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Jim Maas

Fragrant Plants

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” – Helen Keller

don juan rose

When most people think of fragrant flowers, I would assume roses come first to mind.  Roses have such a wide array of colors and bloom types and growing habits and, yes, also fragrance.  So, though Shakespeare wants us to believe differently, a rose by any other name does not necessarily smell as sweet.  Actually there are roses with no scent at all.  Peggy Martin is one very popular variety of pink climbing rose that has no scent.   So, if you are trying to grow fragrant plants, and you are planning to use roses, be sure to smell the blooms before you purchase your plants.  Also, check the temperature and time of day when you sniff the blooms.   Some roses have stronger scents in cooler weather and some have stronger scents in the mornings.  So, do a little research before picking your roses. 

 

The following are just a few fragrant rose varieties that you can find at Maas Nursery.

Fragrant Cloud – Coral or red orange blooms, Strong sweet spice and rose scent

Double Delight – Red blooms with cream interior, Strong spicy rose scent

Don Juan – Red climbing rose, Strong rose scent

Cecile Brunner – Pink Climbing rose, Moderate tea scent

Chrysler Imperial – Velvety, dark red blooms, Strong Damask rose scent

Bulls Eye – Cream or Ivory flowers with cranberry centers, Moderate sweet spice scent

White Licorice – Yellow blooms (more yellow when cool), Licorice and lemon scent

Belinda’s Dream – Pink blooms, Moderate fruity scent

Iceberg – White blooms, Mild honey scent

Beyond roses, there are many choices of very fragrant plants to use in your landscape. 

More choices to add fragrance to your garden:

Annuals:

Nicotiana – This plant is also known as flowering tobacco.  Grows to 48″ in sun to part shade.  Can bloom all year and blooms range in colors including white and pink.

Stock (this one likes cool weather) – Stock blooms in a variety of colors (pink, purple, white) in  spring.  Grows well in sun to part shade.stock1

Sweet Alyssum – This plant blooms in clusters of very fragrant flowers (colors can be white, pink or purple).  This annual is a prolific bloomer all year and some varieties can be grown as short-lived perennials. 

Perennials/Shrubs:

Almond Verbena – White blooms from mid spring to mid fall.  Fast growing typically to 10′ tall, but can grow larger if conditions allow.    Full sun to part shade.

Banana Shrub – Creamy-yellow flowers that have a banana scent.   This shrub blooms during the warm seasons.  Slow growing, 6′-10′ tall and wide.  Part to full sun.

Brunfelsia – Also known as Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Very fragrant purple flowers fade to violet and then white over a period of days.  Some varieties only grow to 4′ tall and wide and others 3′ to 8′ tall and 4′ -6′ wide.  Part sun.

Buddleia – Also known as Butterfly Bush.  Most varieties are purple flowering and bloom summer through fall.  Butterfly bush ranges in size from 3′ to 7′ tall and 3′ to 5′ wide.  Full sun.

Butterfly Ginger – This ginger blooms white from mid summer to early fall.  Best grown in sun to part shade.  This ginger will grow 4′ to 6′ tall. 

Crape Jasmine – White blooms through spring and summer.  Fragrance is stronger in the evening.  Can grow to 6′ to 8′ tall and wide.  Part to full sun.

Gardenias – There are many varieties of Gardenias and they range in size from Radicans (6″ to 12″ tall and 2′ to 3′ wide) to First Love (5′ to 8′ tall and 3′ to 6′ wide).  First Love blooms late spring through early summer,  Radicans and Frost Proof  bloom in the summer and August Beauty blooms through spring through fall.  Most people are familiar with the stark white blooms and amazing fragrance of gardenias.

Geraniums (lemon scented) – Blooms in summer with light pink to pruple flowers.  It’s the foliage with the lemon scent that you smell.  Grows 18″ high and wide.  Part to full sun.

Heliotrope – Can be perennial, but mostly grown as an annual.  Purple flowers with intense fragrance that bloom spring through summer.heliotrope  Part to full sun.

Natal Plum- White flowers are very fragrant and this plant will bloom all year in sun to part shade.   Fruits will form on this plant, but leaves and flowers are poisonous.

Mock Orange – Blooms white flowers in April and May.  Can grow to 6′ to 8′ tall and wide.  Full to part sun.  This shrub is deciduous.

Night Blooming Jessamine (aka Night blooming cestrum or night blooming jasmine) – Very small greenish white flowers bloom in the summer.  Grows to 8′ to 10′ tall and 3′ wide.  Part to full sun.   Blossoms only open at night.

Pineapple Sage (Tender perennial) – Blooms are showy red flowers in late spring to fall.  The foliage has a pineapple scent and can be used in drinks and foods.  Grows 3′ to 4′ tall and wide.  Full sun.

Pittosporum – Pittosporum shrubs bloom with very small clusters of orang-blossom scented flowers in spring.  The Japanese Mock Orange variety can grow to 10′ to 12′ tall and wide.   The Variegated Japanese Mock Orange grows 6′ to 8′ tall and wide or even larger with age.  Wheeler’s Dwarf Pittosporum grows 2′ to 3′ tall and 4′ to 5′ wide.  All like part to full sun.

