Shrubs / Bushes

Abelia, Glossy
Agarita, Spiny
Almond Verbena
**Almond Verbena
Angel's Trumpet
Bottle Brush
Boxwood, Japanese
Butterfly Bush Peach Cobbler
Crape Myrtle
Gray Santolina

Hamelia patens
Hibiscus Lord Baltimore
Jasmine, Primrose
Ligustrum "Suwannee River"
Mexican Bird of Paradise
Pineapple Guava
Yaupon Holly
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (zone 9)

Fastest Growing Shrubs
Shrubs by sun & shade
Info. Gen.

Pruning Shrubs
Planting Time Ref

Native Flowering Shrubs

Central Texas Shrubs

Best Shrubs for Texas Newly planted shrubs should be watered frequently until they are well rooted, which may take two growing seasons. Once established, plants should be watered less frequently so they will develop deep roots and be better able to withstand drought.

In the absence of rain, most shrubs benefit from a once-a-month, thorough watering during the growing season. Normal lawn watering is not a substitute for thorough tree and shrub watering. The feeding root system of a tree or shrub is located within the top 12 inches of the soil and at the “dripline” of the plant. The dripline is the area directly below the outermost reaches of the branches. Apply water and fertilizer from just inside to a little beyond the dripline, not at the trunk. Simply lay a slowly running hose on the ground and move it around the dripline as each area becomes saturated to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. For large trees, this watering technique may take several hours.

Central Texas Gardening--Shrubs


This heat loving semi-evergreen shrub has golden-yellow bell-shaped flowers late spring through fall. Ideal for large containers, flower beds, butterfly and hummingbird gardens. 12” ready to use pot regularly $24.99*

Gold Star Esperanza

Texas Superstar winner judged from the many satisfied gardeners in San Antonio and throughout the State of Texas. This evergreen shrub produces yellow, ..


Tropical looking tree with electric-orange blooms.

Extremely heat and drought tolerant once established.

Very easy to grow in our alkaline soils, tolerates very high temperatures and is drought tolerant.

Also, a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. 3 gallon container regularly $24.99*


Large Shrubs for Area Landscapes

Landscapes are better balanced and make better habitats for the birds if they not only include tall shade trees and groundcovers, but everything in between, including perennials, small and large shrubs and small trees.

In the large shrub category, consider butterfly rose, primrose jasmine, pyracantha and standard yaupon holly.

Purple Rose

A tough old-fashioned rose, such as the butterfly rose, is a great choice to be a transition plant in a landscape. Butterfly rose qualifies as a xeriscape plant because it will survive without any supplemental irrigation. Despite blooming eight to nine months of the year, butterfly rose is not bothered by diseases or insects. It will grow to fill a space 10 feet tall at 15 feet in diameter if planted in full sun. The thorns make it more desirable as a wildlife plant, but do make it hard to prune or shape. Select butterfly rose if you have enough space to let it grow to full size and glory.

Butterfly Rose

Selecting, Buying and Planting a New Rose Here’s my advice for selecting, buying, and planting a new rose:

Step 1: Tea is for drinking.

If, like me, you are not interested in entering into a lifelong regimen of spraying from an arsenal of chemicals, then you’ll select rose plants known for disease resistance. In general, these will not be hybrid teas, but rose varieties that grow in old-fashioned bushy shapes – “shrub roses” -- nearly as wide as they are tall.

Also, you may find that some of the healthiest rose varieties only bloom once, which may affect your choice. There are also new rugged varieties from which to choose; these will clearly state their disease resistance on the label or catalog description.

Step 2: Choose a suitable place for your new roses.

For best results, the location should receive no less than six hours of direct sunlight. You can test a spot by placing stakes or flags in the ground where you hope to grow the roses and watch to see how much sunlight and shade actually passes over the flag during the day. Consider shade from trees above, and plants already growing nearby.

Step 3: Choose your vendor carefully.

That is, try to buy from a source that

• If possible, sell roses grown on their own roots, not grafted roses

• ship Bare-root roses: plants that have been washed of soil and shipped with naked roots, or

• roses potted in containers

Do Not purchase roses that

• are in a box (the roots are growing a plant-it-all degradable box) or

• plants with roots encased in sawdust in a plastic bag (often sold at drug, discount home-improvement stores and supermarkets. You get what you pay for).

If you are new to the concept of “bare-root” roses, you might be shocked when you open the shipping carton to find brown sticks wrapped in moist paper and in a plastic bag. Let me reassure you that this is a perfectly acceptable, if not preferred way to receive roses. Why? Because bare-root roses are dormant plants that have been held in cold storage and usually do not suffer from transplant shock (die-back of stems and/or delayed growth). They are ready and waiting to grow once they are exposed to spring temperatures.

