October Plant of the Month
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.
This 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!
September Plant of the Month
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.
August Plant of the Month
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!
July Plant of the Month
Looks good enough to eat, huh? Shrimp Plant’s not for eating unless your a hummingbird, but it’s sure to fill your garden with vibrant pops of color. The more common color you’ll see is a salmon or bronze-pink, but there are other varieties like this yellow Lollypop (left).
Expect lots of blooms summer through fall. Although they do well with bright indirect light, a hot afternoon in full sun can be a bit too much for Shrimp Plant. Morning sun or light shade is best. They make great container plants and can even grow indoors with good light.
Shrimp Plant can get a bit wild without regular pruning. Pinching back growth will not only keep its branches under control, it will promote more of its delicious blooms. This tropical plant thrives in heat and humidity but does not tolerate freezes. It will die back to ground level and most times, reappear the following spring. Plant with Hibiscus, Jatropha, Canna Lily or Tibochina for a beautiful, tropical shrimp cocktail!
June Plant of the Month
Hibiscus are known for their huge blooms that come in almost any color! There are also many different types of Hibiscus. At The Garden Center, you can find both tropical and perennial plants.
Tropical Hibiscus have are tropical evergreen plants with thick, glossy leaves and large flowers. Not only do their flowers come in a rainbow of colors, they can have frilly edges or even double petaled! They make a great hedge growing to about 4-6′ tall and wide. They can be easily sheared or even trained into small trees. Tropical Hibiscus are somewhat tender here in San Antonio and will need protection from hard frost in the winter. Try planting them near your home away from the north wind. They are also great in containers!
One way to avoid the hardiness problem is to choose a perennial Hibiscus instead. Perennial Hibiscus, also called Mallow or Hardy Hibiscus will die back each winter, but return in the spring. Their leaves are a little thinner, a lighter green and can be anything from heart-shaped to thin and serrated. Some varieties have flowers as big as dinner plates! They will grow about 4-6′ tall and wide with a more open growth habit than its tropical cousin. They look great when planted behind other perennials.
Whichever type of Hibiscus you choose, they are sure to add beautiful, show stopping color to your landscape. Oh, by the way, both types tolerate our Texas heat!
Here kitty, kitty. Lion’s Tail is one perennial that roars with color! Orange flower spikes appear above long, slender green leaves in mid to late summer. This small shrub gets around 3′-6 feet in height and likes to be planted in full sun.
Lion’s Tail is native to Africa, favoring warm climates and is tolerant of drought and poor soil. Hummingbirds are also fond of the brightly colored blooms. The blooms are also long lasting, making them great for flower arrangements.
This perennial can be given a hard pruning to encourage vigorous new growth. They look great in cottage gardens, xeriscapes and containers. Lion’s Tail is available now at The Garden Center in one and five gallon containers, but it will go fast. Come by and grab one today!
Fatal Attraction Agave
Have you ever had one of those Valentine’s that you thought might hurt you but you just couldn’t resist? Fatal Attraction Agave is that plant. This spiny little guy has beautiful deep green foliage with a lighter green center stripe and red margins. Oh, and those margins? Have some wicked red teeth! Also a terminal spine. Careful where you plant it! It will get about 1 or 2 feet tall and wide. Don’t let that scare you away though, it’s also got its charms. It’s deer resistant and a super low water user. It will look great in your rock garden or mixed with blooming perennials. If you can’t resist Fatal Attraction, grab one quick, we only received a handful. We also got a TON of new agaves and yuccas if this particular agave is not your type. Come take a look!
Stock up on Stock! Get it? Huh? Bad joke. Sorry. Stock is an annual that we see in early spring and late fall at The Garden Center. As you can see from the photo, it blooms repeatedly when it’s cooler. It even tolerates a light frost and has few pest problems. Stock prefers full sun and well draining soil.
Keep the flowers going by deadheading often. This colorful plant makes a great filler plant in beds or containers and can be used as a border.