Saturday, March 31, 2012

Growing Cordyline Plants In The Warm Season

Cordyline plant is an ornamental plant that can enhance the visual appeal of the interiors as well as the exteriors of your house. It is native to Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific islands. In Hawaii, it is known as 'ti plant'. The most distinctive characteristic of this wonderful houseplant is its long sword-shaped leaves that emerge from one single head. As the plant grows old, a tree-like trunk develops with multiple heads on it. The branches that grow from these heads give an amazing sculptured look to the plant.

Cordyline Plant Varieties

There are more than 20 different species of Cordyline plant. Each species has its own distinguishing shape and color. Among them, Cordyline australis 'Red Star' is the most popular houseplant because of its attractive look. In this case, the name could be slightly misleading because the origin of this species is New Zealand and not Australia. It looks very similar to yucca plant with its branches growing up to a height of 20-30 feet. Its leaves are rusty bronze red in color with 2-3 feet in length and about 2 inches of width. The Alberti species can be identified with its green leaves that have a yellow border and pink midrib. The Electric Pink species have dark maroon leaves with bright pink outer edge. Then there is Dark Star which has a reddish bronze leaves and can grow as small shrubs only.

Cordyline Plant Care

Growing Cordyline plants in your house is not that difficult. Basically, it is tough and hardy plant and does not require much extra effort for the plant care. Since it is a tropical plant, it cannot tolerate frost. Hence it cannot be grown in areas where the temperature dips below 55 degrees.

You can use both stem cuttings or seeds for Cordyline plant propagation. For propagating the plant from stem, use a stem from a full-grown Cordyline plant. Cut the stem into small parts of 3-5 inches. Remove the leaves from it and put it into a layer of sand. As a few new leaves make its appearance at the shoots of the stem, plant it in a rich, organic potting soil which has been treated with 50 to 60 percent peat. If you are growing it from seeds, then sow the seeds into the potting soil and cover it up with one-fourth inch of peat moss. Wait until the seedlings grow to a height of 3-4 inches and then transplant into the location where you actually want to grow the plant.

Cordyline plants should be placed in one such location where it receives a good amount of light. Some species of the plant prefers partial shade and others may need full sun. But all of them should be grown in good lighting condition, as proper light exposure enhances the color of the leaves and makes the plant beautiful.

A newly planted seeds or stem of Cordyline plants should be given enough water so that the soil becomes moist but it should not be thoroughly soaked in water. During germination, you have to take care that the soil does not dry up. Put your finger into the soil and if it feels dry, then water the soil immediately. Later on, as the plant grows, you can let the soil dry out at times. Like any other tropical plants, this one is tolerant towards drought condition. However, strictly avoid over watering of the plants because it can rot the roots of the plant.

To improve the growth and development of the plant and enrich the color of the leaves you can occasionally add potassium sulfate fertilizer to the soil. The plant may get infested by spider mites and mealy bugs. To get rid of these pests, you can wipe off its foliage with some pest oil. Or else, you can remove the infested soil without disturbing the roots and add new potting soil.

With proper growing condition and a little bit of care, a Cordyline Plant will survive for many years. If it is grown outdoor, then it should be surrounded with round shaped shrubs with green leaves for a nice contrasting effect. If you keep it indoors, then select one such variety whose leave color blends well with the interior decoration of the house.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How To Aviod Heat Stroke With The Coming Summer ?

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Heat strokes are dangerous and should be treated immediately. Our body cannot handle a sudden rise in its temperature, and its regulation mechanism goes for a toss when this happens. People who are into outdoor activities such as sports or traveling, are more at risk to heat strokes, but that in no way means that the rest of us are totally safe. On really hot days, a normal person can suffer from a heat stroke even if he is sitting in his house.

When our body's natural mechanisms like sweating and regulation of heat, are not enough to counter the effect of heat, we become susceptible to heat strokes. The way it usually works is, when the body temperature rises, we sweat to release the heat and lower the temperature. But when this fails to happen, our body loses its path of releasing heat and its temperature starts building up. Heat strokes occur when the body temperature is around 104ºC. They can have serious consequences and the victims should be given first aid immediately.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Here is how to recognize when you are getting a heat stroke:
  • If you seem to be confused or delirious after being out in the sun for a long time.
  • If your body temperature seems to have increased considerably. More than 104ºC .
  • If your skin feels cold and clammy and you have a headache.
  • If you feel dizzy or nauseous.
  • If your muscles are cramping and your heartbeat is rapid.
First Aid for a Heat Stroke Victim
  • First, get the person out of the heat and in a cool, shady area.
  • Make them drink lots of water or fruit juices (no dehydrating drinks like tea, coffee etc).
  • Fan the person continuously, or wipe his face, hands and other exposed body parts with a cold cloth, to help lower his body temperature.
  • Call for an ambulance if he doesn't show signs of improving even after doing all the above things.
It is better to take the necessary precautions and do all that you can to avoid this stroke, than be in a situation where you require treatment for heat stroke. Here are few simple things to do, to avoid getting a heat stroke.
Tips to Avoid getting Heat Stroke
  • Plan your day. Keep the outdoor activities reserved for the mornings or late afternoons, to avoid getting out in the afternoon heat.
  • In case you cannot avoid getting out in the sun, make sure you cover your head with a hat/ cap/ scarf etc. Also, carry and use an umbrella for good measure. Doll yourself up with stylish, colorful scarves and hats. There is a variety of umbrellas in styles, shapes and colors which you can flaunt.
  • Take care to keep yourself hydrated on a daily basis. Drink lots of natural, fresh fruit juices, coconut water, etc.
  • Sweating helps to regulate body temperature, but it also makes you lose sodium. Hence, you have to replenish the supply of sodium by consuming electrolytes frequently.
  • Another important thing to remember is to wear loose fitting, light colored clothes while going out in the sun. Dark colors absorb heat, thus increasing your body temperature and putting you more at risk.
  • If you are going to be required to spend a lot of time in the sun, then do so gradually by increasing the time spent outside daily, to get your body accustomed to the change.
  • Once out in the sun, keep sipping water continuously. Avoid drinks with high content of sugar since they dehydrate your body.
  • Try to spend as much time as possible in air conditioned places, like malls, when you are outside. This helps keep the body cool even when you go to a warmer place.
At the slightest sign of heat stroke symptoms showing, take the treatment. The damage that heat can cause to your body, cannot be stressed enough. Around 400 people in the US die of heat stroke every year! Getting through the hot summer months should be a breeze, if you follow these tips for avoiding heat strokes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