Sweet Olive – Small white blooms in the spring that are very fragrant.  This plant likes morning sun and afternoon shade.  It can grow to 10′ tall if un-pruned. 

Viburnums- Eastern snowball viburnum blooms masses of white flowers though summer.  It will grow 12′ tall and 10′ wide or larger with age.  This shrub requires part to full sun.  This shrub is deciduous.

Vines:

Arabian Jasmine (can be considered a shrubs as well) – The fragrant white flowers open at night and bloom June through September.  This plant will reach 6′ to 8′ tall and 3′ to 4′ wide.  Part to full sun.

Carolina Jessamine – Blooms bright yellow flowers in late winter to early spring.  This vine will grow to 20′ with support.  Part to full sun.

Confederate or Star Jasmine – Very fragrant white flowers from spring to summer.  This vine can reach 18′ to 20′ with support or 1′ to 2′ as groundcover.  Part to full sun.

Honeysuckle – Hall’s Japanese Honeysuckle has white to yellow flowers that bloom in the summer.  This plant can be grown as a vine to 15′ tall or groundcover to 2′ tall.  Full sun.  Trumpet Honeysuckle has trumpet-shaped scarlet-orange flowers and blooms spring through fall.  It grows fast to 20′ long.  Part to full sun.

Passionvine – The incense variety blooms violet to lavender from late spring to early fall in sun to part shade.  This vine can grow to 10′ long. passion vine

Rangoon Creeper- Also known as Drunken Sailor, this plant blooms in clusters of red flowers that fade to pink from late spring to mid fall.  Can grow to more than 40′ in sun to part shade.  This is a tender perennial.

Pink Jasmine – Very fragrant light pink flowers spring to early summer.  Will grow to 20′ long.  Full sun.

Wisteria – The Texas Purple Japanese Wisteria blooms purple flower clusters in the spring.   This is a fast growing, deciduous vine that will grow to 25′ long.  This vine likes full sun.  Amethyst Falls Wisteria is also deciduous and will to 10′ long.  This vine blooms with purple racemes in late spring and repeats lightly through summer.   This vine likes part to full sun.  Evergreen Wisteria blooms late summer to early fall and will grow to 15′ long in full sun.  Evergreen Wisteria has been described as having a camphor-like scent.

Trees:

Angels Trumpet – These small trees can grow in sun to part shade.  Blooms can be pink, white, yellow or orange and appear from summer to early fall.  They usually grow 6′ to 8′ tall and these are poisonous plants.  Angels Trumpet flowers are most fragrant in the early evening.

Citrus – All varieties of citrus trees produce fragrant flowers before they fruit.

Magnolia – Brackens Brown Beauty is a moderate grower to 50′ tall and 30′ wide in full sun.  This variety blooms in late spring.  The creamy white flowers are very fragrant.  Little Gem Magnolia is a slow growing, evergreen tree with creamy white flowers from late spring to early fall.  This tree grows to an average of 50′ tall.  Sweet Bay Magnolias are moderate growers to 20′ tall and wide in part sun.  The creamy-white, lemon scented flowers appear through the summer.

mexican_plum_closeupMexican Plum – This tree will grow 15′ to 35′ and blooms fragrant white flowers before leaves appear.  This tree does well in full sun.

Texas Mountain Laurel – This small shrub or tree blooms purple blooms in the spring that smell like grape soda.  This plant prefers full sun and is slow growing to 10′ to 15′ tall and 8′ to 10′ wide.  Can also be trained on an espalier or grown as a patio tree.   Once established, it will only need occasional watering.

The above list is in no way complete.   There are too many plants with beautiful/magical scents to list them all.  Start here, but do your own research too.   Don’t hesitate to add some wonderfully scented plants around your home.  Or, maybe even plan a whole fragrant garden complete with a spot to sit and enjoy the perfumes of your labor. 

Of all the ingredients we employ in the creation of a garden, scent is probably the most potent and the least understood. Its effects can be either direct and immediate, drowning our senses in a surge of sugary vapor, or they can be subtle and delayed, slowly wafting into our consciousness, stirring our emotions and  coloring our thoughts. 

Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991

 

Antique Rose

IMG_0064If you have ever walked past the League City Library on an early spring day, you are familiar with the wonderful fragrance and beauty of antique roses. These gorgeous red and pink stars of the garden are in bloom year round and are a testament to how hardy antique roses can be. They thrive in our hot Texas summer heat and sometimes drought like conditions. Antique roses have a fragrant old fashioned rose smell that is absent from the modern hybrid tea roses. 
 
