Plumeria Flowers In Chicago

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Canna Facts

The canna family, Cannaceae, is comprised of one genus Canna and more than fifty species. Most gardeners choose canna plants for their colorful leaves and blooms to enhance their garden's ornamental or decorative appearance.

Canna edulis, native to Central and South America, is the one species important to agriculture. The roots are rich in starch. It is commercially cultivated in Australia for a product called “Queensland Arrowroot” and in the Caribean for a thickening agent called “tous-les-mois”.

The rhizomes of Canna edulis are similar in taste to white potatoes if cooked, but because of their high content of fiber they are not as palatable. The green leaves and stalks are used as food for cattle.

Another highly appreciated species is Canna indica, called Ali'ipoe and Li'ipoe on the Hawaiian Islands. The ripe seeds are used for making Hindu and Buddhist rosaries in India and throughout Southeast Asia to count mantras,chants, or prayers. The leaves are used for food wrappings in tropical regions of Africa.

Other species include Canna glauca and Canna gigantea which are native to Brazil. Canna glauca is used as a cooked vegetable, and Canna gigantea is used as a diuretic. Canna speciosa is cultivated in the Sierra Leone and is used as a seasoning similar to turmeric.

Next, for your FREE tropical plant guide, Grow Your Own Tropical Garden, visit Plumeria Care.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How To Grow Cannas Successfully

Welcome All Plumeria and Tropical Plant Lovers,
Today I would like to discuss Cannas which
are very popular tropical plants not only in the
United States but other parts of the world as well.

               Canna 'Orange Punch'

Cannas do well in most parts of the United States
and will flourish with plenty of heat and water.

They are very dependable and easy to grow 
providing tropical foliage and colorful flowers from
early summer until Fall frost.

Cannas are available as dwarf cannas (one to two
feet tall), medium height (three to four feet tall), 
and tall size plants (6 feet or more). 

Excellent Dwarf varieties include....
  • Bangkok Yellow with variegated foliage
  • Chinese Coral (aka Pfitzer Dwarf)
  • Jester Pink
  • Japanese Rose
  • Orange Punch
  • Pink Angel
  • Porcelaine Rose

Medium to tall size varieties include....
  • Aida
  • Cleopatra
  • North Star
  • Picasso
  • President
  • Red Futurity
  • Richard Wallace

The foliage ranges in color from different shades
of green to beautifully variegated. 
Cultivars with variegated foliage include....
  • Bangkok Yellow
  • Pretoria
  • Stuttgart
  • Tropicana

Start your canna rhizomes in spring indoors before
planting them outdoors after all danger of frost has
passed. This gives you a head start on the season.

Before planting outdoors, either in pots or in the 
ground, adding some compost, manure, or high
Nitrogen slow release fertilizer to the soil benefits
your canna plants' growth dramatically.

Blood meal is an excellent choice when it comes
to slow release high Nitrogen fertilizers.
Best results are achieved when cannas are planted 
in loose, fertile, and well drained soil which has 
warmed to 60 degrees or more.

In the ground plant the rhizomes about 12 inches
apart. When you grow them in pots, place two
(2) canna rhizomes with space in between with
the growing points in opposite directions in one
single 12 inch pot. This provides a nice display of
foliage and flowers.

Lay the rhizome horizontally on the soil with the
growing eye, if visible, facing upwards. However, this is
not critical as cannas will always grow towards the
surface (because they grow toward the light).

Cannas should be watered regularly and not allowed to
dry out.

Regular dead-heading of spent flowers results in a neat
display of your canna plants.

In addition to your soil additives, regular feeding with
any fertilizer high in Nitrogen is recommended.

Cannas are rarely bothered by insects. If insects
appear, several applications of insecticidal soap
usually take care of the problem easily. 

During one growing season cannas produce three to
five rhizomes for each rhizome planted.

After the first frost in fall remove the top of the plants
and dig the rhizomes to be stored for planting next spring.
Rinse or wash the soil off, divide and dry the rhizomes. 

Layer them with peat in cardboard boxes with lids or in
plastic bags with a few holes for ventilation. You can
store them now in your garage, basement, or any place
which is cool and stays above freezing.

The ideal temperature to store canna rhizomes during
the winter months is between 50 and 60 degrees.

Another storage method is to dig up the whole clump
of rhizomes, cover them with plastic and store them
over the winter at temperatures mentioned above. 

NEVER store them in mesh bags which will allow
the rhizomes to dry out.

Next, for your FREE Tropical Plant Guide, Grow Your
Own Tropical Garden, visit Bob Walsh Plumeria Care 101.
Happy Growing, 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Plumeria Species - Plumeria rubra 'Lurline'

How many Plumeria species exist?  Actually, it is not exactly clear.
R.E.Woodson Jr. lists seven species in his ‘Annuals of the Missouri Botanical Garden’ published in 1938.

Plumeria rubra is one of the seven species. Plumeria rubra in its original form is the parent of many of the colorful and fragrant plumeria cultivars we are enjoying today.  The following is just one example of Plumeria rubra.

Plumeria rubra ‘Lurline’ is one magnificent plumeria. The flowers are a combination of red - orange on a yellow background with a red center. The flowers have a heavy texture and can be close to 4 inches in diameter. The fragrance is spicy, with some describing it as sweet. Flowering continues over many months with many flowers open at the same time.

Plumeria rubra 'Lurline'

 For more information on plumerias and to enter our FREE Plumeria Cutting 'Pauahi Alii' Giveaway visit How To Grow Plumeria.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Plumeria Plants & Soil pH

Welcome All Plumeria & Tropical Plant Lovers,

Today I would like to discuss the subject Plumeria
Plants and Soil pH.

