Floriculture

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Floriculture is a branch of horticulture concerned with the propagation of ornamental plants, with a focus on flowering plants specifically and which includes ornamental foliages as well. Worldwide, floriculture is a huge industry. A number of different topics fall within the purview of floriculturists, ranging from managing bulbs to controlling pests which damage ornamental crops.

Humans have been cultivating flowering plants for centuries for the purpose of ornamentation, employment in religious ritual, and use in medicine. With the development of the greenhouse, and advanced knowledge of how inherited traits work, gardeners began breeding a wide variety of cultivars. In the process, they created a huge demand for flowering plants in array of shapes, sizes, and styles.

People can focus on growing flowers for cutting, such as Orchid, Anthurium, Chrysanthemums and Carnations, or flowers used in floral arrangements. Floriculture also involves the production of ornamental houseplants, and decorative plants grown outdoors, along with bedding plants which can be established in the garden. Bulbs and seeds are also cultivated in some greenhouses. In addition to producing a steady supply to plants to meet demand, many greenhouses work on developing unique cultivars, such as plants with unusually colored flowers or distinctive variegated foliage. File:Floriculture1.jpg

Sri Lanka is recognized as one of the best quality production centres for floriculture products in the world. During the past two decades the exports had shown a steady growth. Among the 50 countries which export foliage plants and cut foliage in the world, Sri Lanka is in 21st place contributing 0.1%. The landscaping and floriculture industry go hand in hand as both need plants.

Ornamental Flowers

Anthurium

Anthuriums are one of the most popular tropical with a long vase life of about six weeks and even more depending on the variety and season. Anthuriums are herbaceous epiphytes, native to tropical America. Anthurium is a genus of more than 800 species found in the New World tropics from Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay. The Anthurium is also known as Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flower (Flamingo Lily) or Tail Flower. Anthuriums are grown for their brightly colored flower spathes and their ornamental leaves. Kingdom - Plantae

Division - Magnoliophyta

Class - Liliopsida

Order - Alismatales

Family - Araceae

Genus - Anthurium

The red, heart-shaped flower of Anthuriums is really a spathe, or waxy, modified leaf flaring out from the base of a fleshy spike (spadix) where the tiny real flowers grow. The anthurium flowers appear as a roughness on the spadix as compared to a smooth spadix. Most common colors of anthuriums are red and shades of red.

Facts about Anthuriums

  • In Greek, the name Anthurium means tail flower.
  • Anthurium plant stem lengths may grow to a height of 15-20 inches depending on the size of the spathe, i.e., the bigger the spathe, the longer the stem.
  • The anthurium leaves are usually simple, large, attractively coloured and borne on Long stalks.
  • The anthurium flowering stalk is slender, ending in a fleshy column crowded with many unisexual flowers.
  • There are present leafy bracts which may be white, yellow, red, pink, orange or green
  • Anthuriums are the popular foliage plants.
  • Anthuriums are grown for their attractive flowering bracts which are popular with the cut flower trade.
  • There are 3 broad categories in spathes. They are standard, obake and tulip. Standard is by far the most common shape.
  • Anthuriums come in a wide variety, including: Flowering, Velvet Leafed, Pendulousor Hanging basket types, Palmate leafed.
  • All parts of the anthurium plant, are poisonous. If ingested, may cause mild stomach Disorders
  • The anthurium plant sap can cause skin irritation.
  • The inflorescence of anthuriums is popular as they have a long shelf life.

Growing Anthuriums

Anthuriums can be grown by 4 methods. They are by Vegetative reproducation, Seeds, Tissue culture, and Fertilization.

