Monthly Archives: March 2012

Understand About The Importance Of Marigold Flowers From Different Angles

Marigold FlowersMarigolds have always been a gardener’s favorite. They are inexpensive, very easy to care for, and once planted, a marigold plant will continue to bloom throughout the season.

The marigold flowers belong to a variety of genera and come from different regions of the world. The genus, Tagetes is the super class used to group together all the species categorized as common marigold. A total of 56 annual and perennial species are included under the genus, Tagetes. These herbaceous plants belong to the families, Compositae and Asteraceae. These flowers can be found around the globe however, are native to the continents of South America and North America.

Facts about Marigold Flowers

There are many different types of marigold flowers. Descriptions of these flower types are presented below.

Common Marigold
Flowers produced by the common marigold vary in color and one can find yellow, orange, golden as well as white blooms. The diameter of floral heads range from 4-6 cm. Florets are of two types i.e. either disc or ray florets.

Pot Marigold
About 12-20 species grouped under the genus, Calendula are referred to as pot marigolds. Orange and yellow are colors that one can find in these flowers. Appearance of the pot marigolds is a bit like daisies. Earlier, the pot marigold flowers were used for cooking. It is because of the purpose behind the use of blooms (for cooking) that they are referred to as pot marigolds.

Tree Marigold
The tree marigolds are known by different names like Mexican sunflower, Mexican tournesol and Nitobe chrysanthemum. The botanical name of this flower is Tithonia diversifolia. By the end of Meiji Period, import of this flowering plant had started in Japan. Blooms of this marigold resemble sunflowers and possess orange color.

Cultivation

The blooming season of marigolds extend from mid-summer through to the winter. The marigold plants grow well in light conditions ranging from bright sunny to partial shady. Propagation is carried out by means of seeds; these plants are cultivated outdoors as well as in containers. The seeds have to be covered with light soil just after sowing and watered thoroughly. Transplanting of this flowering plant is done after the last frost date. Tips for growing marigold flowers presented above, should prove to be useful.

Medicinal Uses

The marigolds are used for ornamental as well as medicinal purpose. The tree marigold described above, has many applications in the field of medicine. In Taiwan, the tree marigold is used as a herbal medicine. It finds use in improvement of the functioning of liver. The flower is also used in the treatment of bone fractures, sprains, contusions, etc. Marigolds which belong to the genus, Calendula are used in aromatherapy. In the aromatherapy, health problems that are dealt with include scars, eczema, rashes, cracked skin, viral infections and inflammation. Seeds of marigold are used in the treatment of a variety of health problems including stomach cramps, insomnia, cancer, etc. Traditional as well as modern medical practitioners reiterate the importance of marigold in the field of medicine. Marigold flowers are used in the preparation of tonics, expectorants, diuretics, etc. The juices obtained from marigold flowers are used in the treatment of snakebites. Alcoholic extracts of marigold flowers are known to possess antibiotic properties. The pathogenic bacteria and fungi can be treated with these extracts. Information presented above makes us aware of the different marigold flower benefits.

The marigold flowers with their bright and attractive shades are considered good for ornamental purpose. However, these flowers are also known for their medicinal properties. The facts presented above, should help us understand about the importance of marigold flowers from different angles.

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Tips On How To Grow And Maintain An Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe Vera PlantAloe vera is a stemless, succulent plant, mostly adapted in arid and semi-arid areas. The plant may reach to a height of about 90 cm. It usually flowers during the summer season. Aloe vera is commonly grown as an ornamental plant, either indoors or outdoors. As the Aloe plant can tolerate extreme drought conditions, it is one of the favorite medicinal plants for growing in rock gardens and other areas that receive less rainfall. It is also resistant to almost all pests, except few scale insects and bugs, hence maintaining the plant is comparatively easier than other ornamental plants. Let’s take a look at the growing tips for Aloe vera plant.

One of the most important points to be considered while growing Aloe vera plant is that it cannot tolerate heavy frosts and snow. It is due to the fact that more than 90 percent of the plant consists of water. Hence, if you are planning to grow this wonderful medicinal plant, make sure to plant it after frost or make necessary arrangements to protect the plant from frost and snow.

Prepare a moderately fertile potting soil. You can purchase ready-made soil or prepare it on your own by using sandy and well-drained soil, supplemented with dry leaves and humus. Garden soil is not recommended, as it is heavy and not preferable for keeping indoors. Add the potting soil to about two-third of the pot, place the plant at the center and then refill the remaining soil. Then, tamp the soil surrounding the plant.

