Monday, May 31, 2010

Hot Tropicals For The Summer

Hot Tropicals For The Summer

As the temperature slowly rises to the sizzling heat of summer I would like to recommend tropical plants that know how to beat the heat of summer and Bougainvilleawill bloom all summer long until the first frost of fall. Tropicals are the plants to purchase no matter how intensely hot the summers are in your area. These plants really know how to beat the heat of summer and can planted in either a container or your favorite flowerbed.

With tropicals you can reinvent your patio for summer fun and barbeques. To reinvent your patio or outdoor living space for the summer activities, you’re thinking where do I begin? To start, take an inventory of your patio or outdoor living space you would like to reinvent. Do you have any empty pots or containers that you would like to use or would you like to start with a fresh new look this summer for your patio or outdoor living space? Let me mention that I would recommend saving any empty pots or containers to be recycled and used with your current vision. After taking an inventory White Wing  Caladiumof containers or places to revitalize near your patio I would like to suggest the placement of containers and plants, which can be used.

When working with containers it is suggested to stay with the same shape container such as round, square, oval, etc. Personally, that is very boring to use the same shape container. My patio had all shapes and colors of containers and the design technique got rave Firebushreviews from my neighbors. With this in mind, I would suggest using any shape that you like and try to have a color scheme in mind, such as warm color or cool colors, or even neutral colors.

The placement of the containers should be taken into mind when setting up your patio for the summer season. Place the containers away from high traffic areas, but in an area where all can admire your prized plant. Grouping together the same shape containers, and having different container sizes of the same shape makes your patio more interesting, and gives an illusion of varying heights of Firecracker Plantplants.

These Hot Tropical Plants will beat the heat of summer. The plant list will include an array of plants that will be the heat of summer, but will also attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and deter mosquitoes from your outdoor living space for summer fun entertaining. I would Homestead Purple Verbenarecommend purchasing citronella candles to deter mosquitoes. Light the candles 30 minutes in advance before your outdoor fun begins. The plant heights and spacing mentioned in the article are for plants in the landscape, and container grown plants will grow considerably shorter than the same plant, which is planted in the landscape.

Bougainvillea: Bougainvillea spectabilis - Type: Vine. Height: Variable, depends on variety. Spacing: 5 – 7 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Can be grown in hanging baskets. Lantana

Fancy Leaved Caladium: Caladium X hortulanum ‘White Wing’ – Type: Tuberous annual. Height: 2 feet. Spacing: Tubers 6 – 12 inches apart, 1 – 1.5 inches deep with pointed side up. Caladium plants 15 – 24 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to shade. The Lance-Leaf cultivars will grow in full sun.

Firebush: Hamelia patens - Type: Shrub. Height: To 15’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly and Hummingbird attractant. There is a dwarf variety, which has become extremely popular.

Firecracker Plant: Russelia equisetiformis - Type: Perennial. Height: 36” – 48”. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly and Hummingbird attractant. Mandevilla Vine

Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 9. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, and heat tolerant. Click Here To Purchase.

Lemon GrassHomestead Purple Verbena: Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple' - Type: Perennial ground cover. Height: 6 – 10”. Spacing: 12 – 24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat and drought tolerant.

Hybrid Ixora: Ixora 'Nora Grant' – Type: Shrub. Height: 3 – 4 feet. Spacing: 3 – 5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun.

Lantana: Lantana camara 'Miss Huff' - Type: Perennial. Height: 4 – 5’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat, and drought tolerant. Mexican Marigold Mint

Lemon Grass: Cymbopogon citrates - Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 12” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar plant for butterflies, Mosquito repellent plant, leaves are used in cooking, in potpourris, and sachets.

Mandevilla Vine: Mandevilla splendens – Type: Vine. Height: Variable, depends on the height of trellis. Spacing: 3 – 5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Drought tolerant and great to use in hanging baskets.

Mexican Marigold Mint: Tagetes lucida - Type: Perennial. Height: 24-30”. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar and larval food plant, Mosquito repellent plant, fresh flowers are used in salads; leaves are used as a substitute for French tarragon.

PentasMoss Rose: Portulaca grandiflora – Type: Ground cover. Height: 5 – 6 inches. Spacing: 12 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Salt and drought tolerant. Great to use in hanging baskets.

Pentas: Pentas lanceolata - Type: Perennial. Height: To 3’, depends on variety. Spacing: 24 – 36” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat and drought tolerant.

Periwinkle: Catharanthus roseus (Vinca rosea) – Type: Perennial in zones 10 and 11. Height: 10 – 12 inches. Spacing: 10 – 12 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Trailing LantanaAdditional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Great to use in hanging baskets.

