Information About Fiber Optic Grass

Information About Fiber Optic Grass

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What Is Fiber Optic Grass: Tips On Growing Fiber Optic Grasses

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Sprays of slender foliage and bright flower tips create a look of electric excitement on fiber optic grass. Learn more about this interesting plants and how to grow it in this article.

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Fiber Optic & Networking Connector Guides

Fiber optic connectors are unique. Fiber cables transmit pulses of light instead of electrical signals, so the terminations must be much more precise. Instead of merely allowing pins to make metal-to-metal contact, fiber optic connectors must align microscopic glass fibers perfectly in order to allow for communication. While there are many different types of fiber connectors, they share similar design characteristics. Simplex vs. duplex: Simplex means 1 connector per end while duplex means 2 connectors per end. There are three major components of a fiber connector: the ferrule, the connector body, and the coupling mechanism.

  • Ferrule: this is a thin structure (often cylindrical) that actually holds the glass fiber. It has a hollowed-out center that forms a tight grip on the fiber. Ferrules are usually made from ceramic, metal, or high-quality plastic, and typically will hold one strand of fiber.
  • Connector Body: this is a plastic or metal structure that holds the ferrule and attaches to the jacket and strengthens members of the fiber cable itself.
  • Coupling Mechanism: this is a part of the connector body that holds the connector in place when it gets attached to another device (a switch, NIC, bulkhead coupler, etc.). It may be a latch clip, a bayonet-style nut, or similar device.

Best companion plants for Begonias:

Begonia and Coleus

Coleus is a very easy plant to propagate and grow. Although they can grow in medium shade, the color will be the most vivid in full sun. Coleus grows from 12 to 18 inches tall. You can plant red Begonias and Coleus together in one pot or in a shady spot of the garden.

Coleus leaves definitely make a statement in the garden or greenhouse as they come in shades of pink and red. These plants will echo the blossom color of Begonias growing next to them.

Begonias and Impatiens

Impatiens are small flowers that come in a variety of colors including white, red, pink, violet, coral, purple and yellow. Growing impatiens requires very little maintenance. Both begonias and impatiens need moist soil that drains well.

Begonia and Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’) is a hardy herbaceous perennial that has straplike and shiny black leaves. It grows well with dark-leaf Begonia like ‘Dark Leaf Ruby’ Begonia.

Begonia and Torenia

To make a statement in the shade garden, you can pair Begonias with Torenia (Wishbone Flowers). Torenia come with blue, white or pink flowers that have yellow markings. It is a landscape annual flower that can reach 12–15 in. tall.

So you can grow red ‘Dragon Wing’ begonias as a backdrop for creeping ‘Summer Wave Blue’ Torenias. Both plants need shade and well-drained soil. Grow them in raised garden beds, directly in ground or pots.

Begonia and Silver Nickel Vine

Silver Nickel Vine (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’) is a tender herbaceous perennial that gardeners grow as an annual plant. The leaves are light silver and plant is growing low covering the ground. It can grow up to 4 feet long. Pair Silver Leaf Begonia with Silver Nickel Vine to echo the color of Begonia.

Begonia and Caladium

Caladium is also known as Elephant Ear plant, Heart of Jesus or Angel Wings. It is a tropical plant which likes shade and rich, moist soil. You can create an all-white combination with ‘Prelude White’ begonia and shimmering ‘White Christmas’ caladium that has white big leaves.

Also, a Dwarf elephant ear (Alocasia gagaena) will grow well with Begonia with green and bronze colored leaves. Dwarf Elephant Ear can reach up to 2 feet tall. It comes with velvety dark leaves with bright green veins and a silvery green spot in the middle.

Begonia and Fiber optic grass

Isolepis cernua or Fiber Optic Grass originates from the regions of North Africa. It is a plant with thin green stems and white flower tips which resembles fiber optic. Similar to Begonias, Fiber Optic Grass needs moist or wet soil and grows well in part shade or full sun. Moreover, its leaves with silvery white flowers will match with green and bronze colors in the Begonia flowers.

Begonia and ‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort

Hypericum calycinum ‘Brigadoon’ also known as ‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort is a dense shrub with upright growth. You can grow it in a container in part-shade. Also, it likes well drained soil. The leaves of this plant are oval shaped and are yellow.

Therefore, ‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort will look very nice next to dark leaves plants. Moreover, you can pair it with Begonia that blooms with golden flowers. For example, pair ‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort with Begonia ‘Nonstop Yellow’ to brighten a shady spot in your garden.

