Mister Lincoln – Velvety, deep red blooms, Strong Damask rose scent
|Mister Lincoln Rose|
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.
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.
Herbs are so easy to grow in the Houston area!
|This category includes plants that at some time in history have been considered valuable for seasoning, medicine, fragrance, or general household use. As you look through this list of plants, you can recognize certain herbs because they bear the species name officinalis– meaning sold in shops , edible, medicinal, recognized in the pharmacopoeia. Today harvest is used almost entirely for seasoning foods.Herbs are versatile. Some creep along the ground, making fragrant carpet. Others are shrublike. Many make attractive pot plants. However, many herbs do have a weedy look, especially next to regular ornamental plants. Many herbs are hardy and adaptable. Although hot, dry, sunny conditions with poor but well-drained soil are usually considered best for most herbs, some thrive in shady, moist locations with light soil rich in humus.|
Many of the commonly grown herbs are interesting enough that they make nice additions to any landscaped area, not just confined to the vegetable garden!
|Anise !||Basil||Bay||Bee Balm|
|Hyssop||Lambs Ear||Lavender||Lemon Balm|
|Lemon Grass||Lemon Verbena||Marigold||Mint|
Ferns are a very ancient family of plants: early fern fossils predate the beginning of the Mesozoic era, 360 million years ago. They are older than land animals and far older than the dinosaurs. They were thriving on Earth for two hundred million years before the flowering plants evolved.
As we know them now, most ferns are leafy plants that grow in moist areas under forest canopy. They are “vascular plants” with well-developed internal vein structures that promote the flow of water and nutrients. Unlike the other vascular plants, the flowering plants and conifers, where the adult plant grows immediately from the seed, ferns reproduce from spores and an intermediate plant stage called a gametophyte.
What makes them different from other vascular plants? There are two answers to this. The first is that ferns are (relatively) delicate plants that only grow in areas where there are suitably moist conditions. They favour sheltered areas under the forest canopy, along creeks and streams and other sources of permanent moisture. They cannot grow readily in hot dry areas like flowering plants and conifers.
The second explanation ties in with the first: ferns reproduce differently from the conifers and flowering plants. It all has to do with moisture. Not just the moisture that allows the plant to live where it does, but the moisture that allows it to reproduce there.
How do they reproduce? As flowering plants are so common, we are all familiar with how they reproduce. It’s useful to look at this first, to give us something to compare to ferns. Flowering plants (and conifers) reproduce when pollen from a male flower – carried by wind, insect or other vector – fertilises the female flower. (Many flowering plants, of course, include both male and female parts in the same flower). The male pollen cell carries half the genetic material of the adult plant and fuses its genetic material with that of the female cell, which carries the other half. The complete, fertilised cell grows into the seed, which, when ripe and when it finds itself in suitable soil and moisture, is capable of producing a complete adult plant.
Higher plants have a very robust propagation system: the pollen from the male flower is very hardy, and the female flower nurtures the seed until it is ready to grow. The seeds themselves are often very durable, able to wait for long periods in adverse conditions before they grow. So the higher vascular plants have evolved to occupy nearly every niche on the land surface of the earth.
Ferns do it differently. They have a more complicated method that depends on there being liquid water for the process to complete. As a result, they can only reproduce where there is sufficient moisture: the reproduction process itself requires moisture.
So, how do they do it? To detail this, I’ll need to describe some of the parts of a fern.
The leafy branch of the fern is usually called a frond. The small leaflets that make up the whole frond are called pinnae. If you look underneath a fern frond, you will often see small clumps, spots or patches that look like they are stuck onto the under surface of the pinnae. These patches are where you find the spores. The spores grow inside casings called sporangia. The sporangia may clump together into what are called sori (singular: sorus). below shows sporangia clumped into sori on a Kangaroo Fern frond. Sometimes these sori follow the fern leaf veins, sometimes they are set into indentations in the underside of the pinna. Not every frond has spores under it: fronds that have the spores are called fertile fronds.
Take a look more closely at the spore structures under the pinnae of a fertile frond, using a hand lens. In some cases, you will see that each is composed of myriads of smaller structures. These are the sporangia – the spore casings that hold the spores. Some ferns protect their sporangia with thin semi-transparent membranes, often globular in shape, called indusia. Inside the indusium (if there is one) there are the sporangia. Other ferns don’t have the indusium, the sporangia are open to the outside world. The sporangia are usually tiny – maybe half a millimetre (one fiftieth of an inch) across. The spores of course are even smaller.
Sometimes the sporangia are tucked under a curled-over part of the margin of the pinna.
If you take a piece of mature fertile fern frond and place it face up inside a book – or on a piece of paper under a weight – so that the spore material is on the underneath of the frond , then leave it overnight, you’re likely to find the next day that the spores have been released as a fine coloured powder onto the paper. They show up as a fine pattern tracing the form of the fern frond. They can be black, brown, reddish, yellow or even green, but they are extremely small. Each of these spores is capable – through a circuitous process – of growing into an adult fern.
