Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Plant of the Week: Poinsettia "Christmas Flower"



Poinsettia
'Christmas Flower'

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are popular potted plants, particularly during the Christmas season. Brightly colored and mostly red, a Poinsettia provides effective color in home decor during and after the holiday season. The newer Poinsettia cultivars are long-lasting in contrast to the cultivars that were available a few years ago. Christmas charm is what these amazing Poinsettias hold.

Facts About Poinsettias:
- Poinsettias are the most popular of the holiday plants.
- Poinsettias are native to southern Mexico and Central America.
- Poinsettias also bloom in cream, lemon, peach, pink colors and with white and gold-splashed leaves.
- Poinsettia's botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima, means "the most beautiful Euphorbia".
- Poinsettia was named after the former US ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel R. Poinsett who introduced the      Poinsettia to the United States.
- Recent research has proved that Poinsettias are not poisonous.
- Poinsettias, at times, reach a height of sixteen feet.
- Poinsettias are also known by other names such as 'Christmas flower', 'lobster flower', and 'Mexican flame leaf'.
As a result of its importance in the celebration of Christmas and its beautification of America, December 12th is celebrated as National Poinsettia Day, to honor the passing away of Joel R. Poinsett.

Not Poisonous
A common misconception about poinsettias is that they are a poisonous plant. While these plants should not be eaten, extensive studies have proven they are not poisonous to humans or animals. But like most members of the Euphorbia clan, they do have a milky sap inside the stem, which may cause skin irritation for some people.

Leaves, Not Flowers
Another misconception about poinsettias is that they have red flowers. When actually, the "flowers" are simply colored leaves called bracts. The insignificant yellow buds in the center of the colored bracts are the actual flowers.

Sensitive to Carbon Monoxide
It's a little known fact that poinsettias are very susceptible to carbon monoxide. If your poinsettia is wilting or losing leaves immediately upon arrival in your home, you may want to have your carbon monoxide levels tested.

Poinsettias & Christmas:
The ancient Aztecs (the Mexican Indians) prized the Poinsettia as a symbol of purity. Centuries later, Mexico's early Christians adopted the Poinsettia as their prized Christmas Eve flower. The Mexican Poinsettia, known as the Christmas flower in North America, is used in most Christmas decorations, owing to its bright red color and its blooming season coinciding with the Christmas holiday season.
The Mexican poinsettias are commonly bright red. For some, these star-shaped bracts symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. The Christmas Poinsettia flowers have become a symbol of Christmas and are used as festive decor.
A Mexican legend explains how Poinsettias came to be associated with Christmas. Apparently, a child who could not afford a gift to offer to Christ on Christmas Eve picked some weeds from the side of a road. The child was told that a humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in God's eyes. When brought into the church, the weeds bloomed into red and green flowers and the congregation felt that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Plant of the Week: Dazzleberry Sedum



DAZZLEBERRY SEDUM

Plant type : GroundcoverPerennialCactus/Succulent

Deciduous/evergreen : Herbaceous

Growth habit : Spreading

Growth rate : Fast

Average landscape size : Reaches 6 to 8 in. tall and 18 in. wide.

Special features : Attracts ButterfliesAttracts HummingbirdsDeer ResistantDramatic Foliage ColorEasy CareWaterwise

Foliage color : Blue-green

Blooms: Summer

Flower color : Pink

Flower attributes : Long Bloom SeasonShowy Flowers


Garden style : CottageMediterraneanRustic

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Plant of the Week: Gibraltar Exbury Azalea




RHODODENDRON
(GIBRALTAR EXBURY AZALEA)


Genus2:
 Rhododendron

Variety:
 'Gibraltar'

ItemForm:
 Trade Gallon (3qt)

Zone:
 5 - 8

BloomStartToEnd:
 Mid Spring - Late Spring

PlantHeight:
 6 ft

PlantWidth:
 4 ft

BloomSize:
 3 in

Additional Characteristics:
 Flower, Fragrance

Bloom Color:
 Dark Orange

Light Requirements:
 Full Sun, Part Shade

Moisture Requirements:
 Moist,  well-drained

Soil Tolerance:
 Normal,  loamy

Uses: 
Border, Hedge, Ornamental

Monday, October 26, 2015

Plant of the Week: Katsura


KATSURA
(Cercidiphyllum japonicum)

