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Recognizing Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

 

  • Poison Ivy:Found throughout the United States except Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the West Coast. Can grow as a vine or small shrub trailing along the ground or climbing on low plants, trees and poles. Each leaf has three glossy leaflets, with smooth or toothed edges. Leaves are reddish in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in fall. May have greenish-white flowers and whitish-yellow berries.
  • Poison Oak:Grows as a low shrub in the Eastern and Southern United States, and in tall clumps or long vines on the Pacific Coast. Fuzzy green leaves in clusters of three are lobed or deeply toothed with rounded tips. May have yellow-white berries.
  • Poison Sumac:Grows as a tall shrub or small tree in bogs or swamps in the Northeast, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast. Each leaf has clusters of seven to 13 smooth-edged leaflets. Leaves are orange in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in fall. May have yellow-greenish flowers and whitish-green fruits hang in loose clusters.

ivy rash
 Poison Plant Rashes Aren’t Contagious

Poison ivy and other poison plant rashes can’t be spread from person to person. But it is possible to pick up the rash from plant oil that may have stuck to clothing, pets, garden tools, and other items that have come in contact with these plants. The plant oil lingers (sometimes for years) on virtually any surface until it’s washed off with water or rubbing alcohol.

The rash will occur only where the plant oil has touched the skin, so a person with poison ivy can’t spread it on the body by scratching. It may seem like the rash is spreading if it appears over time instead of all at once. But this is either because the plant oil is absorbed at different rates on different parts of the body or because of repeated exposure to contaminated objects or plant oil trapped under the fingernails. Even if blisters break, the fluid in the blisters is not plant oil and cannot further spread the rash.

Tips for Prevention

  • Learn what poison ivy, oak, and sumac plants look like so you can avoid them Wash your garden tools and gloves regularly. If you think you may be working around poison ivy, wear long sleeves, long pants tucked into boots, and impermeable gloves.
  • Wash your pet if it may have brushed up against poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Use pet shampoo and water while wearing rubber gloves, such as dishwashing gloves. Most pets are not sensitive to poison ivy, but the oil can stick to their fur and cause a reaction in someone who pets them.
  • Wash your skin in soap and cool water as soon as possible if you come in contact with a poisonous plant. The sooner you cleanse the skin, the greater the chance that you can remove the plant oil or help prevent further spread.

Tips for Treatment

Don’t scratch the blisters. Bacteria from under your fingernails can get into them and cause an infection. The rash, blisters, and itch normally disappear in several weeks without any treatment.

You can relieve the itch by:

  • Using wet compresses or soaking in cool water.
  • Applying over-the-counter (OTC) topical corticosteroid preparations or taking prescription oral corticosteroids.
  • Applying topical OTC skin protectants, such as zinc acetate, zinc carbonate, zinc oxide, and calamine dry the oozing and weeping of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Protectants such as baking soda or colloidal oatmeal relieve minor irritation and itching. Aluminum acetate is an astringent that relieves rash.

See a doctor if:

  • You have a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There is pus, soft yellow scabs, or tenderness on the rash.
  • The itching gets worse or keeps you awake at night.
  • The rash spreads to your eyes, mouth, genital area, or covers more than one-fourth of your skin area.
  • The rash is not improving within a few weeks.
  • The rash is widespread and severe.
  • You have difficulty breathing.

Have a scratch-free summer!

See this video:

from : Healthline

 

 

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Exotic Flowers

Breathtaking Exotic Flowers and plants add that extra special touch to gardens, homes, and all occasions – weddings, celebrations, banquets, as well as solemn occasions. Find below the list of various exotic flowers, which we have compiled.

flower 1

Dutch amaryllis (Amaryllis/Hippeastrum – )Amaryllis flowers are bulbous flowers coming in Orange, red, rose, pink, white, bi-colored.

flower 2

Anthuriums (Anthurium species) – Anthuriums are rigid flowers with a thick and waxy feel and appearance. The anthurium flower is in fact the spathe of the plant. In the middle of the spathe is an upright organ called the spandix. The flowers actually grow on the spandix. Their colors range from whites to pinks and reds.

flower 3

Birds of Paradise (Stelitzia reginae) –The name Birds of Paradise comes from the spectacular flower shape, which resembles a birds beak and head plumage.

flower 4

Calla Lily (Zantedeschia)-  The calla lily flower spathe, is a large, flaring, trumpet-shaped bract, surrounds the spadix which is covered with tiny flowers.

flower 5

Equadorian roses-  Equadorian roses are very beautiful roses displaying in a wide range of colors.

flower 6

Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides)–  Gardenias are waxy, white and very fragrant, seen either single or double and up to 4 inches in diameter.