The one drawback for those of us living hectic lives is that bare-root roses should be planted within a day or two after they arrive. If you cannot plant them right away, try and squeeze them into the refrigerator, or worst case scenario, soak the roots in a bucket of water. The roses should be placed in water in a deep container up to the spot where the roots meet the stems. In the case of grafted roses, which will be most of the bare-root ones, there will be a large gnarled growth at the spot where they were grafted, the bud union. Place the bucket in a shaded, cool spot in the basement if unheated, or outdoors if it is above 32 degrees F.

Step 3

: To plant when the roses arrive, follow these instructions. Take the plants out of the box and place the roots in a bucket of water—for up to 24 hours—to re-hydrate them. Prepare the hole (step 4), and after the soak, plant immediately taking care to not let the roots dry out (cover with a moist towel if you have to plant many).

Step 4: Prepare the soil.

Roses need great (rich in organic matter) soil that is cool and moisture retentive. Dig a big hole and incorporate lots of humus (compost) into the excavated soil before planting. Excavate a hole large enough so that the bare-roots will not be bent in the hole. Create a cone of soil in the middle of the hole and spread the roots around the cone. Then fill in with the compost-amended soil, pressing down to remove any large air pockets-- but do not step on the soil or “muddy” the rose into place unless you have very sandy soil. You don’t want to fill in all the spaces in the soil, forcing out essential.

If the plants were grafted, bury the bud union two to four inches below the soil. In my Zone 6 garden, I plant them about two inches below grade. In colder climates I would recommend planting the bud union even deeper. Water when you plant, and be consistent about watering deeply and frequently, at least for the first two growing seasons. Mulch the surface of the soil after planting, being sure to not let the mulch touch the stem of any plant. Feed regularly with an organic rose food, following the manufacturers’ recommended rates and methods of application.

Step 5: Roses in the border.

I want to grow roses like other plants, as if they were shrubs or perennials to incorporate into mixed plantings. That is out of the question with the disease-prone hybrid teas, but shrub roses have a chance once established. When first planted, do not allow competition either above or below the ground – shade from taller plants, plants that block the breeze, or ones that will steel moisture form the rose’s roots. Once the roses have caught on, you can allow other, lower plants in front, taller plants in back, to move closer.

In other words, while the idea of adding roses to a mixed planting is an excellent way to use roses, wait a year or two before you plant perennials nearby. This notion will not be popular with those in need of instant results. I’m afraid to play off the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” roses can’t be grown in a day. But one thing people can do, is to plant three of a kind. Three rose plants near each other, so that in two years, the impact is substantial, and the triplets will have a better chance to stake their ground.

Pruning shrub roses is different than pruning the long-stemmed hybrids bred for cut flowers. Shape the plants -- first by removing dead wood and any crossed branches -- then by encouraging an open, vase shape for the plant. Cut roses back to spots just above buds that face away form the center of the plant. To prune after blooming, cut down to the just above the first five-leaflet leaf with an outward facing bud.

Louis Philippe Rose

Louis Philippe Rose

Louis Philippe Rose avail. at Niche Gardens

Natchitoches Noisette Rose

Natchitoches Noisette Rose

Peggy Martin Rose

Peggy Martin Rose climbing rose

Peachy Cream Rose

OSO Easy Peachy Cream Landscape Rose at Sooner Plant Farm 25.99

Honey Bun Rose

Honey Bun Rose You'll love that Oso Easy® Honey Bun Rose Has the highest level of disease resistance and that it produces an abundance of semi-double blooms. The unique flower color ranges from blush-pink to butter yellow to creamy white.

Honey Bun Rose

Apricot Drift Rose Exhibits a true ground cover habit and offers a fresh look to the series. Double apricot colored flowers begin flowering in spring and display a season-long show of color. It is just as tough and disease resistant as others in the Drift® series.

Roses from Princess Yorkshire

Jack Benny Rose

Rose Cécile Brunner

Honey Bun Rose

Rosa Choix Realité

Rosa Ketchup Mustard

Rosa Miss Thang

Rosa Pink Promise

Hybrid Tea.

Rosa Singin' the Blues

Heirloom RosesHeirloom rose. With an exceptional citrus and verbena fragrance, this rose shows off deep lavender blooms with a light lavender reverse. The large pointed buds open to cupped blooms that 3.5” in diameter on average. They grow in small clusters and have an expanded bloom form. This bush, upright plant has semi-glossy, medium green foliage and grows between 5’-6’ with a width of 2’-3’. Singin’ the Blues should not be pruned heavily. $27.


