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Types of Perennial Sunflowers

Sunflower (Helianthus) is a large group of sun-loving lants with glowing yellow petals that radiate from a dark brown center. Unlike yearly varieties, perennial sunflowers blossom and return for many years. Even though the flowers are similar to annual sunflowers, the flowers are normally smaller. Most perennial sunflowers begin blooming in late summer or early fall, attracting butterflies and honeybees into the backyard as late as November.

Maximiliani

Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) is just a gigantic plant that reaches heights of 3 to 10 feet at maturity, with a spread of 2 to 4 feet. The plant exhibits glowing yellow, daisylike blooms surrounding dark yellow centers, rising above long, thin leaves. Maximilian sunflower, which flowers mainly in late summer and early fall, is acceptable for growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9

Lemon Queen

Helianthus “Lemon Queen” is a big, fast-growing perennial sunflower that reaches heights of 6 to 8 ft and widths of 3 to 4 feet. The plant produces masses of 2-inch, pale lemon-yellow, semi-double blooms with dark brown centers. Blooms appear in midsummer and last six to eight weeks. Helianthus “Lemon Queen” is perennial in USDA zones 4 through 9.

Multiflorus

Helanthus x multiflorus contains quite a few attractive perennial sunflower varieties, each displaying masses of colorful, early- to late-summer flowers on fuzzy stems measuring as tall as 4 to 5 feet. Varieties include the extreme gold, double-flowered “Lodden Gold”; “Capenoch Star,” with glowing yellow, single flowers; along with “Soleil d’Or,” with vibrant yellow, semi-double blooms. Multiflorus sunflowers have been drought-tolerant plants acceptable for growing in USDA zones zones 4 through 10.

Willowleaf

Willowleaf sunflower (Helianthus salicifolius) is distinguished by smart yellow-orange, 2-inch blooms with purplish-brown centers that grow atop sturdy, pale green, 6- to 8-foot stems. The plant’s graceful, drooping leaves step 8 or more inches in length. This sunflower variety expands by underground rhizomes, eventually creating a thick colony of blossoms. Willowleaf sunflower, which flowers in fall, is perennial in USDA zones 4 through 9.

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How to Care for Fruit Trees in Autumn & Winter

Selecting new fruit out of a tree in your own backyard may be a tempting dream, but for many home gardeners, fruit trees don’t appear overnight. In fact, there’s a great deal of work involved in caring for fruit trees all year long: gardeners have to be cautious about fruit pests and diseases and also take care when pruning to make sure that trees will grow a structure that will support those fruits of fantasy. Despite the fact that they’re dormant in the late autumn and winter, fruit trees nevertheless need some minimum maintenance in this year of rest.

Wait for the leaves to drop completely on all of fruit trees before beginning your dormant season examination. Look the tree over carefully for unusual growths, cracks in the bark that may be weeping sticky fluid, bark that is falling off, discoloration or other indications that something is likely wrong. Remove badly sick or damaged trees suffering from diseases that are incurable and replace them with more resistant varieties.

Examine your tree’s construction if it is very young and decide on which to make pruning cuts — generally speaking, wounds heal more rapidly during the late autumn and winter, since spring rains can support fungal and bacterial invaders. Remove much of the present season’s increase, particularly those branches at risk of growing into one another or rubbing as they mature. Cut out dead wood on old trees, in addition to any part of any trees that are showing signs of disease to slow its spread.

Select a dormant oil spray or inactive fruit tree spray according to your tree species and life history. Apply it thoroughly to ruin chronic pest and pathogenic agents when temperatures will probably be constantly above freezing for a couple of days. Avoid spraying general insecticides if your tree has already started to bud, because those poisons can linger, killing honeybees who visit early in the spring. Apply these therapies almost no time while the tree remains deeply weather and inactive conditions cooperative.

Keep a watchful eye on the weather. Apply a layer of mulch 4 to 6 inches deep into young, shallowly rooted fruit trees in case your regional weather forecast requires a hard freeze — even though you should wait to prune out frost damage to trees, a hard freeze could do extensive damage to the root systems of fruit trees and cannot be disregarded.

