FALL AND WINTER Hours of Operation

9:00 am to 5:00 pm Mon-Sat
10:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday

SPRING AND SUMMER HOURS

9:00 am to 6:00 pm Mon-Sat
10:00 am to 6:00 pm Sunday

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Maas Nursery

Poinsettias are Here!

      
Poinsettias seem to be the official flower of the holiday season. With a minimal amount of care, poinsettia blooms will last for several weeks, maybe even longer. Place your poinsettia plant in indirect sunlight, away from drafts or heating vents in your home, and water when soil is dry to the touch.  Fertilize after the blooming season with a balanced all-purpose fertilizer. Plants can be moved outside after all chance of frost has passed. Getting a plant to re-bloom outside of a controlled environment can be difficult, requiring 14 hours of complete darkness each day for 14 weeks with a constant temperature, but growing an attractive plant in the yard is possible with a minimal amount of care and protection from freezing as with any other tropical.
For years this colorful traditional Christmas plant has taken a bad rap, the one of being poisonous.  In fact, the POISINDEX Information Service, the primary information resource used by most poison control centers, states that a 50-pound child would have to ingest over 500 poinsettia bracts to surpass experimental doses. Yet even at this high level, no toxicity was demonstrated.
Don’t forget, poinsettias grow well here in the ground after Christmas. Just don’t let them freeze! Come see us at the nursery. We have lots of poinsettias to choose from!

Sasanqua Camellias

 

By: Kathryn Courtney
My absolutely favorite plant in my garden is my sasanqua camellia. I planted it after I ripped out all of the awful builders landscaping plants in my new front yard. That was 25 years ago. My camellia has provided me with 25 years of so much joy that I think everyone should have at least one sasanqua in their garden.

Sasanqua camellias are smaller, more open, delicate bushes than their sister shrubs, japonica camellias. They bloom from late summer to early winter depending on the type. 3 to 4 inch blossoms of anything from white to light or bright pink to cherry red adorn these shrubs in a profusion of blooms. The blooms can be single, semi-double or double. Some of them even have a heavenly tea or rose scent that rivals most flowers for fragrance. The foliage starts out a coppery-bronze and turns dark green at maturity. All camellias are evergreen making them a great landscape shrub.

Sasanqua camellias need to be planted in partial shade in evenly moist, acidic, well-drained soil. After established, these camellias are drought tolerant but perform better with consistent watering. Because of the size and shape of the shrub, these plants make great foundation plantings or low borders for your garden. Sasanqua camellias can also be shaped into tree form and planted in a courtyard, corner garden bed, or a formal garden. Their versatility allows them to blend in with other landscape shrubs and become a great backdrop in a garden. Their bloom time makes them a perfect garden companion as sasanqua camellias bloom when other blooming plants in the garden are finished. Because these shrubs enjoy part shade their bright blooms brighten an otherwise darker part of the garden.

Come to Maas and check out our huge selection of camellias. Lots of them are blooming right now and it is the perfect time to see them, smell them and plant them. We can answer any questions you may have about our camellia selection. The camellias I have listed below are just a sample of what we have at the nursery. Come out and pick your favorite. We hope to see you at the nursery soon!

Yuletide
Deep green evergreen shrub with brilliant red flowers and bright yellow stamens
Bloom time usually coincides with the Christmas season
Moderate upright grower to 8′ to 10′ tall and wide.

Pink A Boo
Evergreen shrub with deep pink blooms, bright yellow stamens and a wonderful fragrance. A sport of Yuletide
Winter bloomer
8′ to 10′ tall and wide.

White Doves
Frilly white blossoms with bright yellow stamens and dark green foliage. Ideal for smaller space or container.
Mid season bloomer
4′ to 5′ tall and wide.

October Magic
Ruffled white blooms with bright pink trim and dark green foliage.
Bloom time fall to early winter
6′-8′ tall and 4′-5′ wide upright bush.

