Category: Tropical Style

Flowers That Grow on the face of the street

Wildflowers and naturalized flowering plantsthat are plants brought to an area by animals and humans, grow everywhere the conditions are right for them, and sometimes that includes by the side of streets. Which of those plants are suited to your place is dependent upon the site’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zone. At USDA zones 8 through 10, a wide choice of flowering plants that grow along roadways can be acquired. Avoid planting invasive species; for example sweet Alyssum is designated as invasive in some states, such as California.


Many of the flower-producing plants that grow on the side of streets are tall. Queen Anne’s lace (Ammi majus), for example, rises to 4 feet high with feathery leaves and an open growth habit that allows sunlight to hit plants supporting it. This plant’s white flowers are tiny, but they kind flat discs that somewhat resemble lace and are around 4 inches across. Queen Anne’s lace is an annual, meaning it lasts just one growing season. Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are also tall plants found growing beside streets. They’re perennials, returning every year. Growing best in USDA zones 3 through 10, daylilies hit 3 feet high and have lilylike flowers held on long stems above straplike leaves. Each blossom lives for just one day, but each daylily plant produces tens of thousands of flowers. Penstemon (Penstemon) is another tall perennial that sprouts on the side of streets. Suited for USDA zones 3 through 9, it has leaves similar to daylily leaves. Its blossoms are not any longer than 1 inch long and are born on spikes from 1 to 4 feet high.


Lupine (Lupinus perennis) and Borage (Borago officinalis) grow along roads and reach medium height. Lupine, a perennial that grows best in USDA zones 4 through 8, has pink, blue and yellow blooms. The wild variety is most frequently blue. The plant is about 1 foot tall with 3-inch broad leaves cut into lobes. Its blossom stalk is about 15 inches tall. Each of its blossoms resembles a cross between a snapdragon and also a sweet pea. Lupine’s toxicity is believed to be mainly in the alkaloid D-lupaine, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Borage is an annual that’s dark-blue, five-petaled blossoms that are about 1 inch wide. Its leaves, stems and buds are fuzzy. When selected, they leave a brown stain on hands.


Short flowering plants that grow along roadways comprise California poppy (Eschsholzia californica) and African daisies (Osteospermum). California poppy is the state flower of California. This yearly’s tulip-shaped flowers appear in late winter and early spring, which are medium orange and are 1 1/2 inches long. They arrive in sunlight and close on overcast days. The plant’s foliage is finely cut and gray-green. The plant grows to 1 foot tall and also tolerates drought circumstances. African daisies are annuals that have daisy-shaped blossoms in shades of cream, yellow and orange. The plants grow to 1 foot tall.


Do not pick wildflowers or their own seed heads from the side of public streets. They could possibly be safeguarded. On private property, ask permission before selecting them. Obtain seeds from reliable sources that cultivated the flowers for their seeds. When choosing flowering plants that aren’t wild or naturalized in your area, mimic their growing conditions. You may have to supplement rainfall with irregular watering and/or fertilizing.

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Does one Eureka Persimmon Want a Pollinator?

Persimmon trees (Diospyros spp.) Bear fruit which tastes heavenly, so it’s no surprise that its botanical name means “food of the gods” and its own wood was thought to create chairs for the gods. But before this heavenly fruit can form, flowers have to emerge and blossom on branches. Pollination is a complicated matter with persimmon trees. Some persimmons arise from pollinated flowers, along with other fruit emerges from unpollinated blossoms.

“Eureka” Persimmons

Although the American, or typical, persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a species indigenous to the United States, the OrientalJapanese or Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki), of which “Eureka” is a cultivar, hails from Asia. American varieties are more cold-hardy than Oriental kinds, surviving to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 5. Oriental varieties thrive in USDA zone 7 and warmer, where summers are milder and winters are somewhat more temperate. “Eureka” is an Oriental persimmon cultivar which has drought- and frost-resistance and produces orange-red fruits with superior quality.


American persimmon trees are almost exclusively dioecious, meaning female and male flowers are formed on separate trees. Oriental persimmon trees have different sexual types. Some trees have either male or female flowers, while some may have both types on the exact same tree. Some trees have individual blossoms that contain both female and male parts. To complicate matters further, though flowers must typically be pollinated before they form adult persimmons, a few cultivars, such as “Eureka,” are in a position to place parthenocarpic fruit from unpollinated flowers. The California Rare Fruit Growers site notes that a tree sexual expression may even change from 1 year to the next.


