Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fancy MUMS

It is amazing the variety of mums that exist. I find the fancier the mums the less hardy they are. I plant them all the time outside. They rarely last for more then a couple of years...

Monday, October 27, 2008


Try growing native asters like the New York or New England Aster. This photo is the New England aster. You can tell by the name the area or region it grows. There are many beautiful native flowers you can grow. Many of the native flowers are becoming less common due to developments and alien plants taking over. Trying growing native, lets keep them around....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Boophane disticha

Boophane disticha is a small genus of bulbs found in South Africa. The flowers are composed of many star shaped flowers. This plant is often grown for the ornamental curly leaves. This bulb is extremely poisonous. It has been used to make poison tip arrows. If you have an animal or small child, do not grow this plant. It requires full sun in a fast draining medium. My plant, I try to water everyday. It does have a dormant period where it requires less water typically in the winter time. I just started growing this plant so I’ll have to see what happens this winter. As you might have noticed, South Africa has a wealth of interesting native bulbs..I would love to visit one day…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Starting to get cold!!!

I have been so busy at work that I've neglected my plants outside. My Ponderosa lemon had all its leaves frost bitten. The leaves are all droopy and dying. Fortunately, the plant stems are fine. In a few weeks with TLC more leaves will grow. I'm letting my plumerias outside go dormant. They are starting to drop their leaves. The plumeria I have are deciduous so leaf drop is normal. I keep the plumeria in dim lit room and water occasionally. In the spring, I place them in sunlight and like magic start to grow. My smaller citrus trees, about 2 inches high were not affected by the cold. They were surrounded by other pots sheltering them. My Amorphophallus leaves are gone and I'm ready to bring them in the house for the winter rest. I had 2 pots with Amorphophallus that never grew. I was dumping out the soil and noticed the bulbs had little shoots. These plants can go dormant for as long as a year. The one bulb had a small bite in it from a squirrel. This bulb should be fine. With the temperature dropping outside, the leaves falling, I'm focusing on indoor the way my clivia is getting buds again!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008


You may have noticed I know longer have ads. The purpose of this blog was to be informative and spark an interest in gardening. I really don't have a desire to make google rich with their ads. I believe they make plenty of money without my contribution. I thought the ads would be a useful source for people interested in my plant discussions. Personally, I thought the ads were horrid and made the site to commercial. Many of the ads were companies, I personally wouldn't recommend. Instead, I will recommend a company that I've had a positive experience with for that particular plant. For every other plant do a basic search on the Internet and pick the best price. I would highly recommend EBay. I find many of my plants on this site with a good price. Currently, I grow plants for fun and want to share my love of plants with the world.....Work was crazy usual..The plant didn't show up from case you were wondering....

Arisaema photo

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Arisaema "Jack in the Pulpit"

People often think of planting tulips, daffodils and crocuses in the fall. These are not the only bulbs you can plant. Why not try trillium or other native wildflowers? I just bought a large Arisaema speciosum var mirabile (Jack in the Pulpit) that is hardy in my area, Zone 7 with protection. This plant is from the forests 9,000 feet or more in the Himalayas of Nepal and south west China. The native Jack in the Pulpit is Arisaema triphyllum which is native to the NE United States. Arisaema can be found in many parts of the world like eastern, central Africa, Asia and eastern United States. The Jack in the Pulpit has one divided leaf . It appears that I grow plants with only one leaf like the Amorphophallus. Rest assure, I grow other many leaf plants…..

Friday, October 17, 2008

Office plant stolen

This post has nothing to do with fall plants. I had to vent my anger over a loser at work. I have a co-worker named Gloria who is a plant nut like myself. Time permitting, we converse on the subject of plants. I often will bring additional plants from home for her to display at work. Gloria had a plant called the Lipstick plant. She grew it from a cutting and was about to flower. This plant over night on Thursday was stolen. Gloria would have been more than happy to grow a cutting for the person. Instead they just stole it. I joked with Gloria that I would bring in a poison ivy plant and label it rare, expensive and do not touch. Why would a person steal a plant worth a few dollars? I don't wish anything bad for this person, but if they fell off a cliff, I wouldn't be overly concerned....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Unknown flower in Puerto Rico

I came across this photo in my Puerto Rico album. I went to Puerto Rico about 8 years ago. I never bothered to try and figure out the name of this plant. Does anyone have any suggestions? It was over 5 feet tall. I especially like the flower but also the leaf. This is definitely a plant I would grow if I lived in the tropics.. Living in the tropics has it benefits but also a ton of bugs. Certain plants require a chill period to bloom or produce fruit. Ever notice there are no apple trees grown in tropical areas. The apple tree needs the chill period to produce fruit. The same is for plums, peaches, apricots etc. Apparently every area has its advantages. I still would love to grow a mango tree in my backyard. Maybe with global warming, New York will be warm enough. Unfortunately, we would be underwater on Long Island from the melting of the ice caps....When does Spring start?....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Plant daylilies now!!!!