How do the spores grow? If the spore finds suitable conditions, it will grow into a tiny heart-shaped plantlet called a prothallus or gametophyte. In this regard, the spore behaves quite like the seed of a higher plant, except that what grows from the seed is the full adult plant, but what grows from the spore is the gametophyte. The gametophyte is not the full fern, but a plant with only half the genetic material of the adult fern, rather like a sperm cell or an egg cell. The gametophyte is the intermediate stage from spore to adult fern.
If the gametophyte finds itself in a suitably moist place, fertilisation takes place, and it is transformed into a complete adult plant. It becomes what’s called a sporophyte. Given the right conditions, this tiny sporophyte will continue to grow into a full adult fern, where it can produce spores of its own, to repeat the life cycle.
This is how it works, in more detail: What happens with a gametophyte can only be seen under a strong lens, as the gametophyte is small – usually less that half an inch across. The gametophyte has two sets of reproductive organs on its underside – the male parts called the antheridia, and the female parts called the archegonia. The antheridium contains sperm cells while the archegonium contains egg cells. They are each located on the gametophyte, a little separated from each other. If there is a film of moisture, the sperm cells from the antheridium swim towards the egg cells in the archegonium. This may be on the same gametophyte or an adjacent one.
When the sperm cells find the egg cells, they fuse their genetic material to make a cell with the full adult fern set of genes. This cell is the beginning of the adult fern, located in and protected by the gametophyte structure. As it grows to become the sporophyte, it takes over from the gametophyte and becomes the adult fern.
Ferns can reproduce in other ways, too. It is possible for a sporophyte to grow from the gametophyte without fertilisation, a process known as apogamy. This can happen in drier areas where there is insufficient water to allow normal fertilisation. Ferns can also grow from spreading rhizomes (roots) of existing plants. Brackens often spread this way. Or they can sprout baby ferns at the “proliferous” tips of their fronds. When the parent frond droops and touches the soil, the baby plant takes root on its own. It is a faster method that some ferns use to reproduce mature adult plants, in addition to normal reproduction by spores.
Of course, the proliferous baby plant, or the frond that grows from the spreading rhizome, is identical genetically with the plant it sprang from. Only ferns that grow from spores using normal fertilisation can take advantage of the genetic diversity offered by the full reproduction process.
What affects where ferns will grow? There are several factors that adult ferns need to survive (ignoring pests or disease):
Depending on the type of fern, the degree of each factor required can vary greatly.
Another factor that is less often recognised is the difference between the conditions needed for a fern to survive, and the conditions it needs to reproduce. A fern may live quite happily in a relatively hostile environment, but it may not reproduce there. You will only find ferns growing naturally in areas where, at least for some of the time, the conditions suit both survival of the adult plant and reproduction – which means the survival of the gametophyte. Perhaps more than any other factor, it may be the hardiness of the gametophytes that determines whether a fern will thrive naturally in an area or not.
Why do ferns grow in some places and not others, and why do some species thrive where others don’t? Like all plants, ferns have evolved to suit their environment. Some can tolerate extreme drought and heat, others only live in the deepest rainforest. You can’t grow a cactus in the sub-Antarctic, though grasses will survive there. And likewise, you can’t expect a tree fern to grow in a desert, though some varieties of rock fern do.
Ferns are very successful niche plants: they are well adapted to particular environmental niches – soil moisture, humidity, light, etc. They seldom grow outside these niches, some of which are very specific.
If you want a fern to grow, you have to come to the party by creating an environment similar to the one it has evolved to live in. It involves creating the right niche for the plant. For example, in the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra, there is a deep gully that is full of tree ferns and many other varieties of fern. The microclimate in the gully is kept constant by sophisticated watering systems at high humidity and with permanent soil moisture. The ferns thrive. Before the watering system was set up, this was a dry gully in dry sclerophyll eucalypt forest and grassland. At best, a few small ground ferns might have grown in the moister crevices. With the right microclimate, an entirely different set of plants can grow there.
If you have that odd spot in the garden then our selection of Ferns may be just the answer. They will survive and thrive in all conditions but shade or semi shade is where they grow the best.
Maas Nursery has a wonderful selection of for inside and outside. Come see the variety and healthy ferns we have.
There are two main types of bamboo: clumping and running.
At Maas Nursery, we carry the following Clumping Varieties: Alphonse Karr, Beechey, Buddha’s Belly, Golden Goddess, Feather, Oldham Giant Timber, Silver Stripe, Weavers and Hedge. Our running varieties include Black, Congesta, Golden, Henon, Nari-Hire, Robert Young and Yellow Groove.
Marigolds are easy to grow. Take a look at what will help your marigolds thrive:
- Sunlight: Marigolds can grow in full sun to partial-shade, but it is preferable to plant them in sunny locations as shading may have an adverse effect on flowering.
- Soil: Marigolds grow best in moist, well-drained and fertile soil.
- Spacing: Grow your tall Marigold varieties 40cm apart and the dwarf varieties 20cm apart to give room to the growing branches. This will result in a uniform display.