Bonanza
Deep red large semi double peony formed flowers with bright green evergreen foliage.
Blooms in fall
4′- 5′ tall and 5’to 6′ wide.

Chansonette
Brilliant pink double blooms and a short pendulous form with dark evergreen leaves.Makes a great cut flower. Can be used as a ground cover or espalier.
Blooms fall to early winter.
2′ – 3′ tall and 8′ wide.
A Few More Sasanquas We Love
Kanjiro
Jean May
Shishi Gashira

Boozy Narcissus

By: Deb Pavlosky

Evidently, I am late to this secret, but if you grow paperwhite narcissus bulbs, there is a way to keep the foliage from growing too tall and falling over.   WOW!  I am so excited to start my bulbs now!!!  When planting your bulbs, choose a container with no holes and use a substrate of gravel or rocks or marbles, etc.  I like to use canning jars or wine glasses or hurricanes, etc with some colorful and pretty gravel.  Use just enough substrate to support your bulb without completely covering it.  Find a nice sunny location to place your bulb (whether indoors or out) and add water to the container to just reach the bottom of the bulb.  Add water as needed to maintain the water level.

Then you wait….

Once roots appear and a green shoot is growing about 1″-2″ above the bulb, pour off the old water and replace with a 4%-6% solution of hard liquor (like vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey, etc).  To get a 5% solution from an 80 proof (40%) distilled liquor, add 1 part liquor to 7 parts water.  You can use isopropyl alcohol if you reserve your booze for more important uses (for 70% rubbing alcohol, use 1 part rubbing alcohol to 10-11 parts water).  Anytime you add water to your bulb, use the alcohol solution.  This stunts the growth, but not the size of the flowers.

Voila! You should get short, but beautiful flowers!!!!  I may even try this on some other bulbs too!!!!
Helpful hints:
*Don’t use more than a 4%-6% solution, you will kill your bulbs
*Don’t use beer or wine, the sugar will harm your bulbs

To read more about “Pickling your Paperwhites” go here:


	                    
	                

Let’s Talk About December 2017

By: Pat Cordray

 

It is hard to believe we are here, the end of the year, the holidays, and maybe even cooler temperatures.  We have had lots of sun in November and not enough rain.  Usually, I’m able to turn off my sprinkler system in October and wait until March to turn them back on.  Not so this year, everything is dry and I have to hand water to make sure that all the plants get a drink.  What kind of gardening can we do this month?  There is still a lot of gardening to do, even if it is December.  It is not too late to add color to your garden or containers, vegetables are still an option and camellias.

Now for the freeze warning. If we have a freeze warning for our area, first water your plants; this protects the roots, so water thoroughly, not just for 60 seconds.  Next, cover your plants tenting the fabric to the ground then secure it with pegs.  Once the weather warms up remove the fabric. Use fabric made to protect plants or use fabric to cover the plant and plastic to cover the fabric, like a windbreaker.   For hanging baskets, take them in or set them on the ground, water and cover.  For plants in containers, take them in or water and cover.  These instructions are for plants that are tender to the cold.  This doesn’t freeze proof your tender plants but it will help add a little warmth and that may be all that is needed to save a plant.  It is better to be prepared than scrambling around at the last minute trying to find your cold weather gardening supplies.  So, place your N-Sulate cloth and pegs where you can find them.  The Nursery usually keeps these supplies in stock if needed.

Plants for fall and winter have wonderful bright vibrant color. Here are a few of the beautiful plants that bloom this time of year.  The pansy
Frizzle Sizzle Pansy
6-8″ tall
Blooms best in full sun
but can bloom in part shade
Snapdragon,
Snapdragon
Full Sun
Snapshot 6-10″ tall
Montego 8-10″ tall
Solstice 16-20″ tall
Sonnet 18-24″ tall
Rocket 24-36″ tall
And dianthus.
Floral Lace Dianthus
Full sun
6-8″ tall

 

These are just 3 examples of beautiful color for now.  Brighten up your garden with any of these.