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Magnolia Grandiflora Varieties

Few trees can match Magnolia grandiflora’s stately elegance. It is commonly called southern magnolia because of its prevalence in the South. Reaching heights that exceed 80 feet with a 40-foot spread, this indigenous tree needs large expanses of lawn to perform to its potential. Since most suburban lawns cannot accommodate its mature size, horticulturists have bred southern magnolia varieties that are more appropriate for smaller spaces.

Pyramidal

Three popular varieties have pyramidal shapes such as the indigenous southern magnolia. “Majestic Beauty” is a massive tree that needs a huge yard, but its older height of around 50 feet remains shorter than the native selection. Its outstanding feature is the large, fragrant flowers that appear in late spring and persist throughout summer. “Samuel Sommer” has even bigger flowers, but on shorter trees. Growing around 40 feet tall, its blossoms can reach 14 inches across. Whereas most southern magnolias are hardy only to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 7, “Edith Brogue” pushes the envelope around USDA zone 6.

Columnar

Southern magnolia trees that have columnar shapes are satisfied to smaller or narrower lawns. It is possible to plant them as specimen trees or flowering evergreen screens and hedges. “Hasse” types a tight column, growing up to 40 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Its shiny leaves are contrasted by dark green upper surfaces and dark brown underneath. “Kay Parris” is smaller, growing up to 30 feet tall and 12 feet wide with fragrant, 6-inch-wide flowers. A 1993 introduction, this tree is regarded as a cross between “Little Gem” and “Bracken’s Brown Beauty.”

Compact

The smallest southern magnolias are the ones that have streamlined or dwarf forms. All these varieties are suited to smaller yards. “Little Gem” reaches 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide and blooms at a younger age than most magnolias. Its leaves have been held uprightly, showing their brown undersides. “Baby Doll” is shorter, reaching a semi-rounded contour of approximately 22 feet tall and wide. “Teddy Bear” is one of the very compact southern magnolias, only reaching 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

Care

Irrespective of size, shape or variety, all southern magnolias require similar care. They tolerate varied light conditions, from full sunlight to partial shade, and different soils, such as clay, sand or loam. These trees are resistant to most diseases and insects. They require little to no pruning to maintain tree health, though the bigger varieties can be pruned into espalier types. Southern magnolia roots extend laterally further than most trees — approximately four times the distance from the trunk to the drip line.

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Arborvitae Deer Damage

Arborvitae (Thuja spp.) Create a particularly delicious snack for deer. Based on the kind, the trees grow from 10 to 200 feet tall and are employed in the landscape since ornamental trees, hedges or privacy screens. They’ve red-brown bark and scaly leaves — the latter of which deer may eat when needed.

At-Risk Arborvitae

Few arborvitae are safe from deer, especially in the winter when food is scarce. They’re most susceptible in suburban areas where available food is even scarcer because of lack of additional greenery. Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) is prone to serious damage, while western redcedars (Thuja plicata) are the least susceptible of the arborvitae family. No arborvitae is totally safe from deer, however.

Damage

When deer eat arborvitae, they graze on the slopes from the bottom of the tree to as large as they can reach. This leaves green just on the tops of their trees and “bare legs” on the underside, as PennLive.com’s George Weigel wrote at a 2009 blog. The hurt doesn’t kill the trees, but it leaves an unsightly landscape mark. When the deer eat to healthy wood, then the tree will never fill the bare spots. If some growth is left on the tree, then it may recover in the following seasons if doesn’t again become food in the winter months.

Recovery

For trees that have no green left, you may either eliminate them or plant other trees in front of these to cover the bare spots. Plants that do have green development remaining require a little additional care. Fertilize in spring with a granulated evergreen water and fertilizer them through dry periods in the summertime. Both of these measures will motivate the arborvitae to push out new development, which you can then protect in the winter months.

Prevention

It is possible to protect the trees in sunlight when deer are mostly likely to hurt them. You may erect a physical barrier, such as a fence, but if you apply the arborvitae for landscaping, this may not be an appealing choice. Store-bought deer repellents function but need to be re-applied often because they degrade over time in snow and rain. If you would rather have a natural cure, North Dakota State University suggests creating a glue of a couple of garlic cloves, cayenne pepper and water and painting it above the bottom half of their trees. This additionally requires frequent reapplication.

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How Large Will a Mock Orange Bush Get?

