Archive for the ‘Pests’ 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 […]

Euonymus ‘Moonshadow’ – A Ground Cover For All Seasons

Many so-called shade perennials such as hostas, astilbes, brunneras, and coralbells (Heuchera spp.) actually excel in areas that are bathe mostly morning sunlight. In these areas ‘Moonshadow’ euonymus (Euonymus fortunei ‘Moonshadow’) makes a great companion shrub with these perennials (USDA hardiness zones 4-8).  Moonshadow has become a favorite ground cover euonymus of mine. ‘Moonshadow’ euonymus is […]

Amur Cork Tree

Amur corktree (Phellodendron amurense) is native to Northern China, Korea and Japan (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). Amur corktree is a fast growing, upright branched tree that makes an excellent yard or shade tree. Corktree grows in a wide range soils, and tolerates soil pH between 5.0 to 8.2. It does best in moist, well-drained soils, […]

The Great Little Bluestems*

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is an attractive prairie grass native in southeastern or southwestern areas of the U.S. It is exceptionally hardy (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). Heights of the species (including inflorescences) vary from 2 – 2.5 feet tall and many cultivars grow 3-4 feet tall. Its late summer to fall foliage is a kaleidoscope of pastel […]

Lantanas For Sunny Gardens

Lantanas (Lantana x) are favorite bedding plants, particularly in southern and western U.S. gardens where summers are hot and long. Lantanas are generally planted in flower gardens, but can be grown in containers, including hanging baskets. Plants bloom from late spring until the cool days of fall arrive. Some environmentalists classify them as invasive because […]

Tis The Season For Ornamental Kales and Cabbages

Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea) are very close related to the same vegetables that we eat at our kitchen table. They are edible, just not as tasty. Plants are biennials, e.g. they produce leaves one year and flower the following spring. Ornamental kales have deeply cut serrated or ruffled leaves while leaves of ornamental cabbage […]

‘Youngii’ White Bark Birch A Novelty Tree For Small Spaces

Young’s Weeping European Birch (Betula pendula ‘Youngii’) is small graceful tree with willowy pendulous branches (USDA hardiness zones 3-6). Nurseries often train the very pliable branches and trunk of grafted seedlings into unique novelty shapes. Plant this miniature 12 to 20 feet tree specimen near a deck or patio where it should receive mostly morning sunlight. Fall foliage turns […]

Nuts About Acorns

Acorns are nuts that form on mature oak trees (Quercus spp.). Acorns come in many shapes, sizes and colors, depending on the species. An acorn is a single nut encased in a hard shell by a cap (used to identify what oak species it is). For example, Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra) tree produces egg-shaped […]