 

flower 7

Lilacs – Lilac flowers are purple color, clustered, beautiful and very fragrant, which carries quite a distance.

flower 8

Lily of the valley – Lily of the valley are bell-shaped flowers that infuse the air with fragrance throughout the day.

flower 9

Miniature Calla Lily (Zantedeschia Rehmannii)– Miniature calla lilies are native to Southern and Eastern Africa.These flowers are funnel-shaped colored spathe enclosing a yellow finger-like spadix.

flower 10

Oriental Lily – The Oriental lily flowers may be borne erect, horizontal, or drooping, and can be funnel-shaped to bell-shaped. Lily flowers comes in white to yellow, pink, orange, and red colors.

Source Flower Experts.co

Tips on Growing Cacti

elongated image

Growing and propagating cacti is relatively easy to do and can be quite rewarding. For the most part there are three environmental variables to consider to ensure your experience with growing cacti is successful. These are:
• Soil
• Water
• Light
We’ll examine these three conditions in greater detail shortly, but first let’s note that there are at least two different groups of cacti. There are the desert cacti which is certainly the first type to come to mind whenever someone hears the word “cactus”. However, there are also jungle cacti which grow in rain forests and other environments that most would consider the least likely habitat for a cactus plant. I’ll address growing conditions for the two separately beginning with the jungle cacti.

Jungle samples

Jungle Cacti
Jungle cacti include those species in genera such as Acanthocereus, Disocactus, Epiphyllum, Hatiora, Hylocereus, Lepismium, Rhipsalis, Schlumbergera, Selenicereus, and perhaps a few others. Almost everyone has seen at least one representative from this group even if they were unaware that the plant was actually a cactus. These plants are all true cacti despite their lack of big spines and inability to withstand the harsh conditions of the desert. (Visit the Cacti or Not? page to learn more about what qualifies a plant as a cactus.) Now when we associate “cactus” with one of these, it does not seem unusual that they would require different care when growing than the stereotypical image that comes to mind when we think about the family cactaceae.

Soil
Most Jungle cacti are either epiphytic or lithophytic meaning they grow in trees or grow on rocks respectively. This type of plant gets its nutrients from the air or from dead leaves and other debris that may have collected in crotches, cracks, or crevasses. It is important to note that there are no parasitic cacti.

Those that grow in trees do so for support, but do not sap nutrients from their host. For best results we’ll want our soil to mimic these natural conditions.Some good ingredients for creating a suitable potting mixture for Jungle Cacti include: orchid bark, pearlite, potting soil, peat, coir, pumice, and oak leaf mold

Water
It is no accident that I’ve listed water as the second item on the list. This is because a well drained soil is critical for keeping the water from rotting the roots off the plant. With the proper soil, however, watering is really quite simple. I water my Jungle Cacti about once a week. This is a good rule of thumb, but there are exceptions. During extended hot, dry periods I may water twice in one week. Conversely, when it is cool and rainy I might switch to every other week.

Light
Jungle Cacti can survive in a wide range of light conditions. However, we’ll assume the goal is not to have plants simply surviving, but thriving. For the plants to thrive the amount and intensity of light are key ingredients. In my experience the ideal condition for Jungle Cacti is full morning sun and then shade for the afternoon. All the plants I have in this ideal condition exhibit robust and healthy growth.

There are three other lighting situations that are not as ideal, but often times necessary due to space constraints. These are morning shade/full afternoon sun, full shade, and full sun.

round cactus

Let’s explore these conditions further. It may seem that shade in the morning and full-sun in the afternoon should produce the same results as full morning sun/afternoon shade, but it doesn’t. This is because the temperature is cooler in the morning than the afternoon and for many plants the afternoon sun is a little too intense and plants will often take on a sickly-yellow appearance and may develop spots. In full-sun these symptoms will be even more apparent.

As with most things in nature there are exceptions and some plants actually prefer full-sun and thrive in it. In full shade the plants will don a dark-green healthy appearance, but the stems will be stretched out long and thin in an attempt to reach more light.

Not only is light essential for healthy stems, it also triggers blooming in many species. In ideal conditions a particular plant may exhibit fantastic growth with many show-quality stems, but they won’t bloom. In this situation exposing the plant to longer and more intense sunlight will trigger it to bloom.

