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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July Plant of the Month

July Plant of the Month

Shrimp Plant

shrimp plantLooks 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!

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June Plant of the Month

June Plant of the Month

Hibiscus

hibiop

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!

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May Plant of the Month

May Plant of the Month

Hydrangea

plant

Look who’s starting to bloom! Hydrangeas are known for their huge, fluffy clusters of blooms. These deciduous shrubs are perfect for those who need something to plant in a shady spot.

There are many different types of Hydrangeas, some producing a creamy white flowers like the Oakleaf Hydrangea above.Some Hydrangeas, such as the Endless Summer, can have either pink or blue flowers depending on the acidity of your soil! Here in San Antonio, those types of Hydrangeas will generally be pink since our soil is so alkaline. If you want blue flowers, you can amend the pH of the  soil happy?with an acidifier. This is also more easily done when grown in containers.

Aside from the gorgeous blooms they provide, Hydrangeas have large leaves and a rounded form. Most varieties that we carry will grow to about 4 or 6 feet tall and wide. How do you keep Hydrangeas happy? Shade is essential! Make sure they have some cover from the hot afternoon sun. They will let you know in a hurry if they are too hot. They also prefer to be a bit moist, but not soggy. Acidify often for blue flowers if desired, and fertilize regularly.

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April Plant of the Month

lionweb

Lion’s Tail

Lion’s Tail

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!

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March Plant of the Month

Kaleidoscope Abelia

Kaleidoscope Abelia

Kaleidoscope Abelia

Who doesn’t want a kaleidoscope of color in their yard? Kaleidoscope Abelia has something for everyone! There are lots of different types of Abelia, but what makes this one so special is its vibrant tricolor foliage.

New growth has an orange tinge to it which then turns to a variegated lime and dark green. In autumn, foliage turns shades of deep yellow, orange and red. Plus it blooms! Light pink buds turn into white tubular flowers that appear spring through fall. Kaleidoscope Abelia will also fit into most any garden. It’s a small shrub, getting to about 3 feet tall and spreading 3 or 4 feet in width. Planting in full sun will encourage the best foliage color, but this plant can also grow in shade.

Still want more? Okay then, try: heat resistant, drought tolerant once established, attracts butterflies, deer resistant (not deer proof!), pest and disease resistant. Kaleidoscope Abelia makes a great accent plant and can even be grown in containers. Pick one up at The Garden Center this spring!

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