Frog Fruit Verbena- May Plant of the Month

Frog Fruit Verbena

frog fruitFunny name, serious ground cover. Frog Fruit is a fast growing Texas native ground cover with many names. You may have heard of it as Creeping Lipia, Mat Grass, Cape Weed or Turkey Tangle Fogfruit. Say that one three times fast.

Frog Fruit Verbena forms a dense mat that can take the place of traditional turf. You can even mow it like a lawn! It’s an evergreen perennial with gray green foliage. In winter the foliage sometimes turns a purplish hue from cold temperatures.

This tough little plant is perfect for areas with heavy foot traffic, including dogs and the kiddos. It grows 3-4 inches tall, about 3 feet across and does best in full sun. Although it may not bloom as much, it will also tolerate part shade.

frog fruit frog fruitTiny white to lavender-pink flowers appear in spring and continue through fall. Because the flowers are rich in nectar , they attract bees and butterflies. Frog Fruit is also a host plant to the Common Buckeye, Phaon Crescent and White Peacock butterfly.

In addition, Frog Fruit Verbena is heat and drought tolerant. It also tolerates poor soil and is deer resistant. HOORAY! This plant super tough and is great for walkways, used as a filler for large open spaces and trouble spots. You can even grow it in containers and it looks great in rock gardens and xeriscapes.

Pick up this versatile ground cover at The Garden Center today! We have plenty on hand in 1 gallon containers for $7.99. See ya soon!

 

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Salvia Greggii- April Plant of the Month 2017

Salvia Greggii

April Plant of the Month

salvia greggiiSalvia greggii is one of our favorite perennials! Also called Autumn Sage, this shrubby plant comes in almost every color you can think of. Salvia greggii is native to Central, West and South Texas as well as Mexico. This is great news not only for your water bill, but for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds too!

Autumn Sage is a perennial, but will sometimes stay green through a mild winter. The oval shaped, olive green leaves grow on long woody stems. These plants can have an upright, bushy or even sprawling growth habit depending on variety.

The flowers of Salvia greggii resemble lips, with the top having a hood shape and the bottom which is wider. Colors can vary from pale yellow to soft pink, hot pink, magenta, coral, red, violet to almost blue! There’s also the popular variety, Hot Lips, a bicolor flower of red and white.

One of the best things about these perennials is the blooming season. Expect blooms from spring until the first frost! Removing spent flower stalks and pruning back on occasion will encourage new blooms and a tidy look. All of those flowers will also attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds! It seems like lots of critters love Salvia greggii, but fortunately, deer are not one of them. While nothing is deer proof, this plant is not their favorite.

Autumn Sage will grow between 12 inches to about 3 feet tall and wide. Your mileage may vary. Plant it in full sun or part sun. A shadier spot may work okay, but you may not get as many blooms. Salvia greggii thrives in rocky, well drained soil and can be planted just about anywhere. It looks great in whiskey barrels or used as a border. Salvia greggii is also drought tolerant once established.

It’s no wonder that Salvia greggii is so popular. That’s why we decided to put it on this year’s spring sales list. Right now at The Garden Center, you can get any variety of Salvia greggi in a one gallon container for only $4.95! Prices are good through May 31st. While you’re at it check out all of our other favorites on the list by clicking here!salvia greggii

 

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Canna Lilies-March Plant of the Month 2017

canna lilies

Canna Lilies have arrived!

Canna lilies have arrived at The Garden Center! These beauties are a great way to add a tropical look to your landscape. They are easy to recognize by their large leaves and vibrant blooms. They almost look like banana plants. Cannas come in many colors including red, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, white and bicolor. Hummingbirds love the flowers too. Some varieties even have variegated or colorful foliage.

Canna Care

Canna lilies are perennial plants that will bloom spring through fall. Removing dead flower stalks at the base will also encourage more flowers. Plant Cannas where they can get at least half a day of sun. They don’t perform well in the shade. Although Canna lilies are heat and drought tolerant once established, they can also grow in wet, boggy areas. These plants will grow 2 to 5 feet tall and should be spaced 1 to 2 feet apart. Plant cannas in containers, along foundations or use as a background plant.

Canna Get a Amen?