There are several different types of antique roses. Some do better in our zone 9 climate and humidity than others. The roses we carry at Maas are especially suited for our area. Most of our antique roses come from the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. There are 3 groups of rose titles at the Emporium. All of the roses are classified as old roses. Old or antique roses are defined as rose varieties that were introduced prior to 1867. Antique roses can also be defined as roses that have been in cultivation for at least 75 years and that have old rose qualities such as flower form, color, and fragrance. Some of the antique roses have the EarthKind designation. EarthKind roses are screened by the Texas Agrilife Service through Texas A & M University. These roses are selected for their durability and ease of care. They go through a rigorous testing program before they are rewarded the EarthKind label. Texas Pioneer Roses are roses that have been rescued by the Texas Rose Rustlers.These rose enthusiasts have traveled Texas taking cuttings from abandoned old homesteads and cemeteries. These roses have survived on their own with no care for years proving their toughness.Monsieur Tillier
 
Antique roses are in these classes: Gallicas, Musks, Centifolias, Damasks, Chinas and Teas. Crosses of these classes of roses produced other antiques such as the Noisettes, Bourbons, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals, Polyanthus and Hybrid Musks. Further crosses produce the more modern but still antique Old Hybrid teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras. All of these rose types vary in form, size and appearance. Antique roses can be 2 to 3 feet tall to over 20 feet tall. They can be small to very large shrubs, climbers or ramblers. Antique rose colors tend to be muted or pastel. There are some vibrant pink, red or yellow colored blooms. The soft colors of antique roses blend well with any type of garden. All antique roses have a fragrance although some are stronger than others. 
 
Caring for your antique rose is very easy. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. They need well draining acidic soil and regular watering when first planted. Plant your roses above soil level as explained in the Maas Planting Guide. If you do not have one of these guides ask for it at your next visit to our store. Mulch is the secret to happy roses. Mulch your roses to 2 to 3 inches deep. This will keep the water in and the weeds out. Fertilize your roses every 6 to 8 weeks during their bloom period with a good organic fertilizer for acid loving plants. When first planted, water roses regularly. A good, deep watering 2 to 3 times a week is preferable to watering shallowly every day. Deep watering promotes deep root growth and helps with good drought tolerance. In February around Valentine’s Day cut your roses back to your desired height. Roses benefit from a good pruning. I prune my roses in August also. This promotes a fresh flush of fall blooms. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful blooms and the fantastic fragrance of these old fashioned roses.They are definitely my favorite flower of my garden.
 
Here at Maas we get most of our antique roses from the Antique Rose Emporium. The roses we are getting this year (2015)are:
 
Abraham Darby
Aloha Climbing
Belinda’s Dreamaloha
Caldwell Pink
Cecile Brunner
Cecile Brunner Climbing
Chrysler Imperial
Cramoisi Supérieur
Don Juan Climbing
Drift Pink
Duchesse Brabant
Felicia
Graham Thomas
Heritage
Joseph’s Coat Climbing
Lady Banks White Climbing
Lady Banks Yellow Climbing
Lamarque
Maggielady banks
Marie Van Houtte
Mermaid
Monsieur Tillier
Nacogdoches
New Dawn
Old Blush
Old Blush Climbing
Peggy Martin
Pinkie Climbing
Pioneer Spirit
Red Cascade
Republic of Texas
Rev D’Or
Rosarium Uetersen
Sea FoamRepublicoftexasrose
Seven Sisters
Souvenier De LA Malmaison
Sweet Pea
Thomas Affleck
Valentine
White Dawn
Zephirine Drouhin.

Microlife By Deb Pavlosky

microlife promoWe have many customers through our doors and one of the questions we are most often asked is what fertilizer should be used.  At Maas Nursery, the answer is easy; MICROLIFE!!  We strongly recommend Microlife to our customers because we believe that healthy soil produces healthy plants and in turn healthypeople.

Microlife is a comprehensive organic fertilizer that has been in production for 28 years.  Fertilizer is a way to “feed” our plants and make them healthy so they in turn can then produce to their optimum capability.

Now is the time to be fertilizing and we suggest you go organic if you haven’t already!  Organic programs by nature improve soils and strengthen plants. Chemical programs by nature destroy soils and weaken plants. When you have a thriving number of microbes in your soil you not only increase soil and plant health but conservation of resources is established too.

 Microlife 6-2-4 is an all organic biological fertilizer for all Turfgrasses, Ornamentals, Perennials, Flowers and Vegetables.  It is a 100% slow release and will never burn, unlike chemical fertilizers. It provides over 100 + nutrients, minerals, vitamins, natural plant hormones, natural plant stimulators, essential sugars/amino acids/carbon/protein and billions of beneficial microbes representing 76 different species.

This is an extremely powerful, homogenous, granulated All Organic Biological fertilizer containing: Fish, Kelp, Molasses, Emery Humates, Bat Guano, Rock Phosphate,Wheat Middling’s, Soy Meal, Cottonseed Meal,Alfalfa, Corn Meal, Kmag, Potassium Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, 18 select Amino Acids, Folic Acid,Vitamins, plus the MicroGro Supreme Bio-Inoculant package which contains billions of beneficial microorganisms including Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizal fungi.All ingredients are included in meaningful amounts.

Microlife will improve all soils by feeding the indigenous microbes, adding billions more, by providing specific soil improvers like polysaccharides, humic acid, fulvic acid and the major building blocks of life. MicroLife 6-2-4 builds big root systems which further improves the soil and reduces water use.