As brokers that transfer pollen to female flower parts, bees are primary pollinators for persimmon trees. Persimmon flowers form in the leaf axils, that’s the point where the petiole, or leaf stalk, joins the stem. Female flowers climb singly and male flowers are generally borne in sets of three. Because persimmon flowers are so small, tiny native bees from the Halictidae family, such as sweat bees, locate easy work of entering blossoms. When plants like “Eureka,” which do not require pollination to set fruit are pollinated, the consequent fruits are larger and seedier.


Although “Eureka” trees are self-fruitful and do not require a different tree to pollinate them, they’ll set more fruit if other trees are planted nearby. They also create more persimmons if pollinators are encouraged to visit. Utilizing synthetic chemical sprays may ruin some bees or entire colonies, depending on the levels and concentrations of chemicals you use. The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service recommends not using pesticides through times when trees are blooming. This gives bees and other pollinators chemical-free landings and visits to persimmon flowers.

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Plant Vegetables at the Morning or Evening?

To reap the rewards of a bountiful vegetable garden, you need healthy plants. The health of your vegetables in the harvest depends mainly on the first stages of their life cycle. Beyond healthy soil, correct moisture and adequate sunlight, the time of day in which you plant your seeds and seedlings can affect if and how your vegetable plants thrive.

Beginning With Seeds

Seeds need warm, moist soil in order to germinate. While you can plant seeds in morning or evening, your seeds will not germinate if the ground remains cool due to extreme nighttime lows or extended periods of cool and overcast days. But you can plant your seeds to a sunny day, a cloudy day or in the evening when you’re sure that warm and sunny days have been in the prediction.

Seedling Shock

Seedlings give you a jump start on the growing season, but take care not to rush things. Transplanting your seedlings from container to soil on a warm, sunny day or on a windy day can lead them to enter “transplant shock .” As moisture is dropped from wind and sunlight, the seedling’s development becomes stunted, and the plant might never fully recover. It’s far better to plant your seedlings on a cloudy day or in the late afternoon or evening when winds are calm to prevent transplant shock.

Stronger Transplants

Exposing your eyelids to sunny and windy conditions a little at a time prior to putting them at the ground is known as “hardening off .” Placing your seedlings out in a construction like a cold frame before transplanting them into soil allows seedlings time to develop stronger stems and roots in a semiprotected setting. Your transplants will acclimate into the garden quicker, even when planted on a sunny morning, after a hardening-off period, which should last two weeks before planting.

Water Wisely

Whether you’re beginning with seeds or transplanting seedlings, the time of day you plant determines the way you water your own vegetables. If you’re beginning with a bed of seeds, keep the soil evenly moist through the day. If you’re starting seeds at a bed with existing plants, an overhead watering process is fine for the morning; however, in the evening, water the soil, not the leaves, of the existing plants to prevent the progression of plant diseases. That is the case of watering seedlings, too. Be sure the leaves and stalks have adequate time to dry before the sun goes down, since the wet leaves and coolness of night are the perfect recipe for molds and viruses. If evening is the only time you’ll be able to water your seedlings, don’t use an overhead watering system; instead, water the base of the plants.

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How Long Does It Take an Osage Orange Tree to Make Fruit?

The Osage orange tree (Maclura pomifera) doesn’t have any distinctive attributes, so it is not usually grown as a specimen tree. The tree is often grown as a hedge plant at U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 though 9. The tree’s foliage will turn yellow before falling in the autumn, along with the female tree bears fruits that appear much like a wrinkled orange when a man tree is existing.

Osage Orange Fruit

The feminine Osage orange tree generally begins bearing fruit at about 10 decades old. The bumpy, yellow-greenish fruits, called hedge-apples, ripen in September through October. All these 4-inch-wide fruits fall to the ground when ripe, but are not edible. While the fruit of Osage orange trees is not a suitable food supply for people, squirrels rip the fruit apart and eat the seed.

