Your Monthly Grow-zine

November 2020

Things to do in the garden this month...

Winter annual Sunpatiens

We've had an unusually warm autumn so far, so if the temperatures stay fairly hot and you're planning to plant winter annuals, wait until temps have cooled down more...or plant things like Sunpatiens and Geraniums in a part shade location protected from mid-day sun.

Once the weather has cooled down nicely, winter annuals are at their happiest and will give our gardens bright color through spring.

Apply weed and feed to your lawn. Early November is the time to do this for the health of your turf grass.

Water once a week if there's been no rain.

Watch out for pest damage. Take bagged cuttings to your local nursery for diagnosis and treatment options.


In last month's Grow-zine I spotlighted a web visitor's Sylvester Palm,  to which she had applied a stain on the trunk. A landscaper contacted me, saying his company does this - and applies Thompson's Water Seal after the stain dries to keep the finish lasting longer.

A landscape element often overlooked...

Trunks of palms and trees are landscape elements, too...just like our flowers, shrubs, pathways, and so on.

Trunks of taller plants add texture and color to the design.

And, in many cases, once the palm or tree is mature, trunks are all we see at and near eye level.

Gumbo Limbo

Here are some plants with interesting trunks and bases that can add a bit more zip to the design:

  • Sylvester Palm
  • Gumbo Limbo tree
  • Floss Silk tree
  • Arikury Palm
  • Sycamore tree
  • Strawberry Guava
  • some Bamboo varieties
Bamboo 'Alphonse Karr'

Some Crape Myrtle trees shed bark, creating a unique - and sometimes very showy - mottled look.

This peeling of bark is natural to crapes.

What's new at

I've decided not to reprint my paperback book Snowbird quantities are very limited!

Every couple of years I've updated the book a bit before having a new batch printed. But at this time there are some major changes I'd have to make - including changing or even removing the entire chapter on citrus, due (sadly) to citrus greening making it difficult to find trees and the fact that its risky to grow them.

That, coupled with the extreme expense of having a full-color book printed, has convinced me that it's time.

The Snowbird Gardening ebook will remain available for download...and I plan to make some updates there very soon.

Also...I've added the above photo of the Crape Myrtle trunk to the Plant Page on Crape Myrtles.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Chase Landre

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A visitor asks...

"I just planted some weeping bottlebrush trees. They are about 9 ft tall. There are many small branches coming out from the sides - is it best to trim them off? I want the tree to develop and grow on top to remain a single stalk."

It's fine to cut off the baby shoots sprouting from the trunk. You can also leave them on for a short time because they'll feed (and help increase) the trunk's caliper, but it's not necessary - and they do need to come off at some point before they get too big.

Weeping Bottlebrush is actually a very large bush that's always trained to grow as a tree.

If you've ever grown any shrub trained to a single trunk tree-form - such as hibiscus - you'll see these little side shoots. It's fine to remove them to keep the tree thing going.

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