Spring is the time to apply this fertilizer! Stop by the Garden Center and pick up your Microlife soon.  Your plants will thank you for the tasty and nutritious food !

 Get the full Microlife Fertilizer Schedule here:  http://bit.ly/1zuPEMv

Flowering Trees

Nothing catches your eye like a flowering tree.  In the early spring when the red buds start blooming the requests for them quadruple.  Who wouldn’t notice a leafless tree with vibrant pink to purple blooms covering every branch?  The same thing happens when the Mexican plum is in bloom with all those beautiful white blossoms and when the coral colored seedpods appear on the Golden rain tree.  If you have taken notice of these or other flowering trees and are considering adding one to your landscape, this is the article for you.

Below is a list of flowering trees that will grow and thrive in our area.  The list includes the size of the tree, when it blooms and what color the blooms are.  Enjoy!

 

Texas Mountain Laurel

Sophora secundiflora – native evergreen, full sun to part shade, usual height is 10-15’ tall (can get up to 30’ tall) Blooms in early spring.  Fragrant purple flowers, blooms attract insect pollinators and butterflies, highly deer resistanttx mnt laurel

Chaste Tree

Vitex angus-castus – Deciduous, Full sun, Purple Blooms in the summer, Flowers are fragrant.  15-25’ tall

Eve’s necklace

 Sophora affinis – Native deciduous, full sun to shade, rosy pink blooms in the spring, grows 15-35’ tall, Flowers attract bees and nectar insects, moderately deer resistant

Parsley Hawthorn

Crataegus marshallii – Native deciduous tree, Part shade, grows to 25’ tall, dainty white blossoms in the spring, this tree is a bee attractor, butterfly nectar plant, red fruit for birds.

 

Crape Myrtle

Lagerstroemia indica – Deciduous, full sun, blooms in summer, attracts bees and hummingbirds provides food for birds

Natchez – white flowers, Broad tall tree growth habit, 20-30’tall, high mildew resistance, red orange fall color, exfoliating bark – great

  Regal Red

  Zuni – Violet flowers, rounded growth habit, 9-12’tall, Good mildew resistance, red orange fall color, exfoliating bark – good

  Muskogee – Light lavender flowers, broad tall tree growth habit, 25’+ tall, high mildew resistance, red orange fall color

  Dynamite – Red flowers, upright growth habit, 20-25 tall, good mildew resistance

  Lipan – medium lavender flowers, broad upright growth habit, 15-20’tall, high mildew resistance, orange fall color, exfoliating bark – best

  Arapaho – Red flowers, Upright growth habit, 20’+ tall, High mildew resistance, Exfoliating bark -good

  Black Diamond – Red, blush pink, crimson red or white flowers, with dark red leaves, intermediate bushy growth habit, 10-12’tall, high mildew resistanceblk diamond

  Royalty – dwarf, royal purple flowers, 4-8’tall, good mildew resistance,

  Pink Velour – Bright pink flowers, upright growth habit, 10’+tall, fair mildew resistance, dark orange fall color

  Pink Ruffles – Dwarf, pink flowers, 4-6’tall

  Basham Party Pink – Light lavender, broad tall tree, 25’+ tall, Good mildew resistance, orange red fall color, exfoliating bark – good

  Tuscarora – dark pink flowers, broad spreading growth habit, 15-25’ tall, high mildew resistance, red orange fall color, exfoliating bark – great

  Hopi – medium pink flowers, low rounded growth habit,8-10’tall, high mildew resistance, orange red fall color, exfoliating bark – great

  Acoma – Semi-dwarf, white flower, low spreading growth habit, 6-10’ tall, high mildew resistance, purple red fall color, exfoliating bark-great

  Bradberry Wine – Burgundy flowers, upright growth habit, 10-12’tall, high mildew resistance

  Catawba – Violet Purple flowers, upright growth habit, 12-15’ tall, good mildew resistance, red orange fall color, exfoliating bark – average

  Baton Rouge – Red flowers, miniature weeping growth habit, fair mildew resistance

  Burgundy Cotton White flowers, broad upright growth habit, 12’ tall, fair mildew resistance

Orchid Tree

Bauhinia – Deciduous to semi evergreen, blooms are reminiscent of orchid flowers, regular water, orchid trees will need more water in extreme heat.  Bloom time varies by variety. Leaves are deeply lobed heart-shaped.  Attracts bees, birds and butterflies

African Orchid Tree – Bauhinia galpinii – Full sun, semi-deciduous, grows to 8-10’tall and 10-15’wide.  Blooms are salmon/red in late summer through early winter.  More of a shrub shape

Hong Kong Orchid Tree – Bauhinia blakeanasemi-evergreen, moderate grower to 20’tall & 25’wide, full sun, blooms in fall through winter with deep rose-red flowers, no seed podshong kong orchid tree

Purple Orchid Tree– Bauhinia purpurea – Semi-deciduous, grows to 20’tall & 25’wide, blooms in the summer with rich purple flowers

Anacacho Orchid Tree – Bauhinia lunarioides –  Native to west Texas, part shade, grows to 6-12’tall, single or multi-trunked shrub or small tree, fragrant flowers are white or pink in clusters, attracts butterflies and bees, blooms March-May and after heavy summer or fall rains, highly deer resistant

White Butterfly Tree – Bauhinia forficate – Full sun to part shade, grows to 20-30’tall.  Blooms white flowers in mid-summer and has a thorny trunk

Mexican Orchid Tree – Bauhinia mexicana – Full sun to part shade, grows to 10-12’tall and 12-15’wide.  Blooms white flowers mid summer, evergreen.

