Guides: Hardiness Zone 10
Mostly native to the U.S. and Canada, Asclepias include over 100 species of evergreen or deciduous perennials adorned with clusters of small, interestingly shaped blooms that are irresistible to butterflies. Attractive and easy to grow, they shine in many perennial gardens and are a key component of butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, or prairies and meadows.
Attractive, Sea Holly plants (Eryngium) are striking ornamental perennials grown for their arresting, thistle-like, silvery or blue tinted flower heads adorned with a ruff of showy bracts. Blooming in summer and sometimes into fall, they are useful in rock gardens, coastal gardens and in borders where their steel blue flowers and foliage complement the vibrantly colored summer flowers.
Originating in the jungles of the Far East including Indonesia, Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchids) are semi-terrestrial orchids, growing in humus and other material on the forest floor, on cliffs in pockets of humus and occasionally in trees. Paphiopedilums are called Slipper Orchids because of their unique floral pouch. Resilient and easy to grow in the home, they are probably the easiest orchids to rebloom, or at least to keep alive.
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids) is a genus of 60 species and several natural hybrids growing in tropical Asia to the Pacific Islands and Australia. These orchids are usually epiphytic (growing on trees), but occasionally lithophytic (growing on rocks) or terrestrial. They are among the most popular cultivated orchids and thousands of hybrids have been made throughout the years.
Dendrobium is a diverse genus of more than 1000 orchids species distributed throughout tropical and subtropical Asia, the islands of the south Pacific and Australia. These orchids are usually epiphytic (growing on trees), lithophytic (growing on rocks) and rarely terrestrial. Since the Dendrobium genus is so large and complex, the cultural requirements of these spectacular orchids will depend on their native habitat and the section of the genus to which they belong.
Oncidium is an incredibly large and diverse genus of about 300 orchids species distributed throughout tropical and subtropical America. These orchids have been nicknamed the Dancing Lady Orchids because their flowers resemble a small dancer with a colorful skirt. Relatively trouble free, these orchids are attractive plants for the home or greenhouse. They are sometimes described as difficult to grow. However, with proper care, it is possible to grow them relatively easily.
Cattleya Orchids are among the most popular and easy-to-grow orchids. Epiphytes (growing on trees) or lithophytes (growing on rocks), they include about 50 species and numerous hybrids in a variety of colors. Native to Central and South America, they are divided into two groups, the unifoliates, which have one leaf and large flowers, and the bifoliates, which have two leaves per stem and smaller flowers. Both types are very fragrant with showy flowers appearing on naked stems and lasting 4-8 weeks.
Among the oldest horticultural orchids in the world, Cymbidiums have been grown and revered in China for thousands of years. Prized for their incredibly decorative flower spikes, used especially as cut flowers or for corsages in the spring, they are among the most popular orchids in cultivation today. Most Cymbidiums are easily grown. They are one of the least demanding indoor orchids. They can also be grown in the garden. To flower well, Cymbidiums need a distinct difference between day and night temperatures in late summer.
Mostly native to Mexico, Central America and South America, Phragmipedium (Slipper Orchids) is a genus of about 25 species of terrestrial or epiphytic orchids found growing along stream banks of shady mountain slopes at elevations between 7,200-13,000 ft. (2200-3900 m). Easy to grow in the home, as long as you follow an appropriate care routine, Phragmipedium orchids make beautiful plants in the home or greenhouse.
In cultivation for hundreds of years, Phaius is a genus of about 50 species of large, warm-growing, terrestrial orchids found in a huge natural range including Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Easy to grow in the home, as long as you follow an appropriate care routine, these orchids are spectacular plants and make gorgeous houseplants.
Becoming very popular in cultivation, Zygopetalum is a genus of about 16 species of terrestrial or epiphytic orchids found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru. Easy to grow in the home, as long as you follow an appropriate care routine, these cool to moderate growing orchids make ravishing houseplants.
Native to Mexico, Central and South America, Masdevallia (Flag Orchids) is a genus of 500 species of epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial orchids found growing in cloud forest at high elevations. These miniature to medium sized orchids are attractive because of their compact growth habit and profuse blooms.
As climbers, Clematis are unsurpassed in their long flowering presence, their rich diversity of flower shapes, their wide array of colors and tolerances in terms of exposure and climate. Members of the Ranunculaceae family, Clematis include more than 300 species and hundreds of hybrids. They are divided into 12 groups.
Palms and cycads make striking container plants for decks, patios, porches and around pools, adding an exotic and tropical touch to our outdoor living areas. While most palm trees thrive in the landscape, there are also quite a few species that are suitable to container gardening.
Aside from their beauty, some orchids exude a wonderful fragrance. Their scent can leave an impression greater than the orchid itself. Most orchids smell best in the morning, their fragrance fading in the afternoon when the temperature increases. Other orchids are fragrant in the evening.
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