), simply that they have a good drainage. It needs a good supply of water and fertilizer while establishing the roots; once established it is resistant to drought and is not delicate in terms of the sun, being able to be grown in sunny areas.
It requires training pruning to adapt them to our conditions in the garden (winter) and more severe pruning when you have lost the flowers.
The first thing you should know if you want to grow an oleander plant in the garden, is that it should be avoided in domestic landscapes where children and pets play. All parts of the bushes are poisonous and the smoke from burning oleander debris is toxic. Ingesting even a small amount of oleander foliage or flowers can be fatal. Contact with foliage and flowers can cause severe skin irritations and allergic reactions. Always wear long sleeves and gloves when working with the bush.

 

 

The Japanese Azalea 

Shrubby perennial plant of the ericaceae family, of Chinese origin. It is a slow growing plant, but with spectacular flowers.
It requires a place in the garden to semi-shade and humidity. In summer it can suffer with high temperatures and dry winds. In fact, in our area it can also be used as a houseplant.
It requires an acidic substrate (5-5.5) and well drained.
It is demanding in terms of irrigation and fertilization, but does not tolerate high electrical conductivities in fertigation solution.
Like the rest of the shrubs that we have treated, we must do a renovation pruning in winter. During the cultivation cycle we can make highlights to favor branching and, therefore, a greater number of flowers.
Multiplication is carried out by cuttings or layering.

 Bougainvillea

 

 

Perennial shrubby vines, of the nyctaginaceae family, genus bougainvillea; the two most common species are Bouganvillea glabra and Bouganvillea spectabilis. It comes from the tropical and subtropical areas of the American continent, where its flowers have a medicinal use against respiratory diseases (bougainvillea tea).
What we see in fuchsia (they can also be red, orange or yellow) is not the flower itself, but the bracts (leaves that are born from the peduncle of the flowers of some plants and that has a different shape, consistency and color than the normal leaf) that protect the true flower, much smaller and white.
It withstands both hot summers and cold winters relatively well. In our latitude we can enjoy flowering practically all year round.
A very important aspect of this plant is that it does not support transplants due to the delicacy of its root, so we must install it from the beginning in the pot that will be the definitive one throughout its life.
It is a very demanding plant in light; we must put it where it receives the greatest number of hours of direct light all year round. On the contrary, it is not demanding in terms of water and fertilizer; it does not support a high electrical conductivity, which does not mean that it does not need a complete nutrient solution.
As for the substrate, it is not demanding in terms of pH; it just needs good drainage (peat with sand and gravel at the bottom).
As for its reproduction, as in most of the shrubs we have seen, it is easy to multiply it by woody cuttings or layering. We will do them at the beginning of autumn or at the end of winter.
Being a climbing plant we must redirect its growth through guide pruning. At the end of winter we will do a rejuvenation pruning to remove dead wood, branches that intertwine, etc. This pruning will be more severe the older our plant is.

Amarilis

Plant of the amaryllidaceae family. It is native to Central America, South America and the Caribbean area and the most characteristic species is the Hippeastrum vittatum.
It is a bulbous plant with bulbs between 5-15 cm in diameter and a height of 40-60 cm. Its leaves are long and tapered.
It is a single-flowering plant, but spectacular. It occurs in spring and each bulb gives one or two floral stems from which two pairs of opposite flowers arise.
The substrate can be 70% peat and 30% worm humus, but we must plant it in a small container and leaving a third of the bulb outside the substrate. It does not support direct sunlight so we must place it in semi-shade; it is a plant that we can have inside the house. The tayos have positive phototropism, that is to say that they grow in the direction of the light so we will have to turn the pots from time to time during the flowering period. They also do not withstand low temperatures.
It requires water and abundant fertilizer especially in flowering.
Once the end of flowering has arrived (June-July) we will cut, the floral rods flush with the substrate and we will continue fertigating until the end of autumn; continuing to water and fertilize will favor the reserves of the plant and guarantee the correct flowering next year. Once the beginning of winter arrives we will cut the leaves, which will have withered, and leave the bulb in the pot; at this time we will stop the watering because if there are no leaves there is no transpiration and therefore if we watered we would water the substrate. During this time the bulb will be maintained from its water and nutrient reserves. We will keep the pots in a gloomy place. As soon as we see the first new leaves, at the end of winter, we will start with fertigation.
Every two or three years we will proceed to harvest the bulbs that have been developed from the main bulb; in mid-winter we will remove the bulbs from the substrate, separate the new ones and replant them in new substrate.
Another way to multiply the amaryllis is to plant the fruit that the inflorescences will give, but it is not necessary since the bulbs can last us many years.

