Pansies (Viola X Wittrockiana) come in variety of sizes, colors, and types. There are solid colors without faces, or bi-colors with contrasting faces, to blended colors that provide a mix of colors in each bloom. Pansies thrive in cool weather and will bloom from early fall until hot weather causes them to decline. They will grow in full sun to partial shade. Pansies are heavy feeders, so to encourage continuous blooms throughout the fall and winter, add a granulated fertilizer such as Color X-Press with 14-14-14 blend to the soil in at time of planting. To give your flowers an extra boost, you can also add Bone Meal to fortify the plants through the winter and apply a water-soluble fertilizer every four to six weeks. [Read more…]
In the garden, amaryllis bloom in March, April, or May, depending on the variety. Some may produce bloom spikes again in the fall. Container-grown amaryllis will bloom indoors six to eight weeks after potting. Keep the potted bulb in a warm, bright location. You can speed up the bloom time by watering with warm water and keeping the potted bulb in an even warmer place. To slow blooms, move the pot to a cooler location.
You can select the bloom time to give an amaryllis as a gift for a special occasion. Wrap the amaryllis bulb in soft paper towels and refrigerate. Remove and pot six to eight weeks before you would like the amaryllis to bloom.
CARING FOR AN AMARYLLIS AFTER IT BLOOMS
Cut off the flower stem about 2 inches above the bulb. Apply a slow-release fertilizer or bone meal at this time. Do not cut off the leaves after blooming as they produce the food necessary for subsequent blooming. Let them die back naturally. [Read more…]
For spring color, bulbs must be planted in the fall. Check out the tips below for purchasing, storage, and planting bulbs that will offer a surprise show of colorful blooms in the springtime! For more information about growing bulbs, please visit our experts at Warren’s Southern Gardens. [Read more…]
It can be a little overwhelming to piece together an amazing seasonal entryway design. You can achieve a stunning look with the right selections and combinations of color, plants and flowers, texture, pumpkins and gourds, as well as decorative accessories. Here are some tips to help you get started!
You could choose a monochromatic theme or a combination of autumn colors! Make a plan for what you’d like to purchase before shopping, taking into consideration your brick and exterior paint color. [Read more…]
Mums are a staple of fall, with their beautiful autumnal colors ranging from yellow and orange to maroon and purple. Chrysanthemums are part of a special group of flowers that communicate the season with a simple glance. For some, purchasing these colorful flowers every fall is a given. They make fantastic additions to front entryways and festive centerpieces.
Their bloom cycle depends on the length of the day, temperature, and plant age. If you plan to plant your mum in a shady area, it’s best to purchase one with a lot of blooms already showing. If you’re going to put it in a sunny location, choose one with more buds. [Read more…]
Native plants are often overlooked in home gardening. Incorporating them into your landscape could mean less work to keep your yard looking spectacular, plus you’ll simultaneously support the local environment and wildlife.
Native plants are well-adapted to their local surroundings, resulting in numerous benefits. [Read more…]
There’s a lot of talk about encouraging pollinators to visit your yard by featuring some of their favorite plants, like pentas, cone flowers, salvia, and lantanta, which can attract bees, butterflies, and birds to your yard. But why is it so important?
Plant Reproduction 101
To understand the importance of pollinators, we need to first revisit some basic environmental science.
Pollination occurs when pollen from the male anther of a flower is transferred to the female stigma. Flower seeds can only be created when pollen is transferred between flowers of the same species. Of course, the goal is future offspring. And, the same is true for every living organism. While some plants can self-pollinate, many require cross-pollination to reproduce. [Read more…]
Consider adding water lilies, lotus, or pitcher plants to your current landscape for more variety and visual interest.
Water and bog plants can be intimidating, especially without the know-how to get started, but Warren’s can help! There are so many combinations and solutions. Let’s first identify the main difference between water and bog plants.
Water vs. Bog Plants
Water plants prefer to have their roots submerged in at least 2 to 6 inches of water. Alternatively, bog plants will be happy in continuously moist soil outside of a pond. In fact, some containers work great for bog plants!
Pond Alternatives: Water Containers
If you don’t already have a water feature in your backyard, like a decorative pond, you might consider constructing one. But if you feel like that’s the only way to enjoy water and bog plants, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn there are lots of other options.
For example, you can use a faux whiskey barrel, or almost any other container, to create a water feature in your landscape. Basically, you can create a pond environment in any container you select. Then, you can keep the plants in individual containers and continue providing fresh water to keep the roots submerged.
