Archive for the ‘Sanitation’ Category

Care of African Violets

African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) or AVs are among the easiest flowering house plant to grow. They need indirect moderate to bright lighting and moist well-drained potting soil. Grow plants in plastic pots and not in clay (terra cotta). AVs should be repotted annually. Here are some additional cultural tips: Room temperatures: AVs thrive at room […]

New: The Bushel and Berry Collection Of Patio Fruits

Back in late 2016 Star® Roses and Plants* purchased the company formerly known as BrazelBerries®. In 2017 they have rebranded the plant offerings into the new Bushel and Berry™ Collection. Beside the old favorites, a new collection of edible berry plants are available at participating garden centers nationwide. I have successfully grown two varieties on the sunny portion of […]

Protect Young Trees and Shrubs From Voles, Rabbits And Other Critters

Rabbits, chipmunks, and voles (field mice) need a home for the winter. They often choose to nestle up near newly planted trees and shrubs and gnaw  on their sweet sapwood, girdling the trunk and essentially killing the tree. Fruit-bearing plants often damaged by critters over their first 1-2 winters include: apple, pear, peach, redbud, blueberry, and cane fruits. Young […]

First Days Of Fall…. Bring In Your House Plants

The final days are summer are over. It’s time to move your tropical plants indoors before night temps in the low 40°F arrive. These plants thrive outdoors in summer temperatures and high humidity, but cannot survive being left outdoors. Container plants such as Ficus (rubber) trees, orchids, Norfolk Island pines, scheffleras, bromeliads, gardenias, palms, and […]

Don’t Totally Dislike All Box Elder Trees

Box elder (Acer negundo) is a native fast-growing and suckering medium-sized tree (USDA hardiness zones 4b-8).  Branches are weak wooded and easily damaged in wind and ice storms. Box elder grows almost anywhere in any average soil, medium to wet, and in full sun. The species fails on a shady site. This weedy maple is […]

Tidy Up These Perennials After Blooming Is Finished

Deadheading, the practice of removing the old spent flowers from perennials, is a way to improve a garden’s appearance and reduce overcrowding. Secondarily, many (not all) will rebloom after deadheading. Not all perennials respond to deadheading by reblooming. Most daylilies (Hemerocallis x.), coralbells (Heuchera spp.), and hostas (Hosta spp.) are prime examples of perennials that do not […]

See Your Perennials Blooming Again

Deadheading is the removal of old spent flowers and stems of many perennials. Many (not all) perennials will respond and bloom a second and even a third time. Deadheading also refreshes the plant’s appearance and reduces or eliminates the threat of seed dispersal. It redirects the plant’s energy away from seed production toward root and vegetative growth. […]

Gardenias Continue To Disappoint In The Mid-South

The lure of fragrant white flowers have mid-South gardeners (zones 6 and 7) wanting to grow gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides). New cultivars, supposedly hardier than previous ones, hit garden centers every spring. Unfortunately, zones 6 and 7 winters usually prove them wrong. Recent purchases of new cultivars ‘Frostproof’ and Pinwheel® and older selection ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ have […]

Pest Alert: Update On Emerald Ash Borer

Across the U.S. and Canada, ash trees are dying from infestations of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an Asian insect pest. In many U.S. cities, ash (Fraxinus) is a major urban tree genus. Since 2002 EAB has become a serious pest that has killed more than 40 million ash trees in 18 states. This hardwood tree is important to […]

Longwood’s Chrysanthemum Festival

  As fall mums are finishing up in our gardens, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA has debut their annual chrysanthemum display in the Conservatory. More than 17,000 chrysanthemums were nurtured and trained, some for more than a year by their talented horticultural staff to resemble balls, spirals, columns, pagodas, and more. It is the […]