Selection Criteria for Ornamental Plants.


Hi folks, hoping yours is a lovely weekend. It’s December the 19th and just before I get out for this wedding party,I thought it wise to share with you these tips that can help you best in selecting ornamental plants for your office, homestead or residential plot.
As a customer or client to a nursery owner, always have in mind the intended use of the ornamental plant you are purchasing. Secondly the suitability of the plant to grow in your environment is a factor that should be importantly considered. As my esteemed number one reader, here are a few tips I wanna take you through as factors to consider when selecting ornamental indoor and outdoor plants.
1.Plant hardiness.
It’s the ability of the plant to tolerate the prevailing weather conditions such as light, temperature, relative humidity and other environmental conditions of the indoor or outdoor site. Always select hardy plants which are adapted to the environmental conditions of the area being landscaped.
Ferns,agloenema, dieffenbachia best suit for indoor environment since they prefer low light environments.
Bulb plants such as arabicum, daffodils and tulips have a vernalization requirement; meaning they will only flower if exposed to low temperatures for a given time duration.
2. Plant growth rate and growth habit.
With plant growth rate it should be noted that they are always categorised as fast, medium or slow growers.
Podo and Elgon teak are few examples of slow growing trees. They can only be planted as specimen tree plants within a landscape since they are hardwood species that grow at an extremely slow rate. Fast growing trees are mostly used for hedges and shade.
With plant growth habit,there are those with
-Large root systems. Ficus benjamina
This should be planted very far from buildings and concrete as they grow wide and long finding there way underneath nearby concrete.
-Shallow root systems;
may fall over to nearby buildings during heavy rains such as the pinus species, should be planted at a considerable distance from buildings.
-Deciduous plant species
heavy unpleasant fruits that litter landscapes making lawn mowing difficult
Some deciduous plant species drop all their leaves during the dry periods of the year posing a challenge of leaf ground clearing.An example is the Croton megarlocarpus tree species.
– The mature shape and size of trees during selection is very important as tall trees usually affect utilities on site.
Ornamentals with a heavy texture are suited for hedges compared to those with  light texture. Multi-branching shrubs make good hedges since they can be pruned without damaging them.
Round tree species such as the Acacia are well suited for shade whereas the conical shapes make good work in framing buildings.
Allelopathic trees should not be grown within a lawn since they will poison and retard growth of other ornamental plants in the surrounding.
3. Ease of management.
Landscaping requires good management if you wanna see and maintain the results. Some ornamental plants require minimal care such as pruning, training and collection of fallen leaves whereas others need frequent and close attention. Perennial plants require less maintenance compared to annual which need to be replaced annually. Elderly couples or invalids should avoid use of hard to maintain ornamental plant species such as the deciduous tree species.
4. Tolerance of pests and diseases.
A landscaper should carefully select pest and disease tolerant ornamental plants for the given area.
Some certain tree species such as Digitalia terminalis attract caterpillars in parts of western Kenya, this means  one should plant them at a safe distance from the general buildings front area. Other tree species attract wasps,scales and bees that pose a danger to people and  livestock.
5.Emission of offensive odours or strong scents.
This goes with the preference of an individual. Some will desire strong  odour while others may find them offensive.
6.Adaptation to the prevailing soil conditions.
Ornamental plants should be selected based on how well they are adapted to soil conditions on site. Some plants do well in acid pH while others will do well in alkaline media. Hydrangea ornamental plant for example, when grown in acid media gives pink coloured flowers, when grown in alkaline media it gives blue coloured flowers.
7. Oozing of water.
Some certain ornamental tree species ooze water , a characteristic that may not be preferred by many clients.

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