Archive for the ‘Mites’ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Chinese Fringetree Is Versatile Landscape Tree

Chinese fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) is native to China, Korea and Japan (Zone: 6 to 9a). Related to native U.S. species (C. virginicus), fringetrees are noted for their profuse spring bloom of fragrant white flowers. It is most often seen in cultivation as a large, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub growing to 15 – 20 feet tall with a […]

Korean Maple Substitute For Fullmoon Japanese Maple

At first sight Korean maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum), aka Korean fullmoon maple, is very similar in appearance to fullmoon Japanese maples (A. japonicum var. Acontifolium). If you live in a northern U.S. such as the upper Midwest, growing Japanese maples will likely become an unfulfilled wish. Korean maple is a hardier choice for northern locales (USDA hardiness zones 4-8). […]

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 […]

Fine Tuning Growing Calamondin Orange In The Home

Calamondin orange (Citris mitis) is challenging to grow in a home environment. It is hardy to 20°F., more than most other true citrus (USDA hardiness zone 8). It does not grow well in temperatures below 45ºF. In temperate regions calamondin spends the active growing months (May – October) outdoors either in direct sunlight (in northern areas) and in half day shade (in […]