The Beginner’s Guide To Everything Plants - Naturallist

The Beginner’s Guide To Everything Plants

Plants are one of the most underappreciated organisms on this green earth. There are millions of plant species around the world, and scientists have only scratched the surface when it comes to cataloging them.

Although we don’t claim to know everything about these amazing creatures, we want to help everyone learn more about the wide variety of plants across the globe. Particularly, we want to give a warm welcome to readers of WaFarmToSchool.org, a website we have recently acquired. 

Today, we will start your journey into the world of plants, giving you insight into the luscious landscape.

Dwarf Mexican Petunia

Flowers

There is a massive variety of flowers in the world, and we want to share their uniqueness with you. To ease you in gently, we will start with a guide to birth flowers. These are flowers that bloom in specific months. Categorizing flowers by their blooming days is one of the easiest ways to showcase them.

Birth Flowers

Once upon a time, people used to communicate using flowers, as each had its own meaning. When a new child was born, people would send flowers to indicate that the birth had been successful. People would then send flowers back, to show their hopes for the child.

For those born in January, you could expect carnations in pink, white, or red which symbolizes gratitude, purity, and strength. If you were unlucky you might receive a snowdrop which was an omen of death.

February babies would receive violets or primroses to signify thoughtfulness and undying love.

Those born in March can claim the daffodil as their birth flower, which symbolizes good fortune and hope.

April is often the beginning of spring, and with it delicate and light flowers grow. This is why the pure daisies are considered April’s birth flower.

The May birth flowers are hawthorn and lily of the valley. The hawthorn represents happiness and hope, while the lily of the valley symbolizes purity and romance.

It’s in June when the deep colors start to bloom, which is why those born in this month can expect roses and honeysuckle as their flower. The meaning behind the roses changes with its color, but you can expect love to be mixed in with the delicate petals. 

July has two birth flowers! They are larkspurs and the water lily. Both flowers are bright, matching their meaning of beauty and joy.

In the late summertime of August, the bright colors in the flowers continue to persist. Gladiolus’s strength and the poppies’ purity are at the heart of this month’s birth flower.

September babies can take in the pastel hues of flowers blooming in this season. Aster and morning glory are the birth flowers for this month representing elegance and humbleness as the warm season fades.

In October the orange colors start to emerge. We aren’t talking about pumpkins, instead, the birth flower of this month is marigolds. Marigolds represent success and joy.

The birth flower for November is the chrysanthemums. These flowers come in many shapes and colors showing the range that November children can give.

And lastly, the birth flowers for December borns are a mixture of holly, narcissus, and poinsettia. With a spikey and self-obsessed flower for the month, you may think that you’ve had a bad bunch, but look past the folk tales to see the beauty beneath.

The Wonderful Variation In Plant Species

If you want to give flowers to someone as a birthday gift, but don’t like the idea of using birth flowers, you could instead send them a quirky bouquet of flowers starting with their first initial. 

Finding flowers that begin with A, for example, could be a cute way to bring variety with a theme. Creating a wonderful conversation starter without having a bunch of flowers with the same coloring.

Another idea could be to send flowers that come from a specific region. Flowers from Australia differ dramatically to those from the Philippines, and if the giftee has been to these locations before they would feel the connection to these beautiful plants. Even countries as close as England and Scotland will have a massive variation, and each of these locations should be cherished for their differences.

You might be shocked to learn that each genus of flower often has many variations. There are some plants that produce the same food but look different, like tomatoes and wheat. And there are others which come from the same family but can be found in different colors, like orchids and thistles. But the changes can be more dramatic than that.

For example, there are 16 fantastic mint flowers that have a famous smell but show their beauty in different ways. You may already know about the spearmint and peppermint flowers, but what about lemon balm, water mint, or chocolate mint?

Tapping into these variations can help you add color or variety to your flower beds. You can find a collection of flowers that produce true blue colors, build an illusion of fire by planting oranges and reds to create flames, or simply plant flowers of similar shapes but with a different pop of color.

Knowing how plants can vary can help you create a beautiful garden or a memorable gift. Don’t just stick to the ones you know, branch out to plants around the world to find something unique and special.

Yuzuri Ha Tree

House Plants

Adding plants to your home can be difficult. Although you may want to create a specific aesthetic, you need to think of your plants like a pet. Looking after them should be relaxing, but if the plant has a complex feeding system or only survives in specific conditions, then your ideal home might not stay luscious for long.

The Rise In Cacti Popularity

The rise in cacti popularity comes from their low-maintenance lifestyle. In comparison to most other house plants, cacti are easy to look after

Although you may take some time to create the perfect potting mix for them to settle into, once planted there is very little you need to do. Simply keep in mind that a yellowing cactus often means you have overwatered the plant. If you notice that some leaves are rusting or curling, you can remove the infected areas or give them treatments to fight the infections. 

Cacti come in amazing varieties from the unusual shapes of Korean succulents to the vibrant colors normally found in flowers. You may even find some cacti flowers have medical benefits. Be warned though, as some succulents can harm your pets. Know what you’re buying before you jump on the trend.

The Best House Plants For Your Home

Finding the best plant for your home comes down to your personal taste, your ability to maintain the flower, and the type of home you have.

