Archive for the ‘Drought tolerant’ Category

Quest For The Perfect Tomato Continues

Improved disease resistance, fruit color, firmness, and flavor continues to be the main goals of tomato breeders around the U.S. Leaf and root diseases vary from one region to another across the country. Here in the eastern U.S.,  late blight resistance is of key interest. Over the past 33 years, Dr. Randy Gardner, tomato breeder extraordinaire in […]

ACS SOUTHEAST REGION CONIFER REFERENCE GARDENS*

I hear people say that conifers won’t grow in the southeastern U.S. Wanta bet! 2016 marks the 8th year of the Reference Garden program sponsored by the American Confer Society (ACS)- Southeast Region. From Kentucky and Virginia south to Florida, 19 public gardens were now participating in the program. Two of the latest additions are Brookgreen […]

Virginia Sweetspire — A Standout Native Shrub

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) is a native shrub that touts showy white raceme flowers in late spring and brilliant reddish purple foliage in fall (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Flowers are very fragrant and attracts hundreds of bees and other pollinators. VA sweetspire excels in moist, humus-rich, mildly acidic soils (pH 5.2-6.5). In its native habitat, […]

Galax- Popular Mountain Plant For Your Woodland Garden

Galax (Galax urceolata) is an under planted perennial wildflower native to the southern Appalachian mountains and eastern U.S. (USDA hardiness zone 5). Galax foliage is frequently collected from the wild for use in the winter floral decorations. Unfortunately, over-harvesting on public lands has jeopardized wild populations. Galax grows 6 to 12 inches tall and is […]

Autumn Ferns Offer Lush Tropical Touch

              Ferns are fine textured lacey-leaf groundcovers. Many kinds of ferns add a tropical accent to the shade garden. Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), aka Japanese wood fern,  has evergreen or semi-evergreen arching foliage, depending how cold winter is (USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8). Its common name is misleading. Best fronds color is in spring; fronds unfurl with […]

Getting A Sourwood Tree Going

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) is one of our most beautiful U.S. native trees. Trees often grow multi-stemmed or shrub-like to 20-30 feet or in tree form to 35-40 feet high and narrow in spread. Trying to establish a new tree can be challenging. In the wild sourwoods are often found growing in shallow soils on steep […]

Four Very Different Annuals You Should Try

I asked three regional horticulturists to identify an under-planted drought tolerant annual. Here are four (4) that they recommended: Drumstick flower or “Billy Buttons” (Craspedia globosa) produces a golden-yellow display of spherical flowers that often reach the size of tennis balls (USDA plant hardiness zones 8-11). The silvery-gray foliage reaches about 2 feet tall and […]

Exceptionally Hardy ‘Margarita’ Carolina Yellow Jessamine

Carolina yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a lovely ignored native vine. It is native from Virginia to Texas to Florida, easily spotted growing in a sunny location growing on trees (USDA zones 6-9). It is the state flower of South Carolina. Grow it as a trellised vine or as a low shrub-like mound (ground cover). Flowers often serve as an early call […]

Blue Star Amsonia Is A Solid Performer

Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is native to the central U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). This herbaceous perennial is frequently seen growing in open woodlands in the midwest and south to Florida and Texas. In mid-spring (in Tennessee), plants are filled with clusters of soft light blue star-like flowers, each nearly ¾ inches across. This clump-forming perennial […]

Butterfly Weed Named 2017 Perennial Plant Of The Year

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), aka butterfly weed, is a long-lived tuberous rooted perennial indigenous to the southeastern U.S and mid-western U.S. and Canada (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9). It grows in dry/rocky open woodlands, prairies, farm fields, and along roadsides. Individual plants typically grow as a clump to 2- 3 feet high and 1 -2 feet wide. Unlike many […]