Mexican Plum

Prunus Mexicana – Deciduous small flowering tree.  Grows to 15’ tall in full sun or as an understory tree.  Blooms fragrant white flowers in eary spring.  Attracts bees, butterflies and birds

Chinese Fringe

Chionanthus retusus – Deciduous small flowering tree.  Moderate grower to 15-20’tall and 12-15’wide.  Plant in full sun, blooms white fringe flowers in spring

Redbuds

Cercis – Deciduous, full sun to shade, blooms pink/purple in early spring before it leafs out, attracts bees, birds and butterflies. Has heart shaped leaves

 Avondale – Cercis chinesis ‘Avondale’- Full sun, moderate grower to 10-12’tall and wide.  Blooms are dark rose-purple, leaves are glossy green. redbud

 Burgundy Hearts – Cercis canadensis ‘Greswan’ – Deciduous, full sun, moderate grower to 20-25’tall and 25-35’wide. Blooms are pink-lavender and leaves are burgundy

 Don Egolf – Full sun, moderate grower to 9’tall and wide.  Blooms are rosy-mauve and the leaves are green.

 Forest Pansy – Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ – Afternoon shade or understory tree, moderate grower to 20’tall and 25’wide.  Blooms are pink-lavender and new leaves are red-purple changing to green at the season progresses

Lavender Twist – Cercis Canadensis ‘Covey’ – Afternoon shade or understory tree, this weeping redbud is a moderate grower to 5-6’tall and 6-8’wide.  Blooms are rose-pink and the leaves are green.

Eastern – Cercis Canadensis – Full sun, moderate grower to 30’tall and 25-35’tall.  Blooms are rosy-pink and the leaves are green.

Texas – Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Texas Redbud’ – Part to full sun, slow grower to 30-40’tall and 15-20’wide.  Blooms are pink and the leaves are glossy dark green.

Oklahoma – Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Oklahoma’ – Full sun, moderate grower to 15’tall and wide.  Blooms are wine red and the leaves are glossy green.

Oklahoma Whitebud – Cercis c. ssp. texensis ‘Oklahoma Whitebud’ – Full sun, moderate grower to 15’tall and wide.  Blooms are milky white and the leaves are a glossy blue-green.

Hearts of Gold – Cercis canadensis ‘Hearts of Gold’ – Part to full sun, moderate grower to 10’tall and wide to 25’ with age.  Blooms are lavender-purple and leaves emerge red then mature to gold.

Bubble Gum – Cercis chinensis ‘Bubble Gum’ – Full sun, moderate grower to 10-15’ tall and 10-12’ wide.  Blooms are bubblegum pink and glossy green leaves.

Merlot – Cercis x ‘Merlot’  – Full sun to part shade, moderate grower to 12-15’tall and wide.  Blooms are dark rosy-purple with dark purple glossy leaves.

Ruby Falls – Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ – Part shade, this weeping redbud grows to 6-8’tall and 6’wide.  Blooms are deep lavender and the leaves are a glossy maroon-red

Silver Cloud – Cercis canadensis ‘Silver Cloud’ – Part sun, moderate grower to 10-12’tall and wide.  Blooms are rose-pink and leaves are green with creamy white and pink variegation.

Rising Sun – Cercis Canadensis ‘JN2’ – Full sun, vigorous grower to 8-12’tall and wide.  Blooms are dark lavender and the leaves emerge tangerine then gradually change to yellow then to lime green.

Traveller Redbud – Cercis Canadensis var. texensis ‘Traveller’ – Full sun, this weeping redbud is a moderate grower to 5’tall and 5-6’wide.  Blooms are rosy-pink and the leaves emerge coppery red turning a glossy dark green. traveller red bud

Western – Cercis occidentalis – Part to full sun, moderate grower to 15’tall and 10’wide.  Blooms are rose-purple and leaves emerge apple green aging to blue-green. 

Tulip Magnolia/ Saucer Magnolia/Japanese Magnolia

These magnolia trees are deciduous trees that flower before leafing out.  Flowers are fragrant and of various colors.  Best grown in full sun to part shade.

Jane Magnolia – Magnolia x ‘Jane’ – Full sun, grows to 10-12’tall.  Blooms are reddish purple with white on the inside and has dark green glossy leaves

Ann Magnolia – Magnolia x ‘Ann’ – Full sun to part shade, grows to 10-15’tall and 12’ wide.  Blooms are reddish purple in spring

Merrill – Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’ – Full sun, fast growing to 12’tall and 15’wide.  Blooms are white star shaped flowers in early spring.  Light fragrance

Vulcan Magnolia – Magnolia x ‘Vulcan’Full sun, grows to 15’tall and 10’wide; to 25’tall.  Blooms magenta in spring.