Soil acidity or alkalinity affect plant growth by
influencing the chemical availability of nutrients in
the soil for uptake by the plants. The measure of
acidity or alkalinity, expressed as a number, is
called pH

Plant roots absorb mineral nutrients such as 
Nitrogen and Iron when they are dissolved in water.
If the soil solution (the mixture of water and nutrients
in the soil) is too acid or too alkaline, some nutrients
are not available for uptake.
A pH of 7 means that the soil is neutral.
If the pH is below 7, the soil is acidic.
If the pH is above 7 the soil is alkaline.

Most nutrients that plants need are readily available
if the pH is between 6.0 and 7.5.

When the pH is below 6.0, some nutrients such as 
Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are less 
available to the plant.

When the pH exceeds 7.5, Iron and Manganese are
less available.

Plumeria plants do well when the pH is between
6.0 to 6.7 which means slightly acidic. 

I even read where other authors have suggested a 
pH range as low as 5.0 to 6.0. 

Everyone seems to agree that plumerias grow best in
a slightly acidic soil. 
So how does a gardener measure the pH level
in the soil or potting medium?

Most garden centers carry pH meters
This pH meter with a probe will measure
the pH level of your soil/potting mix for you. 
Next, I'm including one picture of a plumeria cutting
with three branches which was planted unrooted using
the Egg Method

Since March 19, 2011 when the cutting was planted,
it has fully rooted and produced one inflorescence on
each of the three branches.

The major significance of this is THAT BOTH THE ROOTS

Prior to the use of this new Egg Method, it was believed
that the plumeria cutting was incapable of growing the root
system and inflorescence at the same time. 

Developing inflos on a rooting cutting use all the plant's energy,
thus depriving the cutting of energy needed for root
development. In order to save the cutting by focusing the
energy back to the root system, the only suggested solution
was to remove the inflorescence....and cut it off. 

When the Egg Method is applied CORRECTLY, the
inflos on rooting cuttings don't have to be sacrificed. 
The cuttings now can develop roots and inflos at the same time.

       Plumeria cutting rooted & developed inflos at the SAME TIME.

Lastly, I would like to remind you of our "Mother's Day Sale".
From now until Mother's Day on May 8, 2011, 11:59pm PDT
is offered at an EXTRA $5 OFF.   IT MAKES A GREAT GIFT!

Plumerias are like our Mothers in so many ways.
They are beautiful.  They are sensitive.
Each one is unique. Each one is special.
They bring joy and delight into our lives.
We love them with all our hearts.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers,
Alles Gute zum Muttertag für Alle Mütter,
Bonne fête des mères à toutes les mères,
Felice Festa della Mamma a tutte le mamme,
Madre Feliz Día a todas las madres,
Feliz Dia das Mães para todas as mães, 


Bob Walsh

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Plumeria Plants And Plumeria Cuttings Producing Inflorescences

Welcome All Plumeria & Tropical Plant Lovers,

I would like to discuss the term inflorescence 
and inflorescences on plumeria plants today.

An inflorescence can be defined as a cluster of
flowers which are arranged on a stem.

This stem can be composed of one main branch or
it can be a main branch with side branches as you
can see on the picture below.  The picture shows one
plumeria inflorescence consisting of a main branch
and several side branches. 

This picture was taken on April 28, 2011. 

Plumeria plants produce their inflorescences
at the end of their branches. 

After the "inflo", short for inflorescence, has
started to develop, new branches start to form
at the base of the inflo (see picture below).
The pointed reddish tip protrusions from the
base below the inflo are the new branches. 

Anywhere from two to seven or more side 
branches can be produced. This is the
regular cycle for plumeria plants.

It should be noted that plumeria plants can
produce an inflo and have continued growth
without branching. That is why plumeria
plants are so exciting to grow because each
plant has its own unique growth cycle. 

Later in the growth cycle the very same 
plumeria plant produces another inflo and
starts the branching process.

The side branches are symmetrical and 
produce well balanced plants.

The following picture shows another developing
inflo. This time you can see the developing
branches at the base of the inflo.

When it comes to plumeria cuttings that produce
inflos, it should be noted that all the energy of
the cutting goes into the development of the inflo. 

Any roots being formed at the same time will suffer
due to the lack of available energy, which has all
been redirected to the inflo.  In this case, one
needs to remove the inflo in order to save the 
cutting so all the energy will be redirected to the 
development of the root system. 

Last Fall, a friend of mine, Mimi Palmer, who is 
passionate about growing tropical plants, applied a new
rooting method to plumerias with phenomenal results.

This was the very first time this rooting method
was applied to plumerias after having heard
success stories with other plants and vegetables.

When I gave this rooting method a try, I was
amazed and mesmerized by the phenomenal
results now with my own plumerias right here in
zone 5 before my very own eyes.

Not only did my plumeria cuttings form roots in
record time....even over the fall and winter months
when plumerias are believed to go into dormancy,
but much to my surprise based on what is written
above.... they produced inflos and roots at the
same time!

This new rooting method, through my experience,
supplies the needed energy directly to the developing
root system to form strong and healthy roots
while allowing the cutting to grow the inflo at the
same time.

The following picture is of one cutting of
Plumeria 'Celadine'.

This cutting was planted on March 19, 2011
and produced its inflo and roots AT THE SAME
TIME after this new rooting method was applied.
The picture below was taken on April 30, 2011.
It took exactly 6 weeks to the day for the cutting
to root fully and develop its inflo with its first
opening flower

Lastly, I would like to remind you that today
May 1, 2011 is the last day to get
at an Extra $5 OFF.

Happy Growing to all my Gardening Friends,

Bob Walsh