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The presence of flowers can dramatically change the appearance of one’s garden. So, where do home owners start, if they want to have the perfect flower garden? Here is help!
Essential steps for beginners to set up a flower garden
Do some basic research to familiarise yourself about different flowers. Buy the seeds only after that. Consider the available sunlight, soil, water, flowering season, etc., when setting up a flower garden at home.
Sunshine for flower gardening
Before planting the flowers, indoors or outdoors, select the space, based on the available sunlight.
“Find out the temperature requirements, watering and light needs of any flowering plant that interests you. Such information is readily available online. Once you consider the seasons, water and light, flowering plants are easy to maintain. As most of them need sunshine, they should be grown outdoors, on window grills, in balconies or terraces,” says Smita Shirodkar, founder of Earthoholics, a Mumbai-based social enterprise that specialises in urban garden training, edible landscaping consultancy and setup services.
How to prepare soil for flower gardening
To start a flower garden, the top layer of the soil should be nutrient-intense, fertile and have the proper balance of silt, sand and mineral. Note that good soil is not too sticky and drains well. Also, the roots should be deep in the soil, for the plant to be stable and grow well.
Tips for indoor flower gardening
A beginner should try and start with mature plants, instead of seeds. The plant has a better chance to thrive if it is already fully developed. Use a spacious container, for the flowers to bloom easily. Whatever container you choose, drainage holes are essential, to drain out excess water.
“A few plants like Phalaenopsis Orchids, Poinsettia, Kalanchoe and Crossandra can be grown indoors, if the room is bright and the temperature is low. Orchids need special soil, mostly consisting of wood chips/coir. Other plants are happy with any well-draining soil,” adds Shirodkar.
See also: How to grow indoor water plants
Easy-to-grow flowers for an indoor garden
Crossandra: Comes in yellow, red or pink varieties and is ideal for keeping in containers. This shade-loving plant survives in medium light and needs to be watered only when soil dries.
Kalanchoe: The multi-coloured (red, yellow, white or pink varieties) succulent houseplant requires less water, bright indirect sunlight and needs well-drained soil.
Peace lily: Can grow well in low light, but for blooming flowers, place your peace lily in a brightly-lit spot that is away from direct sunlight.
See also: Indoor garden design ideas
Outdoor flowering plants
All flowering plants can be grown outdoors. The most popular ones are rose, hibiscus, tagar and marigold.
Rose: Red, pink or yellow roses in your garden can lend an exquisite look. The rose plants need six to eight hours of sunlight, daily. It thrives best when planted in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Ensure the soil is moist and not too wet.
Hibiscus: Hibiscus is a sunlight-loving plant. Plant it in a sunny spot if you want it to bloom all the time. Many varieties of hibiscus flower grow under partial sunlight, as well. There are several varieties, ranging from dark red and orange, to bright pink, yellow, etc.
Tagar: The tagar plant thrives outdoors under abundant sunlight. It requires watering once in a day. It is an annual flowering and hardy plant.
Marigold: These bright yellow flowers love sunlight and need almost eight hours of sunlight. Water the marigold flower plant every day in the summer.
Periwinkle: Sada bahar (periwinkle flower) is a low-maintenance flower. It needs a lot of sun. Gently shower water on the soil, when it gets dry.
See also: Tips for designing a house garden
Flowers that bloom through the year
“To have a year-round blooming flower garden, choose plants that bloom at different times of the year. Also, some flowers, such as gerbera, plumeria, lantana, bougainvillea, periwinkle, dwarf ixora, tecoma dwarf, calliandra, water lily, pentas and baby adenium, bloom throughout the year,” states Shirodkar.
Summer flowers: Marigold, zinnia, petunia
Winter flowers: English rose, alyssum calendulas, dahlias
Monsoon flowers: Jasmines, lilies, plumeria, lotus
How to arrange your flower garden
A lush flower garden is an ever-evolving process and one has to be patient.
- Create a vibrant layout and arrangement of flowering plants, hedges and boundaries, according to the plant’s height and sunlight needs. If you have a large garden, add a walkway or small islands with flowers, or use flowering plants as accent pieces, amid the green plants.
- The flower beds or flower pots can be arranged aesthetically, according to available space. A combination of flowers of different heights or colours, can create a stunning impact.
- You can enhance the garden wall with bougainvillea creeper plants, to create a pleasant vibe.
- Lotuses and lilies are the most common flowering plants for ponds in the garden.
See also: Lucky plants for the home
Care and maintenance tips for flowering plants
- Do not plant flowers too close together, as it can lead to poor air circulation causing fungal disease.
- Mulching the flower beds helps control the loss of moisture from the soil.
- Ensure that tall plants do not obstruct the sunlight needed for smaller plants.
- When you buy a plant from the nursery, do not immediately transfer it to a new pot or soil. Let the plant settle in the new environment for at least a week. Transplant in the evening and not in harsh sunlight.
- Phosphorus-rich fertilisers help flowers to grow. Any manure or compost should be added once a month.
- Remove the dry or dead flowers and add them back to the soil.
- Avoid watering the plants too much, as it may kill the plant.
How do you start a flower garden for beginners?
Before you start a flower garden, read up about the different flowers and choose ones, according to the available sunlight, water and soil. Also, as a beginner, you may want to consider grown plants, instead of starting with seeds.
What month should you start planting flowers?
The spring season is the best time to start growing flowering plants.
Which flowers bloom all the year round?
Flowers that bloom throughout the year include gerbera, bougainvillea, plumeria, lantana, water lily, periwinkle, dwarf ixora, calliandra, tecoma dwarf, pentas and baby adenium.