Redbuds and Cherry Trees: Harbingers of Spring

Redbud

Here is one of our Eastern Redbuds with buds on it.

Redbuds and cherry trees are early bloomers in spring and we’re seeing them bud and bloom now, which can only mean one thing: spring is upon us!

Redbuds are relatively small, ornamental trees with short trunks and branches that spread out. This tree is well-regarded for its hardiness and adaptability. It blooms early with beautiful flowers that last for at least two to three weeks. Redbuds like moist soil and can tolerate full sun to shade.

Cherry trees are also early bloomers that make a striking showcase with their white-pink, fragrant flowers. Weeping cherry trees have slender branches that gracefully arc down to the ground. They grow in to a rounded shape and when covered with blooms, make the whole tree look like one blossom. Cherry trees prefer full sun and well-draining soil.

Weeping Cherry Tree

Here is one of our Weeping Cherry trees in bloom.

Both of these trees make perfect specimen plants and their early blooms will signal the start of spring to you year after year. We have a selection of redbuds and cherry trees which are blooming and this is the perfect time to plant them.

Stop by and one of our friendly associates will gladly help you get set up with one of these blooming trees in your garden.

Hardy Winter Perennials

Hardy Winter Perennials

As we truck along through the cold winter weather, we decided to discuss some perennials which thrive in the winter. We have created a special display out front that showcases an assortment of hardy winter perennials so if you’re looking for ideas, you may want to check that out. Here are a few plants to consider:

 

 

EuphorbiaEuphorbia

There are a wide range of varieties that fall into the Euphorbia species—over 2,000 plants ranging from weeds to trees to succulents are encompassed in this group. We have a selection of evergreen Euphorbias in an array of colors.

We have Glacier Blue, which has wonderfully variegated leaves and conical flowers in the spring. There is also the Mini Martini variety, which is a dwarf hybrid, and on which new growth appears as a deep burgundy. Ascot Rainbow is another species of Euphorbia we have which is stunning at this time of year, with green and yellow variegated leaves with touches of red and orange on them.Euphorbia_2

These plants enjoy full sun to part shade and well-draining soil with moderate water levels. They can handle drought conditions well and overall, are fairly easy to care for. They will flower in the spring and are a great evergreen choice for this area. If you are looking for a way to give your garden a splash of color in the winter, these plants are perfect!

 

 

 

Heucheras

Heucheras are a shade-loving perennial plant that overwinters well in our climate. These plants have exploded in popularity in recent years and a lot of cultivars are on the market. They come in range of colors from black, burgundy, orange, and green, and with an variety of variegation and leaf shape. Some, like ‘Mocha’, turn from a dark brown/black color to a beautiful red/orange in the depths of winter, giving your garden a pop of color just when you need it most.Heucheras

Heuchera like moist, well-draining soil in a spot that is protected from harsh afternoon sun. They like to be divided every three to four years and enjoy some fertilization on a regular basis. A bonus—they attract hummingbirds and butterflies when they bloom. They are a sturdy plant that can provide constant interest in your garden and thrive in those shady spots that can be tough to fill with color.

2015 is the Year of the…

ColeusEvery year, the National Garden Bureau selects one annual, perennial, and edible plant as their “Year of the” plants. They choose these based on how each plant’s popularity, easiness-to-grow, adaptability, genetic diversity, and versatility. This year they have selected:

Annual of the Year: Coleus

Coleus is a sturdy plant that doesn’t need too much care from gardeners. These plants are available in a wide range of colors and varieties and make a stunning statement wherever you decide to put them.

Perennial of the Year: Gaillardia

This is a beautiful flowering plant is in the sunflower family and comes in shades of red, orange, yellow, brown and white. It has a long season of bloom and attracts butterflies.

Edible of the Year: Sweet PepperGaillardia

Sweet peppers offer something for everyone—they come in a lot of different shapes, sizes, and colors. They are a garden favorite and are ideal for spot planting around your garden.

 

We’re still in the midst of winter but spring is just around the corner! As we approach warmer weather, consider finding a place for some of these plants in your garden. Come in to see us to learn what we have in stock and tips to make these plants thrive.

