Archive for May, 2016

Tips On Growing Delphiniums

  Modern day delphiniums (Delphinium spp.), also called larkspurs, are the result of 2 centuries of complex breeding efforts in Europe and U.S. Delphiniums are short-lived perennials, at their best for 2-3 years. They’re most attuned to the cool temperate climes of the northern U.S. Delphiniums belong in the Buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family (USDA hardiness zones […]

“Neo-Nicotinoid Free” — What Does This Means”

Earlier this year several big box store and regional independent garden center chains announced that the plants they sell in 2016 will be “neonicotinoid-free”. Large regional nurseries and greenhouse operations are also jumping on-board the anti-neonic bandwagon. This means that pesticides containing the ingredient acetamiprid and imidacloprid are members of the neonicotinoid class, and are forbidden to […]

Six Summer Annuals Your Grandma Did Not Know About

              Angelonia (“summer snapdragon”)… are outstanding performers in the summer flower garden, yet so many gardeners have never heard of them. Angelonias demonstrate outstanding heat and humidity tolerances. Serenita™ (12-14 inches high), Serena™ (15-18 inches high), and Archangel™ (12-14 inches tall high) series, are available in purple, lavender, pink, […]

Japanese Crape Myrtle Flaunts Stunning Bark

Most crape myrtle cultivars marketed through garden centers are hybrids that combine the large colorful flowers of Common Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) with the mildew-resistant foliage and cold hardiness of Japanese Crapemyrtle (L. faurei). Japanese Crape myrtle are cold hardy (USDA hardiness zones 6-b to 9) and are heat tolerant. They are rated hardy to winter minus 10 […]

Hold In Confinement

Some plants are incredibly aggressive. Herbicides like Roundup™ won’t phase them. They often escape and take over other areas of your garden or neighborhood. Four notorious examples are ditch lilies (Hemerocallus fulva), swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana), and pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa). You can grow these four weedy offenders in confinement. All will survive […]

Tulip Poplar And Cultivars

  Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), aka yellow poplar and tulip tree, is a large stately deciduous tree of eastern North America (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). This fast growing native typically grows 60-90 feet tall. It is also an important timber tree. A member of the magnolia family, flowers attract large numbers of bees. Ornate 2-inch wide goblet-shaped flowers are […]

‘Sun King’ Golden Aralia Glows In Summer Garden

            Plants with golden foliage brighten up a dark area in the garden. Sun King golden aralia (Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’) is no exception, hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3-9.  Bright golden compound leaves emerge in mid-spring and Sun King aralia retains its bright color through the summer months. This long-lived perennial […]

Deadheading Rhododendron Flowers

              Large-flowered rhododendrons (Rhododendron catawbiense) benefit from “deadheading”, the practice of removing the old spent flower heads.  Deadheading encourages increased branching, which frequently results in more blooms the following spring. It also cleans up their scruffy appearance. Small-flowered types (including ‘PJM’, lepidote rhododendrons, and azaleas) do not benefit from deadheading and are mostly […]

Avoid Spotted Spurge in Lawn And Garden Beds

Spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata) is a dreadful perennial weed that can quickly take over a lawn or garden bed. It often grows in poor compacted soils or in-between cracks in pavement. Once established, it is difficult to eliminate it from your garden. Ideal temperature range for seed germination is 75 to 85 °F, and spurge will germinate […]

Reviving A Severely Damaged Crape Myrtle In The Spring

                  Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica and hybrid cultivars) are rated as hardy perennials and semi-hardy shrubs or trees in USDA zone 6 and parts of zone 7. Since the year 2000, an average of 1 out of 3 winters has killed some crape myrtles to the ground. By […]