Pollination, Flowers and Fruit

The Osage orange tree has male and female flowers on different trees, but neither tree has any ornamental or decorative value. The trees’ small green flowers usually bloom in mid-May through June. The trees are wind-pollinated along with a man tree is required for the feminine to place fruit. The male trees’ flowers can create litter and an offensive scent or maybe even cleaned up and the flowers rot on the ground. Fruit from the female trees can also become a litter issue, so they are not recommended for the home landscape usage.

Osage Orange Care

Osage orange trees are easy to take care of, because the can withstand poor soil, wind, heat, moderate alkalinity and cold and heat. The trees can also be immune to oak root fungus and have no other serious insects or diseases. It is simple to spread the trees using root cuttings, seeds and stalks. The trees transplant well. Thornless male varieties, such as “Wichita” and “Whiteshield,” are advocated for hedges.

Uses of Osage Orange Tree

The Osage orange, despite the potential litter issue, makes a wise selection for a difficult hedge, a backdrop plant and if pruned high, provides shade to your backyard. The Osage orange’s thorny branches make the trees a great barrier for livestock as a living fence. Wood from the trees is used to make fence, fence posts, archery bows, shrub fingernails and a yellow dye.

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How to Prepare a Butterfly Garden

Throwing a few blossoms in the ground which are known to attract butterflies won’t likely produce the butterfly garden you’re hoping for. Purposeful preparation that includes plant and site selection is imperative to create a habitat which satisfies all of a butterfly’s requirement. These needs include food for your hungry caterpillar and butterfly, as well as a peaceful, warm area for the butterfly to catch some rays. With proper preparation, the labor and love you give your garden will end up being a butterfly haven, sure to be the highlight of your landscape.

Pick an area for your own butterfly garden which gets at least six hours daily of direct sunlight exposure and is protected from wind.

Work with the soil 8 to 12 inches deep with a tiller or spade and add 3 to 4 inches of organic matter like compost or leaf mold.

Design a layout that comprises landscape rocks for sunbathing on chillier days, like a straightforward sunny path through the butterfly garden. Place one or two shallow containers to gather rain and water out of irrigation for the butterflies to drink.

Select plants that provide nectar for the butterflies and food for the caterpillars. Plant flowers that bloom during different times of the year and plants of differing heights, increase habits and colors.

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The way to Prune a Tomato Vine

While tomatoes may sprawl inside cages, you are going to get stronger plants and bigger fruit once you prune the plants to guide their growth. Learning some tomato plant terminology before you go out to the garden helps you prune properly and prune just the plants that benefit from the attention. Indeterminate tomatoes, for instance, are those that grow all season with no predetermined height — some reaching over 10 feet tall — while determinate plants generally stop growing at 3 to 4 feet. On the plant itself, it helps to know that the leaf axil is the joint between the leaf and principal stem, and a sucker is actually the shoot that forms there.

Pinch off suckers from ground level to the second set of suckers below the initial truss of flowers or developing fruit on indeterminate and determinate tomato plants. Pinch small ones between your index finger and thumb or snap off bigger ones early in the day once the plant is filled with moisture. Suckers develop fruit and flowers, but those in the bottom are too shaded to produce high-quality fruit and lead to a plant with crowded growth that’s more vulnerable to disease from poor air flow and also from moisture splashing on leaves close to the ground when you water the plants.

Tie indeterminate vines into your trellis or stake with brief lengths of twine as they grow, allowing up to 3 principal stalks to develop from the last one or two suckers prior to the first set of flowers. Train these suckers into additional main stems, tying them up to separate bets as they grow.

Inspect the plant on a weekly basis from the base of the vine up, cut-off suckers from all the main stems to avoid more stems from developing. The more stems a plant has, the more of its own energy and also the sugar that the plant produces goes to foliage production, rather than fruit production.

Pinch off the growing tip of each main stem once the vine reaches the surface of the stake or in late summer to stop additional fruit from creating that won’t have time to reach maturity.

Analyze both determinate and indeterminate plants as they grow for signs of disease and pest infestation. Leaves influenced by fungal disease display black or dark brown circular spots and yellowing. Leaves and comes with sticky honeydew residue that turns to soft black sooty mould, yellowing and twisted leaves and stunted stems are infested with aphids. People with signs of honeydew and leaves that appear dried and yellow or silver in patches are infested with whiteflies.

Eliminate all infested or diseased foliage and stems on either type of plant with hand pruners. Sterilize pruning tools between plants with full-strength household antiseptic cleaner to prevent spreading disease or infestation from plant to plant.

