Indoor Flowers

Did you ever notice that our sense of smell is one of our five senses that we have the least control on! Now imagine walking into a room that didn’t smell nice! Want to welcome your guests into a fragrant room? Here are few suggestions of indoor flowers

The above line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has inspired many a generations since the time it was first written. We often associate a trait very strongly with a thing – and hence lovers have always described the scent of their sweetheart to be ‘as sweet as a rose’! However there are a lot of fragrant flowers that bear an exquisite, intoxicating smell. Though some of these are big guys and need ample space, many of them can be grown indoors as well! There are many options from which to choose, and a novice is bound to get confused! So here is a list of some indoor flowers that smell good to help you along.

Easy-to-Grow Indoor Fragrant Flowers
It is very important for an amateur to choose an easy-to-grow plant as a first. Plants – especially flowering plants – demand attention and care. However, some are rather hardy, and these are best to begin with. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up killing your very first plant!

Tuberose

It is one of the easiest flowering plants to grow indoor. The inflorescence looks almost divine, with beautiful white tubular flowers. The plant is propagated as a bulb and requires bright light and well-drained soil, so you can prop it up in a sunny window in your house. Avoid planting it in frost/winters, as the plant need warm, sunny weather. A potted tuberose can make a boring shelf or cabinet look fresh and attractive!

Hoya

The genus Hoya consists of about 200 to 300 flowering species of which H. carnosa is the most popular. The flowers have a strong wild fragrance and grow in clusters. Being a shrub, it is often propagated through stem cuttings. Hoyas come in different colors, from peach to pink to pearl-white and look very delicate and pretty. A useful tip is to keep the plant in bright but indirect light to ensure blooming. Also the plants should completely dry out between watering.

Narcissus

A personal favorite, a narcissus bears many flowers at a time. A single plant bulb gives rise to a small bouquet of narcissus flowers; so you can plant 4-5 bulbs together in a big pot, or just place single bulb in a small pot. They come in different colors, either completely yellow, or white with yellow or orange trumpets. so you can plant different bulbs in a single pot and have kids wondering why all the flowers in a single pot are not same in color!

Carnations

These pretty flowers have a spicy clove-like fragrance; but one that is mild. Potted carnations can look really pretty on a center-table. They grow tall, and hence can be cut and placed in a vase on the dining table as well. The cut-flowers have a long vase-life and stay fresh almost up to a couple of weeks!

Fastidious Indoor Fragrant Flowers
Once you gain some experience in indoor gardening, you can move on to plants that need a little more attention and care. It is worth the pain it takes to grow these fussy individuals, for the reward is truly beautiful!

Roses

There are several types of roses that can be grown indoor as potted plants, and even in gardens. Miniature roses are a popular choice. They occupy only a limited amount of space. The key to growing roses is to provide the plant with everything in the right quantity and at the right time. A rose plant in full bloom is a breathtaking sight and a reward in itself. Plus there is something about roses… they bring out the poet in you!

Passion Flower

Though quite uncommon as an indoor plant, a well-maintained passion flower vine can add beauty and elegance beyond compare to your home! Being a vine, a passion flower plant can be made to grow in interesting ways, for example to adorn a window or a door frame. A potted passion flower vine can be made to climb up your window. Just imagine having a study-table next to such a window… what a delight!

Orchids

Growing an orchid can be quite a daunting task in itself, and only the most experienced gardeners attempt to do it! However, after gaining mastery in growing an orchid indoor, you may upgrade to one of the many fragrant orchid cultivars that are now available in the market. ‘Sharry Baby’ oncidium is a chocolate-red colored, yummy-smelling orchid; and believe it or not – it actually smells like chocolate!

One of the best things about indoor plants is – you can move them anywhere you want, anytime you want! You can move them from a shady corner to a sunny window, or simply from the drawing room to your bedroom! They can change the look and feel of a room. If you have a garden, you can even move them out into the garden. Flowering plants can attract many visitors to your garden too – from hummingbirds to butterflies. They add color and joy to your house and make it a beautiful place to live in.

Types of Roses

Roses are the best means to express our feelings since time immemorial. Indeed, it is a flower for everyone; a friend gifts a yellow rose to convey gratitude to another friend or a lover presents a red rose to simply express his love. Consequently, rose is the most sold flower worldwide. More than 100 species of rose are identified, out of which some are popularly grown in pots and home garden. If you are interested in growing roses and are planning to try your hands on it, read this article to get an idea on the different types of roses.

Different Types of Roses

Be it the shape, size, color, blooming form or growing habit, the variability of roses cannot match with any other flower species. In terms of colors of roses, you can find white, pink, yellow, orange, shades of blue and black. Even there are different types of red roses, which vary in the color shade, number of petals and bloom shape. Frankly speaking, there is no other flower that is as diverse as a rose. Mention below is a list of rose types, which you can consider while selecting for your flower garden:

China Rose: Fill your garden from summer through late autumn with light fragrant, pink colored blooms by growing china rose. After opening, a china rose darkens, instead of fading its color like other roses. It cannot tolerate very cold temperatures, hence make sure you check the growing conditions prior to introducing it in your garden.

