Archive for July, 2014

Plumleaf Azalea – Late July Flowering Shrub

Plumleaf azalea (Rhododendron prunifolium) is a native deciduous azaleas that indigenous to the Chattahoochee River Valley on the Georgia-Alabama line (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). The bright orange-red blooms surprise in late July to early August. Compared to many of the spring blooming species, flowers are not fragrant. Fall leaf color is uneventful. This 5-8 feet […]

Hosta Award Winners

Without question, hostas are the most popular perennial for the shade garden. Their lovely foliage provides color, texture and architecture in their garden space from April to a hard autumn frost. They are hardy, long-lived, and relatively maintenance-free. Hostas range in size from miniature 2 to 3 inches tall types to enormous large leafy clumps […]

Crape Myrtle Diseases And Pests

Not all crape myrtle cultivars are alike. Some are more susceptible to diseases and insect pests more than others. Overall, the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) hybrid crapemyrtles are more disease and insect resistant, but not to all problems. Some cultivars are susceptible to aphids, usually in the spring. Their sugary excretions over leaves and stems […]

Versatile Long-blooming Catmints

Catmint (Nepeta spp.) is a favorite of cats who like to roll around in it, sometimes to the detriment of the plant(s) (USDA hardiness zones 3-8). There are several species of catmint. Most popular are the gray-green leafed N. x faassenii and hairy gray heart-shaped leafed N. racemosa. Depending on the cultivar selected, this versatile […]

Disease Resistant Crape Myrtle Cultivars

‘Apalachee’ crape myrtle trunk Hybrid crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica x L. faurei) are popular landscape trees in the southeast and along the coastal areas of the U. S. Over the past decade plant pathologists in Louisiana (Louisiana State University), Alabama (Auburn University), South Carolina (Clemson University), and Georgia (University of Georgia) have tested the disease […]

Designing With Crape Myrtle

Undeniably, crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica x L. faurei ) thrive in the southern U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). You see them planted on practically every street. Their showy summer flowers are spectacular. Many cultivars exhibit colorful autumn foliage, and their smooth patterned trunks and architecture grace the winter landscape. “The right crape myrtle for the […]

Become Immersed In Swamp Hibiscus

Swamp mallow, aka swamp hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is native to marshes and swamps in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida (USDA hardiness Zones 6 to 9). Vibrant red flowers cover the tall 4-8 foot plant(s) from June through September. Space plants 3 feet wide apart. Deeply cut maple-like foliage presents a lush tropical look and […]

Mimosa Tree- Love It or Weed It

Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) is essentially a 4-5 month ornamental tree indigenous from Iran to China (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). From late spring through summer, mimosa struts an attractive fine textured foliage and beautiful flowering. This small tree rarely leafs out until mid-May (in zone 6) and offers little in autumnal leaf color. Two seedling forms, […]

Caveats Before Planting Planetrees (Sycamores)

American sycamore, aka planetree, (Platanus occidentalis) is a native tree planted over a large area of the United States (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). Its enormous size, often 70-90 feet in height, limits it to planting mostly on large landscapes such as parks, golf courses, and industrial parks. Northern U.S. cities have planted it extensively along […]

Japanese Pagoda Tree Becoming Popular In U.S. Cities

U.S. east coast cities are finally planting Japanese Pagodatree (Styphnolobium japonicum). This medium-sized tree grows to 50 feet high, but 75 feet is not uncommon in the southeastern U.S. Pagodatree is native to eastern Asia (USDA hardiness zones 4 –8) where it is more known as Scholar tree. In the early 20th century it was […]