Category

Blog Post

Nick’s Green Chile Recipe

By | Blog Post | No Comments

Nick’s New Mexico Green Chile  

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups roasted & peeled chopped green
  • Chile peppers
  • 10 oz. canned tomatoes crushed with juice
  • 2 cloves – fresh garlic minced
  • 1/8 Cup bacon drippings or lard
  • 1/8 Cup Flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 2lbs. Cubed cooked pork or meat of choice. (Cook Beforehand)

Directions:

In a dutch oven, heat bacon drippings until hot.  Add flour until it looks like elmer’s glue.  You may not need all the flour.  Brown flour until caramel brown; if you don’t brown well enough, chile will look chalky.

Add water, whisking until all lumps are gone.  Add tomatoes with juice, chilies, garlic and salt.  At this point, chile may still be too thick; add a little more water; not too much.  Add meat and let Simmer for 10 minutes.

Ta Da and Enjoy.

Watch our video to see how easy it is to make Green Chile

Houseplants 101: Best Low Light Plants

By | Blog Post, House Plants, Low Sunlight | No Comments

Houseplants. We love them. We need them. We want them all.

As houseplant care and collection continues to grow as a hobby, Nick’s wants to help you navigate the waters of houseplant care and selection! This blog series will help answer your questions and introduce you to various popular houseplant types, as well as help you learn how to care for them.

One of the most common questions Nick’s receives about house plants is, “Which houseplants are good in low light situations?” The answer is: lots of them! In this post we’ll talk about some houseplants that will do well in low light situations. If your favorite houseplant requires more light than you have available in your home, remember that sun lamps might be a good option. Nick’s carries sun lamps and can help you find the right product for you. 

10 Best Low Light Houseplants

ZZ Plant

This popular house plant has stunning foliage arranged in a very symmetrical form. The leaves are a bright dark green, and have a shiny finish. They require very little care, so they make a great starter plant for those looking to begin their houseplant collection.

Peperomia

These plants are one of the most sought-after plants right now. They come in many different colors and shapes. A member of the peppercorn family, Peperomia prefer indirect light due to the fact that in their natural habitat they can be found on the forest floor. Peperomia are air-cleaning plants that like humidity, so place them near a humidifier or in the bathroom. 

Golden Pothos

One of the easiest plants to care for. Even when neglected for a short time, they bounce back quickly. This vining plant with heart-shaped and variegated leaves is also an air-cleaner. As it requires low light, it would do well in nearly any area of your home. 

Nerve Plant

These little guys are a great option if you’re looking for some color.This plant is native to tropical climates, so it will do best in a place where it will receive some humidity, as well. (Tip: Is your house cooled by an evaporative cooler? Place this plant in the room where the evaporative cooler originates, making sure to place it far enough away from the cooler that the plant doesn’t get over-cooled.)

Begonia

Begonia is available in many different colors, shapes, and forms as well. It makes a great hanging plant, and does well on a covered or shaded patio in the summer. Tuberous Begonia (Begonia X tuberosa) flowers are edible and have a flavor much like a sour citrus candy! (Always research your particular variety of plant and make sure no pesticides have been used on the plant before ingesting.)

Snake Plant

Snake plant is just about bulletproof. Like the ZZ Plant, it’s a great starter houseplant. With thick leaves that grow tall and straight and have light greens and yellows running through them, this plant makes a great floor plant, and will do well in corners with no or low light. As a bonus, Snake Plant is another plant that helps to clean the air in your home.

Tradescantia

This vining plant, also known as Spiderwort, is available in many different varieties. The most common variety is Tradescantia zebrina – a dark mixed with light green and vibrant dark purple plant with shiny leaves. Tradescantia are typically very easy to grow and require little light. For a fuzzy option, try “Speedy Jenny,” Tradescantia chrysophylla. Spiderwort is a hardy plant that can survive some neglect. Like the Pothos, it may brown and dry up in places, but it typically bounces back well if a few waterings are missed.