Rosa Easy Going

Jackson & Perkins Floribunda rose. 2-quart $20. This sport of Livin' Easy™ is fragrant, beautiful, and super-tough! Sometimes the very best plants are accidents. Easy Going™ was discovered growing at Harkness Nursery in England in 1996, a golden-apricot sport among all the orange-apricot Livin Easy™ roses. Covered in thorns, very bushy and upright, the shrub was absolutely covered in healthy foliage. And it stayed that way all season, untroubled by blackspot and other foliar diseases that plague many roses. Here was a magnificently low maintenance, laid-back rose -- it had to be named Easy Going™!

...gardeners have been singing its praises ever since. It's a floribunda, with small clusters of 4-inch double blooms held in a wide-open, ruffled, delightfully elegant way that reminds us (here at Jackson & Perkins) of a corsage. Yellow, gold, and apricot wash together on these soft petals, which release a sweet fragrance very reminiscent of honeysuckle.

.. It really doesn't take up much space -- about 3 to 5 feet in height and perhaps 2 feet in width -- but it makes its presence felt with dense branching, an upright growth habit, and all those forbidding thorns. The foliage, as you might expect from a rose untroubled by blackspot, is large and glossy, a rich deep green that makes a verdant backdrop for the blooms. Even when Easy Going™ is not in bloom, the shrub is attractive in the sunny garden.

Order Number WEBJP1428444--9/11915

Primrose Jasmine

Primrose jasmine is an evergreen shrub with a weeping shape. The foliage is very dark green. It shows off the glossy yellow flowers that appear in later winter. Primrose jasmine does not seem to have any insect or disease pests. Even the deer do not eat it. It grows to eight feet around and 8ft high. It can be planted in full sun or in partial shade, such as under deciduous trees.

Primrose Jasmine

The Time of Year to Prune Jasmine Some species are not fragrant, such as primrose jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi), a fast-growing, yellow-flowered shrub. It can grow to 30 feet high, so prune vines after flowering to keep the plant to size--drastically, if necessary.

Jasminium mesnyi primrose jasmine, or Chinese jasmine.

Yaupon Holly

Standard yaupon holly has many of the same characteristics of pyracantha. It has berries for the birds, grows to the same dimensions, can be pruned to any size or shape, and is drought-tolerant. However, standard yaupon does not have thorns, is not eaten by deer, has more shade tolerance than pyracantha and is native to Texas.

Yaupon Holly

Mexican Bird of Paradise


Tropical looking tree with electric-orange blooms.

Extremely heat and drought tolerant once established.

Very easy to grow in our alkaline soils, tolerates very high temperatures and is drought tolerant.

Also, a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. 3 gallon container regularly $24.99*

Brugmansia "Charles Grimaldi" -- Angel Trumpet

Dave's Garden: Angel Trumpet, Angel's Trumpet; Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'

From Vancouver, WA. This brugmansia is amazing looking and is amazingly hardy. I have mine planted in the ground here in zone 8b, and although it died to the ground without winter protection, by mid-April it has begun to send several new shoots up from the base of its trunk. This last winter it handled 10 degrees F without more than an inch or two of bark mulch. We also have very wet winters. Last year it started blooming by the first of June (and you could smell the blooms from 15 feet away), hopefully it will be on the same schedule this year.

from Franklinville, NJ: I fell in love with brugs several years ago, and I've found that Charles Grimaldi is the best overall for looks, reliability and, of course, fragrance.

I've overwintered them in the garage and in our house (I'm in zone 6/7), set them out next spring and they come right back. However, with three cats and a dog I have to keep the plants protected to make sure nobody eats the leaves.

On the other hand, brugs are so inexpensive that it might be worth it to simply grow them as annuals. If you order a plant in March or April and keep it indoors until after the last frost, you'll have gorgeous blooms by late June, and they'll keep going until first frost in the fall.

I just don't know why more people don't grow these stunning plants. Whether you put them in the ground or in a LARGE container, they are some of the most beautiful flowering shrubs available anywhere. And that fragrance!!!! Like a delicate vanilla-lemony soap, but one you can smell from 10 feet away on a mild summer night.

Negative from Tucson, AZ (Zone 8a): For hot, dry areas (like Tucson), I've learned that brugmansias are more trouble than they're worth, including the "easy" Charles Grimaldi. Mine's in a 5-gallon pot on the back porch, northern exposure with filtered morning sun.

