Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Plant Roses

Planting roses correctly means you will have fewer problems down the road. Much of the fussiness associated with roses is due to improper care. Find out how to plant a rose that will bloom beautifully.
Here's How:
1.        First, find an area that receives full sun. 
2.        If you have a bare root specimen, soak it in a bucket of water before planting. For roses that are potted, you can water the pot thoroughly and let it sit until ready to plant. Then, when you remove the pot from the plant itself, you will have a moist ball of soil to ease stress on the roots.
3.        Dig a hole about six inches deeper than you will be planting the rose. You will need to add bone meal and compost to the hole before planting and want the crown (or area where the plant first starts growing above the ground) to be just at ground level when finished. Your hole should be twice the width of the pot as well. This ensures plenty of rich, soft soil to encourage vigorous root growth. 
4.        Add about three inches of soil, bone meal and compost to the bottom of the hole before placing the rose in the center of the hole. Be sure you chose the nicest side facing outwards if planting against an object like a house or trellis. Fill in the rest of the hole around the rose bush. You may need to hold the plant with one (gloved) hand to steady it as you fill it in completely. 
5.        Once you have filled in around the rose, tamp the soil down very firmly to remove pockets of air you may have missed. 
6.        Water with a slow steady stream to ensure deep penetration of moisture into the soil. You may want to tamp down the soil one more time after watering to see if it has settled in well. 
7.        You want to keep your rose's roots moist and cool but the leaves as dry as possible. Do this with mulch around the bottom of the bush once you have watered properly. 
1.        Place at least three inches deep of mulch around the bush to allow the watering to remain on the roots and not evaporate.
2.        A soaker hose system is perfect for roses. It will slowly water while keeping the upper part of the bush nice and dry.
3.        Do not use a systemic chemical if you are planning in ingesting any part of the rose bush. 
4.        To avoid blight and black spot, keeping your foliage dry and avoiding splashing water up while you apply it to the roots is crucial.
5.        Remove all cuttings and dead foliage from the area to discourage disease.

Ficus macrophylla

A hardy native, medium to large spreading tree with large dark glossy green leaves which are rusty underneath and often has a buttressed trunk. It makes an excellent, bushy plant for a large container but it should not be planted in the ground in a normal suburban environment. It is an excellent shade tree for parks and larger properties and is widely used as a feature tree in parks and gardens. An iconic tree of South East Queensland.
Large Tree up to 20 metres
Rounded spreading canopy
As a specimen tree
As a windbreak
Along Roadside
Is Fauna Attracting
Suitable in Full Sun
Suitable in Light Shade
Suitable in Sandy Soil
Suitable in Loamy Soil
Suitable in Acidic Soil
Suitable in Salty Soil
Is Frost Resistant
Is Resistant to Pollution
Is Resistant to Coastal Exposure
Is Resistant to Tropical Heat
Is Resistant to Drought

Harpullia pendula

A medium native tree noted for its widely spreading crown, bears white flowers in spring followed by yellow/orange seed capsules in winter. Used extensively as a street and parkland shade tree

Medium Tree: 8 to 15 metres
Rounded Shape

As a Street Tree
As a Specimen
As a Shade Tree
As a Windbreak
Along Roadside
Has Non-invasive Roots

Suitable in Full Sun
Suitable in Light Shade
Suitable in Sandy Soil
Suitable in Loamy Soil
Suitable in Acidic Soil
Is Frost Resistant
Is Resistant to Pollution
Is Resistant to Coastal Exposure
Is Resistant to Tropical Heat

