You are here

The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

High-Voltage Color, Pericallis

Pericallis produces a plethora of large daisy-like blooms in a unique, high-voltage color spectrum of blues and violets. These dynamite plants love cool, wet weather making them a perfect choice for early spring. The leaves are heart-shaped and range from medium to dark green. The center of the foliage is home to a rounded cluster of daisy blossoms that are a deep, blue-purple to magenta with petal bases being white around the central eye of the flower. Try planting them in the garden or in large patio containers to add vivid color in spring. Plant in full to part-sun locations.

And, be sure to check out Pericallis Primavera™Blueberry. Bred in Israel, this variety brings good heat tolerance compared to the competition. As with other pericallis, its tolerance of cool temperatures makes it an excellent choice for early, cool-season color. Its compact habit and continuous flowering is well suited in large containers and gardens.

Dianthus, Pink Pompom
Dianthus, Double Bubble
Dianthus, Early Bird Chili

Dianthus, A Small Investment with Big Returns

With winter behind us, we welcome a new season with one of our favorite spring-blooming perennials, Dianthus! These re-blooming flowers give us that color we've been waiting for. Not only are they beautiful, they are also very easy to grow. The most difficult part of growing dianthus is choosing which types you want to plant. Depending on the variety, blooms begin in early spring and continue all the way until frost. Dianthus blooms may be single or double (think little carnations), and tend to be white, pink, red, rose, or lavender - available in nearly all shades except true blue. Dianthus plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists.

Dianthus are drought-tolerant plants ideal for sunny spots at the edge of a flower bed or a path. Plant them early in the season, so they can become well established before hot weather sets in. These petite flowers sparkle in borders, beds, window boxes and containers. They flourish in the cool temperatures in spring and fall and prefer a full-sun location and well-drained soil, preferably with neutral to alkaline soil ph. Dianthus is also deer resistant. If you’re looking to add a blooming spring addition to your garden, look no further than dianthus. Before you know it, you will find your garden filled with the vibrant colors and distinctive fragrance. Here are a few of our favorites:

Dianthus, Pink Pompom - delightful rose-pink double flowers provide a bright burst of color in early spring, appearing continuously until autumn. The tidy mounding habit is practically maintenance-free. Pompom is perfect in landscape borders, rock gardens, containers and as a long-lasting cut flower. May remain evergreen in warmer winter regions. Prefers partial to full sun.

Dianthus, Double Bubble – features fully double flowers and simple, pure pink color. A profuse bloomer, 'Double Bubble' will be completely covered in blooms in early summer and then again in early fall. Foliage tends to be steely blue-green and finely textured and takes center stage when the plant is not in bloom. Plant in mass or in borders and containers. Double Bubble is deer resistant, low maintenance, drought tolerant and fragrant. This dianthus truly has it all!

Dianthus, Early Bird Chili - begins its show just as the weather starts to warm and keeps on blooming through autumn. Blooms stand tall above grassy, blue-green foliage with sturdy stems. Bold, coral double-blossoms sparkle in borders, beds, patio pots and window boxes. Its fragrant blooms are also perfect for cut flower arrangements. Early Bird prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Photos provided by Centerton Nursery, Monrovia and Plant Haven International, Inc.

What's the Difference Between a Fruit and a Vegetable?

Tomato, tomahto. Potato, potahto. If you’re here to settle a produce aisle bet on matters of semantics where edible plant varieties are concerned - "What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?” - you will be perhaps chagrined to learn that for many of those food pyramid superstars, the answer isn’t very simple. There’s a lot of either/either, neither/neither involved with what makes a fruit a fruit and a vegetable a vegetable and a fair amount of crossover between the two categories. Read the full article by Chowhound here
What's the Difference Between a Fruit and Vegetable?

Tips for Growing Camellias by Monrovia

Quite possibly one of the most eye-catching evergreen shrub, camellias feature stunning rose-like flowers in shades of pink, red, and white in fall, late winter, or spring, depending on the type. They shine throughout the rest of the year with their glossy, deep green leaves and superb symmetry. They can be grown as large shrubs for use as a hedge, screen or corner plant, espalier, or "limbed up" to form an attractive small tree. And, planting more than one species will give your garden multi-season color. To learn more about growing camellias check out this blog Tips on Growing Camellias by Monrovia.