Dracaena

If you’re looking for something tall and low-maintenance, Dracaena is your plant. Incredibly tough, Dracaena Massangeana can survive neglect and bounce back from a few brown leaves like a champ. The leaves are waxy and bright, and benefit from a quick dusting now and again to retain their shine. This plant, too, will help purify the air in your home.

Monstera

Perhaps the most popular plant at the moment, Monstera does not require much light to survive (though it will benefit from and grow better if placed in indirect sunlight). Monstera likes to make a big statement, so put it in a place in your home where it will have lots of space to spread its leaves. Water about once a week, when the soil is fairly dry. 

Staghorn Fern

The first thing to know about Staghorn Fern is that it definitely needs humidity. Staghorn Fern is an epiphytic plant – meaning it grows by attaching itself to the branches of other plants. This means that Staghorn Ferns do not need to be potted, but can be mounted on a plaque, placed in a shadow box, or hung in a moss ball. In Colorado, the best bet for a Staghorn Fern is to place it in a bathroom with indirect natural light. There it will be kept warm and have the best option for the humidity it needs to survive.          

Houseplants 101: Best Houseplants for Beginners

By | Blog Post, House Plants, House Plants Beginner | No Comments

Best Indoor Plants for Beginners

By Jessica Kendall

In our last Houseplant 101 post we talked about the best houseplants for low light situations. In this article we’ll introduce you to some plants that are great for those just starting out with houseplants. The great news? A lot of these plants overlap with the houseplants we recommend for low light situations!

The Top 10 Houseplant Varieties for Beginners:

Sweetheart Hoya

The Sweetheart Hoya’s heart shaped leaves make this plant an instant hit. It will tolerate low light, but will grow better with some exposure to sunlight. It requires very little attention and, like most succulents, only needs to be watered once or twice a month. If the soil is nearly dry, it’s time to water. Succulents are very tough plants, but the number one reason that succulents don’t make it is over-watering. Their roots are very susceptible to root rot, so it’s important to make sure the soil drains very well. This is why succulent and cactus soil always contains a heavy balance of small rocks.

Snake Plant

Previously covered in our “Low Light Houseplants” blog, Snake Plant is a nearly-indestructible plant that will almost always survive, even if you can’t remember the last time you watered it…

Jade Plant

Jade is another great succulent option. Said to attract money and wealth, this plant has pleasing waxy dark green foliage, and can grow to be quite massive or be easily shaped by trimming new growth. Like other succulents, it can tolerate lower light but will grow better with exposure to sunlight.

(Tip: Wondering if your succulent needs water? Succulents hold all of their water in their leaves – it’s why they’re squishy and thick! Succulent leaves will be firm if the plant does not need water – because the leaves are full of water – and will be quite soft if they do need water – because the water stored in the leaf has depleted. If you find your leaves are squishy and you’ve been watering it recently, it’s likely the plant is experiencing root rot.)

Spider Plant

Spider Plant might be called the rabbit of the houseplant world – it reproduces like crazy! You’ll see healthy spider plants producing “pups” that can be removed and transplanted to become new plants. Spider plants like low-light, and are also subject to root rot, so water them once the soil is nearly dry, but don’t let the soil dry out completely.

Peace Lily

These houseplants produce showy white flowers and can grow up to three feet tall. Peace Lilies can tolerate lower light and will even thrive under grow lamps. They can grow quite large, both vertically and horizontally. Much like succulents, Peace Lily will tell you when it needs water. Keep an eye on your plant, and when you notice that the foliage is starting to droop a bit, it’s time to water. Peace Lilies will also benefit from having its foliage spritzed with water in the summer.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

One of the most in-demand plants at this time, Fiddle Leaf Fig is certainly a stunner. A member of the Rubber Plant family, Fiddle Leaf Fig is both easy to care for, and a big statement-maker. You’ve probably seen this plant in many different settings – from corporate offices to trendy plant posts. With the potential to grow up to six feet tall, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is a perfect floor plant. This plant does need sunlight, and prefers a filtered bright window. Fiddle Leaf Fig wants water once the top inch of its soil is dry, but don’t let it dry out completely before watering.

