Archive for the ‘Southern Appalachian Region’ Category

Poinsettias – Best Of Show**

  This holiday season poinsettia breeders continue to give plant buyers lovely colors, patterns and shapes. Recently, at Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse in King, North Carolina, Judy Mitchell got the word out about their annual Poinsettia Open House. Close to 400 people attended their openhouse and evaluated the 10,000 poinsettias, choosing which of the 79 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Live Cut Foliage And Berries For Home Holiday Decorations

Many conifers make great cuts for indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations. Foliage choices: Eastern red cedar and many other junipers, white pine, Norway spruce, Colorado spruce, Balsam fir, Canadian hemlock, Arizona cypress (and cultivars ‘Carolina Sapphire’ and ‘Blue Ice’),  and False cypresses (C. pisifera). Needle retention varies among species. For example, Norway spruce and balsam […]

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 […]

The Glorious Katsura Tree

Katsura Tree (Cercidophyllum japonicum) is a medium to large tree indigenous to China, Korea and Japan (USDA hardiness zones 4-8). Fossil imprints indicate that Katsura Tree has existed over 1.8 million years and flourished throughout Asia and North America.  Katsura’s genus name Cercidophyllum translates to “leaf (phyllum) like a red bud (Cercis)”. A mature tree can reach […]

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 […]