Organic Gardening News

What Is Marcescence: Reasons Leaves Don’t Fall From Trees

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-12-20 11:00
For many, the arrival of fall marks the end of the garden season and time to rest and relax. The cooler temperatures are a much welcomed relief from the summer heat. During this time, plants also begin the process of preparing for the winter ahead. As the temperatures change, the leaves of many deciduous trees begin to show bright and vibrant colors. From yellow to red, fall foliage can create absolutely breathtaking displays in the home landscape. But what happens when the leaves don’t fall? What Does Marcescence Mean? What is marcescence? Have you ever seen a tree that has retained its leaves through the winter? Depending upon the variety, the tree may be experiencing marcescence. This occurs when some deciduous trees, usually beech or oak, fail to drop their leaves. This results in trees that are full or partially full, covered in brown, papery leaves. Winter marcescence is caused

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Cold Weather Plant Allergies – Are There Winter Allergy Plants

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-12-20 07:00
The mild days of spring and summer are long gone and you’re in the grip of winter, so why are you still getting seasonal plant allergies? Cold weather plant allergies aren’t as unusual as one might think. If you think the plants have all gone to bed but winter pollen issues are still plaguing you, then it’s time to learn about plants that trigger winter allergies. Winter Pollen Issues Even though the usual pollen allergy suspects, blooming plants, are gone for the season, that doesn’t mean that pollen isn’t still a problem for susceptible individuals. Mountain cedar trees, found primarily in South and central Texas, are a type of juniper that pollinates in the winter, often triggering seasonal plant allergies. From December through March, these winter allergy plants send up great clouds of “smoke,” actually pollen, and it is a major cause of hay fever. Folks who suffer from this

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Holes In Camellia Leaves: Controlling Camellia Weevils And Beetles

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-12-19 18:00
Camellias are gorgeous blooming harbingers of spring. Unfortunately, their beauty can be significantly marred by holes in camellia leaves. Beetles on camellias are the likely culprit, but controlling camellia weevils can be difficult to achieve since the pests feed mostly at night. If your camellia plant has holes, it is most likely the result of the camellia vine weevil or cranberry rootworm beetle. About Beetles on Camellias If you see holes in your camellia leaves, the likely suspects are twofold: the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, or the cranberry rootworm beetle, Rhabdopterus picipes. The adult beetles feed primarily at night while their larvae feed on the root system, making them difficult to identify and control. The black vine weevil is most detrimental in its larval stage. It feeds on a variety of broad leaf evergreens as well as greenhouse specimens. Adults are equal opportunists and ravage both herbaceous and deciduous

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Camellia Companion Plants – What To Plant With Camellias

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-12-19 15:03
Some gardeners are convinced that camellias should never be asked to share their space with other plants, and that all eyes should be focused on these lovely evergreen shrubs. Others prefer a more diverse garden where the landscape is shared by a variety of camellia companion plants. If you’re wondering about suitable companions for camellias, keep in mind that while color and form are important, it’s also critical to consider growing habits. Many plants play nice with camellias, but others just aren’t compatible. Read on for tips on planting with camellias. Healthy Camellia Plant Companions Camellias are glorious in a shade garden, and they are especially effective when planted along with other shade-loving plants. When it comes to choosing camellia plant companions, consider plants such as hostas, rhododendrons, ferns or azaleas.  Camellias are shallow-rooted plants, which means they won’t thrive next to trees or shrubs with long, complex root systems.

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What Is Bushy Beardgrass – How To Plant Bushy Bluestem Seed

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-12-19 11:00
Bushy bluestem grass (Andropogon glomeratus) is a long-stemmed perennial and native prairie grass in Florida up into South Carolina. It is found in swampy areas around ponds and streams and grows in low flatland areas. What is Bushy Beardgrass? Also known as bushy beardgreass, this is an attractive ornamental grass for areas that have damp to wet ground. Adding fall and winter color and interest, Glomeratus beardgrass, brightens areas that have gone drab with colder seasons. Showy copper-orange stems and plumes are long lasting, persisting through cold temperatures when adequate water is supplied. Bushy bluestem grass grows in most areas of the U.S. (zones 3-9), supplying beautiful color in a range of beds and borders and around streams and ponds. It’s great for naturalizing a landscape area, or for use in the back of a rain garden or around fountains. It may also be planted as a livestock feed and