Environmental conditions:
  • Katsura trees grow well in acidic, loamy, clay and well-drained soil (hardiness zones 4-8). It is not drought tolerant, so water regularly.
  •  Medium growing tree, growing 1-2 feet a year and reaching 40-60 feet at maturity.
  • Has a shallow root system and some of the roots can grow to six inches in diameter or more above the soil. Does not do well in compact soil. Add mulch around the tree to maintain a cool root environment.
  • Tree grows in partial sun and full sun.
Physical Attributes:
  • Doesn’t have any showy flowers, but displays vibrant fall foliage with shades of crimson and yellow.
  • Relative of magnolia and tulip trees, producing heart-shaped leaves.
  • Releases sweet sugar smell in the fall, resembling brown-sugar or cotton candy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Plant of the Week: Lamb's Ears



Lamb's Ears
'Stachys byzantina'



Category:

Perennials

Foliage Color:

Silver/Gray

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender
Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage
Evergreen
Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured
This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Flower of the Week: Floss Flower



Floss Flower
'Ageratum houstonianum'


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink
Blue-Violet
Violet/Lavender
Purple
White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Auburn, Alabama
Garberville, California
Merced, California
Palm Springs, California
Greenwich, Connecticut

Monday, September 14, 2015

Plant of the Day: Daffodil


Daffodil
'Narcissus'

Division:

Division 13 - Species (incl. Wild Variants & Hybrids)

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow

Foliage:

This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Garberville, California
Houston, Texas
Stephenville, Texas

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Plant of the Week: Bee Balm




Bee Balm
'Monarda'

About This Plant

Bee balm flower colors include pink, red, and white; new double-flowered forms are also available. The plant blooms from early to late summer and grows 2 to 4 feet tall, depending on the variety. Some bee balm species tolerate wet soil and will thrive along a waterway or in a bog garden. Bee balm is susceptible to powdery mildew disease, so select resistant varieties. Under favorable growing conditions the plant can become invasive.

Special Features

Easy care/low maintenance
Multiplies readily
Attracts hummingbirds
Attracts butterflies
Tolerates wet soil

Site Selection

Select a site with full sun to light shade and rich, well-drained soil. Some species tolerate wet soils, while others are adaptable to a wide range of soil moisture levels.

Planting Instructions

Plant in spring or fall, spacing plants 1 to 2 feet apart. Prepare garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the plant's container. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and place it in the hole so the top of the rootball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the rootball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.

Care

Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Remove spent flowers to keep plants looking tidy. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line. Divide plants in spring every few years or when you notice the center of the plant dying out

Monday, August 31, 2015

Plant of the Week: Dove Tree



Dove Tree

Common Name: dove tree
Type: Tree
Family: Cornaceae
Native Range: Southwestern China
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Red (flowers) and white (bracts)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Show

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Plant of the Week: Black Scallop Ajuga



BLACK SCALLOP
Ajuga reptans 'Binblasca' 


Common Name: bugleweed
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Violet
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Black Walnut

Monday, August 10, 2015

Plant of the Week: Goldflame Honysuckle






 Goldflame Honeysuckle 

Lonicera x heckrottii 'Goldflame'


Common Name: honeysuckle
Type: Vine
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Rose pink with yellow interior
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut

Monday, August 3, 2015

Plant of the Week: Mount Airy Fothergilla





'Mount Airy' Fothergilla

Common Name: dwarf fothergilla

Latin name: Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’

Type: Deciduous shrub

Family: Hamamelidaceae

Zone: 5 to 8

Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet

Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet

Bloom Time: April to May

Bloom Description: White

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Low

Suggested Use: Hedge

Flower: Showy, Fragrant

Leaf: Good Fall

Monday, July 27, 2015

Plant of the Week: Joe Pye Weed



Joe Pye Weed
'Eutrochium purpureum'

Common Name: Joe Pye weed
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Eastern and northern United States
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 5.00 to 7.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Mauve pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Wet Soil

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Plant of the Week: Butterfly Bush





Buddleja davidii
Butterfly Bush 'Royal Red'



Detailed Description

NameBuddleia, Royal Red

Botanical NameBuddleia

Zone5-10

Bloom Time and ColorFlowers from mid-summer through fall. This butterfly bush is not quite a true red color, but purple red.

SoilAverage, well drained.

ExposureRequires full sun.

Description: PerennialThis is one of the most sought-after of the butterfly bushes. It is a vigorous growing upright shrub. It is very easy to grow. This bush is a magnet for all the butterflies that pass through your garden seeking nectar.

CareThis plant blooms on new growth and should be pruned back to the ground in spring.