Archive for the ‘Aphids’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

Halloween Pumpkins And Gourds

It’s Pumpkin Time!…celebration of Halloween across America. A local pumpkin farm had over 60 kinds of pumpkins to choose from. According to the Missouri Botanical Gardens website: “the term pumpkin really has no botanical meaning”. Pumpkins and gourds are classified as squashes in the Cucurbitaceae family along with cucumbers and melons. If you want to grow […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tropical Beauty Of African Rose Mallow

African Rose Mallow (Hibiscus acetosella), aka Red-leaf Hibiscus and false Roselle, is grown in most of the U.S. as a colorful annual, although it is rated as a perennial shrub for USDA Zones 9-11. It is native to Africa and, as expected, thrives in hot tropical environment such as in the deep South or Southern California […]

Pest Alert – Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

              A new scale has been observed infesting crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia  x indica) in north Louisiana and Texas cities. In the summer of 2016 it was found threatening crape myrtles in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and in west Tennessee (Memphis). Crape myrtle bark scale is a felt […]

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 […]

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 […]