Archive for the ‘alkaline soil’ Category

Agaves Like It Hot, Dry and Sunny

Agaves (Agave spp.) are long-leaved succulent landscape plants. These native perennial succulents  grow in desert-like environments (USDA hardiness zones 8 and warmer). Plants grow in a rosette form with long their fleshy leaves frequently tipped with one or more sharp spines and a prominent bloom spike with cup shaped flowers. Most are native to the Southwest U.S. […]

Firebush Is One Tough Texas Flowering Plant

Firebush. aka scarlet bush (Hamelia patens),  is indigenous from Mexico to Central America (USDA hardiness 10-11). Treat it as a tempermental perennial in zone 9, and an annual everywhere else it is not hardy. This fast growing plant blooms through most of summer into fall with showy clusters of tubular red buds and flowers. Firebush thrives in Texas heat […]

Check Out These Four Plant Select® Picks

If you’re search for top performing plants, especially very drought tolerant, take a look at the picks from Plant Select®. This is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists. Their mission is to seek out and distribute the very best plants for landscapes and gardens from the intermountain region to […]

Less Invasive Butterfly Bush Identified

Butterfly bush (Buddleia) is a popular garden shrub in many areas of the U.S. Buddleia invasiveness is a serious issue in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Dept of Agriculture, Plant Division, has approved for sale these buddleia cultivars in the state. The approved varieties produce 2% or less viable seed, meeting Oregon’s standards for sterility. The […]

Panicle Hydrangeas For Small Gardens And Containers

Panicle, PeeGee or PG hydrangeas (Hydrangea panculata) brighten up your July-August garden. They hail from China and Japan and grow almost anywhere in the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 3 – 8). PG hydrangeas are far more reliable in northern areas (zones 3-5), than mophead hydrangeas (H. macrophylla). They flower at their best in full to partial day sunlight (6 hours […]

Act Quickly Against Eastern Filbert Blight

European Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) is highly prized both for its edible nuts and as a landscape shrub/small tree. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to eastern filbert blight (EFB). American hazelnut (C. americana) is relatively resistant. EFB is a lethal disease as it may kill a large shrub in 4-5 years. The fungus was discovered in the Pacific […]

Chinese Fringetree Is Versatile Landscape Tree

Chinese fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) is native to China, Korea and Japan (Zone: 6 to 9a). Related to native U.S. species (C. virginicus), fringetrees are noted for their profuse spring bloom of fragrant white flowers. It is most often seen in cultivation as a large, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub growing to 15 – 20 feet tall with a […]

U.S. Native Bleeding Hearts Dazzle In Woodland Garden

One of nature’s delights in the late spring  – early summer garden is the wonder of bleeding hearts (Dicentra spp.) in bloom (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). Fringed bleeding heart (D. exima) is a U.S. native to  the Appalachian Mountains. Fringed bleeding heart exhibits deeply-cut, fern-like, grayish-green foliage on 10-15 inch tall plants. Dangling bright pink pendant (or heart) flowers […]

Sweet Potato Vines

Ornamental sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) have been around since the late 1980’s, but their popularity have soared over the past decade. These sweet potatoes aren’t for the table. The colorful vines thrive in the intense heat of U.S. summers from May through September (zones 5-11). These easily grown plants work well as a low-growing bedding plant, […]

Stop The “Crape Murder”

In Tennessee (where I live) and in the Southeastern U.S., bad crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia x) pruning continues to be done by professional landscapers and homeowners (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). This practice, also called “topping”, reduces tree (or shrub) height. Over 25 years, Southern Living magazine called this “crape murder”. Crape murder is not going away. More crape […]