For thousands of years, plants have been grown for their aesthetic appeal When planning the appearance of their flower garden, people often consider a number of aspects such as colour combinations and the visual effects of adjoining certain species. They also consider how much sunlight or shade specific plants need in order to allocate a suitable patch of land.
According to their lifespan, ornamental plants can be:
- Perennial, when they live for more than two years;
- Biennial, when it lives for two years;
- Annual, living for one year and spreading by producing seeds.
Perennial plants such as shrubs and trees hibernate through the cold season, unless they are evergreen and are not affected by weather. Biennial plants, if exposed to extreme weather, may behave as annual and end their life cycle after a single year. However, annual and biennial plants offer the same effortless continuity, as they seed and therefore new ones reappear the following year in the same area the first ones were planted.
According to their growing habits, ornamental plants can develop vertically or horizontally. When growing vertically, they can be supported by their own stems or alternatively, climb or hang down from other surfaces located in the vicinity (plants, trees, walls etc.), such as ivy, which adorns the façade of many British homes. When growing horizontally, they sometimes cover the ground and are referred to as mat forming; a number of plants native to marshlands and woodlands are known to develop this way. Many plants form clusters when flowering.
Usually, ornamental plants don’t require fertilisers in order to grow properly, if the soil is suitable for their specific needs. Growers should always be informed with regards to their plants’ auspicious environment, especially if they are foreign varieties and may have certain difficulties adapting to local natural conditions. Creating a humid environment is very important for the wellbeing of plants which originate from water saturated settings.