Canna’s are easy to grow, bloom all season and can take our Texas heat! What more could you ask for? Well, in case of zombie apocalypse, you could also eat the tubers like a potato. But also, we have them at a great price! Grab a 2 gallon container for only $14.99 or a 2 gallon specialty Tropicana Canna for $24.99. Come by and see ’em!

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February Plant of the Month- Bush Cherry

February Plant of the Month

Bush Cherry

bush cherryBush Cherry are blooming now, adding some brightness to wintry gray days! They bloom only once in the spring, but boy, do they put on a show. The stems are densely covered with dark pink flowers. These are a nice alternative to cherry blossom trees, which don’t perform well here in San Antonio.

The Bush Cherry is just what it sounds like. It is a bush form of ornamental cherry growing only 4-6 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. Growing in an upright form, you can easily tuck it away just about anywhere in the landscape.

It’s perfect for foundation planting, mass planting or as a hedge. It could also be used as an accent plant and looks especially pretty near water gardens. After blooming, you’ll see bright green foliage tinged with red on reddish bark. In fall, Bush Cherry will get a nice yellow color before dropping its leaves.

Bush Cherry can also take our Texas heat and different soil types as long as it’s got good drainage. Plant them in full to part sun to make them happy. Want one? Better hurry! The Garden Center has a limited number of these babies right now. Pick up a five gallon container for $29.99. See ya soon!

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Sea Green Juniper Plant of the Month

Sea Green Juniper

January Plant of the Month

sea green juniper

January is for Juniper!

Juniper shrubs are evergreen and come in many different varieties. Sea Green Juniper is one of our favorites for its unique shape. It’s arching branches form an upright, vase-like form and is easy to grow. It has very few insect or disease problems. YAY! The deep blue-green, aromatic foliage and rough texture is not a favorite of deer. Double YAY! In addition, you’ll see waxy, light blue ornamental berries from time to time.

In the Landscape

sea green juniperUse this juniper almost anywhere in the landscape! Sea Green Juniper will get about 4 feet tall and wide, easily fitting into any part of your garden that needs some year-round green. They look great as a stand alone specimen plant or group them together as an informal hedge. These are also great for foundation plantings. They’re wonderful for rock gardens or use them as a ground cover. You could even grow it in a container surrounded by some bright annual color!

How to Grow

Another great feature of Sea Green Juniper is that it’s also low maintenance! Most important to the success of this plant is to find a spot in full sun with well draining soil. While this shrub does need moisture, wet feet will make it unhappy. Once established however, this juniper is drought tolerant. Finally, prune it every so often to keep it compact.

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Plant of the Month- Arizona Cypress

December Plant of the Month

Arizona Cypress

arizona cypressWish you could keep your Christmas tree year-round? This tree keeps the spirit alive! Arizona Cypress are evergreen trees that are probably best known for their aromatic, icy blue foliage. Decorate one for the holidays, then plant it in the yard! They have a conical shape that can reach up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide over time. They are somewhat fast growing at about 15 inches per year. The more water they get, the faster they will grow.

Arizona Cypress has soft blue foliage that keeps its color all year and the flaky bark is interesting with colors ranging from gray to reddish purple. The color of these trees is especially striking against your everyday bright green scenery.  They look great as a single specimen or use them as a privacy screen when planting in multiples. These trees are also useful as a windbreak or noise barrier.

As the name suggests, Arizona Cypress do well where heat and drought can be an issue. They will need water to get established and a good, deep soak now and again but areas that lack good drainage will be a problem. They don’t like soggy feet! Plant your tree in full sun, or even in a partially shady spot.

If you’re looking for low maintenance, this is a great choice. Arizona Cypress has few pest and disease problems and does not require regular trimming unless you want to turn it into a hedge. Right now at The Garden Center, we have 5 and 15 gallon containers of Carolina Sapphire or Blue Ice Arizona Cypress available. Pick one up today!

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November Plant of the Month-Dwarf Chinese Holly

November Plant of the Month

Dwarf Chinese Holly

Chinese Holly

Dwarf Chinese Holly

‘Tis the season to plant holly fa la la la la la la la la! Okay, so it’s not quite holiday time yet, but it’s the perfect time of year to plant trees and shrubs. Especially if you’re thinking about ways to add color to your winter landscape. Hollies not only offer beautiful, glossy green foliage when everyone else is asleep, many hollies produce colorful berries. Here’s just one of the many varieties that we carry at The Garden Center.