Aloe Vera

Another succulent, Aloe Vera is not just beautiful and easy to care for – it’s also useful! The gel-like substance contained within the leaves is used frequently to help treat sunburn. Did you know that Aloe plants themselves can get a tan? If you notice that your aloe leaves (while healthy and well) are turning brown shade, move them a little ways away from their source of light and they will revert to that beautiful minty-green color once again.

Prayer Plant

The coloring of these plants set it apart from the majority of houseplants. In general, most houseplants are mainly made up of varying (and beautiful!) shades of green. Prayer Plant can be found with shades of reds, pinks, and bright yellows running through them, as well as varying shades of green from deep to almost white. They only grow to be about 8 inches high on average, so they’re a good option for smaller spaces like desks and shelves. Prayer Plant will tolerate lower light areas and prefers to be out of direct sunlight (too much direct light can scorch the leaves). These plants like to be well-watered. Avoid watering if the top inch of the soil is still moist to avoid fungal problems and gnats, but don’t let the plant dry out. Water a little less often in winter.

Money Tree Plant

Most often seen with decorative braided trunks, these plants are said to bring good fortune. These trees don’t like too much direct sun and should be rotated if placed in direct sun. They can tolerate fluorescent light, so if you don’t have a lot of natural light this might be the perfect plant for you. Money Tree should be given a good drink of water once the soil has dried out, but don’t let it dry out for long periods. As the plant grows, you can continue to braid the trunks by braiding and tying them loosely, or let them grow naturally.

Golden Pothos

Maybe the easiest of all houseplants (right up there with the Snake Plant), Golden Pothos is a very forgiving plant for those just learning to take care of houseplants. Pothos will tell you when it’s getting too much water by yellowing its leaves, and it’ll tell you when it’s not getting enough water with browning and crunchy dead leaves, but the plant itself is quite hardy and will survive as you learn. The vines can grow to be very long in a relatively short period of time, so it’s perfect for anyone wanting to have lovely drapey greenery in their space.

Kalanchoe Hildebrandtii or Silver Teaspoons Plant Care

By | Blog Post | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

Kalanchoe Hildebrandtii, or Silver Teaspoons, is a member of the Crassulaceae family, just like its more well-known cousin, Mother Of Thousands. Silver Teaspoons is very different in appearance from Mother of Thousands, however. As the name suggests, Kalanchoe Hildebrandtii’s leaves are a very light gray in color, and shaped like spoons. Silver Teaspoons should be grown as a houseplant in our climate, as it will not tolerate our low winter temperatures. However, it can be moved outside into the sun in the summer for an extra boost. It can handle direct or indirect light, but like most succulents it does need plenty of bright light. Too little light will leave the plant “leggy,” which means that the leaves become more spaced out on the stem than is preferred. This does not hurt the plant, but does indicate a deficiency in the plant’s needs. If the plant does become leggy, prune it to encourage a more bushy shape (but never take more than 30% of a plant when pruning).

At its happiest, Silver Teaspoons can be expected to grow to about 36 inches tall, and will grow in a bush-type habit. It will also produce white bell-shaped flowers in Spring if it is very happy. Water Silver Teaspoons as you would most succulents – allow the soil to completely dry out before watering and don’t let the plant sit in water. Use a Cacti and Succulent soil and a pot that has good drainage. If your pot does not have adequate drainage, use a Moisture Meter to check the moisture level at the bottom of the pot before and during watering. If you happen to add too much water, gently turn the pot on its side and let some water drain out, but be careful to avoid dislodging the soil or the plant.

Kalanchoe plants are considered to be air cleaning, but they are not pet safe, so keep them out of reach of pets. Silver Teaspoons will tolerate dry air, so no humidity is necessary to keep it happy. Silver Teaspoons is also tolerant of varying temperatures as long as those temperatures don’t drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Because its nature as a succulent makes it tolerant of dry air, dry soil, and varying temperatures, we rate Silver Teaspoons as a plant that is perfect for beginner Plan Parents and Plant Parents who are often on the go and unable to commit to a rigorous watering schedule. If giving Silver Teaspoons as a gift, make sure the new owner is aware that it should be kept away from pets.