Begonia and ‘Persian Chocolate’ moneywort

Lysimachia congestiflora ‘Persian Chocolate’ or ‘Persian Chocolate’ moneywort is a semi-evergreen groundcover plant that has purple leaves. It groves well on slopes or in containers. Furthermore, this plant will grow well with Begonias because it likes moist soil and partial shade.

Use ‘Persian Chocolate’ moneywort as a background for Begonia blooming with yellow or gold flowers. ‘Persian Chocolate’ moneywort blooms with golden yellow bell-shaped flowers in late spring. As a result, you will create an all yellow spot in your garden or greenhouse.

Begonia and Boston Fern

Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’ or Boston Fern is one of the most popular houseplants. It has graceful, arching, green fronds that look ruffled. Although most of the time gardeners use ferns as background plants, others dedicate whole greenhouses to growing ferns.

Most of the ferns thrive in high air humidity. Boston ferns prefer moist and well-drained soil. You can pair a Begonia ‘Nonstop Yellow’ with its golden blooms with ‘Rita’s Gold’ Boston fern that is more compact than the classic one and has golden-leaved fronds.

Begonia and Yellow corydalis

Corydalis lutea or Yellow corydalis is a little plant that grows on walls, paths and terraces. It is a perennial which forms an attractive mound of fresh-green, divided leaves that resemble ferns. From late spring to early fall it blooms with yellow locket-shaped flowers which is a perfect companion plant for Yellow Begonia.

Begonia and Persian Shield

Rex Begonia is a tropical plant well known for its obliquely ovate leaves with colorful pattern. You can create an all purple corner in a shady garden by planting Rex Begonia together with Persian Shield. Persian Shield is a an evergreen perennial plant that needs shade to bring out the deepest purple color in the leaves.

Use Live Wire grass for mixed containers

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Mixed planters are featured prominently at shopping malls and office buildings, and consumers place glorious mixed containers and baskets on their porches, patios and decks. Other than vibrant color, a common thread tying them together is the incorporation of ornamental grass.

One of the hottest grasses is the new Live Wire Fiber Optic grass. This grass is trendy and the perfect complement to any mixed container or planter box. Each blade of grass has a little knob on the end that looks like a bulb. It looks like you should be able to flip a switch and turn it on like the fiber optic Christmas trees.

Live Wire is the first seed-produced fiber optic grass. This isn't necessarily an issue for you, however, because you will buy transplants from your garden center. The plants reach will about 8 to 10 inches tall and spread outward 18 to 20 inches.

We are talking about mixed containers that normally get switched out in plantings, but Fiber Optic is cold hardy to zone 8 and tolerates moist conditions. It is known botanically as Isolepis cernua and is native to the coast of North Africa and southern Europe.

I have seen wonderful plantings where Live Wire has been tucked in pockets as a filler plant and partnered with coleus. I have seen it used in other containers with Dakota Gold helenium and Serena angelonias. It performs best in morning sun and afternoon shade or high filtered light. If the water is there, it can tolerate a lot more sun.

Another prominent grass for consideration in mixed containers is the dwarf Japanese sweet flag known botanically as Acorus gramineus. The variety called Ogon stands out dramatically with its bright golden leaves that serve as the perfect complement to flowers of almost any other color. Ogon will reach about 12 inches tall.

The dwarf Japanese sweet flag also makes a fine addition to the landscape and is cold hardy from zones 5-9. It spreads from the tips of rhizomes, similar to the way an iris spreads. This gives you the option of using it as a ground cover. It does best with a little filtered shade during the heat of the day.

Plant your dwarf Japanese sweet flag so the rhizome is showing slightly above the soil line, then water thoroughly. Since it likes moist soil, be sure to apply a good layer of mulch and water during droughty periods.

The soil should be fertile, organically rich or loamy, and retain moisture well. Tight clay soils will not make you or the sweet flag very content.

The last grass I want you to consider for a terrific look in a mixed container is ribbon grass, Phalaris arundinacea. These are cold hardy to zone 3 and come in brightly variegated forms like Picta, those with a blush pink like Strawberries and Cream, and compact selections like Garters dwarf. These will reach from 18 to 36 inches tall.

As you prepare your mixed container, it is important to use a good, lightweight potting mix that drains freely. Heavy soils in containers bring on a multitude of problems, including a backache when you want to move them.

Flowers are great for your containers, but adding some ornamental grass is like the icing on the cake. Look for Live Wire and other new grasses at the 10th Annual Jackson Garden and Patio Show March 16-18 at its new location in the Mississippi Trade Mart.

Watch the video: Fiber Optic Cable Types