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Helpful Hints

Gardening for Hummingbirds

By: Kathryn Courtney

Well, we have survived a Biblical flood as Mayor Sylvester Turner says. So many of us are still out of our homes or are cleaning up the aftermath. We’re tired, cranky and generally on edge. What can we do to relieve some of this stress and frustration? Jim is having Prayer in the Garden this Saturday, September 2. That will definitely help. Sitting outside in the sun today helped me tremendously. So many birds, butterflies and moths, lizards and other critters were out in the sun too, celebrating the end of the rain. Soon, we will have our hummingbird migration throughout the Gulf Coast. At last, something to look forward to!

To be ready for the hummingbirds when they reach your yard you need several things. First is a chemical free, safe environment. Garden organically for the wildlife in your backyard. Do this not only for the health of the hummingbirds but also for the welfare of your kids, your pets and yourself. It’s very easy and in the long run, very rewarding. Hummingbirds need places to rest and nest. Provide them cover in the form of bushes and small trees. The hummingbirds in my backyard particularly love my climbing roses. They perch on the branches and build nests in the brambles. Also provide a source

Fire bush

of water for these birds. They prefer running water. I have found bubblers or small solar fountains floating in a regular birdbath work great. If you have a fountain in your yard, that’s great too. Make sure there is a place for the birds to perch or land that is shallow. This gives the hummingbirds access to the water.

Now, on to my favorite part. The plants. You can use feeders if you want but I like to grow the plants hummingbirds prefer. If you use feeders, make sure they are always clean. Also use a hummingbird safe food. Never put red dye in your hummingbird food. Plants are just easier to grow and you never have to worry about organic plants being safe. You can learn all of this in our Hummingbird Class on Saturday, September 23.
Salvia

Hummingbirds have developed a long narrow beak and a proboscis (like a tongue) to get nectar out of tubular shaped flowers. They also prefer the colors red and purple. This gives you a very long list of plants to pick from. The most popular hummingbird plant is actually called hummingbird bush, fire bush or hamelia. I have seen these bushes in many yards. Some get quite large but

Dwarf Esperanza

there are also dwarf varieties. Other plants that come to mind are flame acanthus, firecracker fern, any type of red or purple salvia, porterweed, liatris, red shrimp plant, beebalm and so many more. There are a few vines that hummingbirds love. Honeysuckle and crossvine are two favorites. Make sure you have a large area if you want to plant these. You will have lots of hummingbirds but also lots of vine. There are new domestic varieties that are much tamer than the

Crossvine

natives. If you look at pictures of all these plants you can see a trend. All of them have tubular flowers and they are all red, red-orange or purple. Most any flower that fits this description will be a hummingbird plant. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has a great website: www.wildflower.org . They have lists of all the plants and also which ones are native if that’s important to you. All of us at the nursery have some hummingbird knowledge. If you have a question, ask us. If we don’t know the answer we can find it for you.

It’s time to get out of the house! Enough with the rain and the flood. Even though it’s still squishy, let’s all try to get outside in our gardens and get ready for the hummingbirds.

Just Add Water

By: Kim Messer
        There are so many ways to add water to your yard.  It may be as simple as adding a bird bath.  We have a bird bath in a corner of the yard.  It is a water source for birds, bees and squirrels.  We refill it daily this time of the year.  Birds drink and bathe in the fresh water.  They usually stay awhile and fluff out their wings to dry before flying off.  The song birds passing through are really social little birds.  The Wrens will visit the bird bath in little bird packs of ten or twelve birds.  They bathe and then dry themselves in the sand rubbing their bellies and chirping.
        We also have a three tiered fountain.  The water flow provides a soothing sound for us and another water source for creatures visiting the yard.  It also seems to be a nice place for lizards to hang around.  The fountain rarely needs to be cleaned, and that just means scooping out the leaves and changing out the water.  The sediment rich water is great for your nearby plants.
        Here at the Nursery, we have an above ground lily pond.  The plants help filter the water for the fish inside.  It is quite a relaxing spot.  The Lotus Flowers rise up  from the murky bottom to open clean and fresh to greet the day.  They are certainly beautiful and deserve a second glance.
        There are so many ways to add water to your yard.  Just a little effort may bring great rewards… Enjoy your yard and share some water!