What else can you plant in December? You can still plant vegetables.  Plant cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, Brussels sprouts, leeks, greens, and turnips.  Get busy now so you can eat soon!

Camellias are another beautiful fall through spring bloomer.  There aren’t too many flowers, that bloom down here,  as beautiful. Check out the pictures below

 

So much beauty!

Enjoy your garden,
Pat

 

Thoughts From the Garden December 2017

 Family gatherings………

Thanksgiving, All the family tries to come together.

The last few years these gatherings seem to me more bittersweet, both happy and sad.

There is still the joy of seeing everyone. That is still the same.

Time with my kids and spouses,  grandkids, friends. That is still sweet.

But there are those who can’t be there, other commitments with their other families.

Them we miss but will see them later in the year.

Then there are those remembered who are gone, moms, dads, grandparents, kids,

 gone too soon. Them I miss more. The aunt who was always so full of joy. the kind uncle,

Them I miss more at Thanksgiving.

A father’s unconditional love and unending support. That I miss.

The first few Thanksgivings are all about playing with the cousins.

Then teen years about time with my girlfriend, and maybe sitting at the grownup table.

As young adults, finally being able to help cook, catching up with everyone, and of course keeping track of the kids, who are there to play with their cousins.

Then finally as “mature” adults taking on more of the duties of cooking the turkey.

All too soon, I’m the grandfather. Basking in the presence of the kids and grandkids.

Happy that all are well, most are here.

Eventually to be one of the elders. Only a few remaining, most are gone, not yet forgotten,

but soon.

See you in the garden.

Austin City Limits: My First Black Angels Show

By: Gloria Cadena

To be honest I am not a typical fan. I am a Fan of the Nursery a fan of Jim and Carol. I am a fan of Music. That being said I am a Fan of Alex Maas. Mainly because I love my bosses. It is a joy to hear Jim Maas talk about his kids. To talk about his son.

I have heard many of The Black Angels songs, sitting in Jim’s office. They have a unique sound. Alex has a unique voice. A voice that is his own sound.

My daughters are huge music lovers. This year I decided to get them and myself 3 day passes to Austin City Limits music festival.

The Black Angels were one of the bands.  We made it a point to stop what we were doing and check out my bosses sons group. He drew such a crowd. All ages from the older to the teenagers. It is real music, real lyrics, real instruments, a girl drummer and just really entertaining. 

I must admit “Austin psych”, the genre of music that is The Black Angels is very chill.  I have never personally met Alex, but watching him do his thing at ACL, well I felt like a proud sister. I knew Dad, Jim Maas was, is a proud father.

Thoughts from the Garden

November again already, cool weather, turkey dinner, family.

Wow, the Astros sure were able to bring the excitement to the

World Series! I remember some baseball games I’ve been to in

the past that are like watching ice melt. This year was more fun to

watch. Next season will be interesting too.
Because of the games, there were several interesting things that I

happened to notice about the people who were watching and going to

the games. Everyone seemed to follow their views of how they see themselves.
 I have 2 friends who see value in being frugal. That is part of how they

define themselves. They went to the park without tickets hoping for a last minute

deal, willing to miss the game in search of a bargain.
They did surprise me by finding $125 tickets. The important thing was getting a good deal.

Another friend bought the tickets online, stretched his budget, bought early, not willing to miss the game. No matter what, he was going.