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Heather Is Blooming In The Winter: Flowering Triggers For Winter Heather

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-12-19 07:00
Are you wondering why your heather is blooming in the winter? Heather belongs to the Ericaceae family, a large, diverse group that includes more than 4,000 plants. This includes blueberry, huckleberry, cranberry, rhododendron – and heather. Why Does Heather Bloom in Winter? Heather is a low-growing, flowering evergreen shrub. Heather that flowers in winter is likely Erica carnea (actually a type of winter-blooming heath), which grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 7. Some sources indicate Erica carnea survives in zone 4, and maybe even zone 3 with adequate protection. Alternatively, your winter-blooming heather may be Erica darleyensis, which is hardy to zone 6, or possibly even zone 5 with winter protection. Why does heather bloom in winter? When it comes to flowering triggers for winter heather, it’s just a matter of caring for your plant. This isn’t difficult, as heather is extremely easy to get along with. Read

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Coral Bean Care – How To Plant Coral Bean Seeds

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-12-18 18:00
The coral bean (Erythrina herbacea) is low-maintenance specimen. Grow the coral bean plant in a natural garden or as part of a mixed shrub border. Colorful and attractive, the plant has showy spring, tubular blooms and pods of attention-grabbing red seeds in autumn. Green pea-like pods turn blackish purple with seeds that are shiny and scarlet inside. Grow the coral bean with other colorful plants, as the shiny leaves may become sparse during summer heat. Flowers are shaped like an arrowhead and blooms appear profusely on numerus annual stems. They are a magnet for hummingbirds. About Coral Bean Planting Also called the Cherokee bean, this family of plants grows in warm-season climates around the world. In most areas without freezing temperatures, the perennial remains or dies back to return in spring. Grow it as an annual in locations with freezing temperatures. If your winters are only somewhat cold, just the

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Growing Baby’s Breath From Cuttings: How To Root Gypsophila Cuttings

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-12-18 15:00
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila) is the star of the cutting garden, providing delicate little blooms that dress up floral arrangements, (and your garden), from midsummer to autumn. You are probably most familiar with white baby’s breath, but various shades of rosy pink are also available. If you have access to a mature baby’s breath plant, growing cuttings from baby’s breath is surprisingly easy in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Let’s learn how to grow baby’s breath from cuttings, one step at a time. Baby’s Breath Cutting Propagation Fill a container with good quality commercial potting mix. Water well and set the pot aside to drain until the potting mix is moist but not dripping. Taking Gypsophila cuttings is simple. Select several healthy baby’s breath stems. Cuttings from baby’s breath should each be about 3 to 5 inches (7.6 to 13 cm.) in length. You can plant several stems, but

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Sowing Baby’s Breath Seeds: Learn How To Plant Gypsophila Seeds

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-12-18 11:00
Baby’s breath is an airy delight when added to specialty bouquets or just as a nosegay in its own right. Growing baby’s breath from seed will result in clouds of the delicate blooms within a year. This perennial plant is easy to grow and low maintenance. Read on for more tips on how to plant Gypsophila, or baby’s breath. Baby’s Breath Seed Propagation Easily recognizable from bridal displays to any occasion flower arrangements, baby’s breath is a hardy perennial. It is suitable for United States Department of Agriculture zones 3 to 9. Plants can be easily started from seed. Baby’s breath seed propagation can be done early indoors in flats or planted outside after all danger of frost has passed. Transplants and seeds should go outdoors after the threat of any frost has passed. Direct sowing baby’s breath seeds in 70-degree (21 C.) soil will result in faster germination. How

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Ginkgo Seed Propagation Guide – How To Plant Ginkgo Seeds

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-12-18 07:00
One of our oldest plant species, Ginkgo biloba can be propagated from cuttings, grafting or seed. The first two methods result in plants much quicker, but the process of growing ginkgo trees from seed is an experience not to be missed. The trees don’t technically produce a seed, but females develop fruit which are pollinated by male trees. You need to get your hands on an ovule, or naked seed, from the fruit for ginkgo seed propagation. Continue reading for tips on how to plant ginkgo seeds. Ginkgo Seed Propagation Ginkgo trees have elegant, unique leaves and are the source of important eastern medicine. Can you grow ginkgo trees from seed? You can, but you need to provide certain conditions to ensure germination. First, you need to source a female plant and gather some fruit. To increase the chances of success, acquire several. They look a bit like a small