Place Silver Teaspoons in the midst of other houseplants that are bright or dark green in color to help add interest to a houseplant display and to make Silver Teaspoons pop!

Don’t forget to save our Plant Parent Chalkboard photo for a quick reference later on!

 

Happy Plant Parenting!

Plant Parent Blog – Mimosa Pudica the Sensitive Plant Care

By | Blog Post | No Comments

You might have seen the Mile Marker boards that parents create for their children – they highlight things like the height, weight, likes, and dislikes of their child at various stages of life. We at Nick’s Garden Center think Plant Parents should have something like this for their Plant Babies as well! Our Plant Parent Chalkboard Photos and blogs will provide you with an overview of what each plant needs in order to “grow up” happy and healthy!

What’s better than a plant that does stuff? We love carnivorous plants because many of them move when touched. While it’s not carnivorous, Sensitive Plant, or Mimosa Pudica, does react to touch! When touched, Sensitive Plant will fold up its leaves along the stem. We don’t know exactly why this takes place, but we suspect it’s a kind of defensive mechanism.

This feathery, fern-like plant is prevalent in some tropical areas (like Hawaii) to the point of being considered a weed, but in our climate Sensitive Plant is a humidity-loving houseplant. As a houseplant, expect Sensitive Plant to grow to be about 18 inches tall in a somewhat shrub shape. When the right growing conditions are met, Sensitive Plant will produce fluffy globe-like flowers in shades of pink and yellow and purple.

Sensitive Plant needs to be kept moist at all times. It also benefits from humidity. Sensitive Plant needs bright light, and can even handle direct sunlight. If you are short on natural light sources (remember, windows block between 10 and 20 percent of UV rays), Sensitive Plant will do well with artificial lights. Use a soil that is loamy or sandy, and plant Sensitive Plant in a well draining pot. As previously mentioned, keep the soil moist, but don’t let the plant sit in water. Try to wait until the soil is dry one inch from the surface to avoid creating a habitat for gnats.

Sensitive Plant likes to be kept in temperatures around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It would do well in a bathroom with a bright window. Keep it away from drafts and vents that could cause a fluctuation in temperature or blow dry air around the plant.

Sensitive Plant is not pet safe, and it is not air cleaning. It has sharp spines on its stems, so it’s best to keep out of reach of tiny human hands as well. Because it likes humidity and to be consistently moist, Sensitive Plant would work great under a cloche and could be a very beautiful statement piece! It would also be a great plant for a terrarium as a terrarium would also facilitate the constant temperature, humidity, and soil moisture levels that Sensitive Plant needs. If Sensitive Plant is placed under a cloche or in a terrarium, care for the plant should be fairly simple, but if the plant is placed on its own, we rate it as a plant best kept by intermediate level Plant Parents and those who will be able to keep up with its watering, lighting, and humidity needs.

 

Don’t forget to save our Plant Parent Chalkboard photo for a quick reference later on!

Happy Plant Parenting!

Spring Snowflake Plant – Plant in Fall for Spring Blooms!

By | Blog Post | No Comments

Scientific Name: Leucojum

Common Name: Snowflake

Common Species/Varieties: Generally only the one, but Snowdrop is a common sister plant

Common Colors: White blooms with green dots on all petals

Plant Type: Flower, from bulb

Annual or Perennial: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 3-9 USDA

Self-Seeding: No, but they can self-propagate if left in the ground

Bloom Season: Spring

Grows Best In: Full Sun or shade

Fun Fact: Unlike most plants that grow from bulbs, Snowflake loves lots of moisture!

ABOUT SNOWFLAKE:

A part of the Amaryllidaceae family, Leucojum (Snowflake) is related to its Christmas Cousin, Amaryllis. Unlike their smaller sister, Snowdrop, Snowflake is one of the latest Spring bloomers. Snowflakes are also much larger, mainly taller, than the Snowdrop. Their foliage can last long after the blooms fade and shows up as a lovely, decorative grass. Snowflake will spread and propagate in the soil more quickly than others and will fill their own space, but they will not take over your garden like mint or other invasive plants. Similar to the meaning of Crocus plant, Snowflake’s meaning seems to take after the time in which it blooms. Like Spring, Snowflake plant represent hope and rebirth. Although Squirrels might try to dig up the bulbs, once the plant blooms, Snowflake is avoided by deer and nearly all pests.

