Plants

How to Grow and Care for the Bleeding Heart Plant in Containers

Bleeding heart plant

Intro: Bleeding heart plants have ferny leaves that grow in a basal rosette form, and their dangling heart-shaped flowers bloom on leafless stalks. Their unique pink or white flowers are what give this plant its common name of bleeding heart. Blooms will appear in late spring to early summer and will last for several weeks (after which the foliage will begin to lose some of its attractiveness). Flowers of the old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) look most like hearts, while other flowers can have different shapes. The best bleeding heart plant species for plant containers is the smaller Dicentra formosa, which grows from 9 inches to 1.5 feet tall. Gardeners with shady balcony gardens should try this plant, especially if they have morning sun.

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How to Grow and Care for the Chrysanthemum Flower in Containers

Chrysanthemum flower

Intro: Chrysanthemum flowers, also called mums or chrysanths, come in many varieties and colors that are suitable for a balcony container garden. The two main chrysanthemum variety types are hardy and florist chrysanthemums. Hardy chrysanthemum flowers (aka garden hardy) do well in cooler weather and can be overwintered outside in the container garden. Florist (aka exhibition) chrysanthemums do well in mild need more attention (i.e., staking, overwintering indoors) and are more delicate, but they produce some of the most beautiful flower blooms. The late-blooming chrysanthemum flowers give gardens color throughout the fall season and are often the last flowers to bloom before winter.

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How to Grow and Care for Hippeastrum in Containers

Hippeastrum flower

Intro: Hippeastrum is a bulb flower often grown in indoor gardens. It is easy to grow and easy to care for, and when taken indoors to overwinter during the cold winter months, it can still bloom indoors. Hippeastrum has large flowers and two to seven long (up to 3 feet) leaves. The flower stem can reach 2.5 feet tall and supports two to 15 large flowers, each being up to 8 inches across. Hippeastrum fowers can be red, pink, white, orange, yellow and green. Some may have multiple colors with stripes or different colored petal edges. The beautiful hippeastrum flowers last for two to three weeks.

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How to Grow and Care for Red Ginger in Containers

Red ginger Alpinia purpurata

Intro: The red ginger plant has many common names, including jungle queen (which has a pink flower), jungle king (red flower), Tahitian ginger and ostrich plume. This plant is quite easy to care for and may grow so well in plant containers that you will have to prune it often. Red ginger can grow tall – up to 8 feet, and it has a spectacular flower spike. What is traditionally called the flower is actually the floral bracts (specialized leaves to resemble flowers and bring attention to the plant’s nearby inconspicuous flowers). Red ginger’s flowers are small and white, and at the tips of the floral bracts. The jungle king and jungle queen varieties bloom all year. Their flowers are often cut and used in arrangements (cut flowers from mature plants can last up to 25 days).

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How to Grow and Care for Anthurium andreanum (Flamingo Flower) in Containers

Anthurium andraeanum

Intro: Anthurium andreanum, often called the flamingo flower, has heart-shaped leaves that come in red, white, pink and variegated colors. This plant is originally from wet tropical mountain forests of Central and South America, so it does best in warm, wet climates. This is one of the few plants that can move its leaves toward or away from the sun (another heliotrope is the sunflower).

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