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Fig Seed Propagation: How To Plant Fig Tree Seeds

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2019-12-17 18:04
The glorious fig is one of our oldest cultivated fruits. It has a rich history in some of the most complex and ancient civilizations and is so adaptable it can be used in sweet or savory dishes. If you want to experience the fruit in your own backyard, you may be wondering, “Can figs grow from seed?” You can collect seed and germinate it, but just don’t expect the same cultivar as the parent plant. Can Figs Grow from Seed? Figs have been cultivated since around 5,000 BC. Their sweet flavor and rich scent truly make them fruits of the Gods. Figs are propagated in several ways. Fig seed propagation is probably the most fickle of the methods and can result in a new cultivar and an interesting process. With some tips on germinating fig seeds and their planting and care, you will be on the road to success. Fig

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Artichoke Winter Care: Learn About Overwintering Artichoke Plants

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2019-12-17 15:05
Artichokes are primarily cultivated commercially in sunny California, but are artichokes cold hardy? With proper artichoke winter care, this perennial is hardy to USDA zone 6 and occasionally zone 5 during mild winters. Overwintering artichoke plants isn’t difficult; it simply takes a little knowledge and planning. Artichokes can grow and produce for up to seven years, making it beneficial to protect artichokes in winter. Are Artichokes Cold Hardy? Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean, which makes one think they wouldn’t tolerate the chill of winter very well. Surprisingly, given proper care, overwintering artichoke plants is very possible. The edible part of the plant is actually the flower head. When allowed to bloom, this is a neon purple that is quite stunning in its own right. Artichokes do not set flower buds until their second year of growth, so protecting artichokes in winter is essential. How to Care for Artichokes in

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Tendersweet Cabbage Plants – How To Grow Tendersweet Cabbages

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2019-12-17 11:00
What is Tendersweet cabbage? As the name suggests, plants of this cabbage variety produce tender, sweet, thin leaves that are perfect for stir fries or coleslaw. Like all members of this family, Tendersweet cabbage can handle frost but will suffer in hot weather. When it comes to growing Tendersweet cabbage, it’s best to get started in early spring. However, you can also grow a crop for fall harvest in milder climates. How to Grow Tendersweet Cabbages Plant seeds indoors four to six weeks ahead of the last expected frost in your region. This is the best plan if you want to harvest cabbage before the hottest part of summer. You can also purchase young plants at your local garden center. Prepare a sunny garden spot before transplanting seedlings into the garden. Work the soil well and dig in 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm.) of compost or well-rotted manure. Additionally,

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Stonehead Hybrid Cabbage – Tips On Growing Stonehead Cabbage

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2019-12-17 07:00
Many gardeners have their favorite varieties of vegetables they grow year after year, but trying something new can be rewarding. Growing Stonehead cabbage is one of those pleasant surprises. Often lauded as the perfect cabbage, Stonehead hybrid cabbage is early maturing, tastes great and stores well. With such endearing qualities, it’s no wonder this 1969 AAS winner is still a popular choice among gardeners. What is Stonehead Hybrid Cabbage? Stonehead cabbage plants are easy-to-grow members of the Brassicaceae family. Like kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts, Stonehead hybrid cabbage is a cold weather crop. It can be planted early in the spring for a summer harvest or later in the season for a fall crop. Stonehead cabbage forms small, round globes that average between 4 and 6 pounds (1.8 to 2.7 kg.). The flavorful heads are perfect raw ingredients for slaw and in salad and is equally delicious in cooked recipes.

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Growing Grass On The Table – How To Make Grass Covered Tabletops

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-12-16 18:04
Picnicking in lush, green grass is a summer luxury. You can get the same effect without getting grass stains on your shorts by growing grass on the table. Yep, you read that right. A table with grass adds outdoor flair in a fun, yet delightful way. Tabletop grass does not have to cover the entire table and could be done in dishes or trays to add some garden greenery. Creating a Table of Grass Grass covered tabletops are trending recently and it’s easy to see why. The startling green color, gently swaying blades, and even the smell of grass brings a much-needed brightness to a buffet, seated table or outdoor picnic space. Tabletop grass can also be used to bring the outside indoors. A table of grass is a quirky addition to a garden party or other special occasion. If your aesthetic is to have the entire length of the