Be watchful for algae and make sure mosquitoes aren’t using it as a breeding ground.
Building a Bog
If you have a low area in your yard that stays continuously moist, you can turn the underutilized area into a bog garden! You can prepare the ground by pulling out grasses and any unnecessary plants. Then, consider laying down a weed barrier before creating a bed of gravel. The key to bog success is the constant presence of moisture.
Water + Bog Plant Benefits
In a decorative pond and even in smaller containers, water and bog plants work as water filters. Plants like water lilies are known for absorbing heavy metal and all water plants oxygenate the water. If you’re interested in adding koi fish to your water feature, these plants serve as a food source for the koi – while the plants keep it a healthy environment for the fish.
Additionally, adding a water feature to your landscape will encourage birds, butterflies, and dragonflies to visit your oasis.
Visit the Garden Center to shop our new inventory and let our expert staff delve into the many options with you. Warren’s Southern Gardens will get you growing!
We enjoyed an extraordinarily long spring season, but summer weather hit us hard and fast. And with the heat and humidity arrived a familiar, but dreaded, buzz from mosquitoes. Find out how you can deter these pests naturally using plants available now!
Plants like citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, lemon gum eucalyptus, and lemon basil are excellent additions to help fend off mosquitoes, which can carry harmful diseases, such as West Nile, dengue fever, Zika, and more.
These pungent plant selections will aid in controlling the mosquito population in your garden and backyard. Since plants like citronella have strong fragrances, mosquitoes find them unattractive.
Furthermore, many of these plants are multi-functional. Not only are they mosquito repellents, but decorative additions to any landscape, and you can cook with options like basil, rosemary, and lemongrass! Plus, these plants perform well in our region. When cared for properly, they stand up to the harsh conditions of Houston’s summer months.
The most effective way to keep mosquitoes away from your skin using plants is to crush the leaves or rub a handful on your skin. You can even stuff some in your pockets to keep away mosquitoes while you’re outdoors.
Other steps you can take to protect yourself include wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible and considering an EPA-registered repellent if necessary.
It’s important to keep in mind that mosquitoes only need a small amount of standing water to breed – as little as a cap full.
- Change out the water in birdbaths and pet bowls at least every three to five days.
- Keep rain gutters clear.
- Remove any containers that could hold water, like tires, toys, or unused flower pots.
By taking preventative steps to clear your yard of potential breeding zones and including mosquito repellent plants in your landscape, you can better protect yourself and your family this summer.
Stop by the Garden Center or call 281-354-6111 to get started today – we’ll get you growing!
Soil in southeast Texas is naturally very alkaline, but many plants prefer more acidic conditions. If changing the pH in your soil seems daunting and time consuming, it’s easier than you think! With the right products and some patience, you can set yourself (and your plants) up for gardening success!
Many flowers shrubs and plants, like the hydrangeas, gardenia, roses, and azaleas we’re featuring now at the Garden Center, prefer acidic soil. But how can we achieve that?
Understanding pH Levels
Neutral soil has a pH of 7, while alkaline soil is above 7 and acidic soil is below 7. The interesting part of the soil pH scale is the vast range between each number. Just one digit in either direction indicates a pH that’s 10 times more or less alkaline or acidic. For example, a soil pH of 7 is 10 times more alkaline that a pH of 6. Similarly, a pH of 3 is 10 more acidic than a pH of 4.
If you’re interested in testing the pH in your soil to find out exactly what you’re working with first, you can send a sample to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/solutions/soil-testing/
Fertilizers and More
Fertilizers and soils specifically designed for acid-loving plants are available to help adjust the pH, so that’s a great start. For hydrangeas, gardenia, roses, and azaleas, you can plant any of them using rose soil. Then, you can introduce amendments to acidify the soil. So what’s the common denominator?
Typically, it’s some form of sulfur in these products that’s altering the pH, like sphagnum peat, elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or iron sulfate. Acidifying nitrogen and other organic materials can also increase the acidity.
For container plants, you could add 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water to adjust the pH. Additionally, peat moss and leaf compost are great organic options.
Patience and Persistence
Keep in mind that altering the pH can take some time. It won’t happen overnight, but with ongoing care and attention, you’ll be convinced it’s all worthwhile when you see your efforts in the form abundant blooms and overall plant health.
The expert staff at Warren’s can help you select the right products to acidify your soil. Stop by the Garden Center today, we’ll get you growing!