 

SNOWFLAKE PLANTING AND STORAGE:

Snowflakes begin as bulbs, and those bulbs are planted in the Fall. You can plant tulip bulbs directly into your garden (they make lovely path liners), or into a pot stored in a cool (but not cold) dry, dark place through Winter. A good example would be an unheated garage, or shed, or a cold frame. The idea is to keep them cool but safe from rapid changes in temperature. Snowflake bulbs can also be stored in a way that prepares them for being “forced” in glass vessels in Spring. Place them in a container and add soil, then a layer of bulbs stored close together but not touching, add a layer of soil deep enough to allow room for roots to begin to develop, and then plant another row, and so forth until all of your bulbs are planted. Moisten the soil and keep it from drying out, but do not over-water. Storing Snowflake bulbs in this way can help your bulbs survive and begin to develop roots in order to be able to “force” the bulbs in a glass vessel in the Spring.

Snowflake, and all bulbs that bloom in the Spring, need to make their home in soil that is kept moist. Unlike other bulbs, Snowflake likes heavy amounts of water. Never drowning, but always wet. These bulbs can be a favorite of squirrels, and they will often dig the bulbs up over the Winter for a nice big meal. To prevent this from happening, we have had success with staking hardware mesh over the areas that bulbs are planted in, and removing the mesh once the plants start to bloom. All bulbs should be planted in orientations and at depths specific to the plant. For Snowflake, plant the bulb pointy side up in a hole that is about 3 inches deep, and space them 6-10 inches apart. It’s a good idea to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, as well. Snowflake prefer a nutrient rich, well draining soil but will grow in full sun or part shade.

 

FORCING BULBS IN THE SPRING:

To “force” bulbs in the Spring, select either a vase created specifically for allowing these bulbs to grow and bloom without soil, or a tall, slender vase and line the base with a generous amount of stones, nearly to the top of the vase, and place your bulb on top of the pebbles. You will fill the water to just under the base of the bulb, and keep the water at that level until roots form. At that point, keep the roots in water at all times until the bulb has bloomed. To prepare the bulbs for blooming, place them near a very bright source of light (a grow light is best) until they begin to develop leaves. Make sure the area they are stored in to soak up the light is no warmer than 65 degrees Fahrenheit at any given time. They are now ready to go in your vessel to bloom!

You may reuse bulbs again and again, but they must be allowed to collect energy from the sun via their foliage. The easiest way to accomplish this is to plant the bulb in some soil and place it in a spot where it will get plenty of sun. Wait until the foliage has browned and withered, then dig up your bulbs and store them as before.

(Snowflake’s cousin, Snowdrop.)

Best Time Plant Crocus Bulbs for Spring Blooms!

By | Blog Post | No Comments

Scientific Name: Croceae

Common Name: Crocus

Common Species/Varieties: Dutch Crocus, Early Crocus, Golden Crocus

Common Colors: Purple, White, Yellow

Plant Type: Flower, from bulb

Annual or Perennial: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 3-8 USDA

Self-Seeding: No, but they can self-propagate if left in the ground

Bloom Season: Spring

Grows Best In: Full Sun or shade

Fun Fact: Saffron spice is collected painstakingly from the stigma of the once-per-year blooming C. sativus, the Saffron Crocus – which blooms in the Fall!

ABOUT CROCUS:

Crocus is among the first of the Spring plants to bloom. Just behind Hellebore and neck-in-neck with Snowdrop, Crocus will add its sunny and cheerful blooms to your landscape even in snow-covered conditions – just make sure to protect any already open flowers from snow. There are over 90 variations of Crocus, but perhaps the most famous is the C. sativus – the Saffron Crocus. Just one ounce of Saffron requires over 4,000 stigma from this flower! Crocus is typically found in woodland or meadow settings and can be found from sea level to tall mountains. Crocus is believed to represent cheerfulness and youthfulness, which could stem from the fact the joy it brings as one of the earliest signs of Spring.