Baby Gem Boxwood

A Real Gem in the Landscape, Baby Gem Boxwood

Boxwoods have been the backbone of Southern gardens for centuries and are one of the most popular shrubs in landscape design. Extensively used in both formal and more casual gardens, boxwoods are easy to grow and maintain and can be easily shaped. They make an excellent filler for gaps in the landscape or can be used to divide one portion of a yard from another. Gardeners looking for a plant that provides simple greenery with a fine texture need look no farther than boxwood.

Baby Gem Boxwood is a fine-textured, broad-leafed evergreen that grows as tall as it is wide, reaching a manageable size of approximately 4-feet tall and 4 to 5-feet wide. This petite boxwood is exceptionally compact and is excellent for use in smaller gardens for borders and hedges or simply as an accent in the landscape. Densely branched, the tiny, green foliage is abundant and retains its color exceptionally well in winter. Other notable characteristics include deer resistance and tolerance of dry soils once established. Baby Gem prefers full sun and well-drained soil locations.

Photos provided by Garden Debut

Your Plants are Trying to Tell You Something by Espoma

Although plants can’t talk, they do send messages all the time — from requests for resources to warnings of trouble. And, they do so silently, communicating with visual cues, such as changes in leaf colors and shapes. If you learn to read these signs, you’ll be able to catch minor issues before they become big ones. This blog post by Espoma, Your Plants are Trying to Tell You Something, will help you to better read your plants and help prevent some common houseplant problems.

Fertilome Spring Weed Control Kit

Stay Ahead of Weeds

While it's way more fun to think about the blooms and lush lawns that spring brings... it’s never too soon to start thinking about those weeds that creep in. By starting early, you can prevent weeds from germinating in your yard this spring and keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape.

The two most important things you can do for your established lawn is to apply the following:

A pre emergent will prevent weeds and unwanted grasses that will germinate when the weather gets warms. This is a granular that you spread and we recommend using this with a little water to activate it.

A post emergent will rid your lawn of cool season weeds that are actively growing and getting ready to lay seed. This is a liquid that you spray in between mowings. Best conditions for this weed killer are sunny dry conditions. And, a major benefit is that you can use this weed killer right now when temperatures are low.

Our Early Spring Weed Control Kit gives you complete weed control. We recommend starting this process now through early spring for best results. Each kit contains Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper and Ferti-lome Weed Free Zone. Hi-Yield can be used on Fescue lawns, as well as, warm season lawns such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia and Centipede. This will provide weed and unwanted grass control for up to four months. An added benefit of this product is that it can be applied to your beds. Ferti-lome will provide quick control for cool season weeds such as Henbit, Chickweed and clover that are present in lawns this time of the year. Unlike most weed control products, it works during the cool weather. This kit is designed for a 5000 square foot lawn. We recommend using one bag of the Hi-Yield now and in 2-3 months you may you apply the second bag to prevent weeds through the summer.

Visit Fertilome (VPG) to learn more about weed control products.


How to Care for Monstera by Espoma

From large, sculptural plants to charming succulence, there's a place for houseplants in every home. Green plants add textural interest, fill in drab corners, and soften architectural features, and they can enhance mood and freshen air, too. Larger sized floor plants are especially ideal when used as an accent plant or as a focal point indoors. Check out this blog How to Care for Monstera from our friends at Espoma featuring one of our favorite houseplants, Monstera

Loropetalum, Ever Red® Fringe Flower
Viburnum, Snowball
Rose, Sweet Mademoiselle™
Rose, Plum Perfect™ Sunbelt®
Pink Double Knock Out® Rose
Blueberry, Sunshine Blue
Raspberry, Shortcake®
Wiinter-Blooming Hellebore, Gold Collection® Pink Frost
Hellebore, Gold Collection® Cinnamon Snow

Beyond Bouquets, Romantic Plants for Valentine’s Day

by Kate Karam, of Monrovia

The here today, gone tomorrow, fragrance-free, been there, done that bouquet of a dozen red roses, while lovely and traditional, can never truly express the joy, exuberance, passion, and swoony sort of beauty of Valentine’s Day that a living plant can. This year we challenge you to go beyond the bouquet. Here are five insanely romantic reasons why you might want to walk past the flower shop to the garden center this Valentine’s Day.

Cut flowers come and go, but plants, given now, will literally grow with your relationship. At the end of the day, what plants really are, is a promise. A promise that if you care for them, they’ll reward you with a sublime beauty that gets better and better year after year. (Love is like that too!) A well-nurtured living plant can remind you of and reflect the way you also nurture your relationship with your partner.