Mock oranges (Philadelphus spp.) Are a category of deciduous landscape shrubs featuring fragrant white blooms in spring. The blossoms resemble orange flowers in the look and fragrance, thus the common name. Heirloom varieties were popular in Victorian gardens, along with new cultivars have been introduced in the last several years. They are usually hardy across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 8. The adult size will be dependent on the variety you develop and cultural states, depending on average from 3 to 12 feet tall and wide.

North American Varieties

Philadelphus lewisii species are indigenous to the western U.S. and Canada. The true species attains a mature height of about 12 feet and can length 8 feet wide as a tree. Cultivar sizes fluctuate. “Cheyenne” will mature to an average height of 6 to 9 feet and width of 5 to 8 feet. “Goose Creek” is a larger cultivar of this subspecies californica that normally reaches 12 feet tall and 8 ft wide. “Blizzard” is a smaller variety, averaging 4 to 5 feet tall and wide when mature.

Non-Natives

Philadelphus coronarius is an imported mock orange species, native to southern Europe and well-suited for cultivation across the western U.S.. The species grows in an upright style to a mean height of 8 to 10 feet. “Avalanche” is a smaller cultivar that only attains 3.5 feet tall. “Belle Etoile” grows to a moderate height of approximately 6 feet. “Virginal” is a particularly fragrant heirloom variety that can grow to 10 feet tall.

Cultivation

Plant your mock orange where it will get whole sunlight or light shade. Most mock orange kinds tolerate a fairly wide range of soil conditions but will do best when grown in rich soil that drains well but retains moisture. If your soil is heavily wooded or clay-dense, incorporating organic matter before planting will help balance drainage and moisture retention, thereby supporting the health, size and vigor of the mock orange. These alterations include completed compost, humus, aged manure, peat moss and chopped pine bark.

Maintaining Size

Mock oranges bloom on development from prior seasons. Lightly pruning them instantly after flowering is recommended to encourage new development that will bloom another season. This practice also assists your mock orange develop more densely and in the size and shape you would like. If your mock orange becomes less productive or rises out of boundaries, you can prune it heavily, also after spring bloom season. Reducing back 1 quarter of older canes to the ground can replenish a striped orange.

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How to Plant a Loquat Tree

The loquat, or Eriobotrya japonica, is a kind of Japanese plum. Unlike many plum tree types, this low-maintenance plant thrives in all kinds of dirt and, since it simply reaches 25 to 30 feet in height, which can fit easily in most backyards. To get a fresh source of juicy, vitamin-rich fruit, plant a loquat tree in your backyard today.

Select a planting location that receives full sun and is clear of different trees or structures at a 15-foot radius. That is the approximate spread of a adult loquat tree.

Dig a hole with a spade, making the hole three times heavier and three times broader than the container which the loquat seedling is presently in. Pile the removed dirt next to the hole.

Eliminate the loquat sapling out of its grass — most loquat saplings from nurseries and garden shops come from 3-gallon pots — and then rub on the root ball with a garden hose to eliminate approximately an inch of potting soil from around the root ball. This frees the root hints and helps the sapling get started from the ground faster.

Place the loquat sapling into the hole, then positioning it so the root ball is level with the edges of the hole, and fill in the hole with the dirt you removed.

Tamp down the dirt with the flat side of the spade or with your foot, then instantly irrigate the implanted loquat with enough water to moisten the dirt to a depth of 24 to 36 inches. This helps eliminate air pockets from the dirt.

Repeat the irrigation every day for the first week after planting. Reduce to after a week after that and preserve this schedule for the first three decades of development. After that, just water once the tree shows signs of drought stress or when the tree is producing fruit.

Fertilize the newly implanted loquat tree with 1/4 pounds of 6-6-6 fertilizer one month after you plant it. After that, fertilize the tree with 1 pound of 6-6-6 fertilizer every four months.

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The way to Recognize Strawberry Plants

With over 600 culitvars of strawberries grown throughout the globe for eating, strawberries are generally found in create sections and gardens. They’re also found in the wild and wild strawberries might accidentally put in your garden. The U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones for strawberry plants ranges from zones 3 through 9 for cultivated plants and 5 through 9 for wild strawberries. If you reside in one of these regions, you may use various distinguishing factors to determine if an unknown plant from your garden is a strawberry plant.

Take a look at the growing place to find out if it may be a strawberry plant. Wild strawberries grow in evergreen forests in California, but they can be found at wetland regions elsewhere in North America.

