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Posts tagged “plant care guide

Asclepias tuberosa ~ Milkweed ~ Butterfly Weed :) How to Grow

Butterfly_Weed_Flower_Wallpaper

Uses ~ Butterfly gardens, meadows, prairies, or naturalized/native plant areas. Also effective in sunny borders. Whether massing plants in large drifts or sprinkling them throughout a prairie or meadow, butterfly weed is one of our showiest native wildflowers.

Asclepias tuberosa is a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 metre (1 ft 0 in–3 ft 3 in) tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early fall. The leaves are spirally arranged, lanceolate, 5–12 cm long, and 2–3 cm broad.

This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.

It is commonly known as butterfly weed because of the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar. It is also the larval food plant of the Queen and Monarch butterflies. Hummingbirds, bees and other insects are also attracted.

Asclepias_1 (2)

See more photos here:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Asclepias_tuberosa

Buttefly1

Sometimes called pleurisy root, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a perennial wildflower grown for its showy, reddish-orange flower clusters and textured, lanceolate leaves. It thrives throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 10, where it is frequently added to butterfly gardens and native plant landscaping. Butterfly weed grows well from seeds, which must be harvested in late summer and sown after a lengthy chilling process. The seeds are viable and will germinate with little care, although they must be planted at the appropriate depth to ensure successful sprouting.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plant-butterfly-weed-seeds-45536.html

How to Plant Pleurisy Root Tubers

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/plant-pleurisy-root-tubers-99653.html

How to Grow Butterfly Weed in Your Garden

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/flowers/a/How-To-Grow-Butterfly-Weed-In-Your-Garden.htm

Buttefly1

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Culture and more informational links about plant 🙂

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Does well in poor, dry soils. New growth tends to emerge late in the spring. Plants are easily grown from seed, but are somewhat slow to establish and may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. Mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open. Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot, and is probably best left undisturbed once established.

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b490

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This showy plant is frequently grown from seed in home gardens. Its brilliant flowers attract butterflies. Because its tough root was chewed by the Indians as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments, Butterfly Weed was given its other common name, Pleurisy Root. Although it is sometimes called Orange Milkweed, this species has no milky sap.

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ASTU

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Butterflyweed is a prairie plant with bright orange flowers and a long bloom time making it a nice plant to have around the garden. Flowers come in waves from June to early September on older plants. The way it grows it ends up looking like a bush. So far I’ve had plants go to three feet four inches, taller than advertised in the Park Seed catalog. It will bloom late the first year if started early and given enough sun. Some nurseries offer it in yellow. Some catalogs call it butterfly plant or butterfly flower because they don’t want to say “weed”. Butterflyweed is not the same thing as butterfly bush (Buddleia).

Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on these plants so by growing some you end up increasing the butterfly population. Butterflies also favor the nectar found in the flowers.

http://www.dontveter.com/howtogrow/ascltube.html

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Mulch for the winter to prevent frost heaving. Plants need excellent drainage to overwinter. Plants are slow to emerge in spring.

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene6c17.html

Mexican-Butterfly-Weed-Asclepias-Curassavica-Flower-Cluster-2vx0pkhjwo53c9xzw4lb7u

  • Serves as Host and Nectar plant
  • Popular nectar source for many butterflies
  • Attracts a wide range of beneficial pollinators
  • Summer Blooming Plant
  • Not considered invasive
  • The thick, rugged leaves present a good place for chrysalis formation
  • Make a nice cut flower for your home
  • Deer resistant

http://monarchbutterflygarden.net/milkweed-plant-seed-resources/asclepias-tuberosa-butterfly-weed/

Monarch on Milkweed

Butterfly8

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Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower

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Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to Australia. Described by Étienne Pierre Ventenat in 1803, it was known as Helichrysum bracteatum for many years before being transferred to a new genus Xerochrysum in 1990. It grows as a woody or herbaceous perennial or annual shrub up to a metre (3 ft) tall with green or grey leafy foliage. Golden yellow or white flower heads are produced from spring to autumn; their distinctive feature is the papery bracts that resemble petals. The species is widespread, growing in a variety of habitats across the country, from rainforest margins to deserts and subalpine areas. The golden everlasting serves as food for various larvae of lepidopterans (butterflies and moths), and adult butterflies, hoverflies, native bees, small beetles and grasshoppers visit the flower heads.

The golden everlasting has proven very adaptable to cultivation. It was propagated and developed in Germany in the 1850s, and annual cultivars in a host of colour forms from white to bronze to purple flowers became available. Many of these are still sold in mixed seed packs. In Australia, many cultivars are perennial shrubs, which have become popular garden plants. Sturdier, long-stemmed forms are used commercially in the cut flower industry.

