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Articles

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Agaves that handle the Heat AND cold ‣

Many of the agaves for sale in our area are Zone 9, meaning that they need winter protection if temps drop into the low 20's. Some varieties can't take a freeze at all!

The ones listed below are all 8b and lower, meaning that they will probably take temperatures down to 15°F without protection. If the freeze is early and severe, protect them anyway.

We will list a few agave here that have proven to do well in Austin and the surrounding regions.

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7 Plants the will attract birds to your garden ‣

Support your feathered friends by planting these top avian attractions.

Chili Piquin (Capsicum annum) - all peppers are cultivars of this species. It’s nickname, “Bird-Eye Pepper” is an indication of how much birds love it. This well-behaved native plant does well in sunny to part shady locations and self-seeds. Unlike most peppers, it is perennial. Some people like to make hot-pepper sauce with them, but many birds love to eat them, including Blue Jays and Cardinals, but especially Mockingbirds!

Mulberry Tree (Morus sp.) - a summer fruiting tree that many birds love. The...

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Avocado Trees ‣

A guide for avocado tree selection and care in Central Texas. It can sometimes be a challenge, but it's worth the work.

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Bee & Butterfly Habitats ‣

Though birds and butterflies garner the most interest from our customers, bees are also in the news a lot. Many gardeners and homeowners are afraid of bees or other pollinators and will request plants that don’t attract bees. But we are finding that people are getting more and more comfortable sharing their yards with local wildlife and it has become a trend to provide a home for these very important pollinators. Planting native prairie wildflowers provides food and shelter, and has the side benefit of attracting beneficial insects that help naturally control unwanted...

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Bamboo Selection and Care ‣

We carry a wide variety of bamboos. Some varieties are much more available than others. Also, some are much more cost effective than others. We have access to many varieties that are not regularly stocked. Most varieties stocked at the store are clumping varieties.

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Best Cutting flowers for your garden. ‣

Who doesn’t love a fresh flower arrangement? Sure you can purchase cut flowers from your local HEB but there’s nothing as fresh and long-lasting, not to mention cool, as flowers picked from your own yard. Here is a list of some great flowers to plant in our Central Texas area, so you’ll be ready for that impromptu dinner party or just to make yourself happy!

Here are the best:

Celosia: They come in “feather” or “cockscomb” looking flowers. They will usually come back from seed in later years. Look for the varieties Bombay or Karume for the large heads, and the...

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Browning Leaves ‣

Why are my houseplant’s leaves turning brown? This is a common question particularly in regard to house plants. There can be many reasons.

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Citrus for Austin ‣

The aspiring gardener can grow pretty much any citrus tree variety in Austin, provided they’re willing to protect certain varieties from winter cold. The following is a list of varieties and their descriptions, including notes on cold hardiness.

Calamondin

This plant is grown more for its looks than for its fruit edibility. It is hardy to 20°F. The edible fruit is small and orange, about one inch in diameter, and resembles a small tangerine.

Mandarins

They have a wide range of flavors, but are always delicious. All are easy to...

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Deer Resistant Plants ‣

Calling a plant “deer-proof” is like calling the Titanic “sink-proof.” So, first of all, accept this simple truth: a deer will eat ANYTHING, including your car, if he’s hungry enough. During a drought, a rise in the deer population, or any time when food is scarce, deer will expand their pallet and munch on many plants considered resistant.

The following lists include great landscape plants that, while not 100% deer proof, they will be the last ones in the neighborhood to be munched on!

Trees

Magnolia...

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Expanding your Edibles ‣

Note: some items on this list we only carry seasonally, our best selection is always in the spring.

Traditional standbys like tomatoes, peppers and strawberries are great, but there’s more out there to expand your edible plant palette like the following:

Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)- they’ve been boosting health in China and Europe for centuries, but remain relatively scarce in Austin gardens. Allow them go cascade in containers or grow vertically. The royal purple flowers are brilliant red super-fruit can be enjoyed in your garden, and you can save a ton by growing your own!...

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Frogscaping ‣

Did your garden seem a bit too quiet last season? There is something disconcerting about summer nights that are devoid of a single chirp or croak from once abundant garden frogs and toads. Silence in nature is generally not a good sign. A garden filled with frogs indicates balance and a healthy ecosystem.

What’s the problem?

Amphibians, such as frogs and toads, are going extinct at an alarming rate. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, one in three out of all amphibians are on their red list of endangered species.

Habitat destruction and...

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Plants for Shade ‣

Part Shade

Perennials

Achillea (Yarrow)

Alocasia amozonica

Bacopa

Betony, Purple (Stachys officinalis)

Betony, Texas (Stachys coccinea)

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisrunchium bellum)

Bicolor Iris (Morea bicolor)

Chili Pequin

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Cuphea, Batface (Cuphea llavea)

Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

Jimson Weed or Gypsum Weed (Datura)

Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis)

Foxglove (Digitalis)

Ginger, Variegated (Alpina sanderae)

Guara

Ground...

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Fountain Care ‣

  • Do not run pump overnight or when you are not available to monitor the pump
  • Lack of water will burn out the pump (generally, if a fountain runs for 8 hours at a time you will need to add more water)
  • Always plug the pump into a properly grounded junction box with a GFI recepetacle
  • Change water frequently
  • Never allow water collected in your fountain to freeze

Cleaning and Maintenance

Clean glazed ceramic with a soft cloth. Clean concrete with a brush. Depending on the temperature and evaporation you may see a buildup of...

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Gardening 101 ‣

What is the difference between an annual and a perennial? Evergreen, and deciduous?

An annual plant is one that lives for a short period of time. Its whole mission in life is to sprout from seed, grow, flower, and produce more seed before dying. In the Austin area, we have a few different planting seasons, each with different annuals appropriate for that season.

Annuals usually produce the maximum number of flowers per plant for their given time. We also carry some tropical plants that will say “treated as an annual in our area.” This is a...

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Good Laven' gone bad... ‣

When bad things happen to good plants. Let’s say you’re a gardener. And let’s say you built some new garden beds last fall, and you added a bunch of juicy compost to the soil. You shoveled that compost into your native soil, watered it, then planted a very smart mix of dry loving shrubs and perennials. All winter you kept a tight eye on things, making sure the new plants never went without. Spring arrived, and you threw out some mild organic fertilizer just to give everything a leg up for the growing season ahead. Your lavender exploded. Your blackfoot daisies set records. Your Texas sage,...

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Tillandsia Care ‣

Tillandsias are really very hardy, and require much less attention than other house plants. Like other houseplants, they do need protection from frosts.

Inside, give them bright, filtered light. Submerge the plant in water for 2-3 hours about every two weeks. . If they get some sun indoors, you may need to mist them daily. Fertilize by adding a pinch of Bromeliad or Orchid fertilizer to your mister and use rain or filtered water for best results. If they are growing in a glass globe, then don’t put it directly in front of a window where they get direct sun, because the glass will...

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Venus Fly Trap Care ‣

Dionaea muscipula

The most popular carnivorous plant, Venus flytraps grow to 5-6 inches in diameter with traps typically measuring up to 1.5 inches.

In late spring, Venus flytraps produce small white flowers that readily self-pollinate. In mid to late summer, you can collect seeds once the entire stalk turns completely black and dries up. Native to a 90-mile radius

around Wilmington, NC. USDA Zone of Native Habitat: Zone 8

Where to Grow

The flytrap grows best outdoors as a container or potted plant. It makes an excellent addition to any sunny deck or patio....

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