$800 tickets. The important thing was going to the game.
We each behaved predictably based on who we are.
It is always fun observing people, learning about what drives their actions,
what motivates them, and how those driving character traits tie into the
decisions and emotions of what, after all, is just a game.
Not to go all Malcolm Gladwell on you but yes it is just a game.
A game that I like, but seem to be less drawn into than some of my friends.
Sometimes I envy the passion that some people get to bathe in on game days.
My son, one of my daughters and my wife jump up and scream on the good

plays. Interestingly to me, they do this even watching a recorded game. They get

so caught up.
Alex texted that he had to turn the world series game 5 off because it was
too tense. He did quickly turn it back on.
Cristina went to bed when the  Astros were down by 4 runs, got up when the
game was 7 to 7, went back to bed whey were down 7 to 11, found out the
score was tied again and was not able to finish watching the game, way too tense.
Carol left the room and missed 4 innings I guess because she could not
stand the thought that the Astros might blow it.
They were all three emotionally connected to the outcome of the game.
Why?
They had no financial interest in the outcome, nor had they ever met anyone
playing the game that night. They didn’t know the owner or any of the
Family members of the players or the owners.
The playoff games I went to were loud, friendly and relational.

If you were wearing an Astros shirt you were part of the tribe, a member of

the group, accepted, you were in.
Even the next day total strangers were striking up conversations.
They were not strangers, they were after all part of the same tribe,
connected.
We all want that.  And there perhaps is my explanation, We want to belong.
For a few hours we did and were content.
See you in the garden.
Jim

Fall Landscape Preperation

November is one of my favorite months.  The holiday season begins in November when the temperature starts to fall.  Cooler temperatures lure me outside. You may sit and enjoy the view or engage in fall activities.  I like to spend quiet time in my yard contemplating both the past and the future.  My yard is full of many memories.  Plants from family and friends are everywhere.  They are such a pleasant reminder of someone we love.  For me, plants are the gift that keeps on giving.  I never feel alone in my yard.
      Cooler temperatures make for easier fall yard preparation.  It is a good time to weed the flower beds and mulch.  I like to rake the leaves and spread them out in the flower beds.  Your grass will like the fresh air and your flower beds will benefit from the leaves.  Leaves are nature’s mulch.  I will then put some hardwood mulch down on the top of the leaf layer for extra weed suppression.  The leaves will compost into the soil.  Good organic soil will help you grow vibrant thriving plants.  Your healthy yard will make a great pitstop for migrating songbirds.  Beauty Berries, Indian Hawthorn and Hollies are excellent food sources for migrating birds.  Always have a water source as well.  You want to have a full-service yard for maximum enjoyment.  Fun should be had by all who enter.  Bird-friendly yards are a good idea.  People like them as well. So, prepare for the holidays.  A clean tidy fall garden will help your plants weather the winter.  And then… Spring is just around the corner!

Growing Camellias

By: Kathryn Courtney
When I was a child growing up my Grandparents lived in a small town in east Texas close to the Louisiana border. I loved visiting there. My favorite thing was my Grandmothers garden. It was a magical place with stunning azaleas, bridal wreath, wisteria and even strawberries and peanuts. What I remember best is the camellia tree outside the door. It was taller than the house and when it bloomed it was amazing. I always told myself as soon as I had my own garden I would grow a camellia. I have grown Yuletide, Bonanza, Fairy, White by the gate and many more. Camellias require some maintenance but they are well worth the effort.

 

   Camellias came to the south from Asia first as a means to grow tea. The leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis were used to make tea in America as it was very expensive to ship tea from Europe. Green, black, white and oolong teas all come from this plant. This camellia was very useful but for beauty, in the garden the japonica and sasanqua varieties quickly replaced the sinensis. Camellias japonica and sasanqua are the species you see in gardens today. Japonicas are the most well-known camellias. They have the largest, showiest flowers and can get quite tall. They have a more upright habit than sasanquas which tend to be bushy.Most gardeners prefer to grow japonicas although they are somewhat harder to grow than sasanquas. Japonicas tend to bloom in mid-winter whereas sasanquas bloom in late fall.