- Watering: Marigolds do not need regular watering but require so during the dry spells. Be careful not to sprinkle water on the flowers of tall varieties, otherwise they become water-logged and soft. It is better to water Marigolds during the early morning hours so that there is sufficient time for the water on the foliage to dry up.
- Fertilizers: Marigolds do not require fertilizers if the soil is rich in organic material. For poor soils, you can add a slow-acting, granular fertilizer(about 1 teaspoon per plant), but be careful not to add an excess of fertilizers which may result in an increased growth of foliage instead of flowers.
- Mulching: When the marigold seedlings are tall enough, spread a 2 or 3 inch layer of some organic material such as dried grass, wood chips or chopped leaves on the soil around them. This mulch reduces weeds, retains moisture in the soil, cools the soil, and fertilizes the soil as it decomposes.
By: Pat Cordray
Okay, this is the first time that I have to say this, but I will repeat it each month until spring has sprung. You ready? Here you go: What to do if there is a freeze warning for our area? Water your plants; this protects the roots, so water thoroughly, not just for 60 seconds. Cover your plants tenting the fabric to the ground then secure it with pegs. Once the weather warms up remove the fabric. For hanging baskets, take them in or set them on the ground, water and cover them. 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 just 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. No worries if you don’t have any, we have all you need in stock at the nursery now. You’re ready!
November can be a great gardening month here, especially for certain flowering plants; like bulbs, annuals, herbs, and camellias. I love all this beautiful color, let’s get the planting started!
Bulbs are here and are ready to be planted. For forcing inside your home, ziva narcissus, amaryllis, and hyacinths will look beautiful and give your home a festive look for the holiday season. The ziva’s will bloom in 3-4 weeks, the amaryllis bulbs take 3-8 weeks to bloom (depending on variety), and the hyacinths will bloom in 6-8 weeks. You can stagger your plantings to keep fresh flowers blooming in your home all season. When the amaryllis are finished blooming indoors you can replant them in your garden for blooms the following spring. Fun, fun, fun! But don’t stop there, we have many different amaryllis bulbs, tulips, ranunculus, daffodils, Dutch iris, leucojum, lycoris, and other varieties of narcissus besides ziva’s that are just as fun!
When to plant your bulbs? Tulips can be planted from mid-December through mid-January, they must be refrigerated for 4-6 weeks at about 45 degrees before planting. We keep our tulips and hyacinths in the fridge so they will be ready to plant at the right time. Daffodils, Dutch iris, leucojum, narcissus, hyacinths, and ranunculus can be planted this month. To learn more about bulbs, come to our Bulb Class on Saturday, November 19th. This class will be hands on, we are going to layer the bulbs in a pot and top it with annuals. You won’t want to miss this one.
How about beautiful color now? Cool weather plants like pansies, lobelia, alyssum, violas, stock, calendulas, snapdragons, English daisies, cyclamen, phlox, petunias, nasturtiums and dianthus can add wonderful fall and winter color to your containers and landscapes. Did I mention how beautiful dianthus looks with my dog, Julep? What do you think? Don’t forget to add sweet peas, foxglove, holly hocks, and delphinium for early spring color, to your garden, there is no time like the present. Full sun, well-draining soil, water, and Microlife are all that is needed to keep these cool weather plants blooming for months.
This would also be a good time to plant herbs in your garden; the cold weather makes for strong roots. Oregano, salad brunet, winter savory, chamomile, dill, rosemary, and fennel are just a few of a long list of herbs to consider planting now. Most herb plants need full sun and well-draining soil. Give your plants plenty of room in the garden, when you buy herbs in a 4” container you may think, “Oh, good a small plant”, but no, no, no, herbs are bigger than you think. Herbs will add a whole new dimension to your garden with fragrant leaves that attract beneficial insects and many can be used to enhance the flavor of your meals. Fertilizer is only needed a couple of times of year. Oh, so easy and very fragrant.
Camellias have some of the most amazing blooms of any shrub. Can you believe that the blooms are prettier than the pictures? They are, wow! Camellias are slow growing evergreen shrubs that bloom from about October through March depending on the variety. Sasanqua camellias bloom in the fall and have small leaves and flowers, usually the flower forms are single, double or semidouble. Sasanqua camellias grow to about 10-12 feet tall for upright varieties and 2-5 feet tall for spreading varieties. Japonica camellias have larger
leaves and usually have bigger blooms. The forms of the Japonica Camellia blooms are usually single, semidouble, anemone, peony, rose, or formal double. Japonica camellias start off as shrubs, growing to about 6-12 feet tall and wide, but can slowly become a tree reaching 20 feet tall.
Camellias are easy to grow here and are just too beautiful to not be included in your garden. For the healthiest plants, with the most blooms, give your camellias good organic soil that drains well, regular water, and a fertilizer for acid loving plants. Protect them from our afternoon sun and strong winds and prune them at the right time, just after they finish blooming. Your camellias will be simply beautiful.
November is so alive with vibrant color to enjoy,