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What Is A Courtyard Garden: How To Create A Courtyard Garden

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-12-16 15:00
Gardening in unique spaces takes extra creativity and inspiration. Knowing how to create a courtyard garden may not be intuitive, but with a little imagination and examples of existing gardens, you can easily design a beautiful, functional outdoor space for this purpose. What is a Courtyard Garden? There really are no limits, as long as it is in a courtyard, for what makes up a courtyard garden. This is any outdoor space enclosed by the walls of a house or other building. A courtyard garden may be fully enclosed on four sides, with a gate or other doorway for entry, or it may be three-sided. For instance, you may have a semi-enclosed space as an entryway leading to the front door of your house. Gardening in a courtyard can be done any way you like, from a formal French style garden to a more free-form cottage garden or native landscape.

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What Is An Adult Treehouse: Creating A Treehouse For Grownups

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-12-16 11:15
If you have come into adulthood kicking and screaming, a treehouse might help reawaken your inner child. Treehouses for adults are a new trending idea that can translate into an office space, studio, media room, guest house or simply a relaxing retreat. Design ideas on how to make an adult treehouse may inspire you to get out the saw horses and saws and build one of these sanctuaries of your own. Creating a Treehouse for Grownups Treehouses are great for children but have become a landscape element popular with adults. Because our fascination with these small houses really never goes away, adult treehouse ideas abound. What is an adult treehouse? It can be as simple as a tiny replica of a real house or as complex as an artistic, natural edifice perched high above the daily cares of life. If you missed out on having a treehouse as a kid,

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How To Plant Hibiscus Seeds – Tips For Sowing Hibiscus Seeds

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-12-16 07:00
Hibiscus is a gorgeous tropical shrub that thrives in the warmer environments of the southern United States. Although most gardeners like to purchase young hibiscus plants from garden centers or nurseries, you may want to try your hand at sowing hibiscus seeds. While it does take longer to grow hibiscus from seed, it can be a rewarding, productive activity, and an inexpensive way to fill your garden with these amazing plants. Let’s learn how to plant hibiscus seeds, step by step. Hibiscus Seed Propagation You can plant freshly harvested hibiscus seeds directly in the garden in autumn if you live in a very warm, frost-free climate. However, most gardeners prefer to start seeds indoors. Here’s how to go about it: Nick the seeds with fine grade sandpaper or the tip of a knife to allow moisture to enter the seed. This step isn’t absolutely required, but it provides a jump

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Mardi Gras Succulent Info: How To Grow A Mardi Gras Aeonium Plant

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-12-15 18:00
The ‘Mardi Gras’ succulent is a beautiful, multi-colored aeonium plant that readily produces pups. When growing Mardi Gras aeonium plant, treat them differently from most other succulents because they need slightly more water and grow in winter. What is a Mardi Gras Aeonium? Growing in a rosettes form, green center stripes decorate lemon-colored base leaves. Colors may change seasonally as various stressors affect the growing plant. A ruby red blush appears in cooler temperatures when the plant is in bright light. Leaf edges turn a pinkish red, causing the appearance of a blush. The red shades may become more pronounced as the plant is exposed to dropping temperatures. This hybrid is proven a strong grower because of its parental crosses, according to Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ information. Therefore, seasonal color change is prevalent and likely why offsets produce so readily. If purchasing this plant, make sure it is clearly labeled ‘Mardi

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Green Magic Broccoli Variety: Growing Green Magic Broccoli Plants

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-12-15 15:00
Broccoli plants are a staple in the spring and fall vegetable garden. Their crispy heads and tender side shoots are truly a culinary delight. However, many beginner growers may be left feeling discouraged when their attempts to grow this tasty treat do not go as planned. Like many garden vegetables, broccoli does best when grown in cooler temperatures. Those living in warm weather areas will need to pay special attention to heat tolerance when selecting the varieties to grow. ‘Green Magic’ is especially adapted for growth throughout a wide range of temperatures. Read on for more info. How to Grow Green Magic Broccoli Green Magic broccoli is a hybrid variety of heading broccoli. The Green Magic broccoli variety matures in as little as 60 days from transplant and produces large, densely-packed heads. It is especially prized for its ability to produce abundant harvests during warm spring temperatures. The process of

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