Prostrate RosemaryPride-of-Barbados: Caesalpinia pulcherrima – Type: Shrub. Height: 12 – 15 feet. Spacing: 5 – 7 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Pride-of-Barbados: Caesalpinia pulcherrima var. flava - Type: Shrub. Height: 12 – 15 feet. Spacing: 5 – 7 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Prostrate Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus' - Type: Perennial shrub or groundcover. Height: 12-18”. Spacing: 2 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in lamb and fish dishes, butterfly nectar plant, Mosquito repellent plant, and drought tolerant plant. Wax Begonia

Turk's CapPurslane: Portulaca umbraticola – Type: Ground cover. Height: 6 – 8 inches. Spacing: 8 – 12 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Can be planted in hanging baskets, a filler plant for containers, or a seasonal ground cover.

Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis - Type: Perennial shrub. Height: 4 feet. Spacing: 3-5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in lamb and fish dishes, drought tolerant plant, Mosquito repellent plant, and butterfly nectar plant.

Trailing Lantana: Lantana montevidensis - Type: Perennial, annual outside USDA zone 8. Height: 18 – 24”. Spacing: 3 – 4’ apart can spread to 5’. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat and drought tolerant.

Turk's Cap: Malvaviscus arboreus - Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 9. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, and heat tolerant. Allamanda

Wax Begonia: Begonia X semperflorens-cultorum - Type: Annual. Height: 6 – 12”. Spacing: 8 – 12” apart. Light Requirements: Partial shade to shade, the bronze-leaf varieties will tolerate more sun. Scarletta Begonia will take full sun even in the sizzling heat of Texas.

Yellow Allamanda: Allamanda cathartica 'Hendersonii' – Type: Shrub or vine. Height: Variable. Spacing: 2 – 3 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: None.

Yellow Elder: Tecoma stans (Stenolobium stans) - Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 7. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, drought, and heat tolerant. There is an Apricot variety of this plant that will do exceptionally well in a container or planted in your flowerbeds.

Tecoma stansAll photographs and digital images are ©Cheryl Ann Meola. All Rights Reserved. All photographs and digital images displayed in this newsletter are for viewing purposes only and cannot be duplicated or copied. Scroll over the picture to view the plant name.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tropical Hybrid Hibiscus Plant Sale

Hibiscus and More is having a plant sale on Hybrid Hibiscus Plants. Our Plants are fully rooted and are grown in a 4-inch container. The varieties Hibiscus and More has on sale:

Aurora Hybrid Hibiscus Plant, Magnifique Hybrid Hibiscus Plant, Mon Ami Hybrid Hibiscus Plant, Persimmon Hybrid Hibiscus Plant.

Enjoy the sale at: Hibiscus and More.

Memorial Day Sale

Hibiscus and More is having a Memorial Day Sale. The entire store is 25% off.

Visit Us at: www.HibiscusAndMore.com

Happy Memorial Day From Hibiscus and More.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Gardening Newsletter

May Gardening Newsletter

May Gardening Tasks:

Plant: Spring is one of the best times to search for trees, shrubs, and roses. Numerous species of flowering shrubs and trees are in bud or full bloom in your area, Southern Magnoliaand certain species of plants are only offered during the spring season. Now would be an excellent time to survey your garden to observe which plant(s) survived the extremely hard winter we had as gardeners. If, the plant(s) are not beginning to flush with new growth already they are not going to later. Now, is the time to think about replacing the plant(s) that did not survive the winter. Several gardeners here in Texas have informed me that they drove around their subdivision to survey what lived and died in their area before they decided which plant(s) to use for replacing in their existing garden. While other gardeners were expressing another option, in the Texas area are just taking out all the plants and starting an entire, newly designed garden.

Roses: Trim your spent roses back to the second or third leaf under the blossom. Pruning in this fashion will keep your rose bush nice and tidy Roseduring the growing season. Prune climbing roses after the spring bloom. Remove dead or non-productive canes. For more information on trimming, caring, and fertilizing your roses click on my blog.

Vegetable Gardening: Garden center retailers are still reporting skyrocketing sales for vegetable starts and seeds this year versus last year’s sales. Start planning and planting your vegetable garden now to reap the rewards of homegrown vegetables, if you are thinking about having a vegetable garden this year, today is the time to start. Vegetables can also, be planted in large containers or raised planter beds. Put on your gardening gloves and reap the rewards and benefits of a spring vegetable garden. Vegetables to Plant: Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Beans,Eggplant Corn, Squash, and Cucumbers. Be on the lookout for loopers and worms on your vegetables and other plants in the landscape. You can use Bacillus thuringiensis a biological insecticide to control the pesky critters. For more information on vegetable gardening click on my blog.

