February Plant of the Month
Bush 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!
Sea Green Juniper
January Plant of the Month
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
Use 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 great for foundation plantings as well. 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. Prune it every so often to keep it compact.
December Plant of the Month
Wish 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!
November Plant of the Month
Dwarf 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!
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!