Black Tulip – Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Jurmag1”- Full sun to part shade, grows to 15-20’tall and 6-10’wide Blooms deep burgundy-red in early spring

Butterflies – Magnolia acuminata ‘Butterflies’ – Full sun, grows to 16’tall and 11’wide; grows to 25-35’tall with age. Blooms rich yellow flowers in early spring

 

Texas Olive

Cordia boissieri – Full sun, grows to 15-30’ tall and wide.  Blooms clusters of crape paper type white flowers in spring to summer. Leaves are gray-green with a soft texture.  Evergreen to semi-evergreen.  Attracts butterflies and birdstx olive

Jerusalem thorn/Palo Verde

Parkinsonia aculeate – Full sun, grows to 15-20’tall and wide.  Blooms yellow flowers in the summer and the leaves are pendulous.  The blooms are fragrant and the trunk is green when young. Attracts birds

Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin – Full sun to part shade, fast gower to 30-40’tall.  Blooms a powder puff pink flower in mid summer. Deciduous tree with leaves that are fern like. Attracts butterflies

Summer Chocolate Mimosa – Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ – Full sun, fast grower to 20’tall and 15’wide.  Blooms pink powder puff flowers in late summer.  Leaves are a rich chocolate burgundy color.  Deciduous tree that attracts butterflies, bees and birdsmimosa summer choc

Desert Willow

Chilopsis linearis –  Deciduous, full sun to part shade, fast grower to 20-30’tall .  Showy rose/mauve fragrant flowers in spring to fall.  Attracts bees, butterflies and birds

Goldenrain Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata – Deciduous, moderate grower to over 40’tall, full sun.  Blooms sprays of fragrant yellow flowers and beautiful pink-brown seed pods

Jacaranda

Jacaranda mimosifolia – Full sun, deciduous to semi evergreen, rapid grower to 45’tall and wide.  Blooms fragrant lavender trumpet shaped flowers from April to June and the leaves are green and fern like. 

Angel Trumpet

Brugmansia – Full sun to light shade in the afternoon, evergreen to semievergreen, fast grower to 5-15’tall and wide.  Blooms elongated bell shaped flowers in pink, peach, yellow and white in warm weather.  Flowers can be fragrant and the green leaves are large soft or smooth.

 

 

Flowering Fruit Trees

Centurion Crabapple – Malus x ‘Centzan’Full sun, moderate grower to 25’tall and 15-20’wide.  Blooms are red in early spring.  Leaves emerge reddish green and matures to bronze green.  Deciduous and attracts bees and butterflies

Evergreen Pear – Pyrus kawakamii – Full sun, fast grower to 15-30’tall and wide.  Blooms white blossoms in early spring and the leaves are a glossy green.

Cleveland Select Pear – Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’ – Full sun, deciduous, moderate grower to 40’tall and 15-20’wide.  Blooms white blossoms in the early spring.

Bradford Pear – Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’ – Full sun, deciduous, grows to 20-25’tall and 10-15’wide; 35’tall and 25’wide with age.  Blooms white blossoms in early spring, also has fall color.

Weeping Candied Crabapple – Malus ‘Weepcanzam’- Full to part sun, deciduous, moderate grower to 10-15’tall and 10-12’ wide.  Blooms pink-scarlet blossoms in early spring

Peppermint Peach – Prunus persica ‘Peppermint’- Full sun, deciduous, grows to 20’tall and 10-15’wide.  Blooms are pink or white with pink flecks in early spring

Pineapple Guava

Feijoa sellowiana – Full sun, evergreen, moderate grower to 18-25’ and wide, blooms a white flower with a red stamen center in early summer.  Leaves are glossy green on top and gray green on the underside. 

Bottlebrush

Red Cascade Bottlebrush –  Callistemon viminalis ‘Red Cascade’- Full sun, evergreen, fast growing to 20-25’tall and 15’wide.  Blooms red bottle brush type flowers from spring to fall.  Attracts hummingbirds and is deer resistant

Scarlet Bottlebrush – Callistemon citrinus – Full sun, evergreen, moderate grower to 10-12’tall and wide.  Blooms scarlet-red bottle-brush shaped flowers spring to summer.  Attracts hummingbirds and is deer resistant

Hannah Ray Bottlebrush – Callistemon viminalis ‘Hannah Ray’ – Full sun, evergreen, weeping moderate grower to 10-15’tall and wide.  Blooms red bottle brush type flowers in late spring.

Indian Paintbrush

IMG_20150110_101047_237The Indian paintbrush is my favorite native flower especially because it blooms at the same time as the bluebonnet, creating this beautiful carpet of reds and blues lining every highway in Texas making any road trip worth your while.                               

Castilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or prairie-fire, has about 200 species of annual and perennial plants native to the west of the Americas from Alaska south to the Andes, northern Asia, and one species as far west as the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia. These plants are classified in the broomrape family, Orobanchaceae (following major rearrangements of the order Lamiales starting around 2001; previously being called the Scrophulariaceae). 