 

CROCUS PLANTING AND STORAGE:

Crocuses begin as bulbs, and those bulbs are planted in the Fall. You can plant tulip bulbs directly into your garden (they make lovely path liners), or into a pot stored in a cool (but not cold) dry, dark place through Winter. A good example would be an unheated garage, or shed, or a cold frame. The idea is to keep them cool but safe from rapid changes in temperature. Crocus bulbs can also be stored in a way that prepares them for being “forced” in glass vessels in Spring. Place them in a container and add soil, then a layer of bulbs stored close together but not touching, add a layer of soil deep enough to allow room for roots to begin to develop, and then plant another row, and so forth until all of your bulbs are planted. Moisten the soil and keep it from drying out, but do not over-water. Storing Crocus bulbs in this way can help your bulbs survive and begin to develop roots in order to be able to “force” the bulbs in a glass vessel in the Spring.

Crocus, and all bulbs that bloom in the Spring, need to make their home in soil that is kept moist but never soggy. These bulbs can be a favorite of squirrels, and they will often dig the bulbs up over the Winter for a nice big meal. To prevent this from happening, we have had success with staking hardware mesh over the areas that bulbs are planted in, and removing the mesh once the plants start to bloom. All bulbs should be planted in orientations and at depths specific to the plant. For Crocus, plant the bulb pointy side up in a hole that is about 3 inches deep, and can be planted in groups up to 9 in number. It’s a good idea to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, as well. Crocus prefer a sandy/loamy soil but will grow in full sun or part shade.

 

FORCING BULBS IN THE SPRING:

To “force” bulbs in the Spring, select either a vase created specifically for allowing these bulbs to grow and bloom without soil, or a tall, slender vase and line the base with a generous amount of stones, nearly to the top of the vase, and place your bulb on top of the pebbles. You will fill the water to just under the base of the bulb, and keep the water at that level until roots form. At that point, keep the roots in water at all times until the bulb has bloomed. To prepare the bulbs for blooming, place them near a very bright source of light (a grow light is best) until they begin to develop leaves. Make sure the area they are stored in to soak up the light is no warmer than 65 degrees Fahrenheit at any given time. They are now ready to go in your vessel to bloom!

You may reuse bulbs again and again, but they must be allowed to collect energy from the sun via their foliage. The easiest way to accomplish this is to plant the bulb in some soil and place it in a spot where it will get plenty of sun. Wait until the foliage has browned and withered, then dig up your bulbs and store them as before.

Spring Hyacinth – Plant in Fall for Spring Blooms!

By | Blog Post | No Comments

Scientific Name: Hyacinthus

Common Name: Hyacinth

Common Species/Varieties: Pink Pearl, Blue Jacket, City of Harlem

Common Colors: White, Pink, Purple, Blue, And Yellow

Plant Type: Flower, from bulb

Annual or Perennial: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 3-9 USDA

Self-Seeding: No, but they can self-propagate if left in the ground

Bloom Season: Spring

Grows Best In: Full Sun

Fun Fact: Hyacinth is a cousin of Asparagus!

ABOUT HYACINTH:

Hyacinth is another flower synonymous with Spring. It grows in easter-egg colors of white, pink, purple, blue, and yellow, and smells just like Lilac flowers. Hyacinth is native to the Mediterranean and has been around for a very long time. It is even mentioned in Homer’s Iliad! Each bulb produces one stalk on which dozens of tiny flowers bloom. Hyacinth, like other Spring bulbs, are wonderful plants for pathways and borders, and also grow very well when planted in pots. Plant with Crocus and Tulips for waves of Spring blooms! In Flower Language, Hyacinth is rather impish as it represents things like playfulness and rashness, though each color has a different meaning, and can also represent sincerity.

