Archive for the ‘Tropical Plants (non-hardy)’ Category

Pineapple Lilies For Summer Garden

Pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp.) are native of South Africa and are easy to grow (USDA hardiness zones 7-10).  Several hybrid cultivars are winter hardy in zone 6 if provide a protective layer of mulch or loose leafy compost. Plants have basal rosette of strap-like, wavy-edged, purple-spotted, dark green leaves which spread upward and outward to […]

Agaves Like It Hot, Dry and Sunny

Agaves (Agave spp.) are long-leaved succulent landscape plants. These native perennial succulents  grow in desert-like environments (USDA hardiness zones 8 and warmer). Plants grow in a rosette form with long their fleshy leaves frequently tipped with one or more sharp spines and a prominent bloom spike with cup shaped flowers. Most are native to the Southwest U.S. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sweet Potato Vines

Ornamental sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) have been around since the late 1980’s, but their popularity have soared over the past decade. These sweet potatoes aren’t for the table. The colorful vines thrive in the intense heat of U.S. summers from May through September (zones 5-11). These easily grown plants work well as a low-growing bedding plant, […]

Night Blooming Plants For Temperate Climates

If you are working away from home all day long, you might consider growing a few plants that bloom at night. Here’s a short list of plants whose flowers will add beauty to your evening garden: Evening Primrose (Oenothera glazioviana)  – this biennial grows 1-5 feet tall. Plant(s) are basal growing in year one and produce sturdy floral […]

Curing Winter Blues… A Trip To The Philadelphia Flower Show

Since 1827, the Philadelphia Flower Show has been the world’s longest-running and largest indoor flower show. This 8 days flower show, from 11 March 2017 (Saturday) to 19 March 2017 (Sunday), is organized by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS). The 8- day event features incredible large-scale floral displays, elaborate gardens, and creative floral arrangements. Over ¼ […]

Shopping Tips When Purchasing Plants

    Spring and fall are excellent planting times and buying opportunities. A trips to a garden center can be very costly unless you go prepared. Here are some practical tips to make those shopping trips more enjoyable and a lot less expensive. Create your landscape plan first before buying plants. First, visit garden centers to pick up great landscaping ideas […]

Are Your Plants Deficient In Magnesium?

Magnesium (Mg) is the central element involved in chlorophyll synthesis, a crucial nutrient in photosynthesis, and in maintaining vibrant green leaves. Like calcium, magnesium is required by plants in large enough quantities. It is a “macro-nutrient”, as important as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), the latter three adsorbed by plants in greater amounts. Magnesium […]

Photoperiodism – Short Day/Long Day Plants

“Photoperiodism” or daylength is responsible for triggering flowering in numerous plants. Some examples of short day plants are poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), fall mums (Dendranthemum spp.), asters (Symphyotrichum spp.), Thanksgiving (Schlumbergera truncata), Christmas (S. bridgesii) cacti, Kalanchoes (Kalanchoe spp.) and Salvias (Salvia spp.). “Photoperiodism” is the amount of light and darkness a plant is exposed to. The […]