Going Tropical

Although it’s officially been spring for several weeks, it seems that Mother Nature didn’t decide to grace us with true spring until now. Yes, we’ve finally turned the corner into beautiful spring weather, perfect for gardening. And as a result, we have literally received 30 truckloads of fresh plants this week! It really looks like Spring is here to stay and we are full to the brim with bright tropicals and annuals for summer color, beautiful perennials, shrubs, and trees. Edibles, also, are here and ready for your garden.

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Of all the wonderful plants we’ve received this week, nothing screams warm weather quite as much as the tropicals. Their exotic look, lush foliage, and exuberant blooms are a sure harbinger that the sunshine is here to stay. There are a multitude of types of tropical plants that blend nicely with other plants and trees and will add charm to almost any garden. These “companion plants” add different colors, textures, leaf patterns and appearances to the garden. If you’re looking to add vivid color and diversity, then tropicals are for you.

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Of course, some of the best known tropical plants are the hibiscus. Hibiscus flowers might be the most dramatic in the garden and can bloom as large as a child’s head in gorgeous colors. The hibiscus plant itself is large and dramatic, and does well with plenty of space to show off. Although the huge funnel-shape flowers seldom last more than a day, they are abundant and the plant blooms over several weeks.

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We have many Hibiscus to choose from in standard and braided-stem form, including this new multi-color braided Hibiscus tree that boasts two colors of flowers on one plant.

Another well-known popular tropical plant is the Mandevilla. This popular twining vine is laden with blooms from late spring to frost. If you are excited about the idea of multiple colors, then you’ll love the red and white mixed vine we’ve received this season.

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Tropical plants are known for either their exuberant color or unique foliage, and we have an amazing variety to choose from. Here are a few more of our most recent arrivals.

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Remember, tropicals are available only during certain times of the year. So now is your chance!

Stop by the garden center to see more!

Pitcher Plants

[dropcap2]C[/dropcap2]ary, NC – If you’re looking for interesting, rare, and unusual houseplants, look no further than to one of our latest arrivals in the Garden Supply Greenhouse, the Pitcher Plant.

This unique plant offers the exotic allure of a tropical mixed with the intrigue and excitement of a carnivorous plant, all in one package. This is not your every-day houseplant, by any means, but the Pitcher Plant makes a wonderful specimen plant for the home garden enthusiast.

The Pitcher-plant is a carnivorous plant, a meat eater. Leaf edges of the plant curl around and fuse to form a liquid-holding vessel, similar in shape to a cornucopia. Insects are attracted to the colorful “pitcher”. The red lip is particularly attractive as a landing zone. Red veins that lead downward are baited with nectar. Following this lure, insects, isopods, mites, spiders, plus the occasional frog, reach the curve of the tube, which is lined with fine hairs, all pointing downward. The animal falls into the pitcher, which contains rain, dew, and a digestive enzyme.

Pitcher Plants make excellent houseplants, but do keep in mind a few care tips on sunlight, moisture, and soil condition requirements. Pitcher Plants need full sun. Sunny window locations may still need to be augmented with indoor grow lights. And these guys will need lots of water. They are mostly a bog plant in their natural setting, so they are used to being wet.

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Consequently, they are wonderful for bog gardens and terrariums. The best tip on soil condition is to keep them in the mix they came in. Carnivorous plants live in very poor soils, and as a result most have root systems which do little more than anchor them to the ground. They don’t need much root room, so the pot them came in should do quite nicely. [/pull_right]

If you absolutely need to re-pot, then a good soil mix for most carnivorous plants is a 50:50 sand and peat mix. Very gently and carefully switch your plant to the new container. Do not use garden soil planting mix, and do not fertilize your plant. Avoid pressing down the soil mix as well, as that can cause permanent damage to the delicate root system.

Stop by the Garden Center to learn more about these very fun and unusual carnivorous houseplants. But be sure to pop in soon, as these unique plants have been flying out the door!

Thanks for stopping by everyone! See you back here soon for more snippets from the garden.