Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

Every era has had its favorite houseplant. In the 50’s and 60’s it was the African violet. The 70’s was a houseplant mecca, with macramé hangers and Peace Lily plants dominating the scene. The 80’s and 90’s had the Weeping fig, or Ficus benjamina trees in its favor. This decade definitely goes to the big, bold leaves of the Fiddleleaf Fig. Design-wise, this plant really makes a statement! It is hard not to notice the large, fiddle-shaped leaves and dark green color as you walk in a room. But how [...]

By |2022-11-23T11:42:42-06:00November 23rd, 2022|Plants, Houseplants|

Protecting Tropical Plants in the Winter

Protecting Tropical Plants in the Winter Our tropical plants have been happy outside over the summer, but cold weather is soon approaching. We need be prepared to bring our tender plants inside for a short freeze or even find them a bright spot indoors for the entire winter.       Before bringing them inside, check for fire ants in the soil. A soil drench with Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew (with Spinosad) a few days before bringing them inside will kill any ants in the soil.         [...]

By |2022-11-02T11:36:46-05:00November 2nd, 2022|Plants, Houseplants, Succulents and Cacti|

Succulent Bowls Step by Step

If you love succulents, chances are that you will want to put together your own "creation" in the form of a succulent bowl. Since I have been around a long time (I am NOT old!), I have learned the "hard way" how to do many things, and I'd like to help you avoid a few pitfalls. Disclaimer: Just because this is the way that I have found best to plant succulent bowls myself does not mean that there are not many other ways of doing this. Please take this information [...]

By |2022-06-19T10:33:08-05:00June 19th, 2022|Plants, Houseplants, Succulents and Cacti|

Screening Basics

Screening with plants is often necessary to provide privacy and to screen unwanted views from our homes and yards. There are some pitfalls to avoid concerning screening with plants, such as: *DO NOT PLANT ALL THE SAME VARIETY OF PLANT!  We have seen what can happen when a "wall" of Photinia is infected with Entomosporium fungus and defoliates. Or an Elaeagnus "hedge" gets scale insects and dies. Any time you plant a monoculture of plants you risk losing them all to something that only affects that particular plant. Years ago [...]

By |2022-06-01T14:35:46-05:00June 1st, 2022|Plants|

Deer Resistant Plants for Central Texas

Welcome to our Deer Resistant plant list for Central Texas. Of course, there are NO GUARANTEES! Every location has its own "deer pressure" and the best way to see what works in your area is to observe what plants are not being eaten! We recommend spraying ALL new plants, whether they are "deer resistant" or not, with Deer Out repellant twice a week for about three weeks after planting. Deer will sample anything new, and at certain times of the year or in a drought situation, NOTHING is reliable. Please [...]

By |2022-05-29T10:26:16-05:00May 29th, 2022|Plants|

Lichens on Tree Bark

  Have you ever wondered what those colorful crusty growths on tree trunks are? You’ll be happy to know that they are not usually harmful, but simply a relationship between three separate species that are mutually helpful to one another. The fungal part of this relationship cannot survive without the availability of photosynthetic products from the other two species, green algae and cyanobacteria.       Lichens grow on trees, shrubs, soil, and rocks and provide additional moisture and protection to whatever they grow on. If a tree or shrub [...]

By |2022-04-07T15:05:29-05:00April 5th, 2022|Plants, Trees|

Rose Pruning Basics

Mid-February is one of the busiest times in the garden-we have plants that have died back this winter to cut back, and most importantly, it is time to prune our roses! Timing is important with all pruning endeavors, and roses should be pruned before they have started to put out new growth and expended precious reserves they will need to put out spring growth and blooms. I have talked to many people who are hesitant to prune roses, thinking that they might harm them. Trust me, roses are tougher that [...]

By |2022-02-19T13:29:08-06:00February 14th, 2022|Plants, Monthly Gardening Checklist|

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon (aka Althea) Hibiscus syriacus Native to China and India, Rose of Sharon was introduced to the gardens of Europe in the 16th century. The specific epithet “syriacus”, refers to it having been collected from gardens in Syria. It is propagated by seed and cuttings, and many new cultivars have shown up in recent years. Many of these cultivars produce little to no seed. Rose of Sharon is a deciduous, multi-trunk woody shrub to small tree that is cold hardy to Zone 5b (-15°F). It tolerates heat, poor [...]

By |2021-08-21T13:44:43-05:00August 21st, 2021|Trees, Plants|

Root Knot Nematodes

Root Knot Nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are parasitic microscopic worm-like animals that infest plant roots and interfere with the uptake of water and nutrients. Infected plants will appear stunted, they may wilt on hot days even though soil is moist, they may have chlorotic or light green leaves and usually have reduced yields.       The roots will have "knots" on them where the nematode has entered the plant, and the "knots" do not come off easily, as can be seen on this nematode infested potato.         [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:07:30-06:00July 21st, 2021|Vegetable Gardening, Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Plants|

Gummosis in Fruit Trees

Gummosis is a term that refers to the presence of  amber-colored sap oozing from the trunk or branches of a tree. It is important to understand that the term “gummosis” is a symptom, not a cause of a tree ailment. Anything that stresses the tree can be a causal factor. It is necessary to determine the cause of the stress in order to mitigate future damage to the tree. Gummosis has a variety of causes: Environmental stress: Compacted soils, poorly drained soils, light sandy soils, use of weed and feed [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:09:08-06:00July 7th, 2021|Disease, Fruit & Nuts, Insects, Plants, Trees|

Watering Guidelines for New Plants

First of all, I’d like you to know that this is a difficult subject to write about. There is no “one size fits all” for watering newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. Soils are different, climatic conditions are variable, and plants are different in their water needs and rate at which they establish. That being said, I will attempt to give you some “guidelines”.  I am sure that you will need to adjust them to your own set of conditions. Trees *Newly planted trees will require from 1-5 years of [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:13:50-06:00June 23rd, 2021|Plants, Trees|

Azaleas in Central Texas

Yes, we CAN grow acid-loving Azaleas in Central Texas! It does take some preparation and TLC, but the rewards are tremendous. Most of the Azaleas available today are “repeat bloomers” that will put on a stunning show in the spring, scattered blooms throughout the summer and a re-bloom in the fall. Azaleas will do well in north or east exposures in Central Texas, where they are protected from the harsh afternoon sun. Dappled sun under trees with an hour or two of morning sun is also acceptable. Avoid more than [...]

By |2022-01-15T12:26:09-06:00June 22nd, 2021|Plants|
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