Dwarf Chinese Holly has those hallmark spiny holly leaves and lots of them! Its very dense branching gives it a compact, rounded form. While it does produce berries, the foliage is so thick that you might not ever notice them!

This holly is excellent when used as a low hedge or barrier plant. It’s perfect for those hard to fill landscape areas like corners. Plant a few together for a groundcover look. Plant it under windows where the spiny foliage could deter intruders. Since it’s slow growing, you could even plant Dwarf Chinese holly in a container.

This plant is tough too! It can adapt to a wide range of soil types as long as it’s got good drainage. While it prefers cool, moist soil, it is also very drought tolerant once it’s established. Plant Dwarf Chinese Holly in full to part sun for the best results. Pruning will help to keep this plant neat and tidy, but won’t need it often. Bonus: Dwarf Chinese Holly’s thick, spiny leaves make it deer resistant.

Ready to plant one? The Garden Center has Dwarf Chinese Holly available right now! Pick up a three gallon container for $24.99. We also have plenty of other holly varieties to choose from. Don’t forget that we are still having our 40% off sale until the end of November!

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October Plant of the Month- Mexican Sycamore

October Plant of the Month

Mexican Sycamore

mexican sycamore

The autumn leaaaaves…drift by my windooowww…
If you want some autumn leaves too, you’ll like Mexican Sycamore, our Plant of the Month for October! They are a deciduous shade tree, with huge maple-like leaves. Around this time of year they start to turn shades of olive gold and brown from their normal green with silvery undersides. You’ll also start to see attractive, round bumpy seed pods. It’s not just the foliage that’s attractive though, Mexican Sycamores are also prized for their smooth, silvery-gray bark.

mexican sycamoreThis fast growing shade tree tolerates poor soil and reflected heat. Although it is drought tolerant once established, it does best with deep hand watering in the summer. When planting Mexican Sycamore, give them plenty of room. Although they are smaller than their cousin the American Sycamore, they will still reach heights of 40 or 50 feet! Even with an upright shape, these trees will have a canopy about 30 feet across over time.

October is the perfect month to plant, come see our selection of Mexican Sycamores and other shade trees now at The Garden Center, before all of those autumn leaves are gone!

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Calamondin Orange

September Plant of the Month

Calamondin Orange

calamondin orange

Calamondin Orange is a cross between a Mandarin Orange and a Kumquat. It produces a small acidic orange that tastes similar to a lemon or lime. The juice can be used to flavor beverages, fish or soups, and can be made into sauces. Even if you don’t care to eat the fruit, this citrus tree is still attractive as an ornamental plant. Before setting fruit, this citrus tree produces white fragrant blooms that appear year round!

These plants can be grown in containers or in the ground. Some say they bring good luck when planted near the front door! Calamondin Oranges can be grown indoors with a good light source. When grown outside, give them full to partial sun. Calamondin can reach 10-20 feet in height, but can easily be pruned back to maintain s smaller size. Like other citrus trees, protect this plant in winter by watering and covering before a hard freeze.

 

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August Plant of the Month- Almond Verbena

almond verbena

August Plant of the Month

Almond Verbena

This bee loves Almond Verbena and we bet you will too. Those slender spikes of tiny white flowers have plenty of pollen for the bees and lots of fragrance for us to enjoy. Their fragrance is strong and sweet, but that’s not all. This is is one tough plant! It is heat and drought tolerant once established and tolerates San Antonio soil (or lack thereof).

Almond Verbena has a sprawling, bushy appearance making it something you’ll want to plant as a backdrop to other perennials. and away from paths. The foliage is coarse and scratchy; plant away from pathways. Almond Verbena is great to plant near a deck or patio where the scent of summer flowers will come up to greet you!

This thing grows fast too. You’ll want to give it plenty of room, as it can reach 10-15 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide. The downside? It may not survive a very hard winter. Most years though, it will freeze to ground level and come back the following spring. If winters are mild enough, you may even be able to maintain Almond Verbena as a small tree. By the way, we have a TON of these available now at The Garden Center! Come pick up yours today!

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