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 |2018-12-09T11:44:41-05:00December 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 |2018-11-28T11:15:34-05:00November 28th, 2018|Plants|

ESTABLISHING NEW PLANTS IN THE LANDSCAPE IN THE WINTER

PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON RAIN OR IRRIGATION TO ESTABLISH NEWLY PLANTED TREES OR SHRUBS. A DEEP SOAKING WITH A HOSE WILL ESTABLISH TREES AND SHRUBS MORE EFFICIENTLY. EVERGREEN TREES AND SHRUBS:Evergreen trees and shrubs will need to be watered more often in the winter than deciduous shrubs, as their leaves lose moisture to the wind and to the air during our warm winter Central Texas days. It is difficult to recommend a watering frequency due to our constantly changing temperatures. Remember, if it is warm, or windy, your plants [...]

By |2018-11-18T16:14:45-05:00November 18th, 2018|Plants|

Ornamental Grasses – Lots of Beauty with Less Effort!

Ornamental grasses are overlooked too often. A balanced landscape requires many elements, and ornamental grasses are a great choice to fill the need for a structural variation in foliage. While everyone loves the plants that give us color, we also need to “break up” the landscape to avoid monotony, and give texture to our plantings. We have a wonderful selection of native ornamental grasses available to us, and not only do they fill a design void, but they are often quite heat and drought tolerant as well. Even when dormant [...]

By |2018-08-20T17:24:08-05:00August 20th, 2018|Plants|

August Pruning

Central Texas has a lot going for it in the gardening realm, if you know how to play it. For one thing, we have fabulous fall weather, which our plants really love. As gardeners, we can prepare for that extra “push” the fall will give us. But, only if we prepare now, from mid to late August. Roses are looking stressed and tired from the long, hot summer. Pruning shrub roses back by 1/3 and fertilizing with an organic rose fertilizer such as Fox Farm Rose Food will bring on [...]

By |2018-08-13T11:34:32-05:00August 13th, 2018|Plants|

Ball Moss

Ball Moss is a flowering plant (not a moss at all!) that has been given a bad rap by many people in Central Texas. We have customers frequently ask how to “kill” the moss in their trees, as they believe it is harmful to the tree. Well, I’m going to give you the real scoop on this often misunderstood plant. It’s not hard to believe that the native Ball Moss is related to our popular “Air Plants”, which are sold as house plants. Both belong to the Genus Tillandsia. They [...]

By |2018-08-01T16:04:40-05:00August 1st, 2018|Plants|

Beyond Cactus for Your Xeriscape

Your Xeriscape Tutorial Anyone who is stuck watering their lawn (or with the water bill) over our long, hot summers can probably appreciate the notion of a nice xeriscape. Cacti are a popular choice for xeriscaping, are well-suited for hot and dry weather, and look sharp (pun intended) in many different settings. They are not the only choice, however. There are many drought-tolerant plants and shrubs that can be added into a water-wise landscape. There are also several plants that are just as low-maintenance as cactus. Click the links to [...]

By |2018-08-01T15:16:32-05:00July 12th, 2018|Plants|

Texas Ranger

July is the perfect time to look around your neighborhood and see what is thriving in this oppressive Central Texas heat. If you have been thinking about planting in a new area, adding screening or simply rejuvenating an existing landscape, observing what does well at the hottest time of the year should give you some great ideas of what will thrive in years to come. Texas Ranger, also known as Texas Sage, Cenizo, or Barometer Bush, has been giving us a particularly good show the past week. Abundant flowers appear [...]

By |2018-07-04T21:12:39-05:00July 4th, 2018|Plants|

Vines for Central Texas

Vines are used for many different purposes in the landscape. We might want to cover a fence to provide a screen, attract hummingbirds with a flowering vine, or just provide aesthetic appeal. Fortunately, we have a plethora of vines to choose from. Some things to consider before choosing a vine are its mature size, whether it requires sun or shade, if it is an annual or perennial, evergreen, deciduous, herbaceous, whether it climbs using tendrils, “holdfasts” by twining, and what attributes it can contribute to the landscape. CLICK HERE for [...]

By |2018-06-25T12:13:16-05:00June 25th, 2018|Plants|