Cultivars~

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerochrysum_bracteatum

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Botany Photo of the day, photo of Xerochrysum bracteatum, known commonly as straw flower or everlasting flower. This photo was taken by Anne Elliott (aka annkelliott@Flickr) back in May, and uploaded it to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Thanks for sharing, Anne!

See Here …

http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2014/08/xerochrysum-bracteatum.php

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How Do Strawflower Plants Reproduce? ~ by Fern Fischer

Varieties of perennial strawflowers (Xerochrysum bracteatum) produce various colors of flowers that are similar to annual strawflowers. Perennial plants live for a few seasons in areas with light frost — they don’t survive heavy or prolonged frost. Perennial varieties constantly renew by reseeding, or you can root tip-cuttings in sterile medium to propagate more plants. Perennial strawflowers grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10, and are reliably winter-hardy in USDA zone 10.

Read More Here … 

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/strawflower-plants-reproduce-41504.html

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Facts About
Bracted strawflower is native to Australia. Also known as golden everlasting or paper daisy, this species is commonly grown as a garden ornamental, and many forms are available. It does not commonly escape cultivation, and in New England it has been collected only in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Habitat
Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Go Botany ~ Xerochrysum bracteatum (Vent.) Tzvelev ~ bracted strawflower

https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/xerochrysum/bracteatum/

Xerochrysum_bracteatum_'Dargan_Hill_Monarch'


 


 

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Asters Plant Care Guide ~ Varieties

aster

The genus Aster once contained nearly 600 species in Eurasia and North America, but after morphologic and molecular research on the genus during the 1990s, it was decided that the North American species are better treated in a series of other related genera. After this split there are roughly 180 species within the genus, all but one being confined to Eurasia.[3] The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (astér), meaning “star”, referring to the shape of the flower head. Many species and a variety of hybrids and varieties are popular as garden plants because of their attractive and colourful flowers. Aster species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Aster. Asters can grow in all hardiness zones.

The genus Aster is now generally restricted to the Old World species, with Aster amellus being the type species of the genus, as well as of the family Asteraceae.[1] The New World species have now been reclassified in the genera Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus,Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus and Symphyotrichum, though all are treated within the tribe Astereae. Regardless of the taxonomic change, all are still widely referred to as “asters” (popularly “Michaelmas daisies” because of their typical blooming period) in the horticultural trades. See the List of Aster synonyms for more information.

Some common North American species that have now been moved are:

The “China aster” is in the related genus Callistephus.

Species

Aster alpinus is the only species ofAster (sensu stricto) that grows natively in North America; it is found in mountains across the Northern Hemisphere.

In the United Kingdom, there are only two native members of the genus: goldilocks, which is very rare, and Aster tripolium, the sea aster. Aster alpinus spp. vierhapperi is the only species native to North America.[2]

Some common species are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aster_(genus)

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 Asters are daisy-like perennials with starry-shaped flower heads. They bring delightful color to the garden in late summer and autumn when many of your other summer blooms may be fading.

The plant’s height ranges from 8 inches to 8 feet, depending on the type. You can find an aster for almost any garden and they have many uses, such as in borders, rock gardens, or wildflower gardens. Asters also attract butterflies to your garden!

http://www.almanac.com/plant/aster

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Aster’s brilliant flowers brighten the fall garden when little else is blooming. Indeed, “aster,” the Latin word for “star,” aptly describes the starry flower heads. Another common name is Michaelmas daisy.

About This Plant

Aster thrives in areas with cool, moist summers. It produces blue, white, or pink flowers in the late summer or fall. Plant height ranges from 8 inches to 8 feet, depending on variety. Tall varieties make good back-of-the-border plants and are also attractive planted in naturalized meadows. Aster is susceptible to powdery mildew and rust diseases, so choose disease-resistant varieties.

Special Features

Attracts butterflies.

Site Selection

Select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.

Planting Instructions

Plant in spring, spacing plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.

Care

Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Pinch young shoots back to encourage bushiness. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Stake tall varieties to keep them upright. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line. Divide plants every three to four years as new growth begins in the spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps containing three to five shoots.

http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=2031

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How to Grow and Care for Aster Flowers

Perennial

Growing Asters is easy. Perennial Aster flowers grow well in average soils, but needs full sun. Aster flowers come in blues, purples and a variety of pinks. All Asters are yellow in the center of the flower. They are daisy-like in appearance, even though they are a member of the sunflower family.

Did you know? The yellow center of Asters is actually comprised of many tiny flowerets.

Asters come in a wide variety, with some less than a foot tall, while others are two feet tall or more. Both large and smaller varieties make good cut flowers for vases and arrangements.