Clivia miniata

Clivias have a well-earned reputation as rugged houseplants that demand very little attention.
LIGHT: Clivias grow best where they receive bright daylight but little or no direct sun--in a north-facing window, for example, or in an east- or west-facing window that is partially shaded by a deciduous tree. You can summer your plant outdoors in a shady location. Just remember to bring it back in before the first frost. Clivias won't endure temperatures that dip much below freezing.
WATER: During the growing season, which begins after the "Winter Rest" and continues through October, water thoroughly (until water drains freely from the hole in the bottom of the pot) when the top inch of the potting mix becomes dry to the touch. Clivias prefer to be kept on the dry side. Potting mix that remains constantly wet can cause rot, which is first manifested by the appearance of pale green or bright orange cankers on the leaves. We strongly suggest that you avoid a weekly watering regimen and instead water only when the plant requires it. Please note that misting the leaves is neither necessary nor desirable and can encourage disease.
WINTER REST: Clivias flower more reliably if you give them a period of rest in late fall. Begin this rest period once your plant arrives, and repeat it every year thereafter. For 12-14 weeks (about 3 months), keep the plant in light in a cool room (50-65°F is ideal) and withhold water. Keep a close eye on your plant during this resting period. If you notice that it is beginning to wilt, add a scant 1-2 cups of water, just enough to moisten the soil lightly. Begin normal watering (see "Water" above) at the end of the "Winter Rest". Bloom usually, but not always, follows in 6-12 weeks.
FERTILIZER: After your plant has bloomed (generally in the period from April to August), fertilize it monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) mixed at 1/2 the recommended strength. Use restraint: More fertilizer is not better. Stop fertilizing by mid-September.
GROOMING: Cut flower stalks off at the base after the blooms have faded to prevent the plant from expending energy on the production of seeds. Also remove leaves that withered and turned brown.
REPOTTING: Clivias tolerate considerable crowding of their roots and bloom best, in fact, when pot-bound. As a plant grows, some of the fleshy roots may push their way up above the potting mix. This is normal. Repotting is necessary only every 3-5 years. After bloom, lift the plant from its pot and place it in a new pot that is no more thatn 2 inches in diameter larger than the old one. Use a potting mix that drains well and that is composed of at least 50% organic matter, such as peat moss or fir bark. Most potting mixes sold at garden centers meet both requirements.

Bougainvillea spp.

Big and rowdy, loud and lovely, this sprawling woody vine is colorful showboater wherever it is grown. It was named for Louis Antoine de Bougainville, a Frenchman who sailed around the world in 1767. I think it is good luck that the new continents were named for mapmaker Amerigo Vespuci or we might now be living in United States of Bougainvillica! Even though continents and countries were not named for him, Monsieur de Bougainville is immortalized in the genus name for a group of very spectacular flowering vines and shrubs.
The bougainvilleas are mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen dropping their leaves for a brief period in winter. Their woody, thorn-armored canes soar to great heights and then tend to flop over sprawling across whatever is adjacent. This can look rather sloppy so many gardeners trim their plants into shrubs removing the overly enthusiastically growing canes as they appear. The heart shaped leaves are rich green and 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) long. There are several species and hybrids in cultivation. B. glabra is one that is great for container plantings and has smooth leaves and smaller and fewer thorns than its relatives. The leaves of B. spectablilis, another garden favorite are hairy beneath and this one is a huge sprawling plant that is perfect for arbors and draped along fences where it creates a security barrier by virtue of its thorns and dense twiggy growth.
Bougainvillea flowers are small yellow white waxy tubes that aren't very impressive. However they are surrounded by three 1-2 in (2.5-5.1 cm) long papery bracts and it is these that are responsible for the colorful displays for which this genus is famous. B. glabra is a smaller plant with less thorny canes and blooms prolifically from summer to autumn. The rampant growerB. spectabilis can rapidly reach 30 ft (9 m) while B. glabra stems grow no more than 20 ft (6 m) at best. The hybrid B. x buttiana (B. glabra x B. peruviana) is the source of many named cultivars. These are very vigorous growers that can climb to 40 ft (12.2 m) high and are smothered in color from summer to autumn.
All of the Bougainvillea species are native to South America. For centuries gardeners in warm climates have grown this showy plant. The bougainvillea's brilliant color displays are enjoyed from Florida to California, from the south of France to southeast Asia to Australia and throughout it's native tropical America .
Likes rich loamy, well-drained soils but is tolerant and adapts to many soil types. Give light feedings three times a year. The bougainvilleas are salt tolerant with some protection behind the dune line. When grown in containers, keep the roots crowded for best flowering. In winter let container grown plants rest by reducing water and withholding fertilizer.
Light: Bright sunny conditions are best.
Moisture: Normal watering. If blossoming stops, let soil dry out to force more flowers. Tolerates short periods of drought.
By cuttings in summer.