This time of year people think about planting fall bulbs. This is actually a good time to plant perennials. At least here, the plants will have a good month of growing after planting. In the spring, the plants will have established roots which mean bigger plants and more flowers. You can often get daylilies as much as 75% off. The day lilies will look crappy with no flowers but after closer inspection, you can see if the plant is healthy. I bought last year a daylily for $5.00 dollars on sale from $19.99. Now go out there and get some bargains!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


The famous tulip is a genus of over 150 species of flowering bulbs in the Liliaceae. The plants are native in southern Europe, Iran, North Africa and Asia. The tulip is widely grown all across America. The bulb requires a long cool spring and a moderate winter. Typically the bulb has one flower but as many a 4 flowers. The tulip to me is fascinating in the varieties that are out there. Honestly, I’m not overly impressed by the tulip. I feel the flower doesn’t last long enough. Of course, I love daylilies and they only bloom for a day. The daylily makes up for it with many buds. Many interesting varieties have formed by viruses altering the plant. Back in the 1600’s in Holland, a virus formed a tulip variety called the Vicorey. This bulb was reported to be sold for exorbitant prices. It was reported a single bulb was bought for 12 acres of land. Even now, new varieties will demand a very high price because of supply and demand. All one has to do is wait a couple of years and the prices go way down. If I can wait 5 years for a clivia to bloom from a seed, I can wait a few years for prices to go down. My favorite spring bulb is the crocus. I love how the snow crocus often will bloom very early in snow. My snow crocuses often bloom in late February. A welcome sight at the ending of the winter. My second favorite is the daffodil. You would be amazed at the different colors that exist. Plant now and enjoy the spring even more….

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Planting fall bulbs

I love the fall. The changing of the leaves are beautiful. The cooling temperatures is nice after a hot summer. It also is a time of year that can be sad. The impending cold weather with snow and ice on the horizon. It is this time of the year I start to focus on the spring. I love the early spring with the first crocus blooming and then the other bulbs like tulips. As you see from the catalogs in the mail and the local nurseries, this is the ideal time to plant spring bulbs. I love planting bulbs now anticipating the flowers after a cold hard winter. This time of year I also focus on my plants outside that I have to bring in. I get reacquainted with my lovely houseplants. Enjoy the season before its over. You can continue planting bulbs until the ground freezes in colder areas. Make sure you order the bulbs now or go to your local nursery before they sell out. Usually the nurseries later in November have sales on the remaining bulbs. You can find some good deals but with a reduced selection. I would check out the many catalogs and sites on the Internet. There are more than one variety of daffodil..Why not try a pink daffodil? Be the talk of your neighborhood!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Japanese maple

Japanese maples are very easy to care for with very little problems. Occasionally, a few pests will show up like aphids or scales. These pests can cause leaf drop but not death of the plant. Scorching may be a problem during high temperatures and wind. Keep your tree well watered during dry spells. Pruning is not necessary for these trees. Just plant them and enjoy. There is a wide variety out there.

Fall scene painted by my father

Friday, October 10, 2008

More on Japanese maples on Saturday

I will discuss more on Japanese Maples on Saturday. Today, I had to vent on my snail problem. I'm not sure what butterfly this is, but I had to post. I was able to find it on a free photo page on the internet..Enjoy

Snail infestation

I'm hoping for a very cold winter. The last winter was great with little snow and moderate temperatures. The only problem was many of the garden pests flourished also. We have a terrible snail problem. They are everywhere chewing leaves like crazy. I have holes in many of my plants. My mothers solution to the problem is throwing the snails over the fence, next door. I had some powder to spread that controls the snails. It is mainly a salt that kills the snail. Unfortunately, I don't think you want to eat these snails. The French eat a different variety. Hopefully, we have a bitter winter..Of course it will probably kill some of my less hardy plants. I just can't win...I do have the fun of replacing the dead plants with others...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flower painting by my father

Hey, do you recognize the flowers in the painting??...This is an original painting from my father.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Today was a crazy day at work. I usually have a few minutes to enter my blog article. Today, I'm only posting 2 pictures of some leaves from my trees. I'm involved in the November elections and have been working like crazy...More tomorrow...

Wonderful Japanese Maple leaves

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Acer palmatum, Japanese maple

The Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, is a deciduous tree reaching heights of 18-30 feet. The size will vary according to the variety. There is a Japanese maple tree for every area in the yard. It is usually an understory tree in the woods. When grown from seeds, the tree will often vary greatly from the parent. For this reason, there are over 1000 varieties that exist on the market. I happen to like the smaller dwarf like trees. I currently have 2 trees growing in a very large pot. The most common tree is the red leaf variety. You can choose from a wide variety of leaf shapes. The leaves will be lobed with five, seven, or nine pointed lobes. This leaf is perfect for drying and using in crafts. It retains the color dried. Growing seeds require a cold period to germinate. I will post a picture tomorrow of one of my trees…

Monday, October 6, 2008

My favorite plant is the tree....