Plant Height: up to 24 inches

Flowers Bloom: Summer/Fall

http://www.gardenersnet.com/flower/aster.htm

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Butterfly-Flowers-Wallpapers2

All About Asters

From tall to small, splashy to subdued, these perennials are proven performers.
by Leonard Perry
from Fine Gardening issue 135

http://www.finegardening.com/all-about-asters

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Chard ~ Planting, Growing and Harvesting ~ How to

1280px-SwissChard

Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla), is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. The leaves can be green or reddish in color like Bibb Lettuce; chard stalks also vary in color. Chard has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves and is considered to be one of the most healthful vegetables available, making it a popular addition to healthful diets (like other green leafy vegetables). Chard has been around for centuries, but because of its similarity to beets it is difficult to determine the exact evolution of the different varieties of chard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chard

Mángoldszárak_és_levelek

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris

Plant type: Vegetable

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Bloom time: Summer

Chard is a member of the beet family that does well in both cool and warm temperatures. It can be cooked or used raw in salads and is high in vitamins A and C.

Planting
Plant chard seeds 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost date. Continue planting seeds at 10-day intervals for a month.

For a fall harvest, plant chard seeds again about 40 days before the first fall frost date.

Before planting, mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of single row.

Plant the seeds 1/2 to 3/4 of inch deep in well-drained, rich, light soil. Space the seeds about 18 inches apart in single rows or 10 to 18 inches apart in wide rows. Sow eight to ten seeds per foot of row.

Care
When the plants are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin them out so that they are 4 to 6 inches apart or 9 to 12 inches apart if the plants are larger.

Water the plants evenly to help them grow better. Water often during dry spells in the summer. You can also mulch the plants to help conserve moisture.

For the best quality, cut the plants back when they are about 1 foot tall. If the chard plants become overgrown, they lose their flavor.

Pests
Leaf minor
Slugs
Aphids

Harvest/Storage
You can start harvesting when the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. Cut off the outer leaves 1-1/2 inches above the ground with a sharp knife.

If you harvest the leaves carefully, new leaves will grow and provide another harvest.

You can cut the ribs off the chard leaves and cook them like asparagus.

The rest of the leaves are eaten as greens. You can cook them like spinach or eat them raw.

You can store chard in the refrigerator in ventilated plastic bags.

Recommended Varieties
‘Lucullus’, which is heat tolerant.
‘Ruby’, which can be a beautiful addition to your garden due to its bright red stems.
‘Bright Lights’, which has multicolored stems.

Recipes
Swiss Chard and Pasta Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Swiss Chard Pie

http://www.almanac.com/plant/chard

Chard_(Beta_vulgaris_var_cicla)


 

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How to Grow Pomegranate

1280px-Anar(Pomegranate)

The pomegranate /ˈpɒmɨɡrænɨt/, botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between 5–8 meters (16–26 ft) tall.

The pomegranate is considered to have originated in Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, the Middle East and Caucasus region, northern Africa and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and the drier parts of southeast Asia.[4] Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May.

The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably in Babylonian texts, the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns and the Quran. In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of North America and the Western Hemisphere.

Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages, such as martinis and wine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate

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How to Grow a Pomegranate Tree

Three Parts:Planting Your Pomegranate ~ Caring for Your Pom ~ Pruning and Maintaining Your Pom

There are few things more delicious in this world that a juicy pomegranate. The glistening insides of the fruit sparkle like so many edible rubies. If you love pomegranate, or Punica granatum, try growing your own plant. While the plant is more shrub-like than tree shaped, you can train your pom to take on the shape of a tree. Scroll down to Step 1 to learn how you can grow your own pomegranate plant.
http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-a-Pomegranate-Tree

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HISTORY:
Historically, the pomegranate has been associated with fertility and ripe health. From the latin phrase “grained apple,” the pomegranate is mentioned in Ancient Egyptian documents, the Bible, as well as Ancient Roman recipes for love. Belonging to the myrtle family of trees, the pomegranate has long been revered as a both a life-giving and aesthetically pleasing fruit.

HERBAL PROPERTIES AND USES:
This fruit is extremely rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. Currently the extracts, juice and oils of this fruit are being studied for their potent anti-inflammatory agents, as well as their ability to reduce muscular aches and pains. Pomegranate seed oil, as well as pomegranate juice, is known to fight free radicals, reduce swelling, prevent aging, and act as an overall protectant for sunburned and ultraviolet-damaged skin.