Time for Fall Veggies

By: Kathryn Courtney

It’s very hot. I just went outside for 5 minutes and that was too much. It’s not terrible in the shade though, so sitting on my porch is still doable. I miss my gardening. Watering things just to keep them alive is not very satisfying. Just when it seems like there’s no hope, along comes fall vegetable gardening season. We are very lucky here on the gulf coast. We have 2 gardening seasons and if you start early enough, planting with seeds is the way to go.

   Plant a second crop of spring vegetables by choosing short season varieties. Bush green beans, cherry tomatoes, small cucumbers and short season summer squash are just some of the seeds you can start now for an extra crop during early fall. Look at the seed packets to find the varieties with the shortest time to maturity. This will give you a better chance of having more to harvest before temperatures get too cold. I especially like to do squash and green beans in the fall because the pests and mildew that plague the garden in spring are not as bad in late summer. Give your seedlings extra water and some shade if you can during August as the temperatures are very hot. As your plants mature, the temperatures will slowly drop allowing for your plants to flourish and provide a good harvest. I start my cherry tomatoes in Ladybug seed germination mix on my porch. This gives the seedlings some shade and protection from the worst heat. Healthy Harvest fertilizer contains actinovate which fights damping off of your seedlings. Sprinkle a little on top of your seeds before you water them. Squash, bush beans and short season cucumbers go directly in the ground. I sprinkle a half inch layer of seed starting mix or worm castings on top of the ground where the seeds will be planted. This helps the seeds germinate and the roots can get established directly in the ground. If you have a mist setting on your watering wand use it for your seeds. The soft spray will not disturb the fragile roots that are just getting established.

 

   Now for the cold weather crops. Root crop seeds can be planted now. These veggies don’t transplant

Easter Egg Radishes

very well so plant them directly in the ground or container where you want them to grow. Carrots, beets, onion seeds, turnips and radishes are good root crops to start now. Radishes take no time at all to mature making them a great veggie to plant with kids. Plus there is the fun of getting to pull them out of the ground. There are many brassica vegetables to start now. Broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, and cabbage are just

Romanesco Broccoli

a few. The fun of doing this type of vegetable from seed is the variety. There are the regular varieties and then there are some with great different shapes and colors. Romanesco broccoli, purple cauliflower and kohlrabi and frilly kale are some of the different varieties to grow. Germinate these seeds in a kitchen window or on the porch away from the hot sun. If the seedlings get too hot the vegetables can turn bitter. Greens are my favorite fall veggie. Fresh spinach is very hard to beat. Heat tolerant varieties of lettuce and spinach don’t mind the cold either, so you can expect to be harvesting until spring or early summer of next year. Mustard greens, endives, arugula, swiss chard and different greens mixes are only a few of the choices available. The diversity of the greens family is amazing. I start

Swiss Chard

my greens seeds where they are going to grow. I love growing greens in containers for ease and for decoration. Greens planted in a container can be as beautiful as any flower. Try one of the chards such as bright lights on your front porch. Your neighbors will be jealous.

 

Get your fall garden seeds started now. Don’t miss the fall gardening season!

 

Let’s Talk about August 2017

By: Pat Cordray

Julep in the shade

Whew, we are now in the midst of the dog days of summer. It’s just hot, hot, hot! Believe it or not, August is the start of fall vegetable gardening. You’re thinking, no way it’s not time for that. It’s just too hot. Fall weather doesn’t start around here until maybe late September or so. True, but if you start in August, you can grow so much more. Vegetables aren’t all that you can grow this time of the year, but that is where we are starting.

The main ingredients for growing vegetables are the plants or seeds, sun, soil, and water. Just imagine eating vegetables that you have grown yourself in your own yard. It’ll be great and it’s super easy!
Do you want to use transplants or seeds? Choose the right plants for the season and also choose vegetables that you like to eat. Don’t over plant, this crowds your vegetables, give them plenty of room for good production and air flow. Plant larger growing vegetable plants on the north side of the garden so they won’t block the sun from the smaller growing plants. Using seeds? Kathryn is going to cover growing vegetables from seed in her article this month, so check it out. I’ll add my favorite tips for seed growing. Before you open the seed packet, check the planting instructions for that vegetable and follow the instructions. Once you open your seed packet, check your seeds to make sure they are not broken, broken seeds will not germinate. Don’t store your seeds in the car, it is too hot. I love to use MycoStim any time I plant and that includes when I plant seeds. I use a hoe handle to make my row, then I place my seeds in the row with the appropriate amount of space between the seeds, remember, more is not always better.   Then, I put my MycoStim in an unused laundry measuring cup. I put a little MycoStim on my seeds and then finish planting. Water gently, don’t use the jet option on your hose end sprayer, that will just wash your seeds away. The MycoStim helps with root growth, transplant shock and stress resistance.
Growing your vegetables from transplants is easy. Again, choose the right vegetable plants for the season, pick what you want to eat. Don’t get too many, it is very tempting
but there is usually a limit to the size of the garden. When the garden is ready and the time is right, gently take the transplant out of its container. Put MycoStim on the root ball. Then Plant. Plant most transplants in the garden at the same level they were in the original container, tomatoes can be planted deeper. Plant on a cloudy day or in the evening to protect transplants from the sun.
For fall plants think leafy greens, root crops, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Mustard Greens with Nasturtiums 
Kale