Use bougainvillea to decorate fences and arbors with explosions of color. Every Mediterranean style structure should have at least one bougainvillea guarding the entry or framing a window. Bougainvillea is a great vine for large containers to decorate hot patios and plazas. It can be trained as a shrub or clipped into shapes. Gardeners in colder zones will enjoy growing bougainvillea in containers that live outdoors in summers and are brought into cool interiors in winter. Let plant rest - let soil dry out between watering and do not fertilize (it will drop it's leaves but will leaf out again in spring). Bougainvillea is also used to create beautiful flowering bonsai specimens.

Cassia fistula

Cassia nodosa

Cassia nodosa
Family: Caesalpinioideae / Caesalpiniaceae
Pink Shower Tree, Appleblossom Tree
Origin: Indonesia 

Spectacular medium size fast growing tree with a fine spreading crown. The name alludes to the node, or swelling in the longest stamens, but as other species also have this characteristic the name is rather misleading. Masses of bubbly fragrant pink appleblossom flowers (over 2 inches across) appear in spring-summer held in cascading clusters along downy branches. Lovely, tropical, rich green, pinnate foliage. Briefly deciduous during dry season. Flowers appear in groups along the downy branches, each cluster borne on a short stalk. The flower stems are red and grow in whorls. The buds and flowers are deep pink, fading to white and each petal is somewhat pointed at the tip. The calyx is green and velvety and the bracts narrow ovals. There are ten yellow stamens, the longest three having a round swelling in the middle. The pods grow as long as 18 feet and are an unattractive feature of the tree. A leaf may be from 6 to 12 inches long and comprise up to thirteen pairs of leaflets. These are pointed at the apex, leathery and slightly glossy.

Albizia lebbeck

Albizia lebbeck is a tree well known in the Indian subcontinent for its range of uses. Although geographically widespread, little is known about the species outside India. It appears to have potential for increasing pastoral production in extensive systems in the wet-dry tropics where the major problem is low feed quality of the basal diet, mature tropical grasses. Albizia lebbeck addresses this problem in three ways: as a feed, as a supplement and by improving grass quality.


Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth (Mimosaceae) has a variety of vernacular names including siris, koko, vagai (India), tekik (Javanese), kitoke, tarisi (Sundanese), khago, ka se (Thai), East Indian walnut and Indian siris (timber trade). A number of names are trivial (mother-in-law's tongue, rattle-pod (West Indies)) or misleading (acacia, raintree (northern Australia)). The Indian name siris is most commonly used (Anon. 1980). Use of 'albizia' as a common name should be avoided as it is often applied to Paraserianthes falcataria, a species of major importance in the wet tropics, and very different from siris. Albizia is a genus of about 100 species, very similar to Acacia but formally distinguished by the stamens being fused at the base rather than free. The genus is more restricted to the tropics than the acacias, and none of the species is phyllodinous.

Botanical Description

A medium to large tree, of multi-stemmed widely spreading habit (to 30 m diameter) when grown in the open, but capable of good log form in plantation. Height to 20 m. Bark rough, grey; inner bark reddish. Leaves bipinnate, rachis 70-90 mm, rachillae 1-5 pairs, 50-70 mm. Leaflets 3-11 pairs, oblong to elliptic-oblong, asymmetrical, 15-65 mm x 5-35 mm, glabrous, entire, initially bright green and folding at night, maturing to a duller glaucous green and fixed rachis. Fully but briefly deciduous in the dry season. Inflorescence an axillary cluster of 15-40 pedicellate flowers. Peduncle to 100 mm, pedicel 1.5-5 mm, corolla inconspicuous, free filaments numerous, 15-30 mm. Entire inflorescence, fluffy, 60 mm diameter, yellow-green with distinctive pleasant fragrance. Pod flat oblong 120-350 mm x 30-60 mm, stiff-papery when ripe, swollen over seeds, dehiscent. Seeds 3-12 per pod, brown, flattened, 7 x 1.5 mm (Figure 2.5.1).

