Categories
Agricultural Science

Floriculture

Floriculture is simply defined as the cultivation of flowering plants.  In other words, floriculture involves the growth, care, uses and marketing of some flowering plants, trees and shrubs.  Beautiful trees or flowering plants which can be used to decorate our environments are called ornamental plants.  Ornamental plants could be trees, shrubs or flowers.

The person who grows or sells flower is called florist.

Importance/Uses of Ornamental Plants

Ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers are very important in a number of ways.  These include:

  1. For Interior Decoration: Some beautiful flower are used to decorate the interior of residential, commercial and industrial building.
  2. For Exterior Decoration: Some flowers are also used to decorate the exterior of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, making such flowers to add beauty to the environment.
  • For landscaping: Many beautiful flowers are used for landscaping by florist.  It may involve the writing of some wording, using flowers.
  1. Decoration of avenues and Resort Centres: Flowers are also used to decorate city centres, round-about, route junctions, and resort centres.
  2. Decoration of Roads: Many roads are often decorated with beautiful flowers.  Such flowers add beauty to the design of such roads.
  3. Preparation of Perfumes: Some perfumes can be prepared from flowers.  For instance, morning glory flowers can provide natural perfume to home and offices, especially in the morning and evening
  • For Scientific Research: Many flowers are used by florists, scientists, etc. for scientific studies in botanical gardens.
  • Provision of Shade: Some flowering plants have large and broad leaves which are capable of providing shade in residential or industrial environments.
  1. For Ceremonial Use: Some beautiful flowers are used in certain ceremonies, e.g, wedding, burial, etc.
  2. As Symbol of Love: People often use or given beautiful flowers to their partners, friends or relations as a symbol of love and affection.
  3. Sources of Local Herbs: Some ornamental plants can be used as sources of local herbs.
  • Sources of Income to Florists: Ornamental plants and flowers also provide income to horticulture or florists.
  • Noise absorption: Some specific flowers and ornamental plants are used in noise absorption.
  • Purification of Atmospheric Air: Ornamental plants including other plants help to purify atmospheric air by removing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
  1. Provision of Employment: Employment is provided through the cultivation of flowers, e.g, for gardeners.
  • Provision of foreign Exchange: Some beautiful flowers and ornamental plants provide foreign exchange to the government when exported.

Common Species of Ornamental Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

Some common species of ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers include:

Ornamental Trees

  1. Frangi pani
  2. Neem cassia
  3. Royal palm
  4. Balsam
  5. Flame of the forest
  6. Indian almond
  7. Casuarinas
  8. Delonix

Ornamental Shrubs

  1. Allamanda
  2. Crotons
  3. Ixora
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Acalypha
  6. Hibiscus
  7. Wild rose
  8. Bougainvillea
  9. Zinnia
  10. Dutchman’s pipe

Ornamental Flowers

  1. Justicia
  2. Canalily
  3. Morning glory
  4. Crotalaria
  5. Sun flower
  6. Marigold
  7. Commelina
  8. Clitoria
  9. Water lettuce
  10. Lantana
  11. Passion flower

CULTIVATION OF ORNAMENTAL TREES AND FLOWERS

Ornamental trees and flowers are better cultivated through a number of cultural practices in order to enhance good production and high quality of flowers.  The cultivation of ornamental flowers includes:

  1. Choice of Site: The site should be well drained and easily accessible to the florists and customers. Water should easily be available for watering of flowers.
  2. Planting Materials: Planting Materials include seeds, vegetative propagation through cut stems, roots, leaves (e.g Bryophylum), stolons, etc.
  • Methods of Cultivation: Ornamentall trees and flowers can be grown through any of the following methods:
  1. Use of Prepared Beds: This serves as nursery beds where the young seedlings of flowers are raised
  2. Direct sowing to Soil: Seeds or stem cutting can be sown directly into soil where they sprout to become flowers
  3. Use of Nylon Bags: Seeds or stem-cuttings can be sown directly into nylon bags containing soil from where they can grow up before transplanting.
  4. Use of Pots: Seeds or stem-cutting can be sown directly into clay pots, containing loamy soil from which flowers can grow.
  5. Provision of Shade: Shade should be provided for the seedlings to protect them against excessive rainfall and heat of the sun.
  6. Use of Loamy soil/Organic Manure: Soils in which seeds or stem-cuttings are to be planted should be loamy soil because it is very fertile.  Some organic manure, e,g., farmyard manure can be added to the soil to improve its fertility.
  7. Regular Watering: Flowers should be watered at least twice a day – morning and evening.

vii.       Regular Weeding:  The florist should ensure that unwanted plants (weeds) are removed so as to provide nutrients, space, light, ect, for the normal growth of ornamental trees and flowers without competition.

SOURCES OF PLANTING MATERIALS

Source of planting materials like seeds, cut stems, leaves, stolons or rhizomes, etc, include;

  1. Establishes private horticultural gardens
  2. Higher institutions’ botanical gardens
  1. Private houses and offices
  2. Imported ornamental trees and flowers
  3. Resort or recreational centres

Maintenance of Horticultural Plants/Flowers

  1. Provision of Shade:  Shade should be provided for the seedlings to protect them against excessive rainfall and heat of the sun.
  2. Regular Watering: Horticultural plants and flowers should be watered at least twice a day-early in the morning and late in the evening.
  • Regular Weeding: The florist should ensure that unwanted plants (weeds) are removed so as to allow for adequate nutrients, space, light, etc, for the normal growth of ornamental trees and flowers.
  1. Fertilizer Application: Fertilizers and manure can be applied to the soil to improve the soil fertility for the growth of ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.
  2. Fencing: Ornamental plants should be protected from being eaten up by animals like cattle, sheep, goat, etc.
  3. Regular Pruning: Old leaves, stems and side branches should be pruned with either shears or secateurs.

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