Here is a guide to help you pick what to grow and when to plant:

When to Plant Fall and Winter Vegetables
Vegetable
Seed/Transplant
When to Plant
Beans, Bush
Seed
September
Beans, Lima
Seed
Mid-August – September
Beets
Seed
September – Mid-October
Broccoli
Transplant
September – January
Brussels Sprouts
Transplant
September – January
Cabbage
Seed
August – November
Cabbage
Transplant
*September – November
Carrots
Seed
September – November
Cauliflower
Transplant
September – January
Collards
Seed
September – December1
Collards
Transplant
September – January
Cucumber
Transplant
September – January
Garlic
Clove
Late September –
Mid November
Kohlrabi
Transplant
Mid-September – November
Leek
Seed or Transplant
October – November
Lettuce, Leaf
Seed or Transplant
Late September – December
Mustard Green
Seed or Transplant
September – November
Onion
Transplant
*November
Peas, snap
Seed
Late September-October
January – Early February
Peas, Southern
Seed
August 1 – late August
Potatoes Irish
Seed Potatoes
mid- August – late August
*February
Radicchio
Seed
Late September – October
Spinach
Seed or Transplant
October – November
Squash, summer
Transplant
Early September
Squash, winter
Seed or Transplant
Mid-August
Swiss Chard
Seed or Transplant
September – October
Tomatoes
Transplant
mid July – mid-August
Turnips
Seed
September – November
January – February
This list was taken from Kathy Huber’s article in the Houston Chronicle, Aug. 14, 2009, with a few adjustments made by *Lisa Gaige
Next up, look for the sun. Most vegetable plants are going to need at least 6 hours of full sun. Take a look around your yard and see if you have a spot that would work. Watch the area when it rains, does water stand? If it does, you might not want to plant in the ground there. Most plants, including vegetables, need good drainage. If it is the only spot that has adequate sun, you may consider doing a raised container garden. Raised container gardens are an easy way to grow vegetables. Put a couple of cinder blocks on the ground, to the height you want, then place your container on top. I have mine at a height that I can use a gardening chair to plant, weed and water, uh oh, my lazy gardener is showing. If you are going to plant in the ground, you will need to raise the garden at least 6 inches, more if you can afford to. This allows for good root space and drainage. The bed should be able to be tended without stepping into it. If you do a wide garden, add stepping stones so that you can get into your garden to maintain it without compacting the soil. If this is your first garden, don’t make it too large for you to maintain. Start small.
Soil, get the best soil you can. Good soil makes better vegetable plants and vegetables with fewer problems. If you can’t afford to raise your bed to the proper height at first, about 6 – 12″, you can always add soil to your garden each season until you get the height you need.
Water, is our next ingredient, for a good vegetable garden. Water your garden slowly over a longer period of time. I’ve noticed in my container garden that when I check the soil after I water, the soil on top is wet and the water is draining out of the drainage holes. The top couple of inches are wet but below the soil is very dry. Always check. Use your hand or a hand trowel and dig down a few inches to check. Once the soil is dry it is difficult to get it moist again. When you plant make sure the soil is moist, not muddy or dry. While you are watering, is the time to keep an eye on your plants. You are looking for signs of bugs, leaf or fruit damage. The sooner you take care of a problem in the garden the easier it will be to solve. Don’t forget to fertilize, we recommend Microlife. Microlife is an organic fertilizer that is not going to burn your plants.
That wasn’t so hard, was it?
August bonus!
Hummingbirds migrate through this area August – October. If you want them to visit your garden plant for them. Here are a few plants that attract hummingbirds: flame acanthus, hamelia, Texas Betony, Turk’s cap, shrimp plant, pineapple sage, firecracker fern, cigar plant. Get these plants in your garden now to help feed the hummers while they are here. If you use feeders, keep them full and clean. I love when hummingbirds visit my garden and I know you will love it too.
Enjoy your garden with a glass of iced tea!

