Your Monthly Grow-zine

January 2021

Things to do in the garden this month...

Add plants to your garden that bloom in cool weather...such as the stunning Chalice Vine, which flowers in fall and winter.

Shop your locally-owned nursery for winter annuals, herbs, vegetables.

Run irrigation every 7 to 10 days - if it hasn't rained.

Keep on the lookout for bugs. If you see plant damage, take cuttings bagged in plastic to your local nursery for diagnosis and treatment options.

Palms that aren't palms

Just as koalas aren't really bears, some plants known as palms aren't really palms at all. They're usually called that for their similar appearance to a palm.

Here are a few "imposters" to add a palm-like look to your landscape:

Both Cardboard and Sago are cycads (palm-like plants that grow seed cones).

Travelers is a huge stunning showstopper of a plant that will eventually grow a trunk and look more like a palm.

Madagascar Palm looks like a cactus trunk with a palm top, with white flowers in summer.

The Ponytail can grow in an infinite number of ways - and will top out at about 30'.

Many people plant a young one thinking it will stay short and cute, but Ponytails are each uniquely different (like children!) and yours may surprise you with its eventual growth pattern.

If you're good with houseplants, this makes a great one grown indoors to clean the air. Container growing will also slow the growth even more.

What's new at

I recently came across this huge Downy Jasmine at a friend's country property - so I've added its picture to the Plant Page.

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Happy New Year!

Chase Landre

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Roll out the red carpet!

This is the perfect time of year to use low-growing winter annuals - and for a way to make the color really pop, consider those with red flowers.

Since red and green are opposites on the color wheel, the combination of red with all the greenery in our gardens is especially striking.

Red-flowering annuals to consider this winter include Geranium, Sunpatiens, Salvia and Petunia.

If you'd prefer to use perennials, consider red-flowering varieties of Baby Sun Rose, Vinca, Pentas or Lantana.

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What to plant on the no-see-um side

Variegated Pittisporum

I often advise people not to plant anything on the side of the house or garage that no one sees...

...but sometimes it bothers us enough that we want to plant SOMETHING.

If that's you, consider Variegated Pittisporum for a sunny location. This easy-care shrub is ideal to dress up a plain wall, and because it's a slow to moderate grower, trimming can be kept to a minimum.

It's also salt-tolerant and cold hardy with attractive foliage.

If you need something for a shady area, though, Green Arboricola is a great choice.

Both of these plants will give a full, lush, landscaped look to a blank wall. Anything too small will look amateurish.

If you have windows or other architectural elements that require a smaller plant to grow beneath them, you can use a smaller shrub there - such as Green Island Ficus or Indian Hawthorne.

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