As we finish out summer and begin sending kids back to school, we can start thinking about fall gardening. Fall is a great time of year to work outside. A lot of garden and landscape chores are neglected over the summer, and it's not too hot, cold or wet to do them in fall. Fixing up the landscape will make it look nice through next spring.
This morning in Savannah, the heat and humidity were simply staggering but as I drove into the garden there they were, two acalypha plants, the tropical troopers of the landscape. What I was looking at were Java White and the bright red cat tail like blooms of chenille plant.
When it comes to August temperatures we as gardeners need some tough ...Read more
Q: We have a large pumpkin patch, and most of the leaves have turned white. It appears to be powdery mildew. Is this a problem, or can we let it go? We don't want to spray the plants if we don't have to because we may make pies out of the pumpkins.
A: Powdery mildew is common with many vine crops, but it can also affect beans, peas, ...Read more
You can spot Lime Sizzler a mile away! Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but the new Lime Sizzler firebush is definitely an attention grabber. Ever since firebush was declared a Texas Super Star Winner, 20 years ago, it has captured the fancy of gardeners, hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Now with the addition of Lime Sizzler, everyone...Read more
Recently, there has been a lot of news about the Zika virus. Florida is the first state in the U.S. to see cases of the virus, but the two mosquito species that spread it are common in the Southern, southwestern, Midwestern and eastern regions of the country.
Mosquito-borne diseases have been a problem in the U.S. since the beginning. Malaria ...Read more
The princess flower loads up with uncountable blossoms of royal purple, making it unchallenged as the most beautiful plant in the late summer garden. Botanically speaking the princess flower is known as Tibouchina urvilleana and is native to Brazil the site of the 2016 Olympics. The family name is Melastomataceae and is most likely quite rare at...Read more
Q: Just when I thought I was going to get fresh tomatoes from my garden, they stopped turning red. They are mostly green, but a few have a hint of pink. They have been like this for more than a week. I am watering them the same as always, and they don't have too many leaf spots or yellow leaves. What can I do to get them to mature?
A: Tomato ...Read more
Names like Queen Lily and Emperor belong to an incredible group or genera of gingers called Curcuma, and they are among the most beautiful plants you can grow in the landscape. As the names suggest, they are indeed fit for royalty.
In addition to these, there are others that might best be described as the crown jewels. Jewel of Thailand, Jewel ...Read more
Fenton's DeathS. Elizabeth
Emm and Francine grew up with Fenton. He was their neighbor, best friend and big brother all in one. Fenton thought he loved both his friends equally but one day as a young man he realized he had to make a choice. But what would his choice do to the 3. And then...Fenton died. Fenton's Death ...
Question: I planted a Maple tree a few years ago. It's about 15 feet high now. Recently, I noticed that there are many roots near or above ground level. Is it because it's not getting enough water? We have bad soil, very clay like. Can I change the watering technique to help it grow more roots deeper in the soil? Will the tree be more likely to ...Read more
The last time I reported on the Cora Cascade was in 2010; so much has changed with this trailing beauty, it's now even better than we knew it then, so I thought I'd write an update.
Cora Cascade vinca has been beating the brutal summers in simply amazing fashion and if you are looking for trailing color look no further. Twice this summer I have...Read more
Q: Last week, you said to fertilize flowers that aren't blooming. My rose bushes are supposed to bloom all summer, but they have stopped. Can I fertilize them or is it just too hot?
A: Roses come in several groups and some only bloom once in a summer, including may old-time roses and many climbing roses. Most new varieties will bloom several ...Read more
The variegated tapioca continues to be one of the hottest plants in the garden. First and foremost it is an incredibly showy plant, but the real impetus may have been that it was chosen as a Texas Superstar Award Winner and placed extremely high in University of Georgia trials.
Once again this selection demonstrates that a zone 9-10 tropical ...Read more
Q: Unlike other parts of the country, we have had plenty of rain all spring and summer. We did have a 15-day hot and dry spell at the end of June. That is when I noticed all of the trees in my yard started dropping leaves. Some were yellow and some were green. Do I need to fertilize them? How do I do that?
A: You don't need to fertilize the ...Read more
Sweet Tea Mountain Gordlinia has been causing quite a stir not only because it is blooming in the garden, but we have been posting photos on Facebook and Twitter. Now, to be honest, it is the plant community, botanists, taxonomists, and horticulturists alike that are in a state of bliss.
The credit for this wonderful and rare hybrid really goes...Read more
Q: I have various kinds of roses in a small flower bed. An unusual thing has happened to one of the rose bushes. This spring it started growing very small leaves -- really small, and there are dozens in just a couple of inches of new branch growth. Can you tell me if this is a disease?
A: Unfortunately, it is a problem. Your rose bush has rose ...Read more
The Pride of Barbados is one of the most beautiful tropical plants for the home landscape. As the name suggests, it is the national tree of Barbados the island paradise in the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles. It is such an incredible plant, it was also named a Texas Super Star Winner.
Now your first thought is that they grow citrus in Texas so no ...Read more
Q: Brown spots are appearing on the leaves of my tomato plant. The tomatoes are still small and green. Last year these same spots appeared, and the leaves died, and the tomatoes stopped growing. What can I do to keep the plants alive this summer?
A: This is the time of year that tomatoes often become infected with different kinds of leaf spot, ...Read more
A 300-foot long crape myrtle allee is a sight to behold especially when it is in full bloom as it happens to be right now. While the visitors are shocked, if not mesmerized by the amount of blooming color, they are equally stunned to know we don't prune. You see, most gardeners think that pruning gives you more flower canopy, but it simply isn't...Read more
Q: I was gathering some flowers for a vase, and I wanted some greenery, so I cut off some spirea branches. I laid them all out on the counter to make the arrangement when I noticed millions - I really mean millions -- of green insects crawling all over the spirea stems and the counter. I destroyed them all, and when I looked outside I saw that ...Read more
This has been a banner year for tropical plant nuts like me as Regal Shields, Borneo Giant, and Portora just to name a few started showing up in area garden centers. These are just a few of the elephant ears that lured the gardeners in my family to not only bring out the pocketbook but to redesign for the lush look of the islands.
If you love ...Read more