My favorite plant to grow is trees. I especially enjoy growing trees from seeds. I have grown Gingko trees. Unfortunately it got a fungus and died. For the holidays, I grew a chestnut tree bought from the store. The chestnut is very easy to grow. I simply planted the nuts and keep the soil moist. In about 3 weeks, I had a tree. The roots grew so fast that the plastic pot actually cracked. This tree also came to a bad end. I had no where to plant it and couldn’t give it away. I lost interest, and it dried out in the pot. By the time I realized, it was dead. I have success growing plants but also do have failures. I have grown numerous seeds that have never germinated. You can sometimes do everything right and still have failure. Don’t get discouraged, take it as a challenge. I tend to appreciate growing seeds even more when there is a failure. I feel proud when I actually can get a seed to grow. Currently, I have 3 magnolia trees growing from seed. I planted about 100 seeds in pots that I keep outside over the winter. Many trees need the cold temperatures to eventually grow. This spring, the 3 trees grew. I was ecstatic over the trees. In a way I was glad only 3 grew. What the heck would I do with numerous trees? I don’t have the heart to kill them. Often growing seeds, the directions will say to thin the plants. I have trouble killing the remaining plants. I will often carefully plant the seeds individually. Growing trees is fun but not very practical due to land requirements. I’ve only had the chance to grow a few trees. I would love to grow more. I will discuss the Japanese maple tree tomorrow.. A fascinating beautiful tree..

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hoya seeds arrived Friday!!!!

My Hoya seeds arrived on Friday. I was away for the weekend so my mother planted them. The seeds have to be very fresh to germinate. I didn't want to risk waiting until I got back late Sunday. The seeds are already starting to germinate. The seeds looked like caraway seeds on rye bread with a fluffy end. In the near future, I will post pictures of the small seedlings. I have to figure out how to do closeups with my camera. Tomorrow, I will go in detail on a new mystery tune in...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hoya pests

There are few Hoya pests. The common garden pests are the aphids, mealy bugs, red spider mites and scales. These pests can be controlled with insecticides. If you have a small collection, do a check on the plant for pests once a week. You can remove the insects with rubbing alcohol. Simply rub the pest off with a swab. During the summer, outdoor ladybugs and praying mantis can held rid the plants of some bugs. When getting new plants, it is always advisable to keep them isolated for about 5 weeks to watch them. If the plant has pests, you can treat the plant and not infect the rest of your plants. The most important things are to just observe your plant. Keep up with the checking for possible bugs. What are you waiting for, buy a hoya today….

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Growing successful Hoyas

For successful plants, you must use the right soil combination and pot size. For hoyas, good drainage is important. The easiest thing to do is to buy a succulent mix. This is what I prefer to do. You can make your soil mix of one part garden loam, one part sand and one part sphagnum peat moss. These plants need to be root bound to bloom. A six inch pot would be fine. If you have a small plant, it will take several years to bloom. After it blooms, it is important to keep the flowering spurs on. The spur is the little stem that had the flower. It will flower from this spur again. They will flower for most of the spring and summer with good light. Please water moderately in spring, summer and fall, keeping drier in the winter. It enjoys a daytime temperature of 60-75F, and a cooler night temperature. Following these basic instruction, it should flourish in your house. The perfect houseplant?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Article on purchasing a plant

After reading my blog, you probably have an urge to buy some plants at the nursery. This article would be useful to read before a purchase. Read and enjoy!!!

By : Glenn Bronner

When you are buying or receiving plants from someone there are a few things that you need to look at before deciding to plant them in your garden. You will generally get a better quality plant from a garden center and it will be less likely to have disease or other problems that could spread to other plants in your garden. There is still the possibility that the garden center plant might not be the healthy specimen that you might expect so you should still check it out before parting with your money. The first thing you need to do is look at the plant and see whether it looks healthy. This might seem very obvious but we often assume that buying from a garden center will assure us of a healthy plant when in actual fact even garden centers can have problem plants and you don't want to be the new owner of their problems. Plants are very good at showing any signs of distress so a plant that doesn't look healthy, generally isn't. Check the conditions of the leaves, stems and roots of the plant where possible. You should also look at the condition of the soil that it has been growing in, as this will have had an effect on its health. If you are buying flowering plants it is always best to buy the ones that have yet to flower, as they will withstand the trauma of transport and transplanting better than those that already have flowers. If there is no alternative but to buy or receive plants that already have flowers then many people suggest that you should remove all the flowers to give the plant a better chance of survival. While you might be reluctant to do so, you will probably have a better plant that will produce more flowers in the future. If there is anything on the plant that concerns you seek advice or decide against having that plant in your garden.