Summertime Pest

By Kathryn Courtney
   It’s July. It’s Hot! This is a hard month for gardening. Not only does the weather try to kill us but the garden pests come out in hoards. Dealing with garden pests in the heat and humidity is not pleasant but it’s a task that needs to be done for a beautiful garden in September. I stroll through my garden in the evening when the heat is not so terrible. As I water I watch for the summer garden problems of mildew and insects.
Powdery Mildew

Mildew seems to be the number one problem in my garden this year. I made the classic gardeners mistake, I over planted. Not having enough airflow in and around your plants promotes molds, mildews and rust. All of these are huge problems for me right now. I finally waved the white flag and just pulled up my squash. Planting fungus resistant cultivars such as mildew resistant zinnias and Ashley cucumbers helped. Next spring, do some research to find good flowers and vegetables for the humid gulf coast. I have found that this step in garden planning prevents a lot of heartache later. If you have problems ask someone in the nursery for help. We google everything! To get rid of a fungus use an organic spray. We have several including Neem oil, Triple Action and Copper Fungicide. All of these need to be sprayed in the evening when the sun is going down. These are oil sprays and will burn your plants in the heat of the day. Make sure to spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves until the spray is dripping off the plant. This will ensure the whole plant is covered. Also, removing leaves that have fallen to the ground and sealing them in a plastic bag helps keep the fungus from spreading. I have thinned out some of my plants to allow better airflow and that seems to be helping. Black spot on roses begins to get really bad this time of year. Neem oil works best for this problem.

     Hot summer brings bugs of all kinds. Large and small, crawling and slithering, there is every kind

Leaf Footed Bug Larvae

of pest imaginable. For getting rid of the large pests use the pick and squish method. Be sure to use gloves to cut

Leaf Footed Bug or Stink Bug

down on the Ick factor. If you can’t bring yourself to squish, throwing the bugs in a bucket of soapy water is just as effective. I have used this method on leaf footed bugs and snails with good results. It also works great for tomato horn worms. Spraying the bugs with Neem oil or Triple Action works but this can only be done in the evening. For slugs and snails there is a bait called Sluggo that is very effective.

     The major bug problem in the summer seems to be the small bugs. Mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, scale  and many others attack in the heat and humidity. Spider

Spider Mite Damage

mites are especially troublesome because they are too small to see. If you suspect spider mites, shake a leaf of the infected plant over a white piece of paper. Using a magnifying glass, look for little red spider looking bugs. If you find them you have spider mites. For these bug problems spraying is usually the only option. For everything but scale, Neem and Triple Action are good choices for getting rid of these small pests. Scale is harder to tackle. Scale bugs have hard outer shells that make killing them hard. A mixture of Neem and orange oil can work. The orange oil helps break down the shell so the Neem can get to the bug. These treatments need to be done weekly and all of

Scale

the undersides of the leaves must be sprayed. Most of the small insects are found on the under side of the leaf. If all else fails and the infected plants are not edible, the last resort is a systemic drench. Pouring the drench around the base of the plant so the systemic can reach the roots is how this insecticide works. The poison goes into the plant and kills anything living on the stems and leaves. This really needs to be a last resort because these pesticides are bad for you and the environment.

     I know it’s hot and I know it’s hard, but keeping up with the summertime pests is important for the health of your garden. Keeping an eye on the garden in the evening is something we all can do. The reward is a beautiful fall garden and healthy summer  plants.

