Archive for July, 2013

Small (Dwarf) Crape Myrtles Becoming The Vogue

‘Tightwad Red’ Crape Myrtle Over the past quarter century crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) have become the quintessential flowering shrubs of summer along with hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.), altheas (Hibiscus syriacus), and chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus).  Crape myrtles are grouped into four distinct size categories: trees, large shrubs, medium shrubs and dwarf sizes. A spate of new dwarf […]

Many Cool Choices of Japanese Forest Grass

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra) is the shade-loving grass utilized for accent – to brighten a dark patch in the garden (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Forest grass grows best in a moist, compost-rich, well-drained soil. Soil moisture and light exposure a key factors to prevent foliage from scorching or discoloring. Too much or too little […]

Russian Sage More Shrub-like Than Perennial

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is low maintenance woody-based perennial. It grows in a dry to medium moist average soil and, first and foremost, in full sun. It’s a long-lived perennial which stands up to summer’s heat and humidity (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Branches tend to flop or take on a droopy appearance in late summer. […]

Heat Tolerant Annuals That Create Their Own Heat

In some parts of the U.S. summer is sizzling, and it may also be very dry. Several colorful annuals cope with summer heat and humidity better than others. Northeast U.S. cities are sweltering near 100°F. A sure bet is that every summer will be hot and humid in Savannah, GA. Near a popular restaurant is […]

Long Blooming Colorful ‘Kaleidoscope’ Flowering Abelia

Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora) is a popular shrub in the Southeastern U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 6–9). Foliage is evergreen in USDA Zone 7 and south. The cultivar ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a form of abelia that can be utilized as a 2 to 3 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide compact shrub or low spreading […]

Troubled Pines… And Some Good Ones To Grow

Mugho, aka mugo pine (Pinus mugo), and Scots pine (P. sylvestris) are two troubled pines which gardeners in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA Hardiness zones 6 and 7) have shied away from planting. Both have become problem growers over the past quarter century. Scots pine suffers from several devastating foliar diseases. Once a popular Christmas […]

Silver Linden Foliage Shimmers On A Windy Day

Silver linden (Tilia tomentosa) is a rarely planted large shade tree. Native to southeastern European, silver linden demonstrates better heat and drought tolerances in the southern U.S. than most lindens. It grows to 50 to 60 feet in height over 25-30 years with a moderate annual growth rate. A newly planted tree exhibits a narrow […]

Pest Alert: Spotted Wing Drosophila Attack Blueberry and Cane Fruits

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive and destructive pest originating from eastern Asia. It is a pest that can not be managed with pesticides alone. Caneberries such as raspberry and blackberry appear to be most affected followed by strawberries and blueberries. Among the tree fruits, cherries seem to suffer heavy damage. If […]

Pest Alert: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

In recent years Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys), aka BMSB, has become serious pests of fruits, vegetables, and farm crops in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Appalachian regions. BMSB are likely to spread to other areas in the U.S. They feed on all parts of plants (fruit, stems, leaves). They may also become a major […]

“Red Sells”: Red Flowering Crape Myrtles

In the Southern U.S. crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) provide summer long flowering. In the garden center business there is a popular saying: “red flowers sell”. Among crape myrtles red flowering cultivars generally outsell all others. Probably the most popular red variety is Dynamite®, a Carl Whitcomb introduction. Dr. Whitcomb followed with other red introductions of different […]