We never want to hear that giving flowers is “just something we do on Valentine’s Day.” This year, resolve to make flowers part of your daily, weekly, monthly routine. Whether enjoyed from your living room window or snipped blossom by blossom into a bud vase, live plants truly keep giving. There are all sorts of plants that, depending on your zone, either bud up or bloom in February, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Plant one or two this year and next February bundle up, pour a glass of something chilled and sparkly, and take in the show…together.

While giving a bouquet of cut flowers may seem like a nurturing, generous, romantic act, the truth is that giving a life plant is infinitely more nurturing (and dare we say, romantic). Humans need nature, and so nature needs humans to be aware of the environmental impacts of consumer choices. While you can buy local cut flowers, nothing is of more benefit to balancing the planet than installing a flowering plant that helps to clean the air and can provide food and habitat for pollinators.

While romantic pink and red blooms are the obvious choice for this holiday, knowing your Valentine Day sweetheart’s floral preferences is even more of a caring and sexy gesture. The most meaningful floral treat for your Valentine may not be a bouquet of roses (or even a bouquet!). Some of us feel a big smile coming on when we see a garden filled with daisies, sunflowers, or lavenders. Picking out that plant (and offering to plant it, of course) shows that you’ve been paying attention–and that’s what really makes your honey happy.

And for some Valentines, floral gifts may not be the best expression of love at all. Go beyond the bouquet in a big way by choosing something deliciously edible. Fast forward to a warm summer day when you pluck some sweet, juicy berries from a plant given on Valentine’s Day and feed them (champagne here is optional, but nice!) to your sweetie. Who’s a rock star now?

Click on the links below to find out more about the plants featured in the blog image gallery above:
Loropetalum, Ever Red® Fringe Flower
Viburnum, Eastern Snowball
Rose, Sweet Mademoiselle™
Rose, Plum Perfect™ Sunbelt®
Pink Double Knock Out® Rose
Blueberry, Sunshine Blue
Raspberry, Shortcake®
Hellebore, Gold Collection® Pink Frost
Hellebore, Gold Collection® Cinnamon Snow

Images courtesy of Monrovia, Skagit Gardens, Star® Roses & Plants and Kordes® Roses

Cherry Frost™
Sweet Spirit™
Plum Perfect™
Crazy Love™
Eternal Flame™

Petal Perfect Roses

"There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Roses offer color, fragrance, form, and habits to suit just about any garden situation. With over 150 species of roses and thousands of hybrids, roses can be found in nearly every color and in a variety of shapes and sizes. And nowadays, the steadfast efforts of breeders have yielded roses with the best attributes of different varieties in new forms. Today’s roses offer longer blooms time, are hardier and possess better disease resistance. In short, these are not your grandmother's, or even your mother's, fussy rose varieties.

If you're a fellow rose-lover or just looking to add a punch of color to your landscape, here are a few new and popular roses that you'll want to add to your garden this year:

NEW for 2019 - Cherry Frost™ (Climbing Rose) - features beautiful clusters of small, cup-like, crimson-red blooms surrounded by dark green foliage. This repeat bloomer has excellent disease resistance.

NEW for 2019 - Sweet Spirit™ (Grandiflora Rose) - an aromatic rose with an abundance of bright, fully doubled, rose-red blooms and dark foliage. These bushy, mounding plants show increased resistance to black spot and improved tolerance to humidity.

Plum Perfect™ Sunbelt® (Floribunda) - lavender-toned, ruffled petals and medium green foliage accompanied by the mild, sweet scent of sugary raspberry and cassis. This self-cleaning variety is well suited for hot, dry gardens making it an ideal choice for those who don't have time to fuss over super sensitive cultivars. This variety performs very well in heat and humidity and is disease resistance.

Crazy Love™ (Grandiflora) - a robust, repeat bloomer that flaunts clusters of full-double blooms in an unusual blend of copper, amber, apricot, and salmon trimmed in semi-glossy, dark green leaves. This continuous blooming rose tolerates hot and humid climates and is disease resistant.

Eternal Flame™ (Hybrid Tea) - dramatic large, fragrant blooms with ruffled petals of soft yellow that pop against the dark green foliage. This blooming machine puts out flush after flush of gorgeous citrus-scented blooms. Offers above average winter hardiness and exceptional disease resistance.

Photos courtesy of Star Roses & Plants and Kordes Roses