On Watering

By: Deb Pavlosky
I know you all know this already, but I am going to say this again – plants NEED water – how often and how much is dependent upon the plant and the soil it is planted in as well as other conditions (like temperature, light, wind, mulching, etc.).  If all you are growing is succulents or other drought tolerant plants, overwatering is more of an issue for you than underwatering and this article is not meant for you.
If, however, you are like nearly everyone I know and you are growing typical landscape and/or potted plants in this area, this article should be like gospel.
Water your plants.  During the summer, most plants will need water EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Yes, every single day.  This is especially true for newly planted plants.  When you put a new plant in the ground, the root ball is directly underneath the bottom of the plant.  Plant roots need time to grow and spread before they are truly efficient at getting water.  So, when you water, be sure to water at the base of the plant and directly over the root ball.  Water deeply to encourage the roots to grow more deeply.  If you only water enough to moisten the top couple of inches of soil, you won’t reach the whole root ball and any roots that grow will be shallow.  Shallow watering will lead to weaker and more thirsty plants over time.
If you have a sprinkler system, that’s great for established plants, but the sprinkler heads may not deliver water exactly to the root ball as necessary for new plantings.  So, YES, you will have to hand water those new plantings at least through the first growing season.   It takes some time for plants to become established and develop sufficient root systems.
For established plants (plants that have been in the ground for more than a growing season) watering is less of a concern, but you still have to pay attention to their needs.  Water stress can be the cause of a lot of issues and can make plants more susceptible to disease and pests.  Water daily in the summer to keep your plants happy and healthy.
If your soil drains well, that’s a good thing (ideal for most plants except boggy types that either like to be in the water or have wet feet).  But, because it drains well, you are going to have to water daily.  Even if there was a rainstorm the day before, you have to water.  I have personal experience that I am sharing with you in the photo included here.  This photo shows a half whiskey barrel planter that I was replanting the day following a rainstorm.  I assumed the soil would be too wet for me to plant, but I thought I would give it a go anyway.  I pulled the old plants out and then dug down into the soil to find that it was completely DRY beneath the surface.  And, though the surface appeared wet, the soil beneath was not.  I was so struck by it, I asked my husband to come out and see it too.  He’s always asking if I really need to water and this was prima facie evidence.  Yes, counselor, I do.
So, the end of June came with a few days of really rainy weather and that was a nice little relief for this gardener.  But, the heat will return and watering will be key to happy plants and in turn a happy gardener.
Also, remember that your plants are using up nutrients in the soil as they grow and all the watering can cause some of those nutrients to leach out of the soil too.  Fertilize through the growing season with a good organic fertilizer like Microlife 6-2-4.  This fertilizer provides needed nutrition and encourages more fine-root growth that will help plants uptake both water and nutrients.  As a bonus, Microlife will not burn your plants.  It’s a win-win-win so, don’t forget to water-water-water and use a good organic fertilizer.

Lantana Lace Bug

Lantana Lace Bug (Teleonemia scrupulosa) is a destructive pest that does extensive damage on lantana. Lace Bug feeds on the underside of the leaves and newly opened blooms. The damage can prevent new blooms and even leaf dropping. It’s easy to identify if you have this pest in your yard. The upper side of the leaves will be white from the chlorophyll being drained out and the underside of the leaf will have black spots of waste.  The edges of the leaves may also brown and curl. The extreme amount of damage this insect can inflict is so detrimental that it has been imported to countries where lantana is a noxious weed as a form of control.
Methods of treatment include light horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, neem and spinosad.
Predatory insects, such as lacewings, may also be used as a control.

Give Mom the Gift of Herbs

 by Kim Nichols Messer

 

        It is important to celebrate our moms all year long, but on May 14th we want them to feel extra special.  Consider an herb pot.  You may select one already potted, we have many to choose from, or design your own.  A 19 inch pot will hold six herb plants easily depending on the growth pattern of the herb.  An Herb de Provence pot will provide an excellent source for seasoning many kitchen creations from baked chicken to roasted vegetables.  Using a 19 inch clay pot, put drainage material in the bottom and add a good organic soil.  The Provence herbs of your choice may be planted together.  I would put Basil in the middle as an anchor plant for some height. Oregano, Thyme and Sage on the outside ring, and Prostrate Rosemary can dangle down the side of the pot. The Basil will also repel mosquitoes as an added bonus.
       You may do a combination mint pot for cool and refreshing summer beverages.  Peppermint, Spearmint and Chocolate Mint are all fun and easy to grow.  You may do a pot with Fennel and Lemon Grass sharing the center of the pot as an anchor, then add Garlic Chives and Thai Basil, or Coriander and Cilantro for a stir fry or soup pot.  Lemon Grass will do double duty and also repel mosquitoes.
        A simple pot of Basil will provide almost endless pesto opportunities for al fresco dining.  And now that tomatoes are ready, my favorite combination, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes and mozzarella with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, some olive oil and cracked pepper… Yum!
       Give the gift of herbs.  They are easy to grow and low maintenance. Sunshine and well drained soil will give you happy plants to cook with and share with others, Good gardening!