 

 Blue Lobelia 

We are going to deal now with the world of annual or seasonal plants, plants that we will use when we need a fast and lush flowering in our garden but that on the other hand will not last more than a few months after which we will have to replace them with new plants.
This plant is of South African origin and reaches a span in height. The leaves are alternate in a varied way: oblong, spatulate or ovate. The abundant blue flowers are so profuse that they can hide the leaves. Although they bloom during the spring, summer and autumn they are able to do so also in winter if the weather permits. Blue lobelias are used in rockeries and borders or in pots for terraces and balconies. It is an interesting plant for its long flowering and for its leaves.
Prefer a semi-shade or even shade exposure if the summer is very hot. He doesn’t like cold or frost. The soil should be rich for which we can mix peat with sand and worm humus. Transplantation should be done in spring. It is demanding in water, although it does not support the waterlogged substrate well. It requires a balanced subscriber.
They multiply from seeds sown at the end of winter in drawers with sand and peat.

Petunias

Native to Brazil and Argentina, it reaches between 30-50 cm in height. It belongs to the same family as tomato, pepper and potato; the nightshades. The flower can be of different colors, with smooth or wavy edges and, in addition, some varieties are odorous. The most common shades are pink and red, but there are also blues, violets or stripes in two colors. The leaves of the plant are oval and light green.

The petunia should be located in a very bright place, if possible in full sun. The temperature should be high in summer and mild in winter as it does not withstand cold or frost. It prefers a dry climate as rain is detrimental to its flowers. This happens with most annual plants.
The best substrate for this whole family of seasonal plants is 70% peat and 30% worm humus. It is demanding in water, but requires good drainage. Do not wet the flowers when watering. It requires a regularly balanced subscriber.

Pensamientos

Planta semiperenne (bianual) de la familia de las violáceas. Su nombre popular proviene del vocablo francés “penses”, que significa pensamiento, por lo que desde la antigüedad esta flor siempre ha sido relacionada con los recuerdos y las nostalgias del amor. Pero este nombre también tiene que ver el hecho de que, en el mes de agosto cuando la flor comienza a decaer para marchitarse, se inclina hacia la parte de adelante asemejando a una persona que está reflexionando y se encuentra absorta en sus pensamientos.

No supera los 25 cm de altura y el primer año de vida solo produce follaje, para en el segundo florecer.

Tiene la particularidad de que su época de floración va del otoño al principio del verano, época en la que se marchita. Su flor es de textura terciopelada y con una extensísima gama de colores.

Being a winter flower, it needs to be planted in a place where it receives the sun directly.
The best substrate is 70% blonde peat and 30% worm humus. They require abundant water, but without flooding the substrate. It needs a regular supply of a balanced nutrient solution.
The time to prune them is in summer when they decay; they are pruned above the lowest knot and from there they will sprout in autumn.
The flower of thought is not just “a pretty face”; it also has medicinal, industrial and, more recently, gastronomic uses. At first its infusion in tea was highly recommended by local healers as an effective treatment against various diseases such as asthma, epilepsy, bronchitis, whooping cough, rheumatology and cystitis. It was also used in the form of an ointment to cure and eliminate eczema or any other skin problem. It is also used to obtain dyes for fabrics. And it is more recently when it has been proven that its flower has a sweet and delicate taste as a complement to many dishes.

Buttercups

They are perennial tuberous plants of size between 10 and 60 cm of the ranunculaceae family. They come from Southwestern Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, Iran and Syria.
The garden buttercup (Ranunculus asiaticus) is a tuberous root that can be classified as summer or autumn, since planting can take place towards the end of summer or early autumn and we will have flowering towards the end of winter or beginning of spring. Its flower is highly prized as a cut flower due to the size of its stem and the duration once cut.
They prefer semi-shade and a generous supply of water. They do not require a specific substrate (70% blonde peat-30% worm humus) but good drainage. Demanding in subscriber.
They reproduce by division of the bulb; once the flowering is finished, it is cut and the aerial part is continued to be watered until the end of autumn (this is done with all the bulbous plants so that they store reserve substances for the flowering of the following year). Once the aerial part dries, the bulb is cut and dug up. It is left to dry for a few days on newspaper, separated and planted in new substrate.
Note that all species of buttercups are poisonous, due to their high content of protoanemonin, reaching the maximum concentration in flowering; once the plant dries the substance crystallizes and becomes inert. This substance can lead to inflammation of the digestive tract. Animals, which are very wise, do not eat them because of their bitter taste and the problems that their intake can cause.

Gerbera

The gerbera or African daisy is an odorless flower that belongs to the asteraceae family and whose origin is in South Africa, Asia, South America and Tasmania.

 

Among the most commercialized and widespread species are the Gerbera jamensonii, also called the Transvaal daisy. It is a herbaceous plant with rosette inflorescence, whose cultivation can last us between two and three years. It is highly prized as a cut flower. Its flowering occurs from early spring to mid-autumn.
It requires that we place it in our garden in a place with semi-shade and well ventilated. It requires a well-drained and humusy substrate. It is demanding in water and fertilizer.
It withstands summer temperatures very well, but in winter they should not fall below 3-4ºC.
The plant develops from a rhizome (stem that grows underground and horizontally, giving rise to the emergence of shoots and roots through its knots) from which the long stems arise.

 

As the flowers dry and the leaves are cut and we will continue watering and fertilizing until winter, when we will cut the aerial part, we will remove the rhizome, divide it and plant it. This is the most common form of reproduction of gerbera.