Climbing Rose: Climbing type of rose is very hardy and suitable for planting near fences and trellis. If left uncontrolled, the plant can reach a height of more than 20 feet. You can select one time blooming or repeated blooming variety. Climbing rose is not a true vine and you need to manually tie the stem to a supporting structure.

Damask Rose: A type of old garden rose, damask is popular for its strong fragrance, and vicious thorns present in the stems and underneath the leaves. Some cultivars of damask bloom once in a year, while others flower repeatedly. Damask rose is found in white, pink and red colors.

Floribunda Rose: This type of rose is delicate and borne singly or in clusters, as per the cultivar. Some varieties are excellent for planting wet climatic conditions. The most peculiar character of floribunda rose is its non-stop flowering during the growing season. Floribundas are best suited for planting in pots and as borders in flower beds.

Grandiflora Rose: Another popular garden rose variety is grandiflora that blooms continuously during the flowering months. The plant is tall and bears blooms in clusters. The growth habit and planting requirements of grandiflora are very similar to hybrid tea rose, except the flower size is larger in this type.

Hybrid Tea Rose: A widely cultivated fragrant and large variety of rose, hybrid tea grows to a height of about 2 meters. Each rose bloom is supported by a long and straight stem, which makes it an excellent cut flower. You can plant white, yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender and multicolored hybrid tea variety.

Miniature Rose: As the name suggests, miniature rose is small type, with plant growing to a height of 1 – 1½ feet. The blooms are variant colored and tiny, with some species measuring only ½ an inch diameter. Miniature rose grows well in pots and containers.

Provence Rose: Also known as cabbage rose, you can easily identify a provence rose from its rich fragrance and numerous petals that are arranged in globular shape. The plant is shrubby and grows to about 2 m height. Provence rose is also cultivated on a large scale for extraction of rose oil.

Shrub Rose: If you have little time for growing and caring for rose bushes, then select shrub rose (or landscape rose). In comparison to other modern rose varieties, it requires less care and maintenance, but fills the yard with a heady fragrance and vivid colored blooms. Another advantage of shrub rose is repeated flowering, which is not so in case of a hybrid tea type.

Tree Rose: The growth habit of this rose type is more or less similar to the regular tree. It has a trunk like stem that bears flowers at the top branches. Most hobbyists prefer growing tree roses as a background to other potted flowers in the garden. In contrary to this rose type, there are also ground cover rose variety that hardly grows up to 1 foot, but spreads to large areas.

How to Prune Rose Bushes

How to prune rose bushes? For any new rosarian, this must be the most befuddling question. Pruning is the process to encourage new growth by enhancing sunlight and air circulation, and also improving overall appearance of the bushes.

If you are a new rosarian, pruning rose bushes can seem like a mystery for you. It can be a very intimidating, nerve-raking process, especially when the concept is a novelty to you. However, the thing to remember is that pruning is beneficial for your rose plants. While it takes time, experience, and practice, to become an accomplished rose gardener, it is next to impossible that you will kill your rose with bad pruning. So, give a try! It is better than letting them grow uncontrolled and wild.

Purpose
Pruning is done for the following reasons:

  • To encourage the new growth and bloom
  • To remove dead or diseased wood
  • To improve the appearance of the plant
  • To let more sunlight and air to the center of the plant
  • To remove its uncontrolled growth for better circulation
  • To control the quantity and quality of the flowers produced

The process of removing spent blooms, also known as deadheading, during the season, promotes blooming. This improves the shape and appearance of the plant. Pruning also helps in removing potential threat of plant diseases. It removes the sites that are most likely to be harboring any infections.

Required Tools

  1. Pruning shears which can slice the cane, instead of crushing it
  2. Loppers with long handles
  3. Fine toothed, curved saw
  4. Long, thick gloves
  5. Long sleeves
  6. 91% Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
  7. Trash can

Basic Points To Remember

  • Always use clean, sharp, and sterile tools. This will help you to ensure that there is no spread of disease, like black spots.
  • For better light and air circulation, try to prune the rose bush such that the center of the plant is opened.
  • Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle, which should be about ¼th inch above a bud, facing the outer side of the plant. Make the cut clean, and not ragged.
  • Remove any weak or twiggy branches. Also remove all dead, broken, and diseased wood. Branches which look shriveled, dry, or black are to be pruned. Remove the remaining foliage.
  • Check for the color of the stem while pruning. Continue pruning until the pith of the stem appears white.
  • Remove sucker growth coming from below the bud union. This growth is from the root stock, and is a different rose variety. If you do not remove it, then it will crowd over your desired variety.

When to Prune
The ideal time for pruning is determined by the type and species of the rose plant, and the geographical location in which it is growing. In general, most rose pruning is done in the spring, with a signal like the blooming of the forsythia. In the absence of forsythia, the swelling of leaf buds on your rose bushes can be another good indication. In short, they should be pruned just before growth starts, in March or early April. This is when the bumps on the canes get larger and reddish in color. However, heirloom roses (old) and some climbers that produce blooms on the previous year’s wood are the noted exceptions to this rule. They should be pruned after they bloom.

new rose budding

Process
The procedures for climbing and rambling roses vary according to the type and class of rose bush. The basics of pruning remain constant. The characteristic that distinguishes a climbing rose from a rambling one is the pattern of flowering. While climbing roses bloom continuously throughout the summer, the rambling ones bloom just once. The rambling category is further divided into three categories, all of which are pruned differently.