  • Anthuriums grow on a wide range of soil types ranging from sandy loams to heavy Clays.
  • Anthuriums need a highly organic soil with good water retention capability and good drainage.
  • A well-drained soil is important to prevent rotting of stems and roots.
  • Anthuriums should be planted in raised beds of 1.3 to 2 meters wide and 20 cm deep.
  • Anthuriums should not be planted more than 5 cm deep, as deep planting results in Rotting of stems and roots.
  • Stake the anthurium after planting for support.
  • Water the anthuriums immediately after planting.
  • A layer of coconut husks, semi-rotted wood, or sugar cane baggasse may be used.
  • Mulching is needed for the anthuriums plants.
  • Anthurium plant roots grow into the mulch and spread.
  • Anthuriums need a high light, but not direct sunlight.
  • Do not over-water the anthuriums as it may cause root damage and yellowing of the leaves.

Orchid

Orchids belong to the most diverse family of plants known to man. There are over 880 genera, 28,000 species and well over 300,000 registered cultivars currently documented. These numbers only begin to tell the true story behind the evolutionary success of modern day orchids.

Orchids are the most rapidly (genetically) changing group of plants on earth and more new species have been discovered over the last few thousand years than any other plant group known.

Orchids' are also one of the most adaptable plant groups on, earth. Some Australian orchids grow entirely underground, and many tropical jungle orchids grow in the upper branches of trees. Tundra, rain forest, mountain, grassy plain, desert and swamp environments contain numerous orchid species.

Orchids produce seed pods with literally hundreds of thousands of seed that are released and scattered by the wind. Orchid seeds must establish a symbiotic relationship with a special fungus to survive its first year of life. The fungi gather water and minerals for itself and the seedling, and the seedling shares its sugars from photosynthesis with the fungus. Only one or two orchid seeds will ever germinate and survive on that perfect crevice or depression that is both moist and has the fungus present. Even then, its chances to survive in the wild long enough to bloom are slim.

To avoid this problem, greenhouse growers sow orchid seeds on moist, sugar-rich, sterile agar, or they cut out growing clumps of orchid cells and place them on the agar. These techniques allow many hundreds of orchid plants to survive to maturity. New and improved hybrids can be mass produced rapidly. This is important as orchids are very slow growing. Many orchids take five to seven years to mature to flowering. You can see why breeding three or four orchid generations could span a person's lifetime just to get one new hybrid propagated sufficiently for sale.

Classification

All orchids belong to the Orchid Family, Orchidaceae (or-Kid-ACE-ee-ee). Orchids are divided into two basic growth types: monopodial and sympodial. Monopodial orchids have a central stem which grows continuously from the tip. Flowers are produced from the stem between the leaves, usually alternately from side to side. Phalaenopsis orchids are a good example. Sympodial orchids, such as cattleyas, laelias and paphiopedilufns. Possess a rhizome which sends out a shoot. This develops into a stem and leaves and eventually produces flowers. In time, from the base of this growth, a new shoot develops and so on in a continuous cycle. The buds are often, though not always, protected by a sheath.

The mid section of stems of sympodial orchids is often expanded into water-storage organs called pseudo bulbs. These vary greatly in size and shape, ranging from tall and pencil-thin to bulbous and onion-like. The leaves vary too, some being soft and folded like a fan, others thick and leathery. The roots of epiphytic orchids have an outer layer or corky cells called velamen, which protects the thin, living cortex within. These adaptations allow orchids to absorb water and nutrients rapidly from raindrops, but protect roots, stems and leaves from water loss during dry periods. Most orchids are adapted to conserve water and should be cared for as such.

Gerbera

Scientific Name  : Gerbera jamesonii

Family : Asteraceae/Compositae (Daisy Family)

Common names: Gerbera, African daisy, Transvaal daisy,Barberton daisy

Flowering Period : All year round

Colour  : white, red, cream, orange, pink, purple & yellow

Kingdom - Plantae

Division - Magnoliophyta

Class - Magnoliopsida

Order - Asterales

Family - Asteraceae

Subfamily - Mutisioideae

Genus - Gerbera

Gerbera flowers come in vibrant colours adding beauty to garden. It has around 40 species spreading from Africa across to Madagascar into tropical Asia and South America. Gerbera are plants with a height up to 18 to 24 inch and 4 to 10 inch diameter flowers. There will be more than ten leaves in a plant, medium green in colour spread out in a circle parallel to the ground. These plants can be planted in gardens, mixed containers and pots. Its cut flowers last long and give colour and beauty to any room. There are many hybrids that come in white, cream, yellow, orange-pink, purple or violet. These plants are usually grown in greenhouses and are used for cut flowers. Gerbera flowers all year round.