Pomegranate Cultivation and Growing Methods Here
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/organic-herbs/growing-a-pomegranate-tree

 

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Pomegranate trees (Punica granatum) are especially suited for growing in containers. The dwarf trees are easier to care for than a full-size tree, while still producing a good harvest of fruit. Full-size trees grow up to 20 feet tall. Dwarf varieties such as “State Fair” grow to be about 5 feet tall and “Nana” is only 2 to 3 feet tall when fully mature. They are suitable for outdoor growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7b to 10. Bring them indoors for the winter in colder climates. Expect your tree to produce fruit the second or third year after planting.
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-pomegranate-trees-containers-43843.html

640px-Punica_granatum_on_tree_-_Croatia

HOME FRUIT PRODUCTION-POMEGRANATE
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/pomegranate.htm

 


 

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Sisyrinchium ~ Blue-eyed Grasses Plant Care Guide ~ Varieties

Sisyrinchium_angustifolium_(459365258)

Sisyrinchium (Blue-eyed Grasses) is a genus of 70-200 species of annual to perennial plants of the iris family, native to the New World.

Several species in the eastern United States are threatened or endangered.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyrinchium
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sisyrinchium

Sisyrinchium_angustifolium_blue-eyed_grass_meadow

Common Name: blue-eyed grass
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Garden locations
Culture

Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Prefers consistently moist soils that do not dry out, but drainage must be good. Will freely self-seed in optimum growing conditions. Plantings may be sheared back after bloom to avoid any unwanted self-seeding and/or to tidy foliage for remaining part of the growing season. Plants may need to be divided every 2-3 years to keep plantings vigorous.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Though their foliage is grass-like, the blue-eyed grasses belong to the iris family not the grass family. Sisyrinchium angustifolium is noted for its violet-blue flowers and branched flowering stems. It is native to Missouri where it occurs in damp open woods, slopes and along stream banks throughout much of the State. It is a clump-forming perennial that features a tuft of narrow grass-like leaves (to 3/16″ wide) typically growing to 12″ (less frequently to 20″) tall. Clusters of violet-blue flowers (to 1/2″ across), each with 6 pointed tepals and a yellow eye, appear in spring on stalks growing from leaf-like bracts atop usually branched flowering stems which are distinctively flattened. Sisyrinchium campestre, also a Missouri native, features pale blue to white flowers atop unbranched flowering stems. S. angustifolium includes plants formerly classified as S. bermudianum.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best naturalized in informal garden areas such as cottage gardens, woodland gardens, wild gardens or native plant areas. Also effective in border fronts and rock gardens. Also effective as an edger for paths or walkways.
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=i870

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Blue-Eyed Grass can be a shy, retiring plant at times. They are small perennials, only 10-30 cm (4-12″) tall, with leaves to 3 mm (1/8″) wide. They start opening their eyes in early June and continue to look around all through June. But you have to be a morning person. Sometimes I have gone to photograph those pretty blue eyes in the afternoon only to find that they have already closed their eyes for the day. And just try to find them when their eyes are closed! Their medium green grass-like leaves fade into the background and mingle shyly with all the prairie grasses around them.

Each pretty blue eye sheds a tear when it is finished blooming, in the form of a small round seed capsule filled with tiny black seeds. Perhaps they are tears of happiness or perhaps they are tears of sorrow. We can only speculate. This plant is also known as Star Grass by some people because the flowers are distinctly star shaped. Blue-Eyed Grass is actually not a true grass, but a member of the Iris family, closely related to Blue Flag or Wild Iris (Iris versicolor).

Native Habitat

Blue-Eyed Grass is a native perennial that grows across the prairies and parklands in open meadows. I have seen it growing in a field in northwest Winnipeg along with Prairie Crocus and Three Flowered Avens. John Morgan (Prairie Habitats – see Gardening with Native Prairie Plants) also reported seeing a hillside covered with blooming plants in the Carberry Hills of Manitoba.
http://www.naturenorth.com/spring/flora/begrass/Fbegrass.html

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Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass, Narrow-leaf blue-eyed-grass, Bermuda blue-eyed grass, Blue-eyed grass
Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Synonym(s): Sisyrinchium bermudiana, Sisyrinchium graminoides
USDA Symbol: SIAN3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The numerous, narrow, light-green leaves of this perennial form dense, tufted clumps which steadily grow with new foliage during the season. The flattened, leaf-like flowering stems may be up to 18 in. long and bear light-blue, star-shaped flowers a few inches above the leaves. Height is 1-1 1/2 ft. Several delicate, blue or deep blue-violet flowers with yellow centers in 2 broad bracts top a flat stem, generally only 1 flower at a time in bloom; stems taller than the clusters of narrow, sword-shaped leaves near base.