 

HYACINTH PLANTING AND STORAGE:

Hyacinths begin as bulbs, and those bulbs are planted in the Fall. You can plant tulip bulbs directly into your garden (they make lovely path liners), or into a pot stored in a cool (but not cold) dry, dark place through Winter. A good example would be an unheated garage, or shed, or a cold frame. The idea is to keep them cool but safe from rapid changes in temperature. Hyacinth bulbs can also be stored in a way that prepares them for being “forced” in glass vessels in Spring. Place them in a container and add soil, then a layer of bulbs stored close together but not touching, add a layer of soil deep enough to allow room for roots to begin to develop, and then plant another row, and so forth until all of your bulbs are planted. Moisten the soil and keep it from drying out, but do not over-water. Storing Hyacinth bulbs in this way can help your bulbs survive and begin to develop roots in order to be able to “force” the bulbs in a glass vessel in the Spring.

Hyacinths, and all bulbs that bloom in the Spring, need to make their home in soil that is kept moist but never soggy. These bulbs can be a favorite of squirrels, and they will often dig the bulbs up over the Winter for a nice big meal. To prevent this from happening, we have had success with staking hardware mesh over the areas that bulbs are planted in, and removing the mesh once the plants start to bloom. All bulbs should be planted in orientations and at depths specific to the plant. For Hyacinth, plant the bulb pointy side up in a hole that is about 6 inches deep. It’s a good idea to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, as well. Hyacinths prefer a sandy/loamy soil and full sun.

 

FORCING BULBS IN THE SPRING:

To “force” bulbs in the Spring, select either a vase created specifically for allowing these bulbs to grow and bloom without soil, or a tall, slender vase and line the base with a generous amount of stones, nearly to the top of the vase, and place your bulb on top of the pebbles. You will fill the water to just under the base of the bulb, and keep the water at that level until roots form. At that point, keep the roots in water at all times until the bulb has bloomed. To prepare the bulbs for blooming, place them near a very bright source of light (a grow light is best) until they begin to develop leaves. Make sure the area they are stored in to soak up the light is no warmer than 65 degrees Fahrenheit at any given time. They are now ready to go in your vessel to bloom!

You may reuse bulbs again and again, but they must be allowed to collect energy from the sun via their foliage. The easiest way to accomplish this is to plant the bulb in some soil and place it in a spot where it will get plenty of sun. Wait until the foliage has browned and withered, then dig up your bulbs and store them as before.

Planting Tulips in Fall for Spring Blooms!

By | Blog Post | No Comments

Scientific Name: Tulipa spp.

Common Name: Tulip

Common Species/Varieties: Black Parrot, Triumph, Fringed, Ice Cream

Common Colors: Green, Multicolor, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow

Plant Type: Flower, from bulb

Annual or Perennial: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 2-8 USDA

Self-Seeding: No, but they can self-propagate if left in the ground

Bloom Season: Spring

Grows Best In: Full Sun

Fun Fact: It is said that a merchant of Antwerp was gifted tulip bulbs in an order of cloth from Constantinople, and thinking they were onions, attempted to eat them. Upon finding them inedible, he thought that perhaps planting them in his Dutch earth would improve the flavor. He was shocked and delighted to see them flower the following Spring!

ABOUT TULIPS:

Tulips are a beautiful addition to any Spring garden or patio or kitchen counter. Available in over 3,000 varieties, anyone is sure to find at least one favorite version of this iconic flower, if not many! Wild tulips are native to Central Asia, but are perhaps best known by their location at Keukenhof in Holland – where over seven million tulip bulbs are planted each year. Tulips make lovely border or path plants, and are well-grouped with other spring bulbs such as hyacinth and daffodils. They are also easily planted in soil in any pot that has good drainage and stored in a cool, dry place to be brought out in Spring and placed on counters or patios and in displays. Just be sure to check them every month or to make sure the soil stays moist, but not wet.

In the language of flowers, tulips in general are said to represent great love, with yellow tulips symbolizing cheerful thoughts, and white tulips symbolizing forgiveness. Although they bloom in the Spring, tulips are the flower of those born in the month of July.