Distribution and Ecology

Siris is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, to those areas of southeast Asia with a marked dry season (e.g. northeast Thailand, eastern islands of Indonesia) and to the monsoon areas of northern Australia. In this latter region, it has been recorded in such formations as 'semi-deciduous mesophyll vine forest' (Kabay and Burbidge 1977). Herbarium notes often place it at the rainforest-eucalypt woodland ecotone. These indigenous populations are probably declining as seedlings cannot establish under continuous grazing by cattle. It has been distributed widely around the tropics, mainly as a shade tree, and has occasionally naturalised. It can grow well under a wide range of rainfall regimes (600-2,500 mm) yet can be seen in areas with only 400 mm. It may be established in areas of highly variable rainfall but in its natural habitat probably requires a reliable wet season. In the Himalayas it is found to 1,600 m altitude. It is found on a wide range of soil types including those that are alkaline and saline (Prinsen 1986) but not subject to waterlogging.
Siris seedlings will not tolerate frost. Reserves in the root system enable young plants to survive total defoliation from fire or grazing, but with obvious setback to growth. Growth is opportunistic when conditions are suitable but ceases for 2-3 months before leaf drop. Trees are leafless for only 4-6 weeks, with new leaf produced at the height of the dry season, followed in the tropics by a gregarious flowering. Flowers are insect-pollinated. Seed dispersal seems to occur mainly due to strong wind, when intact pods can be carried hundreds of metres. Seeds are retained in pods until they fall. Some seed passes through the intestinal tract of cattle but not of smaller ruminants.


Comprehensive yield data have not been published. However, it is evident that the species is productive when actively growing or regenerating or as undisturbed mature trees. Under best conditions, plants can grow to 5 m in one year; however, growth in areas with under 800 mm annual rainfall is much slower.

Fuelwood plantations produce 5 m3 ha/year (Anon. 1980). Isolated mature trees produce edible dry matter at the rate of 100-120 kg/year (Lowry 1989). Leaf litter fall under plantation conditions was 5,000 kg/ha/year (Pradhan and Dayal 1981). Wayside trees in the dry tropics show a crown diameter expansion of 22.2 m/year until mature (Lowry and Lowry 1991). Stands of mature trees with triennial pollarding yielded 1,700 kg/ha/year of edible material. Hedgerow stands browsed by cattle twice a year yielded 2,500 kg/ha/year in a subtropical low rainfall area where leucaena yielded 1,500 kg/ha/year (J.H. Prinsen, unpublished data). In Puerto Rico, plantings of 2,500, 10,000, and 40,000 trees/ha had leaf dry matter yields in the first 24 months of 1,710, 2,560 and 3,670 kg/ha respectively (Parrotta 1988).


Seeds are freely produced and are relatively large (7,000-8,000 seeds/kg). The species is not particularly hard-seeded and a proportion of seeds germinate immediately without any treatment, but for best results a 10 s immersion in boiling water is desirable. Siris is not Rhizobium specific and naturalised. forms are nearly always capable of producing an abundance of nodules. Plants can be sown directly, container grown, or raised in a massed seedbed and planted out as bare-rooted stumps (Anon. 1970).
Establishment is of course dependent on initial provision of water and protection from grass or weed competition, but there are few published data on this (Lowry 1991). Observations at a 725 mm annual rainfall site in southeast Queensland indicate that at least 3 years are required from planting to initial utilisation by cattle (D.M. Burrows, unpublished data).

Diseases and Pests

Establishment can be affected by attack on young plants by mice or rabbits, marsupials and domestic ruminants. Leaves are largely unaffected by insects, but young leaves may be subject to heavy predation by larvae of the grass yellow butterfly (Eurema hecoba)This appears to be a very short-lived effect. The most serious pests are bark-feeding larvae of longicorn beetles. These do not affect small stems and have little effect on large stems, but complete girdling can cause dieback in stems in the diameter range 40-100 mm. There is considerable variation in susceptibility of individual trees. Trees may be more susceptible under prolonged water stress. Recently a psyllid, probably of the genus Heteropsylla, was reported as seriously affecting seedlings in India (Hegde and Relwani 1988). The infestation was controlled by two applications of Nuvacron (0.05%) but not by Malathion.