Archive for the ‘Winter Protection’ Category

Crypts (Cryptanthus) Are The Easiest Bromeliads To Grow

Crypts (Cryptanthus spp.), members of the bromeliad family, are an ideal low care choice for house plant collectors. Currently, there are over 1200 varieties of Cryptanthus species and hybrids available today. Compare to other bromeliads, which grow in trees or rock outcropping, crypts grow in soil or rock ground.   Plants prefer an airy, porous, moist soilless media favored by most […]

Deck The Halls With These Ten Festive Plants

  Celebrate the holiday with these live plants, some of which you receive as gifts. These houseplants can stand alone or complement the festive holiday decor:     Poinsettia. No other houseplant captures the Christmas spirit more than poinsettias. Thanksgiving/Christmas Cacti (Schlumbergera bridesii or S. truncata) –  these easy to care for dependable flowering cacti (they’re really succulents) come in red, pink or […]

Protect New Trees From Winter Sunscald

Across the northern U.S. and Canada, cold temperatures can damage many plants. Wide fluctuations in temperature can be particularly detrimental to newly planted landscape and fruit trees from late fall to early spring.  Street trees are particularly susceptible. Sun scald is described by elongated, sunken, dried, or cracked areas of dead bark, usually on the […]

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 […]

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 […]