Don’t forget that plants can get sunburn just like people do. If you have a plant that has been mostly shaded, don’t just stick it out in direct sunlight or you will certainly end up with a badly scared cactus. This is even true for desert cacti that occur naturally in extremely hot, intense sunlight.

Madagasca samples

Desert Cacti
Desert cacti hail from throughout the arid regions of the America’s and surrounding islands. There are no desert cacti native to the old world and only one jungle species that occurs in Madagascar. Despite this, many people envision cacti growing in pure Sahara Desert sands with practically no water.
This common mis-perception should not be in your mind when you are preparing an environment for your desert cacti. We’ll explore the requirements for growing healthy desert cacti shortly. First let’s summarize the different types of desert cacti you may encounter. There are small rounded, flat, or cylindrical plants; there are shrubby, segmented, and sprawling kind; and there are the large columnar and tree-like giants. Although even within each of these groups growing conditions vary from one plant to another.
Soil
Most cacti prefer a nutrient rich, rocky soil with good drainage. To create a suitable growing median for our desert cacti we’ll use some of the same ingredients that we used for jungle cacti as well as some new ones. These are pearlite, pumice, potting soil, rocks, sand, peat, coir, and gravel. After trial and error and advice from other growers, I have settled on an easy, well-draining mix. This mix consists of 60% pumice, 20% coir, 20% Supersoil (topsoil). The pumice can be replaced with pearlite or vermiculite and the coir replaced with peat.

occidentalis

Water
Their ability to survive in extremely hot, arid, harsh habitat is a truly fantastic attribute of cacti. However the notion that cacti do not need water or that they actually must avoid water in order to survive is unquestionably false. The reality is water is essential for all cacti to live. Their reputation comes from their ability to survive in areas where water is available in small amounts or is delivered infrequently. Most desert cacti can sustain long periods of drought. This is because the last time water was available to them, they stored as much as possible in their tissues.

Desert cacti are made to thrive in their native environment, which is most likely not anything like the environment where you’ll be growing them. Even so, when it comes to watering cacti, there is no reason to artificially create drought. Whether potted or in the ground, a good time to water desert cacti is whenever the soil is dry. In hot, dry areas watering once a week is acceptable.

Source: Growing cacti.com

Are Your Indoor Plants Healthy? You Might Be Surprised

It can be pretty heartbreaking when your plants look less than stellar. Sometimes an easy remedy to restore plant health is adding more water or moving to a sunnier spot. If that doesn’t work and you’ve tried many options, it could be a sign of a larger problem. Your plant could have a disease.

To help you quickly diagnose and keep your plants looking fresh, we’ve compiled a handy guide below of most common plant diseases you can encounter. So the next time you see a weird substance forming on the soil or strange discoloration of leaves, you’ll be an expert.

 

 

What About Fungicide?
Fungicide can be a useful preventative measure for gardeners with plants that are especially prone to rot and disease. If you’re concerned about adding chemicals to your garden, depending on the condition and the disease, there are some natural alternatives:

  • Milk is known as an effective treatment for powdery mildew. Mix a 50:50 milk to water solution in a spray bottle and apply to leaves of plants.
  • Sulfur in dust form can keep disease at bay. Be sure to apply while wearing a mask so the dust doesn’t irritate your eyes and mouth.
  • The “Cornell Formula” is a well known natural fungicide, which includes mixing 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon horticultural oil and 1 to 2 drops dishwashing liquid.

How to Dispose of a Diseased Plant
Many plant diseases can quickly return if the dead plant matter isn’t properly disposed of. In fact, most fungal, bacterial and viral plant diseases are spread naturally by wind currents, rain, soil seeds, insects and other animals. Others can survive on nearby dead plants or infected gardening tools. When you think you’ve collected all of the dead plant, follow these disposal tips:

  • Compost: For less persistent diseases like powdery mildew, simply removing from live plants and allow to die off in compost. If you don’t have a compost at home, check with your local government for a nearby green waster center.
  • Burial: For leaves or fruits with rot, burying the decay in a 1 foot deep hole will work.
  • Bonfires: Dry, woody material like branches can be disposed of by setting a small bonfire. Be sure to handle on a non-windy day to reduce the risk of the fire spreading.
  • Household trash: Infected bulbs, small wooden pruning and collapsed seedling can be tossed into your home garbage can.

Credit: Doctors’ Hangout

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