It is very important that the method of tying shoots to a support in a near horizontal position should be followed for all bushes. These horizontal shoots will generate flowering laterals along their length, and offer a liberal display of flowers, quite contrary to vertical shoots which produce flowers only at their tips. Here’s how you should treat the specific categories of rose bushes differently.

Climbing Roses

They bloom continuously throughout the summer. They are reasonably strong, their flexuous stems taking the support of fences, arbors, pergolas, and walls. Rosa Mermaid, Iceberg, Rosa Banksiae Lutea, Handel, etc., are a few good examples. While planting new bare root plants, don’t trim the shoots, but trim the roots only. The following spring, shorten the flowered laterals to four or five buds while the plant is still dormant.

If you are pruning an established climber, prune the flowered laterals in the spring. Don’t forget to remove any diseased or dead wood. Cut off the sucker growth arising from below the bud union. For the relatively old climbers, some of the oldest wood can be removed at the base, to facilitate new growth.

Rambling Roses

Group 1: The varieties of Rosa wichuraiana form the first group of ramblers. They flower on one-year-old shoots, produced from the base of the plant. While planting new bare root plants, trim the canes to 9-15 inches. Usually, there are no flowers in the first season, but profuse flowering in the next. During late summer, prune the stems that flowered at their base, and tie this new growth horizontally to the support.

Group 2: Alberic Barbier, Albertine, New Dawn, Paul’s Scarlet Climber, and Veilchenblau form Group 2. These differ from Group 1 only in the position of the new canes. In this case, the new canes grow half way up the old ones, not at ground level. The plant is pruned after flowering, by removing old wood, up to the new growth.

Group 3: Rosa filipes Kiftsgate, Francis E. Lester, Wedding Day, and Paul’s Himalayan Musk form Group 3. These are characteristically vigorous roses, capable of growing up to 20 feet in one season. These are normally used as a ground cover. Very little pruning is required. Pruning can be done to reduce the size of the canes, or whole branches can be removed at the base.

You can dab a little white Elmer’s glue on the end of each pruned cane. This helps prevent cane borer damage. With almost no possibility of killing your cherished rose bushes, start pruning to give a healthy, airy appearance to your garden!

Hydroponic Strawberries Planting

Do you wait for summer to grow strawberries? Well, you don’t have to necessarily wait for any season to grow strawberries or any of your favourite fruits, if you adopt hydroponic method of cultivating fruits, vegetables or herbs. If you’ve not heard of this method of farming yet, we could simply put it this way – hydroponics is the science of growing plants without the use of soil; rather, nutrients that plants normally get from soil are added to water.

There are multiple advantages of growing strawberries in hydroponics method, especially your favorite strawberries, and one of the most exciting of them all is growing strawberries not just in summer, but throughout the year. Yes, end of summer is never an end to getting fresh strawberries for growers, when they’re growing strawberries hydroponically. Hydroponic method of growing is designed in such a way that it allows farming throughout the year, regardless of any weather conditions.

You’ll also love the fact that hydroponic strawberries can be grown using much less space, and also in much less time. Strawberries grown hydroponically grow faster than the ones grown in soil. And, if you take into consideration the option of growing strawberries by utilizing the vertical space in your home or garden, the yields are going to be greater for sure!

Growing strawberries hydroponically will also save you from the troubles of weeds or parasites. Absence of soil in hydroponic method of growing will help you get rid of many other pests and diseases that plague plants grown in soil, and help you avoid the cost to get chemical fertilizers required for the same.

Strawberries can be grown this way by setting up your choice of hydroponics systems; and, there are multiple options available in the marketplace to choose the one that suits you well. Moreover, you’ll have full control over humidity, heat, nutrition and light provided to your hydroponic plants in this growing method.

If you plan to grow strawberries indoors or in a greenhouse, one of the biggest advantages would be that you will need no time to fight the ever-persistent squirrels or birds that love strawberries, probably as much as you do! And, you can’t actually blame any living being for getting attracted to hydroponic strawberries, as they’re definitely more nutritious and yummy than their soil-grown counterparts.

If you’re an eco-friendly grower, growing strawberries hydroponically will be a wise choice to make, as nutrients used in hydroponic method can be recycled. Moreover, hydroponics growing method gives you the opportunity of not polluting land with fertilizers loaded with chemicals.

Just make a simple choice of growing hydroponic strawberries anywhere you like – rooftop, corridor, garden or your living room! And, you’re all set to enjoy as many home-grown strawberries as you want year round. If you trust our words, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start a small business too. Just make a start by setting up a small hydroponic system, and a huge hydroponic strawberry grow operation may not be a thing of surprise in times to come!