Clear all pruned and fallen leaf from across the plants to avoid the spread of disease and eliminate a location where insects may overwinter to infest next year’s plants.

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Hydrangea Care Guide

Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.) , with their massive ball-shaped flower clusters, add antique elegance to your yard. Blooming from midsummer to fall, hydrangeas grow 3 to 6 ft tall. There are 23 species of hydrangea, although only five are grown in the United States, together with bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) also called French or florist’s hydrangea, the most common. Hydrangeas generally grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9, although it depends on the species and cultivar. To look after this tree, comprehending its soil and water needs, pruning conditions and disease and pest susceptibility is essential.


Hydrangea shrubs could be planted in either fall or early spring. When choosing a planting site, look for a place in the garden that offers full morning sun with some cooler day shade. Avoid hot and dry areas. The soil ought to be rich, moist and well-draining. Compost may be added to improve soil quality. If your soil is heavy, plant hydrangeas on a mound to improve drainage. If you are planting numerous hydrangeas, leave three to 10 feet between plants, taking into account the size of the mature shrub.

Water, Fertilizer and pH

Once implanted, hydrangeas will require some ongoing care to make sure their healthy development and greatest bloom production. A good source of water is vital for hydrangeas, especially during the first couple of years after planting. In spring, then add 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the plant to help hydrangeas retain water. During periods of rainfall, water hydrangeas regularly — about 1 inch per week — to maintain soil consistently moist. Keeping soil mineral levels is also crucial, as some varieties, such as bigleaf hydrangeas, reap the benefits of many fertilizer applications throughout the growing season. Soil pH also determines the flower color of the majority of hydrangeas. If you want blue blooms,utilize a low-phosphorus fertilizer; for pink flowers, higher amounts of phosphorus are required.


Prune hydrangeas to eliminate damaged or old branches and frost-damaged leaves, to deadhead faded blooms and also to reshape the shrub, which will encourage new development, improve the plant’s shape and increase flower production. Pruning guidelines vary for different types of hydrangeas. First, decide whether new flowers develop on branches from the last year, or “old wood,” or about branches from the present year, that’s, “new wood.” In case a hydrangea forms new buds on old wood, prune from the summer after flowers fade. For hydrangeas thriving on new wood, these plants should be pruned in late winter or early spring.

Disease and Pest Management

Hydrangeas are usually hardy crops, but they can suffer from problems with mold, powdery mildew, rust, blight and leaf spot, as well as bugs, such as aphids, scale insects and spider mites. Diseases, such as powdery mildew and leaf spot, are seldom fatal, but they harm leaves. Fungal problems usually result from humid conditions or if hydrangeas are not receiving enough sun. Recommended control procedures include application of sulfur, neem oil or potassium bicarbonate. Insect pests, like aphids, are best managed using insecticidal soap sprays, while routine watering during hot charms will keep spite mites at bay.

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Asparagus Plant Temperature Range

Asparagus is high in vitamin C and folate. Once established, plants supply spears for eight to ten decades. Asparagus grows in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 11, though it prefers a temperate climate. Gardeners in warm climates should choose varieties especially bred for their place because the temperature affects asparagus development patterns.

Asparagus Varieties

Asparagus is a perennial plant, and the spears are the new shoots the plant produces every year. To produce healthy flames, plants require a period of dormancy, which occurs when the plant is very cold or experiences drought. Varieties appropriate for warmer climates include UC157, De Paoli, Apollo and Atlas. These respond to drought dormancy. UC157 and De Paoli are commonly grown in California.

Growth Patterns

Asparagus plants are sensitive to changes in temperature. Plants need temperatures to be between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the daytime and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the night. Asparagus plants start to produce new shoots when soil temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At optimum daytime temperatures, asparagus spears grow between 3 and 6 inches every day. Growth rate increases as the temperature rises.

Extreme Temperature Effects

When temperatures get greater than 85 degrees Fahrenheit or lower than 55 Fahrenheit, root and shoot development slow down. High temperatures cause shoots to open prematurely into feathery fronds, which are inferior quality, or grow into misshapen forms. High temperatures also cause narrow, tapered spears with loose heads. Freezing temperatures cause emerging flames to become discolored; this is referred to as frosting.