When Autumn Open The Door

People are still enjoying the sunny summer, autumn girl quietly open the door. Autumn girl like a magician, her into a dark green evergreen plane trees turn yellow, maple into a fire red. Leaves dancing in the air, the rustle, rustle, as if to say: "Autumn girl, thank you for us to put on new clothes." My personal favorite autumn beauty of the autumn has brought me many happy. Autumn to see the many maple leaves falling down, as in the colorful world as good as romantic.

I love the beauty of nature, autumn, people refreshing.

The best thing about autumn is the abundant fresh produce that suddenly appears in the fresh market one weekend.  It seems to be an overnight thing – like a timer going off, the vegetables and fruit, quietly maturing all summer, suddenly announce, “I’m done!”

When I was a teenager, we had a largish property with several varieties of apple tree growing on it.  I thought all apples were as crisp and sweet and tasty as the ones that grew on those trees… until I left home and got supermarket ones (bleck!)  Well, this lady’s apples taste just like the ones I picked off the tree in the morning and stuffed into my bag for lunch as I cycled down the drive to school.

There’s a bit of an art to successful market shopping.  First, you do a round of the entire market, examining the produce for quality and price.  Then, you home in on the stalls selling the produce you want at the price you want.  I’ve got it down to a fine art we usually don’t spend more than half an hour there.  The savings are enormous though.

Autumn girl, like a painter, her pears painted yellow, apple painted red, blushing. She orange painted orange, like a naughty child. They huddled together as if to say: "first pick me, pick me first!"

The fall in the fields, from afar, fields like a golden carpet. Millet doubled up, salute to the farmer uncle. Gust of wind blew over, brush, brush, brush, as if to say: "Farmers uncle, the harvest!"

Fall in the water, the water clear, unlike the summer the water is so muddy, and even see the stones. Happy fish in the water swimming, gilded bubble, it seems very excited, very cute.

Charming autumn, sent a telegram, it tells us: winter is coming. I like autumn!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Bloodroot Flower Blooms In The Spring

The bloodroot flower is a species of herbaceous perennial that belongs to the sanguinaria genus. This genus contains only a single species and is a member of the papaveraceae family. These plants, which grow their best in rich soil and well-shaded areas, grow in abundance within Canada and eastern portions of the United States. The bloodroot flower’s name was derived from the thick red sap that seeps from the rhizome.

The flower itself consists of eight to twelve white, oblong-shaped petals which surround distinctive golden yellow stamens at the center. The leaves of this flower – which are actually a single large leaf that develops at the base of the flower head – has a clasping, cape-like appearance which is used to protect the plant by closing around the head at night, and shading it when it begins to bear fruit.

Although the bloodroot flower is largely considered to be toxic, it has long been used to treat a number of ailments. Many North American tribes used this plant for a variety of reasons, from medicine to dye making. For generations, the bloodroot – which was also referred to as puccoon – has been used to create salves, poultices, pastes and powders. These concoctions are used to treat everything from oral infections, ward off the onset of gangrene, and to cure tumors, warts and polyps.

In modern times, the bloodroot flower is widely thought to be a powerful anticancer agent. Although cancer patients have been treated with this plant for over 150 years, it is only recently that it has come under investigation for its long-known potential as a curative. In addition to its promising medicinal uses, the bloodroot flower is also attached to folklore and superstition. A Cherokee myth states that a tiny piece of the root should be carried at all times so as to ward off wicked spirits. On the other hand, an unmarried man of the Ponca tribe could rub the plant against his palm and hold the hand of his beloved; within the week, she would be his.Since bloodroot flowers can cause an allergic reaction to the skin, it is not advisable to give them within a bouquet.

Research is currently underway connecting the dots between bloodroot and cancer prevention. Historically, the root has been known to reduce tumors. But if you’re not convinced by its cancer prevention statistics, bloodroot is used in many types of toothpaste because of its proven ability to prevent plaque and gingivitis.
However, as a gift, these blossoms look beautiful when presented in a decorative pot or dried and placed into a number of arrangements. As a symbol, bloodroots are thought to represent protective love, purification and healing, as well as strength and growth. As a gift, these blooms can be given to represent a wish for the recipient to get well after an illness, tell them you love them, or simply wish them the best for their life.