Planting

Propagation may be achieved through seeds, basal cuttings or through dividing. Basal shoots or cuttings from the parent plant should be taken in summer (March- April). Seeds are sown or cuttings can be inserted in sandy soil until the saplings become an inch tall or the cuttings form roots. Plants grown from seeds can differ from the parent plant and seeds which do not germinate within about twenty days are likely not to germinate at all.

Replanting is done in April. The saplings (germinated seeds) and the cuttings can be replanted in pots filled with a mixture of sand, dried organic mix, loam. When repotting ensure the crown of the plant is above the level of the soil. Until the plants settle, they should be kept in shades and sprinkled with water. After that no shading is necessary. The settled plants last for 3 to 4 years. After that flowers will lessen and the growth of the plant will get stunted.

For best results the plants need a liberal amount of sun and water. Half day of direct sun and half day of partial shade and remaining slightly moist at all times is ideal. High source of light can give an abundance of flowers. Healthy Gerberas are rarely bothered by pests. Fungus and stem rot is a common problem with over watered plants. Remove old leaves regularly to prevent fungus infections.

Gerbera is a genus of the family of sunflowers, Daisies and Asters - Asteraceae, with a wide distribution from Africa to Madagascar, tropical Asia and South America. Through hybridization, Gerberas are available in a massive array of colors.

Facts about Gerberas

  • Having a long vase life, Gerbera flowers are widely used in the Cut Flower Industry.
  • Gerberas are great flowers for adding color to any room or garden.
  • Gerbera flowers often measure 7 inches (17.8 cm) across.
  • Gerberas come in a wide range of colors - from light to dark yellow, orange, pink,Brilliant scarlet, deep red and many more colors.
  • Gerberas can be used in landscapes as bedding plants for borders and flower beds or As Cut Flowers for table arrangements.
  • Gerberas are native to Transvaal, South Africa.
  • Hybrid Gerbera varieties cloned through tissue culture are uniform, and have long-lasting flowers with thick peduncles that are not light sensitive; hence, flowers remain open in the dark, lending themselves to indoor use in flower arrangements
  • The most inexpensive way to produce gerberas is from seed obtained from reputable Seed suppliers.

Various Forms of Gerbera Flowers

Gerberas come in various forms. Broadly, they can be pot into four groups.

  • Single Flowers - These Gerberas have a row of non-overlapping petals (ray florets) with a green center (disc florets). These are the most common gerberas available in the market.
  • Double or duplex - These Gerberas have a double row of overlapping petals with a Green, black, or dark red eye.
  • Crested doubles - These doubles contain two rows of overlapping petals with one or more inner rows of shorter petals with a green, black, or dark red eye.
  • Full crested doubles - These have solid overlapping rows of petals with an inner row diminishing in size, covering the eye entirely

Landscaping

Landscape design is the process of managing, planning, and physically changing the landscape. It involves the physical management of the landscape and the design of places. The goal of landscape design is to transform and enhance outdoor environments to more beautiful, expressive, and supportive places. This involves understanding of both technical aspects of landscape architecture and the more creative aspects of landscape design. In addition, landscape designers apply an understanding of places and their evolutionary possibilities, and are consistently sensitive to peoples' needs and values. Building on the foundation of a successful textbook, this new edition will meet the needs that have been created by changes in the practice and technology of landscape design in the years since the publication of the first edition.