Archive for December, 2012

Add A Little Muscle To Your Landscape

Underutilized and underappreciated. That’s American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), aka ironwood or muscle wood. It grows primarily in moist, slightly acid soils along woodland rivers and streams. Our native hornbeam possesses the ability to adapt to a range of landscape situations. It grows equally well in full sun or partial shade. Its dark green summer foliage is rarely troubled […]

Triggering Flowering Response In Bromeliads

Bromeliads flower only once. Their brightly colored flowers are mostly “bracts” or modified leaves. Small flowers are nestled within these attractive bracts. Once a bromeliad has flowered it no longer produces new leaves. The colorful bracts (flowers) may last 3 or more months and are cut off once it looks unsightly. Several months later, new […]

Buy This Poinsettia, Perhaps Not That One!

There are so many colorful poinsettia varieties in stores this holiday season. Some plants will not make it to the first of the year. What attracts you into buying the plant is the colorful bracts (modified leaves). The “true” poinsettia flowers lie in the center of the bracts. If the yellow stamens are immature or […]

Select The Perfect Christmas Tree

Decorating a live Christmas tree is traditional in many homes. Many different species of evergreen trees are sold at tree lots near you. Frazier Fir (Abies fraseri) is the most popular Christmas tree in the southeastern U.S. Named for Scottish botanist John Fraser (1750-1811), it makes its home in the higher mountainous elevations of Tennessee, […]

Growing Bromeliads For Lifelong Enjoyment

The bromeliad plant family (Bromeliaceae) includes over 2000 species which live in tropical areas. This includes the pineapple. Bromeliads make great indoor plants. Leaves and flowers come in a wide variety of colors. They are easy to care for and will live for several years. They have very few pest problems. Some bromeliads are epiphytes […]

Two Native Sedges Excel In Dry Shade

Sedges (Carex spp.) are becoming popular groundcovers with gardeners! Most demand a moist, well drained soil. Two native forms, Appalachian sedge (Carex appalachica) and Pennsylvania sedge (C. pensylvanica) excel in dry woodland shade in the eastern U.S. and Canada (USDA hardiness 3-8). Their fine textured grassy foliage and a fountain-like growing habit make them excellent […]

Fit House Plant Care To Your Own Lifestyle

House plants not only decorate our homes and work places. They also clean and purify the indoor air. Many people get frustrated that they have no success growing house plants. Proper house plant care involves these 6 plant needs: 1. Water, 2. Light, 3. Temperature, 4. Humidity, 5. Air circulation, and 6. Fertilizing. Overwatering is […]

Amur Maple Excellent Medium Sized Tree For Urban Landscapes

Amur maple (Acer ginnala) (now A. tataricum ssp. ginnala) is a lovely small sized tree from China, Manchuria and Japan. It has long been popular in residential areas in the Midwest and Eastern U.S. and is slowly being planted in the mid-South (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7). Extreme summer heat may limit its use. […]

Deer Don’t Feed On Plum Yews

Plum yews (Cephalotaxus harringtonia) are evergreen needle conifers which flourish in the heat and humidity of the Southeastern U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). Likely, the groundcover forms are hardier to zone 5-b if protected by snow cover or surrounding vegetation from dry winter winds. Plum yews are native to China, Korea and Japan. Many people […]

‘Beni kawa’ Japanese Maple for Winter Bark Color

Beni kawa Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Beni kawa’) is a smaller version of the popular coral bark maple ‘Sango kaku’. It was introduced by Greer Gardens Nursery in Oregon in 1987.  ‘Beni kawa’ matures to 12-15 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide, compared to 20-25 feet tall for ‘Sango kaku’. Both cultivars form a vase-shaped branched small […]