Examine the leaves and search for classes of three oval-shaped leaves with toothed edges.

Wait till late spring or early summer to look at the flowers. Look for white or pink five-petaled blossoms with yellow centers.

Look for berries to appear on the plant in precisely the exact same time as the flowers in the late spring or summer. The red berries are conical in shape and not the authentic fruit off the blossom, but swollen stalks. The little dots covering the edible part would be the true fruits of the strawberry plant.

Lift up the strawberry plant to analyze the roots and search for other plants which look like it nearby. Strawberries grow on runners and spread quickly to the surrounding place.

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What Needs to Be Added to the Soil in a Butterfly Garden

North America is home to about 750 species of butterfly. A butterfly garden will help pull them to your home’s garden, adding sparks of living color to your plants as well as the air around you. Before you start planting your butterfly garden with herbs, shrubs and flowers, prepare the soil properly to decide on a strong foundation for a healthful, butterfly-friendly landscape.

Compost

A number of the plants that are common to a butterfly garden thrive in soil that’s well-draining and rich in organic matter. Compost provides exactly that, helping to boost the soil construction, add nutrients and improve the way that water moves through the dirt. For best results, add 3 inches of compost into the butterfly garden and then mix it into the top 8 inches of dirt. This helps maintain your butterfly garden healthy and growing all year.

Fertilizer

The majority of the plants grown in butterfly gardens really are blooms, because butterflies are drawn into the sweet nectar in the flowers. Examples include lavender plants (Lavendula spp.) , lilac plants (Syringa spp.) and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) . And like most flower plants, the following butterfly favorites boom in fertile growing soils that encourage optimal plant and blossom production. Create the right levels of soil by spreading a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 flower fertilizer, in your butterfly garden prior to planting your flowers. For best results, use roughly 1/2 pounds of flower fertilizer for each 50 square feet of lawn, and mix it evenly into the top 6 inches of dirt.

Mulch

Butterflies are sensitive to herbicides and insecticides, so restrict chemical usage as much as possible. Mulch will help lessen the need for substances because it helps control weeds, and consequently your use of weed killers. Because weeds also often act as the main host for various pests, mulching also reduces the need for insecticides. For the best weed control, apply mulch in layer roughly 3 to 6 inches deep. As a side benefit, mulch also helps conserve soil moisture levels to maintain your butterfly garden more constantly hydrated.

Tips

To keep soil health, reapply compost annually from the spring at a rate of 2 to 3 inches of compost, mixed into the top 8 inches of dirt. Following the initial 3 years of your butterfly garden, reduce compost rates to 1 to 2 inches. Reapply fluid each spring, and apply again in early summer when the butterfly garden is not growing as quickly as you would like. This secondary application ought to be spread at a rate that’s half as far as the spring rate.

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Hardy Plum Trees

Plum trees are a good addition to the landscape, supplying spring flowers and summer fruit. Self-pollinating plum trees provide fruit if they are implanted separately; others require another number planted nearby for cross-pollination. For colder regions, several varieties are hardy trees that can endure harsh weathernonetheless, if you live in a warm area, you will want to pick one that may tolerate humid temperatures that are warm.

American Plum Trees

The native American plum (Prunus americana) is a hardy plum tree booming in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, though it’s been known to rise in zones as cold as USDA zone 3. Growing to heights of 20 feet, the American plum is found wild in thick groupings with branches that spread out and entangle with one another. The tree can live in all soil types and prefers full sun. It produces white flowers in the spring and creamy red or yellow fruit in the summer. Although hardy, the native American plum is not normally the tree of choice due to the slightly smaller fruit size and lack of availability as growing inventory.

American-Japanese Hybrid Plum Trees

Although occasionally contained on the Japanese list of plum trees, hybrid plums change a bit from their complete Asian plum. These hybrid varieties are a mixture of Japanese and American plums and generally well liked by growers, combining the cold hardiness of their American plum using the larger fruit of Asian types. They are usually labeled as Prunus salincia hybrid in their scientific name, to set them apart from other Japanese plum trees. A few of the superior hardy hybrid plums are the “Alderman,” “Toka” and “Superior.” “Superior” (Prunus salicina hybrid “Superior”) grows well in USDA zones 4 through 8 and was developed from the Minnesota University breeding program from the mid-1900s. Developed in 1985 from Minnesota University, “Alderman” (Prunus salicina hybrid “Alderman”) grows in colder climates with a USDA zone range of 3 through 8. Increasing to a maximum height of about 12 feet, this tree does well as an ornamental variety in a backyard setting. “Toka” (Prunus salicina hybrid “Toka”), sometimes referred to as the bubblegum plum, can get as tall as 14 feet and supplies big fruit at USDA zones 4 through 8. Preferring sandy or even clay soil, “Toka” does well in humid locations. To develop fruit on your plum trees, grow more than variety. Most hybrid plum trees will need to develop near other hybrid varieties to be able to pollinate and develop new fruit.

