Archive for the ‘Winter Protection’ Category

Winter Planting –Why Not!

For those who live in northern regions where winters are cold and snowy (USDA hardiness zones 3-6), many (not all) gardeners can still plant many kinds of trees, shrubs and perennials in late fall and winter if the ground is not frozen. Deciduous plants are in their natural period of rest or dormancy. This does not include evergreen trees […]

Mussaenda: A Stunning Tropical For Summer Gardens

Mussaenda (Mussaenda spp.) is a small tropical tree or large shrub. It’s a spectacular bloomer that grows to 10-15 feet tall in tropical zones (USDA zones 10-12). It is sometimes called “tropical dogwood” or “Buddah’s lamp”. In large containers it will reach 1-3 feet tall. Mussaenda blooms from late spring to mid-fall in mild-winter areas. Bloom […]

Comparing Encore™ and Bloom-A-Thon™ Azaleas

Hey gardeners, how about azaleas that bloom nearly 5 months a year. Flowering lasts for 4-6 weeks in spring and another 12-16 weeks in summer and fall. Check out Encore™ and Bloom-A-Thon™ series of azaleas (USDA hardiness zones 6-10). The main differences between these two azaleas is the Bloom-A-Thon series tend to bloom more abundantly in […]

Pineapple Lilies For Summer Garden

Pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp.) are native of South Africa and are easy to grow (USDA hardiness zones 7-10).  Several hybrid cultivars are winter hardy in zone 6 if provide a protective layer of mulch or loose leafy compost. Plants have basal rosette of strap-like, wavy-edged, purple-spotted, dark green leaves which spread upward and outward to […]

Thistle-like Bear’s Breeches

Spiny bear’s breeches (Acanthus spinosa) is a clump-forming perennial treasured for its attractive thistle-like foliage and architecturally bold flower spikes (USDA hardiness zones 5b-9). Plant requires little maintenance and is long-lived. Deeply-cut, arching, glossy green, spiny, thistle-like leaves attain 2-3 feet in length on older plants and remain attractive through the growing season. Leaves bear mostly hidden spines on […]

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 […]

Ice Plants (Delosperma)

Ice plants (Delosperma spp.) are perennial evergreen succulents from South Africa. Two species are most popular in U.S. gardens starting with hardy ice plant (D. cooperi) (zones 6b – 9) and yellow ice plant (D. nubigenum) (zone 4 – 10). There are also many hybrid cultivars sold at garden centers and on-line. North of zone […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]