Archive for the ‘Heat Tolerance’ Category

How Drought Affects Our Landscape Trees*

Long term drought can be devastating on landscape and woodland trees. An environmentally stressed tree must expend additional energy to survive. Extremes of drought leads to decreases in trunk diameter and height growth, declining resistance to pests and diseases, less food production via photosynthesis, and in flower and fruit production. Symptoms of drought stress include wilted […]

Five Reliable Summer – Early Fall Flowering Perennials

Planning a new perennial garden this summer?Include these five very dependable flowering perennials. All are low maintenance and are U.S. natives (USDA Zones 4–8). ‘Zagreb’ (Coreopsis verticillata) has a very uniform plant habit and finely dissected foliage. Plant grows only about 20 -24 inches tall, and is blanketed with bright yellow (gold) flowers coupled with […]

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 […]

Summer Heat And Drought Tolerant Annuals

Annuals (bedding plants) provide many more weeks of colorful flowers and/or foliage than perennials and woody landscape plants. Planting a fabulous flower garden does involve lots of initial preparation, including adding lots of organic matter (compost) to the ground and tilling it in. First, plan your  summer flower garden before you plant. Choose those that […]

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 […]