Speaking about watering the Aloe vera plant, make sure not to over water it. Over irrigation can increase the risk of certain potential diseases and pests. In fact, the amount of water required by the plant varies depending upon the season. For example, during the winter, Aloe plant is nearly dormant and hence, requires a very little moisture. In case of summer season, watering should be done to such an extent that the top soil remains moist.Aloe Vera Plant

It is advisable to place the Aloe vera plant in the indirect sunlight to protect it from scorching heat. In winter months, place the plant outdoors; whereas, in summer months, you can keep it in the windowsill. As Aloe vera has spreading roots, you can repot the plant every year for better growth. Another indication is the development of new shoots around the main plant. Remove the new shoots after they attain a height of about 4 inches and plant them on different pots. While repotting the mother plant, always opt for larger pots, rather than using a deeper one. You can trim off the excess roots and replant it in another pot.

For first aid treatments like burns, cuts, wounds and insect bites, you can harvest Aloe vera leaves by cutting them with sharp knives. Then trim the sides of the leaf and slice lengthwise from the center. Take out the transparent leaf sap and apply to the affected area. Due to its multipurpose uses in herbal medicine, Aloe vera is also referred to as Medicinal Aloe.

Commercially, there are two products of Aloe vera, namely, gel and latex. Aloe gel is extracted from the clear leaf pulp, whereas aloe latex or aloe juice is a yellow exudate, extracted from below the leaf epidermis. These two aloe products are used for cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. Though there are several claims regarding health benefits of Aloe vera, there are a very few scientific proofs that support these claims.

How To Plant Flower Gardening

Flower gardening is an exciting experience if you follow the proper gardening tips accurately. If you are thinking of planting a flower garden, you should have basic knowledge of gardening. You should know how to prepare the flower bed, how to plant the seeds, selection of appropriate plants for your garden and a number of other things. The flower gardening tips will make your task easy and guide you to pursue your hobby.

The beautifully maintained flower garden can make your yard look beautiful and attractive on the other hand the poorly maintained garden will give ugly appearance to your garden. If you are planting a flower garden, it is imperative to follow the flower gardening tips to take proper care of your garden and flower plants. Flower gardening is an easy and rewarding task if you follow all the tips carefully.

Flower Gardening

Flower garden can look best in all seasons. The only thing you need is to take proper care of your garden. If you are a beginner in flower gardening, you will have to learn some basic things about gardening. You should know the right way to plant the flower garden. Below are some tips that will help you in achieving your goal of planting a flower garden.

When planting a garden, you should decide on what type of plants you want to grow in your garden. According to it, you can purchase either the seeds of the plants or buy the readymade plants to plant in your garden. These plants are grown at green houses. Hence, it is important to choose the plants grow well in your area’s climate.

Choose the planting area according to the sun and shade requirements for the plants you purchase. Most of the flower plants grow in full sunlight while some require shady conditions for proper growth. Hence, plant the seeds in the area according to the sunlight requirements.

While preparing the soil bed, dig the soil up to 12-18 inches deep all around the planting area. If the soil is too dry or hard, you can amend it with peat moss or compost to improve its texture. You can also make use of the clay soil in your garden that holds too much water and smoothen roots. This type of soil can be packed tightly around the root.

You can also add fertilizers in the soil if necessary. This will help the plant to flower briskly. If you purchase the ready plants from green houses, they already have the fertilizer or beads in the soil. The best fertilizer is the organic compost that can boost up the growth of flower plant. But make sure that you do not over-fertilize the plant or it may burn the roots. Provide water immediately after fertilizing the plants.

When you are buying a plant from the nursery, if the plant is root bound, the roots are tightly wrapped around the root-ball. Take a sharp knife and tear the side of root ball on four sides. Dig the hole in the ground twice as large as diameter of flower’s pot. Position the plant in the center of the hole and spread the roots smoothly under and around the plants.

Mulch the soil about two inches with the thick mulch. Avoid mulching next to the stem to reduce the possibility of rodent and insect activity. You can add organic compost in the soil to increase the nutrient contents in it. This will help to enhance the growth of flower plants.

Make sure to water the plants regularly. Follow the entire flower gardening tips to make your garden look stunning and eye-catching.