TULIP PLANTING AND STORAGE: 

Tulips begin as bulbs, and those bulbs are planted in the Fall. You can plant tulip bulbs directly into your garden (they make lovely path liners), or into a pot stored in a cool (but not cold) dry, dark place through Winter. A good example would be an unheated garage, or shed, or a cold frame. The idea is to keep them cool but safe from rapid changes in temperature. Tulip bulbs can also be stored in a way that prepares them for being “forced” in glass vessels in Spring. Place them in a container and add soil, then a layer of bulbs stored close together but not touching, add a layer of soil deep enough to allow room for roots to begin to develop, and then plant another row, and so forth until all of your bulbs are planted. Moisten the soil and keep it from drying out, but do not over-water. Storing Tulip bulbs in this way can help your bulbs survive and begin to develop roots in order to be able to “force” the bulbs in a glass vessel in the Spring.

Tulips, and all bulbs that bloom in the Spring, need to make their home in soil that is kept moist but never soggy. These bulbs can be a favorite of squirrels, and they will often dig the bulbs up over the Winter for a nice big meal. To prevent this from happening, we have had success with staking hardware mesh over the areas that bulbs are planted in, and removing the mesh once the plants start to bloom. All bulbs should be planted in orientations and at depths specific to the plant. For tulips, plant the bulb pointy side up in a hole that is three times as deep as the bulb is long. It’s a good idea to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, as well. Tulips prefer a sandy/loamy soil and full sun.

FORCING BULBS IN THE SPRING: 

To “force” bulbs in the Spring, select either a vase created specifically for allowing these bulbs to grow and bloom without soil, or a tall, slender vase and line the base with a generous amount of stones, nearly to the top of the vase, and place your bulb on top of the pebbles. You will fill the water to just under the base of the bulb, and keep the water at that level until roots form. At that point, keep the roots in water at all times until the bulb has bloomed. To prepare the bulbs for blooming, place them near a very bright source of light (a grow light is best) until they begin to develop leaves. Make sure the area they are stored in to soak up the light is no warmer than 65 degrees Fahrenheit at any given time. They are now ready to go in your vessel to bloom!

You may reuse bulbs again and again, but they must be allowed to collect energy from the sun via their foliage. The easiest way to accomplish this is to plant the bulb in some soil and place it in a spot where it will get plenty of sun. Wait until the foliage has browned and withered, then dig up your bulbs and store them as before.

Coral Bells Plant – Floral Fall Fashion and Pollinator Favorite!

By | Blog Post | No Comments

Scientific Name: Heuchera

Common Name: Coral Bells, Alum Root

Common Species/Varieties: Plum Pudding, Ginger Ale, Palace Purple

Common Colors: Orange, Purple, Bronze, Red, Green

Plant Type: Leafy colorful foliage

Annual or Perennial: Perennial

Hardiness Zone: 4-9 USDA

Self-Seeding: Not usually

Bloom Season: Late Spring to Early Summer

Grows Best In: Partial to Full Shade

Fun Fact: The fuzzier the leaf, the less water the variety tends to need.

Coral Bells are growing in popularity and with good reason. These plants may be called “Evergreen,” but they come in so many different colors that the title is almost a misnomer! These plants can survive cold temperatures and can even retain their color and shape under a light dusting of snow. Coral Bells are defined mostly by their large, fluffy, ruffly leaves, but their tall stalks of bell shaped flowers are also not to be missed. Trim the stalks of these flowers once they have finished blooming to help encourage healthy, strong foliage growth.

Most Coral Bells will grow to be 12 to 36 inches tall, and 12-18 inches wide. Their beautiful colors and the way that they hold onto those colors through the beginning of the colder months are something that sets them apart from many other plants. Not only do they retain their colors, but those colors just happen to be perfect for the Fall season. Coral Bells typically grow in shaded, woodland areas, so they will do best in at least partial shade, and should be kep moderately moist.

Coral Bells are deer resistant, not likely to be prone to disease, and in the summer their delicate flowers can attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Coral Bell blossoms can be lovely as a cut flower in arrangements as well. The colors of the Coral Bell foliage can be quite striking, with some of the deepest purples available in a plant. Often the leaves are somewhat variegated and can look almost marbled in various tones of the color of the leaves. Coral Bells can be planted in the ground if you have a suitable climate for them to grow in, and they can also be planted in containers that can easily be moved depending on the weather.