The Indian Paint brush we are so familiar with is the (Castilleja indivisa Engelm, Entire leaf indian paintbrush, Texas paintbrush, Indian paintbrush, Scarlet paintbrush, or the Entire-leaf indian-paintbrush) One of the popular paintbrushes, this annual or biennial grows 6-16 in. high. It has several stems that form clumps topped by bright-red, paintbrush-like spikes. The flowers are actually inconspicuous and greenish, but do have beautiful showy, red-tipped bracts. They sometimes produce a light yellow or pure white variation mixed in with the reds. Together, the flowers and bracts form 3-8 in. spikes.

TRADITIONAL — USES

The flowers of Indian paintbrush are edible, and were consumed in moderation by various Native American tribes as a condiment with other fresh greens. These plants have a tendency to absorb and concentrate selenium in their tissues from the soils in which they grow, and can be potentially very toxic if the roots or green parts of the plant are consumed. Indian paintbrush has similar health benefits to consuming garlic if only the flowers are eaten in small amounts and in moderation. The Ojibwe used a hairwash made from Indian paint brush to make their hair glossy and full bodied, and as a treatment for rheumatism. The high selenium content of this plant has to be the reason for its effectiveness for these purposes. Nevada Indian tribes used the plant to treat sexually transmitted diseases and to enhance the immune system.

PLANT CHARACTERISTICS

Duration: Annual
Size: 6-16in.
Flower: Flowers in 3 inch spikes. 
Bloom Color: Red , Orange 
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May 
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening, Roadsides 

GROWING CONDITIONS

Water Use: Medium 
Light Requirement: Sun 
Soil Moisture: Dry 
Soil Description: Sandy soils. Sandy Loam, Sandy, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay 
Conditions Comments: The roots of this plant will grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, penetrating these host roots to obtain a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush may kill it. 
Attracts: Butterflies 
Larval Host: Buckeye butterfly. 

PROPAGATION

Propagation Material: Seeds 
Description: Seed in open, sunny sites for best results. Indian paintbrush seed may require a cold wet period in the winter to germinate. Plant the seed in the fall and rake it into loose topsoil to ensure good seed/soil contact. Seeds are exceptionally small (4 million seeds per pound), commercially available, depending on the previous year’s seed crop and can be expensive. The recommended seeding rate in 1/4 pound per acre. 

Seed Collection: Seeds are formed in capsules at the base of each flower. Seed capsules may be carefully collected by hand April – May when the capsules are dry and brown. 

Commercially Availability: yes

Maintenance: After flowering ceases, allow seeds to completely mature before mowing for reseeding or collecting to plant in a new area. Since C. indivisa is anannual, it is essential that this species be allowed to reseed for an abundant display for the following year. 

 

Pineapple Sage

pineapple sagePineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) is in the mint family.  It is both a hardy & showy herb, whose crushed leaves really do smell like pineapple. It has soft fuzzy light green leaves and red tubular flowers that bloom in late summer and fall. This herb is a perennial that can die in the winter and re-sprout in the spring. In colder climates, it needs to be brought inside and treated as an annual.

Pineapple sage can be planted in a garden or container. Just give it plenty of room as it can grow to shrub size (4 feet tall and 3 feet wide) in one season. It grows in full sun and requires regular watering for optimal growth and flowering.

You can use Pineapple Sage in fruit salads and drinks. When used in tea, just crush some leaves and drop into the tea. The flowers can be used to add color to salads or deserts.

 

 

 

Plant Profile:

Type: Herb – semi-woody subshrub – usually grows in our area as a perennial

Garden habitat: Garden or container.

Exposure: Full sun.

Care: Regular watering.

Pink Jasmine

pink jasminePink Jasmine is a beautiful spring flowering evergreen vine. It has fragrant pinkish white flowers and dark green leaves. It is a fast grower and reaches up to 20 feet.

Pink Jasmine takes full to part sun and is winter hardy in most of our winters. It needs an average amount of water and blooms for about a month in the spring.

Plant Profile:

Color: Light pinkish white blooms.

Garden habitat: trellis, arbor, container.

Blooming Season: Spring.

Exposure: Full sun to part sun.

Lettuce

by Kathryn Courtney
 
I love gardening in the fall and winter. Our weather is usually wonderful, our bug population is not aslettuce2
horrendous and our rain is much more regular. We don’t swelter in the summer heat and neither do the things we plant. Vegetable gardening is much more enjoyable in winter and there are lots of vegetables that like cooler weather. My personal favorite fall and winter veggie is lettuce. I absolutely  love growing lettuce from seed. The combination of types and varieties of lettuce seeds provide endless combinations of taste and color. No grocery store lettuce can compare with home grown lettuce. No bland, pale iceberg lettuce for me in the winter. My front and back flower beds, containers, and vegetable garden are brimming with greens. Lettuce also makes a great annual edible border. I even have a few neighbors jumping on the edible landscaping bandwagon.
 