Adventures in Butterfly Gardening

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By Kathryn Courtney

I have always butterfly gardened. I did it because I liked it and butterflies make me happy. I knew very little about endangered species, vanishing habitats, and dangerous pesticides.I butterfly gardened for my own personal pleasure. Then I came to work at Maas. I began to learn that not only were butterflies fun, but that they needed a gardeners help. Butterflies are in very real danger of extinction. Backyard butterfly gardens provide butterflies with the habitat that is being taken from them by widespread pesticide and herbicide use. Now I butterfly garden for fun and so that my grandchildren will be able to enjoy these magical insects just like I do. Here are some things I learned during my adventures in butterfly gardening.

 

     The first thing I learned during my pursuit of the perfect butterfly garden was to start small. Do not overwhelm yourself. It takes all the fun out of it. I started with a back corner of my yard that gets full sun. If you don’t have a sunny spot that’s okay. There are butterfly plants for shade also. All of the flowers I

Lantana

planted were nectar plants that provided the butterflies with food.

 Coneflower.

Lantana became my best friend. I gradually added purple coneflowers, coreopsis, verbena and zinnias. I was careful to avoid any type of pesticide, organic or not. All pesticides can kill butterflies. I have found that almost all butterfly nectar plants are very tough and are rarely bothered by pests. Most are drought tolerant once established and need very little if any added fertilizer. Then I started my job at Maas. I found my butterfly garden was missing a few things.

     For one, I had forgotten about the caterpillars. I learned I needed to add host plants for the baby butterfly caterpillars to eat after they hatched. These caterpillars only eat certain types of plants depending on the species and need this food for the generations to continue. My butterfly garden began to expand. I added milkweed for monarch butterflies, parsley, dill fennel and rue for

Milkweed

swallowtails, and a cassia bush for my favorites, the sulfur yellow butterflies.

Cassia

Now my butterfly watching habit included checking for baby caterpillars on these host plants along with watching the adult butterflies. I was surprised to learn that my 18 year old satsuma was the perfect host for giant swallowtails which was the reason I saw so many of these butterflies in my yard.

     I began to read a few books and talk to my fellow Maas coworkers and realized that I needed a place for butterflies to “puddle” and shelter when they were tired. The sheltering part was easy enough as my cassia bush had grown large enough to provide a good rest stop for my butterflies. Butterflies like to puddle in very shallow water to get nutrients and water from the ground. To make an artificial puddle I used a terracotta pot saucer sitting on top of an inverted terracotta pot.I added sand two thirds of the way to the top of the pot saucer and placed flat rocks in the sand. then I added water to barely cover the sand .The tops of the rocks were out of the water to provide landing spaces for the butterflies. I now had a very easy, do it yourself butterfly puddle. There is one last piece of advice I learned the hard way with my butterflies. If you have bird feeders, place them as far away from your butterfly garden as you can. Birds will go quickly from eating at the feeder to eating the baby caterpillars in no time.
     Over the years I have added plants and taken some away. My whole backyard is pretty much all butterfly garden. I found pentas were great for shade and there is even one called butterfly pink. I also

Butterfly Pink Pentas

have pipevine in the shade for pipevine swallowtail caterpillars. My butterfly garden has a wild, natural look to it but it can very easily be pruned to look more formal.Butterfly gardens are very easy to setup and maintain. The plants are easy to grow, most require very little water once established, and they need no special care. There are many knowledgeable butterfly enthusiasts working at Maas. They will gladly help you find the perfect plants for your own butterfly garden.Take a corner of your yard and devote it to saving the butterflies. You will love it and the butterflies will thank you.

Fragrant Plants

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

Mister Lincoln – Velvety, deep red blooms, Strong Damask rose scent

Mister Lincoln Rose
   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:
Sweet Alyssum

Flowering Tobacco – 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.
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:

Banana Shrub – Creamy-yellow flowers that have a banana scent.   This shrub blooms

Frost Proof Gardenia

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 purple 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. Part to full sun.
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.
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.
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, 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 shrub 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.
Passion vine – 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.
Pink Jasmine – Very fragrant light pink flowers spring to early summer. Will grow to 20′ long. Full sun.
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.
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. 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 – 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.
These are just a few options for adding fragrance to your garden. There are so many more….
Spring is here and I am looking forward to the aromas of freshly mowed grass and sweet smelling blooms. Time to add some sweet-smelling plants to your garden too.