Archive for April, 2016

Chinese (Kousa) Dogwood

              Chinese dogwood, aka kousa dogwood, (Cornus kousa) is a small 25 to 35 foot flowering tree (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). It grows in either full or partial sunlight (4-hours sunlight minimum). Depending where you garden, kousa dogwood begins blooming from late April or in May, almost two weeks after our native […]

‘Mojito’ Elephant Ear Is A Tropical Joy

            ‘Mojito’ elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta), aka taro plant, has become a new favorite in the Conlon garden where it is not dependably winter hardy (Zone 6b). According to Tony Avent at Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC, tubers are dependably winter hardy in zones 7b -10. ‘Mojito’ (pronounced “Mo-he-toe”) is a sport of […]

Monitor And Manage Two-Spotted Spider Mites

              Two-spotted spider mites are destructive pests that ravage a wide host of shrubs and garden plants, including certain house plants, annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables. Many evergreens are also susceptible. Two-spotted spider mites are warm season arachnids, not insects, and are exceptionally troublesome over a hot dry summer. They […]

Japanese Holly Fern

Japanese Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum ‘Rochfordianum’) is a handsome, evergreen fern for gardens in USDA hardiness zones 6-11. It earns its name from its stiffly erect holly-like fronds. Individual fronds are vase-shaped, 1 to 2 ½ feet long with glossy, leathery, serrated, holly-like compound leaflets (pinnae). The slender, arching fronds arise from erect, scaly rhizomes […]

‘Palibin’ Lilac A Good Choice For Small Landscapes

  Dwarf Korean lilac (Syringa x meyeri ‘Palibin’) forms a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub, 4 to 5 feet high and 5 to 6 feet wide, with rounded top or canopy (USDA hardiness zones 3-7). It branches low to the ground. Flower buds form which are distinctively violet in color. In mid-spring this diminutive lilac is covered by billowy panicles of fragrant purple […]

Update: Prevention / Treatment Options For Rose Rosette Disease

Rose rosette is a devastating disease of most species of garden roses, including hybrid and shrub roses. Rose rosette disease has spread from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast over several decades and is poised to obliterate the rose industry. To date, there is no known effective treatment. Rose rosette is caused by an […]

New Coreopsis Cultivars All The Rage

              Threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata), also called tickseed, is a popular summer flowering  perennial. Coreopsis are native to the U.S. and produces hundreds of pale-yellow blooms. Depending on cultivar, plant grows 12 to 18 inches tall and 2 feet wide. Some gardeners even plant old-time favorites like ‘Zagreb’ and ‘Moonbeam’ as annuals (USDA hardiness zones […]

Summer Blooming ‘Little Lemon’ Goldenrod

  Goldenrods are members of the aster family (Asteraceae); approximately 100 species of goldenrods are native to North America. Across most of the Eastern and Midwestern U.S., goldenrods are frequently spotted growing in moist soils in open farm fields, in ditches, and along edges of streams. The golden yellow blooms attract countless bees, butterflies and other […]

Utilize Sweet Flag For Garden Accent

Sweet flag cultivar (Acorus gramineus) is an iris-like perennial usually planted for its wavy drifts of golden yellow foliage. This dwarf ground cover, indigenous to China, Korea and Japan, grows 6-12 inches tall. Sweet flag is a member of the acorus family (Acoraceae) (USDA hardiness zones 6-9 and should be winter protected in zone 5). Green […]

War On Aphids

                Aphids are pests that feed on many kinds of garden plants. These tiny insects wreak massive destruction in multiple ways. There are many different kinds (and colors) of aphids. They’re small, 1/16 inch more or less, and feed on plant sap to obtain nutrients. In greenhouses they reproduce without mating; […]