Although the plant is small and has grass-like leaves, the flowers have all the features of the Iris family. The various species are all much alike and separation is based on such characteristics as branching pattern and leaf length. Common Blue-eyed Grass (S. montanum) is also a widespread species, with slightly wider leaves, over 1/4 (6 mm), and unbranched stalks.

PLANT CHARACTERISTICS
Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-1.5 feet.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

BLOOM INFORMATION
Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul

Native Habitat: Meadows; damp fields; low, open woods

GROWING CONDITIONS
Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, poor to average soils
Conditions Comments: This short-lived perennial will decline if allowed to dry out. Heavy mulch causes crown rot and rich, organic soils encourage rank, vegetative growth. Plants need to be divided at least every other year.

BENEFIT
Use Medicinal: Amerindians used root tea for diarrhea (in children); plant tea for worms, stomachaches. Several species used as laxatives. (Foster & Duke)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: No

PROPAGATION
Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or division. Several dozen divisions can be expected from a mature, healthy specimen.
Seed Collection: Collect seed capsule when they have darkened to brown and become wrinkled.
Commercially Avail: yes

FIND SEED OR PLANTS
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SIAN3

 

 

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Bell Peppers Plant Care Guide ~ Seeds to garden ~ How to

1280px-Bell_Pepper_(Quadrato_d'Asti_Giallo)_Flower

Botanical name: Capsicum annuum

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 1234567891011

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral


Peppers are a tender, warm-season crop. They resist most pests and offer something for everyone: spicy, sweet or hot, and a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. For this page, we will focus on sweet bell peppers.

Planting

  • Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date.
  • The temperature must be at least 70 degrees F for seed germination, so keep them in a warm area for the best and fastest results.
  • Start pepper seeds three to a pot, and thin out the weakest seedling. Let the remaining two pepper plants spend their entire lives together as one plant. The leaves of two plants help protect peppers against sunscald, and the yield is often twice as good as two segregated plants.
  • Begin to harden off plants about 10 days before transplanting.
  • A week before transplanting, introduce fertilizer or aged compost in your garden soil.
  • After the danger of frost has passed, transplant seedlings outdoors, 18 to 24 inches apart (but keep paired plants close to touching.)
  • Soil should be at least 65 degrees F, peppers will not survive transplanting at temps any colder. Northern gardeners can warm up the soil by covering it with black plastic.
  • Put two or three match sticks in the hole with each plant, along with about a teaspoon of fertilizer. They give the plants a bit of sulfur, which they like.

Care

  • Soil should be well-drained, but maintain adequate moisture either with mulch or plastic covering.
  • Water one to two inches per week, but remember peppers are extremely heat sensitive. If you live in a warm or desert climate, watering everyday may be necessary.
  • Fertilize after the first fruit set.
  • Weed carefully around plants.
  • If necessary, support plants with cages or stakes to prevent bending. Try commercially available cone-shaped wire tomato cages. They may not be ideal for tomatoes, but they are just the thing for peppers.
  • For larger fruit, spray the plants with a solution of one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water, once when it begins to bloom, and once ten days later.

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Flea Beetles
  • Cucumber Mosaic Virus
  • Blossom End Rot appears as a soft, sunken area which turns darker in color.
  • Pollination can be reduced in temperatures below 60F and above 90F.
  • Too much nitrogen will reduce fruit from setting.

Harvest/Storage

  • Harvest as soon as peppers reach desired size.
  • The longer bell peppers stay on the plant, the more sweet they become and the greater their Vitamin C content.
  • Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut peppers clean off the plant for the least damage.
  • Peppers can be refrigerated in plastic bags for up to 10 days after harvesting.
  • Bell peppers can be dried, and we would recommend a conventional oven for the task. Wash, core, and seed the peppers. Cut into one-half-inch strips. Steam for about ten minutes, then spread on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven at 140 degrees F (or the lowest possible temperature) until brittle, stirring occasionally and switching tray positions. When the peppers are cool, put them in bags or storage containers.

Recommended Varieties

Look for varieties that ripen to their full color quickly; fully mature peppers are the most nutritious—and tastier, too!

  • Green to Red: ‘Lady Bell’, ‘Gypsy,’ ‘Bell Boy,’ ‘Lipstick’
  • Yellow: ‘Golden California Wonder’

Recipes

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Wit & Wisdom

The popular green and red bell peppers that we see in supermarkets are actually the same thing; the red peppers have just been allowed to mature on the plant longer, changing color and also gaining a higher content of Vitamin C.

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See Also

How to Grow Peppers in a Container

https://auntiedogmasgardenspot.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/how-to-grow-peppers-in-a-container/

tomatoes-and-peppers