You can grow asparagus from seed, though it’s slow to germinate and dependent on soil temperature. At a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, seeds take about 53 days to germinate. Higher temperatures slow germination rates also. The optimum soil temperature for fast germination is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, when seed germinates in about 10 days. Soak seeds in water for 48 hours before sowing to increase germination speed.

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How to Identify the Agave Plant

Agave plants (Agave L.), using their iconic leaves and striking appearance, bring a dramatic existence and include a bold, geometrical nuance to landscape design at the American Southwest. Hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11, agaves are ideal for the extremely arid conditions of the desert, having hard, spiny exteriors that protect their highly hunted moisture from natural predators. Although agaves share intrinsic attributes common to all succulents, like dense fleshiness and swollen leaves, several different features set them apart from other plants within their classification.

Examine the arrangement of the leaves close to the succulent’s foundation to get a rosette pattern. A rosette refers to a layered, circular arrangement of leaves or petals arising out of a stem to protect the plant. Rosettes on succulents like agaves result from short internodes, the part of the stem between two leaf nodes.

Search for thick, stiff symmetrical leaves ranging in shade from blue-gray to blue or gray to dark-blue with spiny margins that taper to a sharp point. The dark-red or black spines growing from the leaf margins are approximately 1/3-inch long and those growing from the tips grow to about 1/2-inch long.

Notice whether the form of the leaves fit the agave profile, which typically climb broad, long and slender or shaped like a spear.

Remove a leaf from the succulent, bisect it using lopping shears and examine its interior for moist, fibrous tissue running throughout. Just like succulents, the fibrous tissue helps the plant tolerate drought conditions by storing water.

Examine the plant to get inflorescence, a flowering construction with petals arising from a long stem, and also referred to as a mast. The agave’s mast grows a few feet from its own rosette, with a few varieties reaching a height of up to 30 feet.

Note the form and appearance of this succulent’s flowers growing from the inflorescence. Agaves grow spiked sections of yellow, cream or lime-green colored tubular flowers from their masts that develop so vigorously the plant often dies within a couple of days.

Examine the foundation of this succulent for several root suckers, called pups, growing nearby. The pups resemble little agave rosettes, and replace the plant after it dies on its own or with help from a spreading gardener.

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Why Do Ginkgo Tree Berries Stink?

Ginkgo biloba, known as maidenhair tree, is an intriguing ornamental, deciduous tree for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. The tree is most often included with conifers, but its own botanical features make it a shrub that fits in with both conifers and ferns. The trees consist of the male and female trees, and it is the fruit of the female tree that produces an offensive scent.

Why Ginkgo Fruit Stinks

The female trees produce fruit in late fall. These fruits stink only when left on the ground to rot. The rotting fruit emits an odor that smells like vomit. The odorous fruit discharges butyric acid, which likewise gives rancid butter its horrible odor. The seeds contained inside the fruit are edible and also do not emit the putrid odor, because the odor comes from the fleshy outer layer, known as the sarcotesta. Male trees produce their flowers prior to the trees lose their leaves. All these catkins release their feces and drop off. Gingko trees are wind-pollinated.

Fruit Identification

The ripe fruits of the female ginkgo trees resemble little yellow plums. The fruit is all about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter and more long than wide. In the fruit is a big, creamy seed that’s harvested and used for food. These seeds are easy to germinate, in small pots or in a greenhouse. You can set out the little, youthful ginkgo trees until they become rootbound in the pots.

Ginkgo Trees

Ginkgo trees can grow 70 to 80 feet tall, but the vast majority of trees more often reach 35 to 50 feet. The tree width is usually one-half to two-thirds the tree height, and the tree has an umbrella form. The fan-shaped leaves resemble the leaf of maidenhair ferns, which is where the tree receives its name. The foliage turns a golden-yellow in fall and generally remains on the tree for a while before all falling at once, making a gold carpet on the ground.

Why Grow Ginkgos

Many people grow ginkgo trees for their ornamental value. The trees are also easy to grow, needing only a sunny place with well-drained dirt. The trees grow well in the the country and the city. Ginkgo tree are virtually pest- and also disease-free. They bear heat, air pollution, acidic soils and alkaline soils as well as being resistant to oak root fungus. When growing female trees, then you can help reduce the odor by cleaning up the fallen fruit before it starts to rot.

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