Caring For Flower Gardens
Most home gardens in the Philippines
display very few flowering plants. That's because most homeowners think
flowering gardens are too work intensive. This page will show you it's
not as hard as you think.
Most flowering plants are voracious eaters. They need lots of fertilizer to produce lots of blooms and healthy foliage. Yet, a once-a-week feeding is enough to keep them happy. Fertilizing can be as simple as spraying their leaves with a fine mist very Sunday morning. It can actually be very relaxing. Or give them special treats like banana peels! These are high in potassium which helps make the flowers bigger, brighter and long-lasting. Stubborn plants -- those that simply refuse to flower -- may either be in need of more light, or could use a helpful boost of plant hormones found in seaweed fertilizers.
SUN, SUN AND MORE SUN
In case the most you can offer is partial sun, go for these plants that do well in not-so-sunny places: impatiens, spathyphyllum and anthurium.
Many flowering plants don't require this step. But attention-getters like roses truly appreciate it. Dead-heading simply means cutting off the spent or faded flowers from your plants. This lets the plant concentrate its energies on producing new flowers, rather than fruits or seedheads. If seeds or fruits actually make your plant more attractive, or if you want to collect some seeds for propagation, then you shouldn't dead-head entirely. If fruits or seedheads are needed, dead-head only about a third of the flowers. This will be enough to encourage a continuing display of flowers.
Annuals are flowers that sprout, mature, bloom, and die all within a few months. It is rather difficult to appreciate their value in our country where winter never comes and the seasons all seem to be friendly enough for plants to go on and on.
But the beauty about annuals is that they provide splashes of color for rather long periods. Certainly, you've noticed the brilliant golden display of cosmos and multi-colored zinnias that line many of our neighborhood streets? One charming climber that provides momentary color but dies off before it becomes an overgrown nuisance is the lovely cypress vine. All these are annuals that practically take care of themselves, even sowing their own seeds so there'll be more of them to take their place once their dance in the garden is done.
Annuals also help fill in gaps between newly-planted perennials. Rather than crowding perennial plants together to fill up bald spots in the garden (which isn't a wise thing to do), fill up the space between new transplants with annuals like coleus (a.k.a. mayana), margarita, palong ng manok, celosia, or petunias. By the time the perennials you've planted are ready to claim the neighboring territory as they grow in height, breadth and width, the annuals will likewise be ready to bid goodbye.
Consider annuals "disposable color." Much, much better than just cut flowers in a vase. They need to be maintained for just a short period, after which you can simply get yourself a new, colorful selection! But unlike mere cut flowers, annuals could actually leave you with a bunch of seedlings to enjoy all over again.
Peppers in Pots