Archive for the ‘Heat Tolerance’ Category

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

Transform These Three Shrubs Into Trees

Some large shrubs can be trained into lovely small flowering trees. These three flowering shrubs may be trained into small 15-25 feet tall, single or multi- trunk trees: Siebold viburnum (Viburnum sieboldii) is a tall upright branched deciduous shrub (USDA hardiness zones 4-7). This native from Japan grows to 15-20 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide […]

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 […]

Southern Gardeners Should Use The AHS Heat Zone Map

The AHS Heat Zone Map isn’t new. The American Horticultural Society developed it in 1960 and updated it in 1990. It has become an important reference for knowing both the cold and heat tolerances of garden plants. Many perennials in southern U.S. gardens struggle in the extreme heat and humidity. The heat zone map developed by AHS is […]

Small Southern Magnolia Cultivars

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is one of nature’s magnificent landscape trees (USDA hardiness zones 6-9).  This reliable large tree, native to the Southern U.S., is at home in well-drained clay soils and hot summers. The species typically grows to 60-80 feet tall with a pyramidal (young) to a rounded crown (mature tree). It is not uncommon […]

Key Points About Poinsettias

The beautiful poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) has become a symbol of  the Christmas and winter holidays. The showy colorful bracts, that most people think are the flowers, are actually modified leaves. The tiny “true” flowers are in the center of the bracts. Joel R. Poinsett introduced the poinsettia plant to the United States from Mexico. Poinsett […]

Announcing AAS Ornamental Winners For 2017

All American Selection (AAS) has named six Ornamental winners for 2017. Some include some new color breakthough in the series that you already know as well as some newbies. Dianthus ‘Supra Pink’ (Hem Genetics) is an easy-to-grow interspecific dianthus for three-seasons (spring, summer, fall) of garden color. Its mottled, frilly pink flowers stand up to summer’s heat and […]

Growing Amaryllis

    Amaryllis is a tropical bulb that blooms indoors usually in winter (USDA hardiness zones 9-11). It is one of the easiest flowering plants to grow. Everything you need to enjoy a bouquet of big, beautiful flowers is inside the bulb. Simply plant the pre-chilled bulb in a container and add water. There are many […]