Archive for the ‘Pests’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

50+ Flowering Pollen/Nectar Plants For Bumblebees

Here are three key points in planning your pollination garden. To attract U.S. native bumblebees: First, add both early(*), mid-summer, and late(**) flowers in the mix for a three seasons long garden. Second, mass together many of the same kinds of flowers, not just one or two plants, so that bees will spot them easier and to visit the planting frequently. […]

Comparing Western Red Cedar And ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitaes

Western red cedar or giant red cedar (Thuja plicata) is native to the Pacific Northwest. In the eastern U.S. it is called western arborvitae and landscapers typically do not plant it. Instead, they plant the hybrid cultivar  ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae, a cross between western red cedar (T. plicata and Japanese arborvitae (T.  standishii). Western arborvitae […]

Five Simple Pruning Tips For DIYers

Gardeners are frequently scared about making pruning mistakes. There are lots of gardening books filled with lots of before and after photos. Let’s face facts…your yard tree or shrub does look like the ones pictured in the pruning book. Here are my simple 5 steps for pruning: Why and When to prune: You can prune a […]

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 […]

Arctic Fire™ Dogwood Brightens Up Winter Landscape

Red-twig or red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) is a native shrub (USDA hardiness zones 2-7). It reaches 8 to 10 feet in height and roots sucker prolifically. It can become a chore keeping it contained in small garden spaces. Arctic Fire™ is a superior cultivar identified by its fiery red stems and compact growth habit. Expect […]

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 […]

Crape Myrtles Exhibit Beautiful Bark In Winter

The flowers of crape myrtles are a wonderful floral treat in the summer months, several exhibit gorgeous exfoliating bark. Some also show off autumn foliage colors. Here are the best ten species and cultivars of crape myrtles noted for their exfoliating bark. Lagerstroemia hybrids (L. indica x L. fauriei) Hopi – 8-10 feet semi-dwarf shrub; gray brown exfoliating bark; medium pink […]

Old-Fashioned Snake Plants

Snake plant (Sansevieria spp.), aka Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, is an easy to grow succulent. It is one of the hardest house plants to kill, grows in almost any room of your home, and demands little attention except an occasional watering. Its leathery sword-shape leaves are usually marked in gray green marbling. Some varieties may be edged in yellow […]