Japanese Plum Trees

Japanese or Oriental plum trees create larger fruit compared to the native American plums; nevertheless, finding one hardy enough to withstand the colder regions can be hard. “Shiro” (Prunus salicina “Shiro”) grows to a height of 20 feet, but comes from dwarf varieties that simply grow to ten feet. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, “Shiro” can also be heat tolerant and creates yellow plums. “Ancient Golden” (Prunus salicina “Ancient Golden”) was released into the U.S. in 1946, produces reddish yellow fruit and grows to a height of approximately 15 feet. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10, “Ancient Golden” can also be heat tolerant. “Methley” (Prunus salicina “Methley”) is moderately cold hardy, growing in USDA zones 5 through 8, but is not as heat tolerant. But among Japanese plum trees, “Methley” is among just a few that is self-pollinating.

European Plum Trees

European plum trees are fairly hardy trees, growing in cooler climates, which makes it more difficult to find one that also does as well in warm weather. Most grow best in USDA zones 4 through 8, with some doing better in USDA zones 5 through 8. “Green Gage” (Prunus domestica “Green Gage”) is a special plum using green fruit that grows to a height of about 14 feet; it is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. It’s been from the U.S for a while, having been brought over from Europe in the 18th century. “Stanley” (Prunus domestica “Stanley”) plum tree creates a good canning fruit that does well in preserves or dried as prunes. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8 and grows to a height of 15 feet.

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Pheromone Traps for Fruit Trees

One of the basic tenets of organic and sustainable pest control is using organic defenses efficiently, instead of applying synthetic chemical pesticides. Pheromone-based pest traps are utilized to track pest population maturity times in order that the proper therapy can be applied at the ideal moment. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, most fruit tree insect pests have several breeding cycles annually, since warmer climates encourage prolonged pest activity. Tracking the cycles is a powerful way to decrease pesticide usage and to control costs. You can buy pheromone traps at major garden supply centers or from agricultural providers to assist you monitor the insect pests in your home orchard.

How They Work

Insect traps have been lures. They use bait to attract insects to them, and the secret is to find a bait special to a particular pest control. Pheromone pest traps exploit the Sex attractants given off completely by each species to attract mates. Pheromone lures contain replaceable rubber septa that take the pheromone substances. Lures are applied to the trap, which includes a sticky layer. Insects investigating the lure simply stick to the surface and cannot escape. By examining traps about twice a week, you can monitor the developmental progress of the species and track the phases of the breeding cycle. Lures typically need to be replaced about once a month to maintain effectiveness. Remove insects from the traps each time you check them, and stir the sticky layer to freshen it.

When to Use

Really early spring — February through early March — would be the best time to place traps to find out the first breeding cycle in your area. Insects mature in accordance with “level days,” or days the temperatures are warm enough for them to develop. Recording daily high and low temperatures helps you to maximize trap usage. By tracking insects’ development to adulthood, you can disrupt mating during each life-cycle through the season by using suitable treatments, thereby reducing egg-laying and the resulting hatch of larvae.

Trap Placement

Hang pheromone traps at the northeast side of trees about 6 feet from the floor and approximately 100 feet in from the edge of the orchard. Place traps for various insects no closer than 300 feet apart, so that they won’t interfere with one another. Because pheromones are released to the air from the lure, they sink — because they are heavier than air. Placing the traps at the top third of trees takes advantage of the natural dispersal.

Home Orchard Use

If you have only a few fruit trees in your yard, you may not want to have visible traps littering your landscaping. A pheromone lure placed at the corner of a shed or along a backyard wall can capture a sampling of the insects in your yard. After noticing the insects’ stages of development, you can prevent large infestations by applying suitable treatments.

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