Herbs: During the spring garden centers carry a large selection of herb plants. Herbs can be planted in the ground with your vegetable plants or can be planted in containers. Our Hexagon Cedar Planter in a 14-inch or a 17-inch makes an excellent container for growing your herb plants. Herbs to Plant: Parsley, Dill, Basil, Chives, Rosemary, and Oregano. Click Here to Purchase the Hand-Crafted Hexagon Cedar Planter.

Color Annuals: May is the month to start thinking about replacing your cool weather color annuals with spring and summer annuals. Here are a few of my favorites: Caladiums, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Dahlberg Daisy, Dusty Miller, Gazania, Geranium, Gerbera Daisy, Ivy Geranium, Lantana, Marigolds, Mexican Sunflower, Moss Rose, Periwinkle, Petunia, Primrose, Purslane, Salvia, Snapdragons, Verbena, Wax Begonia, and Zinnia. Use Caladiums, Begonias, and Impatiens for your shady areas. All of the annuals mentioned can be planted in soil or in containers.

White Wing Caladium

Shrubs: Trim your spring flowering shrubs and vines after they finish blooming, and fertilize with the appropriate plant food.

Azaleas: Once your azaleas finish blooming trim back to shape. Azaleas bloom on last year’s growth so it is important to trim your Azaleas no later than the middle of June. Azalea’s set their buds during the fall months and this is one reason to trim your Azaleas during the time frame that is provided. After pruning your Azaleas you need to fertilize them with an Azalea plant food and also add a new layer of mulch. Instead of throwing your spent coffee or tea grounds away your Azaleas will benefit from sprinkling the grounds around your Azalea bushes, and any acid loving plant such as Ferns, Tropicals, Junipers, Boxwoods, Camellias, Rhododendrons, and Hollies.

Hibiscus Care: Time to Go Outdoors. Once the weather warms up in your area, to 40 - 50 degrees, you can start acclimatizing your Hibiscus by placing it in the shade outdoors and then slowly move the plant to partial shade and finally to full sun. With the unusual weather we have been experiencing this spring bring your prized Hibiscus plant back indoors if you get freeze warnings. Now would be a good time to fertilize and prune your Hibiscus. Follow the recommended fertilizer rates listed on the label. Pruning encourages a bushier plant. For more information on caring for your Hibiscus plant Click Here. For Hibiscus Fertilizer Click Here.

Hibiscus Plants: Tropical Hybrid Hibiscus Plants have arrived. This Year’s Selection Will Be An Assortment Of Double Flowering Hibiscus Plants In 4-inch Containers that are ready to transplant in a 10 to 12 inch container. Offering this season are: Hibiscus Double Peach/Apricot; Hibiscus Aurora; Hibiscus Mon Ami; Hibiscus Persimmon. Click Here To Purchase Your Hand-Crafted Cedar Planter. Can’t Find the Hibiscus Plant you are searching for, send me an email at: Cheryl@hibiscusandmore.com

Hibiscus Fertilizer: Click Here To Purchase Your Hibiscus Fertilizer That Is Especially Formulated For Hibiscus Plants.

Houseplants: April and May is the time to move your houseplants outdoors and place them in an area that is full shade. After a few weeks you can move them to an area that receives filtered shade, in other words, morning light, afternoon shade. This is also, the time to check for any bugs on your plant. Be sure to check Butterfly orchidunderneath the leaves, and if you see those pesky critters on your prized houseplants spray with an insecticidal soap or horticulture oil. If, you need to prune back your tropical foliage plant now would be a good time to do it. Philodendron micans – Velvet Leaf Vine is Back In Stock. New tropical foliage plants that just arrived are: Butterfly Orchid – Encyclia tampensis, Chinese Evergreen – Aglaonema brevispathum Hospitum, (This plant does extremely well in an office environment, even if your office does not have a window. Trust me I tested the plant myself.), Heart Leaf Philodendron – Philodendron scandens oxycardium. Click Here To Purchase Tropical Houseplants. Click Here To Read The Review of What Other People Are Saying!!! Are you searching for a special houseplant? Please send me an email at: Cheryl@hibiscusandmore.com I am always looking for new and exciting plants to grow. Tell me your favorite tropical plant.

Hibiscus and More found another inventive way you can recycle for the environment. Click Here and be inspired by the article on Tire Gardening. Sounds like fun!!!

Are you new to Hibiscus and More’s newsletter? You can read the archived newsletters on our blog. Click here to visit the Hibiscus and More blogspot.

Need a Horticulturist to help you with your gardening questions? Click Here to Ask the Texas Certified Nursery Professional a question.

Happy Mother’s Day From Hibiscus And More.