When Salt Attack

As a gardener I am sure you have experienced first hand the accumulation of salts on when using clay pots.  Clay pots or a staple in the garden industry and to the home gardener.  They are inexpensive and easy to use.  In my family we have terracotta pots that have been passed down from our…

Is That Your Natural Color?

A first it may look fun.  Who wouldn’t be attracted to brilliant hues of green, blue, yellows?  Glitter?  You can never not have enough glitter during the holidays!  But what happens once the season is over?  What do you do with that poor hot pink cactus?  How do you keep the lime-green poinsettia alive? You…

USDA Hardiness Zones

As a gardener it is a good chance that you know what hardiness zone you live in.  You know that you need to choose perennials, trees & shrubs that are hardy to your zone or a zone colder.  You also know that plants that are in a warmer zone will not overwinter where you are….

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an obligate parasite.  Huh?  In short, powdery mildew doesn’t want to kill your plants – but it sometimes happens, by accident of course.  We most often see this disease on plants outdoors where there is poor air circulation.  You probably have seen peony bushes around town or even your own that ended…

Sunset Bells

Sometimes I struggle grasping the diversity of the Gesneriaceae family.  With over 130 genera and an untold (well not untold but greatly disputed) number of species I am always amazed by this family of plants.  One thing that I do find fascinating is: there are no native Gesneriads to the United States and Canada and…

Streptocarpus

If you have ever grown an African violet you are may want to try your hand at growing Cape Primrose AKA Streptocarpus (strep-to-car’pus).  Streptocarpus are in the Gesneriaceae family which includes the florist gloxinia, lipstick plant, guppy plant, flame violet, African violet, and many more.  Recent genetic studies have determined that both the African violet…

Reflection

What worked for you this year in the garden?  What didn’t?  Now is the time that you should start reflecting on this years accomplishments and learning opportunities.  One of the biggest mistakes I know that I make is telling myself “I’ll remember that next year”.  This is especially true when it comes to certain plants…

Plant Societies

This week we kick off National Indoor Plant Week.  As an avid houseplant enthusiast I belong to a few different national plant societies.  The two national societies I belong to are the African Violet Society of America and the Gesneriad Society.  Sadly, with today’s capabilities to connect to with people around the globe membership has…

Spiny Solanums

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked about perennials and how common names can inherently hurt them.   However, this week the plant that has caught my eye and has recently become a new obsession is the porcupine tomato Solanum pyracanthos.  Unlike other plants with a misleading common name, this one delivers.  Yes this is a…

Two More Weeds

I have a soft spot for weeds.  I get asked on a weekly occurrence if a plant is a weed or a flower.  I know it is frustrating to answer a question with a question but I like to ask the client if it is growing where it belongs.  When you think about it bluegrass…