Thursday, June 25, 2015

Euphorbia Roots

This is an update to my Euphorbia post a few weeks ago here Frosty Euphorbias.  Not often does a cut flower without leaves root in water!  Usually they just die. Even a cutting WITH flowers won't root because it's thinking of making seeds from those flowers and not roots.    This Euphorbia Diamond Delight was so cute that I cut 2 stems to try it in one of my tiny bouquets 2 weeks ago. The roses and Zinnias have since decayed have been pulled out of the vase. But I left the Euphorbias in because they still looked good, almost the same as when I cut them. I noticed yesterday that there were ROOTS on both Euphorbia stems! I couldn't believe it! 

Today I pulled them out and planted them in a 4" pot. Wish me luck. It's a fabulous plant and I'd love more in my garden and to share with friends.

Do you propagate plants?

Friday, June 19, 2015


Have you ever grown Jicama? Do you know anybody that has grown it? Yeah, me either. Have you seen what it looks like before it gets to your salad? It's about 6" across and looks like a hefty brown fat squished turnip! You've got to peel away that tough outer part to get to the white good part. I love Jicama in salads but didn't know much about it. They don't sell plants of it in any nursery I've been to(and I've been to a LOT). 

 I wondered if maybe it doesn't grow here. But I did a little research and wanted to try. Usually root vegetables grow in cooler months. So I was surprised to learn that Jicama grows in the warm season. Being a root veggie, you'd think it was a compact grower, like a beet. Oh no. Jicama has vining top growth to 15'! My friend Jerry who is from Mexico said he'd seen it has a long sprawling habit there. Research also says to be careful because the flowers and leaves are poisonous. Ok, we won't eat those parts. I finally found seed of it at San Gabriel nursery. $4.59 for a packet isn't cheap when common seed packs go for maybe $1.99. But I bought. I waited until my Sweet Peas we're done so I could grow them on a fence.

 They took a whole month to sprout! I'd almost given up. But here they are! Wish me luck! 150 days to harvest.  So they'll be ready in Nov when I start lettuce seeds.  I'll post an update when they get big and flower.  Who knows what the flowers look like!!!

What are you growing in your vegetable garden?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Perennial Asters

My years working in the nursery taught me about annual Asters. But we never sold perennial Asters. I learned about them from one of my clients who passed away about 7 years ago. Her name was Betty Wall and she loved to mail order plants. She would often have me divide perennials to reign them in. And she's let me take home the extras. This Aster is one of those. I don't know it's name.  But it is VERY white! 

Asters perform best in full sun. When flowering other varieties can get up to 3' although mine only grow to about 18". Research says that Asters are supposed to bloom in Autumn. Mine are blooming now.  They're sometimes called Michaelmas Daisies. The Feast Of Saint Michael is Sept 29 and is mostly celebrated in England. The Interweb also says they grow in zones 3-8. We are zones 9-10. Whatever! My garden guru friend Alice used to say that plants like to make liars out of us.

The plant spreads a bit but is easy to reduce by dividing. Mine like to grow into other plants.  Cut off spent stems after blooming. I planted mine in several places and they bloom every year. I also have a short purple one. But it's not blooming yet. That's another post.

Do you grow Asters?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Frosty Euphorbias

San Diego is a 2 1/2 hr drive from Burbank and I went last weekend for the CA State Button Show.  To tell you all about that would be a different blog.    Before leaving for home I stopped at Walter Andersen Nursery.  It's a fabulous garden center that was recommended by my friend Carl and I first went last year. Of course I couldn't come away empty handed.  One plant I bought was called Euphorbia Diamond Delight.  I have grown E. Diamond Frost for maybe 8 years(it's alway longer than I think). And it is awesome!   So I was pleasantly surprised to see this DOUBLE flowered variety!  It's SO fluffy and even AWESOMER(I know that's not a thing-but maybe now it is)!  And they had ONLY ONE!  It was a must have!

 You can see the difference in the flowers. E. Diamond Frost below has single flowers to the above E. Diamond Delight's double flowers. This plant grows well for me and has even seeded itself around.  In the sun it blooms year round.

It IS frost tender and I lost one a couple years ago.  The ones that have seeded themselves in the shade don't bloom very much. I must transplant some.  Do you grow this plant?  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rose Of Sharon


I got this Rose Of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus(say seer-E-ack-us) last year. It's flowering today and so pretty! Most people know the other Hibiscus rosa sinensis which looks tropical with big glossy green leaves and flowers that come in all colors except blue & purple. They're all large growing shrubs 5-10' and come from Asia. But the difference is that H. rosa sinensis is evergreen and H. syriacus is deciduous(loses all its leaves in winter).    

I think people in SoCal are spoiled with evergreens because it doesn't snow here. So we don't see deciduous shrubs here that much. Leaflessness in winter is not a bad thing. But my theory is that many non-gardeners here think when something besides a tree drops its leaves that it's dead.

So we don't see Rose Of Sharon that often. And when you do it's usually lavender or dark pink and a single flower. That's why I was so enamored by this pale pink double variety. It's called Pink Chiffon and blooms now through the summer. It's supposed to get about 8' tall. So far it's grown about 2' per year.

Do you grow Hibiscus syriacus?
Happy Memorial Day weekend and Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pelargonium Pink Spice

This is a wonderful plant. It's a Pelargonium that's sometimes called a Geranium "Pink Spice". It's a ground over that only grows about 6-8" tall by about 3' wide. It blooms most of the year. This one I planted for a client because they bloom so well for me. Cute, right? You can get them from Greenwood Daylily Gardens John Schoustra, the owner grows Pelargoniums, Bearded Iris, Daylilies and more.


Happy Gardening! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cute Pink Daisy

I am in LOVE with this new plant!  

 Two weeks ago I was at my amazing rose job in Pasadena(she has 300 or so roses and the garden is beautiful and park like) and I saw this plant!   Her other gardener had planted it in a big pot with a Citrus. It had no tag and I couldn't find him to ask.  So I took a pic and tried to figure it out.  I Googled what I thought it might be with no luck. I posted the pic on Instagram asking for an ID. No help.  I posted the pic on Annie's Annuals Facebook page with no answer!   I was at Green Thumb Nursery in Canoga Park last Saturday for our San Fernando Valley Iris Society Iris show for most of the day.  I showed the nursery people there the pic and got an answer. It's a Brachyscomb but they didn't have it!  Say Brak-EE-Comb.  It has quite different leaves and colored flowers from the common Brachyscomb I've seen.  Now I knew what to Google! A little search came up with Brachyscomb "Radient Magenta".  I asked for it at Lincoln Ave. Nursery in Pasadena and Armstrong in Glendale with no luck.   Struck out at 3 nurseries.  But I was on a mission!

So today was the members day of the annual Huntington Library & Botanic Gardens PLANT SALE!  It's a big deal and everyone goes!  I got there and looked around and picked up a blooming bulb. Then I found my friend Mitzi who was volunteering near the perennials. I showed her the pic. She said she would look for it. A minute later I spied some bright magenta on a table.  And THEY HAD IT!!  I was so happy that I bought 3 of them!   Yay for new plants!  

Happy Gardening!