Growing Cacti and Succulents

CactiCacti and succulents are excellent houseplants that add character to any room. Firstly, understand that the words cactus and succulent are general terms that refer to a wide variety of plants. Anything called a “cactus” belongs to a certain family of plants but may be one of many different species. “Succulent” is not a family of plants, but refers to any plant with fleshy parts for storing moisture. A wide range of plants from many different parts of the world falls into the succulent category. Cacti are defined as succulents and what sets them apart as their own sub-group within that classification is that they produce growths (areoles) such as sSucculentpines. These spines help defend the plant against being eaten, as well as helping to reduce water loss by diminishing the air flow close to the cacti stem and offering a little shade. What sets cacti and succulents apart is their ability to exist on low amounts of moisture. Both of these categories of plants are adept at conserving water and nutrients.

Keeping indoor cacti or succulents require a special kind of care which is different from most other houseplants. These plants are tough and can stand extreme conditions with little water, but in order to thrive, they need regular care and attention. During their growth season (which is usually spring to fall), cacti and succulents will appreciate regular watering and fertilizing. CactusCheck out the tag on your individual plants to identify the specific needs of that species and ensure you successfully care for the plant. These plants do enjoy a lot of sunlight and whether they like direct or indirect light will depend on the variety, so make sure you have the right spot to meet its needs. You can always supplement light needs with a grow light if you don’t have enough daylight in your house. Cacti and succulents like a well-draining soil and should be repotted every year or two, as they outgrow their current pots and to give them fresh soil.

We have a selection of cacti and succulents, so stop in and check them out! They may be the perfect plants to supplement your indoor houseplant collection and our friendly staff will be glad to assist you in understanding their care!

Fun with Ferns

FernsFerns are a lacy, whimsical plant that add visual interest to any room. Their beautiful delicate appearance and easy needs make them an ideal choice to grow indoors. They gained popularity as indoor plants in the Victorian Era and the word “fern” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word (fearn) which means feather. These plants happen to be one of the only plants that do not produce flowers. They produce spores to reproduce.

Ferns are native to the tropics and so enjoy high humidity, making them a good option for a bathroom. You can also mist them daily with a spray bottle, and if the humidity levels are not right, you may notice the tips of the fronds turning brown or dying. Another option to increase moisture levels around ferns is to double pot them. Place the potted fern in a larger container that is lined with moist sphagnum moss and be sure to keep the moss moist.

Table of fernsDepending on the type, ferns can have a variety of sunlight needs. Some like indirect sunlight, some will do fine with dappled or morning sun, and some can handle full sun. Check the tags on your chosen variety to ensure proper conditions. Their soil should stay evenly moist—not too wet and not too dry. When overwatered, their leaves will turn yellow and wilt. Water slowly and evenly until water runs out the bottom of the pot into the saucer. Ferns like light applications of houseplant fertilizer to stay happy and healthy.

Different ferns and plantsFerns should be repotted every couple years. If your fern starts looking lackluster, rejuvenate it with some outdoor time in the warm months. Place the pot in a shady spot so it can experience the fresh air and rain.

We currently have an incredible selection of ferns so if you want to give this beautiful plant a try, come see us! Our friendly associates can get you set up with everything you need to make your indoor fern a success.

Deck the Halls with Citrus Plants

Lemon TreeWhat’s more fun and healthy than being able to grab a lemon, lime, or orange from your very own indoor citrus tree? Citrus plants can easily be grown indoors in a container and they will produce fruit as well as give off a refreshing fragrance. You can start these plants indoors in pots and then transfer outside when the weather is warm, or keep them inside permanently. Maintaining the plant in a container minimizes the shock involved with transplanting and allows you to control their growth (in case you don’t have space for a 12-foot tree inside). Citrus trees like soil that is well draining so their roots don’t sit in water for too long. Putting Styrofoam peanuts or rocks in the bottom of the container helps retain the water while allowing the roots to stay dry.

Close up of lemonCitrus trees like a specific amount of watering. If you scratch just under the surface of the soil and it’s moist, then the water level is correct. Overwatering can lead to weak roots and open the door to diseases. If the leaves are curling, are muted colors, or starting to drop off, then the plant needs more water. It’s best to keep a consistent watering schedule of about once a week in the winter to ensure the tree maintains the right amount of moisture.

These trees like a lot of sunlight, so choose a spot where they’ll get an adequate amount. A grow light can supplement for sunlight if there’s not a sunny-enough spot. A fertilizer specifically for citrus, fruit, or nut producing plants is recommended because these will have the right mixture of nutrients for fruit production. Follow the directions on fertilizer packaging for the frequency and amount of fertilizer to be used.

Citrus PlantsIf you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at growing a citrus tree, come down and see us! We have a selection of lemons, oranges, and limes to choose from and one of our friendly associates can help you get started growing your own citrus fruit. We even have some plants that are currently producing fruit to choose from!