 

   Camellias are fussy about their growing conditions. They need very well draining, acidic soil. In our area, this means growing them in raised beds and adding acidic garden soil and fertilizer to keep them happy. Containers are also a great way to grow camellias but the container needs to be large enough to meet the camellias needs. If you’re not sure about the size of container you need for the variety you want, ask at the nursery. We can find out for you. When planting camellias in either a garden or a pot, make sure you have the right soil. Soil for roses, azaleas, or blueberries is a good choice. At Maas we have acidic soil in bags ready to go. Plant your camellias in morning sun and afternoon shade. Our harsh summer sun will burn camellia leaves. This is actually a nice trait for camellias to have as it gives the gardener a good choice for color in shady areas. Plant camellias with their root balls above the ground by about 3 to 4 inches. Mound the acidic soil around the root ball. If camellias are planted low in the garden their roots will rot. After planting, water them in thoroughly. While camellias are establishing themselves water regularly. After the first year they are fairly drought tolerant but will perform better with consistent watering. Fertilize the camellias 3 times. Twice in spring and once in early summer. The beginnings of March, April and May are good times to get fertilizing done. Use a fertilizer for acidic plants to keep the camellias happy. Camellias will not freeze but frost can hurt the blooms and buds. If a hard frost is coming cover your buds with freeze cloth or burlap. This may save your buds.

Camellias do have some pest problems. Tea scale seems to be the largest problem in our area. If your camellia leaves are starting to yellow, look on the underside of the leaf. If you see small white or dark brown bugs there then you probably have scale. You can treat tea scale organically with a mixture of neem oil and orange oil. Drench both sides of all the leaves to get rid of the scale. Do this once a month for 3 months and that should take care of the problem. If you still have scale then chemical systemic drenches are available. If you have to use a systemic drench do not do it when the plant is flowering. Bees love camellias and the drench is very bad for the bees. Another problem that camellias can have is petal blight. This is a fungus that causes the flowers to turn brown and fall off. The best cure for petal blight is to remove all flowers showing brown edges and pick up any that have fallen on the ground. The fungus spores also get in the mulch so removing the mulch and replacing it with new mulch is a good idea. Another problem that I have encountered is leaves that turn yellow but still have green veins. This is called chlorosis and can be fixed by adding chelated iron to your soil. A good preventative is to add chelated iron once a year regularly to prevent chlorosis.

 

   Growing camellias requires some dedication from the gardener but the reward when the plant blooms is so wonderful that the little things camellias require seem trivial. Come to the nursery and see the large variety of camellias on hand with more coming in soon. Be sure to smell them. Some have truly wonderful scents. Everyone should have at least one camellia in a shady garden spot. Float camellia flowers in a glass bowl for an instant centerpiece. Put a rocker or lounge chair beside your flowering plant and enjoy the fragrance( if you choose one with fragrance) and beauty that all camellias provide.

Tomlinson Natal Plum

Tomlinson Natal Plum
By: Deb Pavlosky
I really don’t know why I don’t see more natal plums in our landscapes around here.  Natal plums are really easy to grow and don’t require much care at all to look great all year round.

 

The Tomlinson variety of natal plum is a dwarf, evergreen shrub that will spread slowly to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  And, it grows best in Zones 9a – 11, that’s us! This shrub performs well in full sun and with regular watering initially (especially in the extreme heat).  Over time, this shrub will become quite drought resistant in your landscape; easily withstanding radiant heat from patios or driveways.  It’s an excellent choice for a container planting too.  Natal plums can adapt to many different soil types given good drainage.   Because they are so tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, these plants are great for coastal plantings; their thick leaves protect them from harsh conditions.  This shrub will need to be protected in hard freezes.  Fragrant white blooms will appear heavily in spring and the shrub will bloom intermittently through the fall.  The flowers will produce small fruit that start out green and turn a deep, wine-red when ripe.  These fruit are edible and can be enjoyed fresh or in pies or jellies.  There are thorns on natal plums, but they are small and tucked tightly into the dense arrangement of leaves.  I guess that’s what I love most about Tomlinson natal plums – the foliage is a beautiful glossy green and the arrangement of leaves on stems is just so attractive.

 

So, if you are looking for an easy addition to your full-sun landscape, consider a natal plum.  You won’t be disappointed.