There are so many types of lettuce sometimes it’s hard to decide what to grow. Here is a list of lettuce types to help you make your choice:

lettuce3

1. Crisphead – forms a firm head with a crisp texture. Lettuce found in grocery stores.

 

2. Butterhead – Forms a tight rosette with a softer texture.

 

3. Looseleaf – forms a bunch instead of a head.Will resprout from a cut leaf.

 

4. Cos or Romaine – Upright lettuce with long, narrow leaves.

 

After you have chosen your seed there a 3 tricks to growing lettuce. The first requirement for lettuce seed is light. Lettuce seeds are photosensitive which means they need light to germinate. Make sure that the soil where you plant your seed is smooth and loose. I put an inch or two of earthworm castings or germinating mix on top of my soil to make a good base for my seeds. Press the seeds in the dirt so that they make good contact with the soil. Lightly cover the seeds with about 1/4 an inch of soil. Because lettuce seeds are small, using a seed sower to help you place your seeds can speed up this process. The second trick to know about lettuce seed germination is that the seeds are also temperature sensitive. If temperatures are 80 degrees or above lettuce seeds will not germinate. This makes our fall and winter perfect for lettuce. These seeds will germinate even if the temperatures are in the 40 degree range. Last but not least, lettuce seed must stay moist. If the seeds dry out during sprouting they will not make it. Because I like to grow lettuce in containers, I plant my seed and mist them gently, then cover my pots with saran wrap. You can achieve the same effect in the garden by covering the seeds with clear plastic cups or tent saran over your seeds. With the right light, temperature and moisture you should have lettuce coming up in no time.lettuce1
 
Once your seeds germinate there are very few pests to worry about. Snails, slugs and caterpillars are the worst culprits but they can be easily controlled with bait or removing them by hand. Lettuce can get aphids. If you find aphids, spray them off with water or use a blast of insecticidal soap to get rid of them. Simple!

Harvesting lettuce is easy. Harvest crisphead and butterhead lettuce when the heads have formed. Cut the plant off at the soil line. If the head starts to elongate harvest immediately. Elongated heads means the lettuce is bolting and that will turn your harvest bitter. Looseleaf and romaine lettuce can be harvested completely or you can harvest a few outer leaves at a time. These leaves will grow back giving you a continual harvest. We have a large selection of lettuce seeds here at Maas. Come and see us and we will be happy to help you start your winter green garden.

Sweet Pea

sweetpea1Sweet peas are a true heirloom cottage flower. They have been cultivated for their beauty and fragrance for over 300 years. Native to Sicily, sweet peas smell wonderful and come in an endless combination of colors. Here at Maas we have both sweet pea seeds and plants. Sweet peas make great cut flowers. Cut them in the morning, put them in a vase and add instant cheer to any room.

In our area you can plant sweet peas from seed in October through November or mid January through February. Sweet peas take some time to germinate so be patient. Soaking them in water overnight and scarring them slightly with sandpaper can speed up germination. Sweet peas like to grow in the sun but prefer their roots to be cool. Plant annuals around your sweet peas to shade their roots and give a pretty bouquet look to your garden. Sweet peas are great cottage garden plants so pansies, violas, larkspur and poppies make excellent companions. Sweet pea plants and seeds prefer slightly alkaline soil which is good for our area. Keep plants moist but not overwatered. Our winters are usually wet so watering is not a problem.
 
Now that you have your sweet peas ready to go, give them something to climb on. Most sweetsweetpea3 peas are vines reaching 6 to 8 feet. These flowers climb using tendrils so they will climb on almost anything. There are sweet pea varieties for containers and knee high varieties that don’t need staking. Pests are usually rare on these flowers. Keep the slugs and snail off of your small plants with a snail bait. Watch for powdery mildew on your plants. Too much water will make mildew problems worse. Try Actinovate or an organic fungicide to prevent mildew. Also good air circulation around your plants help prevent fungus.
 
Pick a bouquet of Sweet peas often to keep your flowers coming and your home full of flowers. The more you pick the more flowers you will have. Sweet peas will give you wonderful fragrance and bright cheery blossoms all spring to early summer.
Plant Facts:sweetpea2
Spring Flowering Annual Vine
Prefers alkaline, loamy soil
Spring bloom of pink, purple, white, yellow, blue red, and every color in between.
Full sun and cool roots

Spider Lily

Spider Lily, Hymenocallis liriosme

By Deb Pavlosky

 spider lily

Do you have a water garden, pond, bog or a low spot in your yard?  Well, I have the perfect plant for you – spider lily.  Not actually a part of the lily family, the Texas spider lily is more closely related to amaryllis.  This Texas native is a perennial that will bloom large (4” to 7”), white, fragrant flowers intermittently from late spring to July.  Best planted in full sun to dappled shade, this aromatic gem would be a great addition around a home wetland garden.  Plant these bulbs 1’ to 2’ apart sometime between spring and fall with the neck of the bulb just above the soil line.   It won’t be long before you have plants that will grow to be 18” to 30” high.  These lilies are resistant to most wildlife and bloom reliably as long as they are not allowed to dry out.  They are best planted near water, but not in water.  Along the sides of a ravine, ditch, etc. is where they can be found in nature.  Plant them with “wet feet and dry ankles.”