Tillandsia Care

Air Plant (Tillandsia) Care Air plants, or Tillandsias, are Bromeliads in the pineapple family. They are classified as epiphytes, meaning they attach themselves to trees for support, taking nothing from and giving nothing to the tree. Their leaves, rather than their roots, absorb water and nutrients through tiny scales called trichomes. They really are quite easy to care for, but it helps to know what their requirements are if you want them to thrive. Light: Lighting should be quite bright but not direct sun. Keeping them within 3’of an east, [...]

By |2020-05-23T10:48:16-05:00May 23rd, 2020|Plants|

Staghorn Fern Care

Staghorn Fern Care   *Staghorn ferns (Platycerium bifurcatum) are epiphytes which grow in tree tops in Australia, Madagascar, Phillipines, Africa, Southeast Asia and America. There are many species of Staghorn ferns, each requiring different growing conditions. The Platycerium bufurcatum is the most common species in cultivation due to their ease of care. *Staghorn ferns have both sterile fronds and fertile fronds. The sterile fronds are the disc shaped fronds that serve to attach the plant to a tree, capturing rainwater and debris for nutrients. Sterile fronds also break down to [...]

By |2020-05-13T14:01:35-05:00May 13th, 2020|Houseplants, Plants|

Desert Rose

Desert Rose (Adenium obtusum)             Like Oleanders, Adenium is a member of the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae) They are native to the deserts of South and East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.  Since they are considered to be a tropical plant in Central Texas, the plants should be grown in pots so that they can be brought indoors in cool weather.             Young plants should be grown in filtered sunlight, outdoors, in pots under a sparsely branched tree, or at the edge of a canopy of a more densely branched tree. [...]

By |2020-05-13T13:47:23-05:00May 13th, 2020|Plants|

Growing Periwinkle in Central Texas

Anyone who has planted Periwinkle, or Annual Vinca, in the spring in Central Texas will tell you “that plant always dies when I plant it”. Well, there is a reason for that! Periwinkle, especially in the “old” days, before resistant varieties were available, was never grown until the cool wet weather ofspringwas behindus. It absolutely thrives in the scorching hot summers, but give itrain and cool weather, and disease takes over! Phytopthora fungus is the causal organism for both Aerial blight and Root blight on Madagascar Periwinkles. As mentioned above, [...]

By |2020-04-07T09:53:31-05:00April 4th, 2020|Disease, Plants|

Brick House Rose

Rosa ‘Meitraligh’, aka Brick House™ Rose, is the new “rose kid” on the block this year. BrickHouse™ sports dark red flowers on a Floribunda rose that only reaches 3’ to 3 ½’ tall. The smaller size will be a welcome plant to put in those beds that are only 3’-4’ wide. The Brick House™ has excellent disease resistance for its type and a slight fragrance. You can expect repeat blooms on this well-behaved shrub rose, and the dark red color contrasts nicely with both limestone and sandstone. This is one [...]

By |2020-03-03T09:43:39-06:00March 3rd, 2020|Plants, Uncategorized|

Geraniums in Central Texas

Growing up, I remember the “traditional combo planters” that were available at the Local Garden Center. I am sure that you have seen them. A bold, beautiful Geranium in the center of a pot with variegated Vinca major trailing over the edge of the pot. Larger pots would sport a Dracaena “Spike” in the center as the “thriller”, with the geraniums around it as the “filler” and the Vinca major as the “spiller”. Yes, I did say “thriller”, “filler” and “spiller”! To this day, the Geranium combo pot brings back [...]

By |2020-02-23T14:48:13-06:00February 23rd, 2020|Plants|

Planting Wildflower Seeds

Whether you have a meadow you would like to establish with wildflowers or just want to plant some bee and butterfly friendly flowers in your landscape, NOW is when we plant the seeds that will provide the blooms next spring.  Adding native grasses and wildflowers provides food for the birds, nectar and pollen for the pollinators, and can assist butterflies in migration. Are you ready to get started? If you have existing warm season grasses where you would like to seed wildflowers, mow the grass short and remove thatch, if [...]

By |2019-09-15T22:40:22-05:00September 15th, 2019|Plants|

Roots and How They Grow

It is difficult to know how to water plants if we do not understand how (and where) their roots grow. Do we water just at the base of the plant? How long do we water a plant, and how deep does the water need to go? These are questions that I hear almost every day at the nursery. Let us begin with tree roots. In the first year, when establishing a newly planted tree, apply water to the area above the original root ball and about 1’ beyond. This will [...]

By |2019-08-18T17:48:20-05:00August 18th, 2019|Plants, Trees|

Lavender Demystified

As you may have guessed, Lavender is a plant that mystifies many people. Which one should you plant? What conditions do they require? We are fortunate to have a relatively non-hostile environment for growing Lavender in Central Texas. If you have well-drained soil and a sunny exposure, you should be able to grow Lavender with ease. Humidity, poor drainage and heavy soils are the arch enemies of Lavender. Lavender is drought resistant once established, and to many people’s delight, they are DEER RESISTANT TOO! There are four primary species of [...]

By |2019-05-30T08:48:43-05:00May 30th, 2019|Plants|

Milkweed Seed Stratification

Milkweed Stratification Procedures, Courtesy Native American Seed NOTE:  George Cates insists that sterile rubber (latex) gloves be worn at all times and that containers and implements be sterile.   Otherwise, mold can grow in the vermiculite and damage the seeds. Mix seeds with pre-chilled distilled water and let soak for 24 hours in the fridge.  After 24 hours, pour seeds into strainer and rinse with distilled water. Moisten vermiculite with distilled water, the exact quantity required varies with different media, moist but not dripping is best.  Mix rinsed seeds into [...]

By |2019-05-09T09:38:39-05:00May 8th, 2019|Plants|

Poinsettia Care During the Holidays

Poinsettias are such a symbol of the Holidays, and can be kept fresh-looking longer with just a few easy care instructions. Locate your Poinsettia close to a bright window if possible. The bracts will continue to “color up” with sufficient light. If you are satisfied with the color, you may display the plant in a darker area, but be aware that the color might fade. Check the soil daily for water. When the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, or if the pot feels light, remove the [...]

By |2018-12-09T11:44:41-06:00December 9th, 2018|Plants|

Cyclamen Care

Cyclamen come to us from the Mediterranean region and North Africa. They revel in cool, but not cold, temperatures, and provide us with flowers for several weeks each season. Florist Cyclamen come in shades of red, pink, white, purple and salmon. Some varieties are fragrant, some reach 7”-8” tall, and others may reach 12”-18” tall. They are grown from a corm, which is bulb-like structure, and can be kept over as a perennial as long as they are allowed to go dormant in the summer season. (Or not, as you [...]

By |2018-11-28T11:15:34-06:00November 28th, 2018|Plants|