Archive for February, 2012

Redbuds With Very Few Messy Seed Pods

A few years back my church pastor complained about the ugly load of seed pods covering the redbud branches (Cercis canadensis) on the property in the fall. My suggestion to avoid messy seed pods is to plant seedless redbud cultivars. A number of native redbud (C. canadensis) cultivars produce few to no seed pods. Let’s start with the cultivars ‘Ace of Hearts’ and sister seedling ‘Little […]

Start Up A Sleeping Amaryllis

Back in the fall, your amaryllis bulb was pushed into dormancy by withholding all watering. In the weeks that followed, the foliage turned yellow and withered. You cleaned off the dried leaves and stored the potted bulb at 34 to 42 °F for the winter, not allowing it to freeze. After a minimum of eight weeks, […]

Parrotia: A Great Medium-sized Landscape Tree

Parrotia (Parrotia persica), aka “Persian ironwood”, is native to Iran, Turkey, and the Caucasus region. Parrotia forms a lovely carefree medium sized lawn or street tree. Tree framework is vase-shaped, initially narrow at the base and flaring out in the canopy as it ages. Mature tree height varies 25-40 feet, depending on location and the seedling or cultivar planted. Rated hardy in USDA  […]

Re-Potting Indoor Plants

  The golden rule for house plant care is to repot them once a year. Times of seasonal change signal the best opportunity for repotting most house plants. September starts a slowdown and March (late February) a re-awakening period for your house plants. Most, but not all plants, should be re-potted in one of these periods.   Purchase a […]

General Tree/Shrub Fertilizer Recommendations

  Fertilize most landscape shrubs and trees in winter or early spring with a granular 10-10-10 at a rate of 20 lbs. per 1,000 square feet when the ground cover is dry. A 19-19-19 fertilizer is distributed at 10 lbs per 1000 square feet. Distribute within an area 3 feet out from the trunk or shrub crown and […]

‘Quasimodo’ Vernal Witchhazel

Vernal witchhazel (H. vernalis) is a dense growing 8-12 foot native shrub which blooms in mid-winter in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). It is winter hardy to zone 4. Small ½ inch wide yellow to red flowers, flushed red at the base, emit a pleasant witchhazel aroma in February. Often, it is the […]

Key Points Whether To Grow Peaches

Peaches grow in other places besides Georgia, USA. A decade long period of mild winters in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7) have increased gardener confidence about growing peaches. Peaches (Prunus persica) tend to flower in early spring when the threat of spring frosts is still high. In many years spring frost may kill 80% of […]

Tree and Berry Fruit Pollination Chart

  A frequent question of newbie fruit gardeners is what will pollinate what. Do I need many varieties or can all be the same variety? The four common terms are used: Self-pollinated: transfer of pollen occurs within the same variety. Cross-pollinated: transfer of pollen occurs between two varieties. Self-unfruitful: low fruit set unless the blossoms […]

Formerly A Tree… Now A Hat Rack

Tree topping continues! The concern about a large tree falling on the house, garage, autos or pedestrians sends out calls to cut the tree back. If the tree in photo does recover (grow), the new branches will be mostly weak suckers. After 2-3 years, the sucker growth will be susceptible to high winds and snow/ice storms […]