If you don’t live in sub-zero temperatures and you don’t want to care for the plant every day, then the cacti should be your first choice. However, there are more than just those beautiful succulents to pick from.

If your home is in a shaded area, like an apartment or a crowded row of houses, then you may want to pick hanging plants such as pothos, heartleaf philodendron, or the spider plant. These plants come from tropical locations where they have rich soil but low light. This means you need to top up their soil often, but they can survive without as much sunlight as other plants.

If you do have some light in your home, but only through your windows, then you should follow the same idea as the hanging plants. However, you can grow more vibrant flowers, like the elephant ear, coleus, or the geranium.

In the other direction, if you have a lot of light coming into your home, then you should grow plants such as aloe vera, jade plant, and kalanchoe.

Fruits

Zinfandel Grapes Fruit

Fruits are the most hard-working plant, as they grow their berries and nutrients just for us to take it away. If you can grow fruits in your backyard, you’ll be one step closer to being self-sufficient and healthy!

The Amazing Variations Of Fruit

Fruits come in a myriad of different varieties. You can get brown fruits, yellow fruits, blue fruits, and more. You can get fruits with natural sugars, fruits packed with protein, some filled with fiber, and others piled with potassium.

There is a whole alphabet of choice for you to pick from when it comes to adding fruits to your life. Knowing this, you should be able to find a plant that you can grow at home. 

For example, if you know that you have low iron, you may want to grow fruits with high iron in them, that way you always have an iron supplement in your home ready for the picking.

On the flip side, if you are aiming to create a garden of beauty, but want it to be functional too, you can add fruit-bearing plants to your collection knowing their berries would match your aesthetic. Adding a dash of purple to your view could be the added touch you were looking for.

It doesn’t matter if you live in a hot country either, as most fruits can handle the heat. There are even some that grow in the desert!

Ash Tree(Fraxinus Genus)

Trees

Around the world, you will find amazing trees that change in shape and color. Even classic trees such as the chestnut will have a lot of variations, and you can’t expect every peach tree to look the same.

Some trees are small and can easily fit tiny gardens, while others can become the standing feature in your estate.

Trees For Your Home

There are some trees such as the Taxus celebica that can take up a lot of space. This means growing them in your home will only be viable if you have a large enough open area.  

Before you consider adding a tree to your property, you should think about the size you have available, and the reach you can give the plant. Hazel trees, for example, need a lot of height to grow up, but they also need a wide area to go out to.

You should also think about how the tree will interact with your current environment. If your landscape is almost completely green, you may want a tree that produces pink, white, purple, or yellow leaves to give it a pop of color.

The color of the leaves doesn’t have to be the only factor either, as their flower could be the beauty that tips them in your favor. Rose trees, for example, are a stunning addition to any garden.

Trees Which Give Produce

We have already talked about adding fruits to your garden to have plant life that can sustain you in nourishment as well as aesthetics, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to bushes or small indoor plants. 

Adding height to your garden by using trees can give your landscape a sense of depth, but allowing pops of color through fruits can keep the area looking light. You can choose simple options such as orange trees, or opt for something more difficult to maintain such as apricot trees instead.

Depending on where you live, you may not have the temperatures needed to grow the tree to its complete size. If you are adamant you want to grow a persimmon tree, for example, you may need to create a hot room in your home to provide an adequate climate for the plant. 

Once a hot room has been established, you can add all the small trees you want including avocado trees, almond trees, and mango trees too!

Caring For Your Plants

No matter which plant you end up adding to your home, you need to know how to take care of it. 

Outdoor Plants

No matter the species, you should be aware of your plant’s soil pH level and nutrient levels too. Its pH level should be between 5 and 7, however, depending on the plant you have chosen they might desire a more alkaline balance.

Before purchase, you should figure out what your plants need to stay healthy, but if you see signs of yellowing edges, strange dark patches, or curling shapes to their leaves it could be a sign of nutrient deficiency. 

Choosing the right soil could be the difference between a luscious garden and a shriveled wasteland. Depending on the plant, you may need sandy soil, clay soil, or silty soil

Sandy soils are easy to work with and warm up quickly which makes them great for cooler climates, but in hot climates, they can dry out quickly. Clay soil has a lot of nutrients and can hold water well, but it can be hard to move and doesn’t work well in cooler climates. Silt soil, however, is highly fertile and can hold temperatures but doesn’t drain well.

Knowing what your plants need the most can help you figure out which soil you should choose.

Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are at risk of nitrogen toxicity. They need nitrogen as their food source, however just as we become sluggish when overindulging, your plants will too. With too much nitrogen in their system, the flowering stage will be delayed. 

You can point out the signs of nitrogen toxicity when the leaves begin to yellow or start to curl. To fix the issue, you can add organic matter to the soil to increase its fertility. You can also make sure the pH levels are correct and add supplements if the balance is wrong.

Being aware of these issues can help you keep your plants looking happy and healthy.

Summary

There are so many amazing plants around the world. Some we will never see in person, and others we can enjoy in our own homes. No matter what type of plant you want to add to your garden, be sure to recognize what their needs are and how to maintain them.