Got the plant in April of 2012 when it was only 4" high. It grew to 5' by September, but required ridiculous amounts of water and fertilizer, plus several pints of rubbing alcohol + frequent blasts of water from the hose (which tore up its leaves) to keep the spider mites under control. I could've sustained my entire front yard with the amount of water this one plant consumed! Plus, the plant blew over frequently because it became so top-heavy.

When it finally bloomed in Sept., the flowers were gorgeous but I was disappointed at their mild fragrance, which reminded me of Ivory Soap. Right after blooming, the plant quickly went dormant (even though temps were still in the 80's and 90's) and looked unattractive until March.

Then it took off again, but despite my best efforts, spider mites got the upper hand this year, and one by one it dropped its leaves and now it looks like a skeleton. So unless you have the means to provide a humid, jungle-like atmosphere in the desert, you're more than welcome to try this plant but don't be disappointed if it turns out to be not as easy-to-grow as reviewers from more suitable climates would have you believe.

Available plant at Select Seeds



Oleanders Oleander plants are among the most versatile of shrubs, with dozens of uses in southern and coastal landscapes. They tolerate a wide range of conditions, including difficult soil, salt spray, high pH, severe pruning, reflected heat from pavements and walls, and drought. But the one thing they can’t withstand is winter temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oleanders bloom from summer to fall, with fragrant flowers in shades of apricot, copper, pink, lilac, red, purple, salmon, yellow, and white, depending on variety. The plants are best adapted to the west coast, southern states, Florida, and Texas and will withstand dry conditions and wind, as well as salty, marshy soils, making them popular in coastal regions. Oleanders grow 6 to 12 feet tall and wide, and some varieties can be trained to grow into small trees up to 20 feet tall. The flowers are very fragrant. All parts of plant are poisonous to humans and animals if ingested; the plant’s sap can cause skin irritation in some individuals.


Even in the garden, oleander shrubs require minimal care. Although the shrubs are drought-tolerant, they look their best when they are watered during dry spells. However, take care not to over water them. Yellowing leaves indicate that the plant is getting too much water.


When planting an oleander select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. However, oleanders are adaptable and will withstand dry conditions as well as marshy soils. Plant in the spring or fall. Space plants 6 to 12 feet apart, depending on variety. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Prune oleander after the main bloom period to encourage bushier growth and more flowers, and to reduce the size of the shrub.


Deadly plants for dogs Dogs love to play, and they can easily get bored and chew on things or dig up things that they shouldnt. This is a normal activity for dogs, but sometimes the substances they discover and ingest can be dangerous or deadly. Protect your dog from poisonous plants by keeping them out of his reach. Oleander Toxicity Rating: High. Ingestion of even small amounts can kill. Dangerous Parts: The entire plant is toxic. Consuming leaves, fresh or dried, will poison most dogs.


Mexican Oleander

Yellow Oleander, Thevetia peruviana. Also called: Lucky Nut, Mexican Oleander, Thevetia nerifolia, Cascabela thevetia, Cascabela nerifolia, Cerbera peruviana. Used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Oleander Tree

Oleander Tree

Oleander tree is a wonderful and takes very little care, it can either grow to be a rounded shrub or small to medium sized tree.


Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess' Common Name: Japanese spirea; Type: Deciduous shrub; Family: Rosaceae; Zone: 4 to 8; Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet; Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet; Bloom Time: May to July; Bloom Description: Pink; Sun: Full sun; Water: Medium; Maintenance: Low; Suggested Use: Hedge; Flower: Showy; Leaf: Good Fall; Attracts: Butterflies; Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil, Air Pollution

Spiraea "Little Princess"

w Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Remove faded flower clusters to promote additional bloom. Prune in late winter to early spring.

This Japanese spiraea cultivar ("Little Princess") is an upright, rounded, deciduous shrub which typically forms a compact mound to 30" tall. Features numerous pink flowers in flat-topped clusters (corymbs) in late spring to mid-summer. Attractive to butterflies. Oval, sharply toothed, mint green leaves take on attractive red hues in autumn.

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attack other members of the rose family, including leaf spots, fireblight, powdery mildew, rots, aphids, leaf roller and scale.

Spiraea "Little Princess" / Spiraea Double Bridal Wreath

Garden Uses: Effective in borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens and as low hedges or edging. Excellent for foundation plantings.

Spiraea a genus of about 80 to 100 species of shrubs in the family Rosaceae.

Spirea deciduous or semi-evergreen shrubs. They are grown primarily for their small but profuse white, yellow, pink, or purple flowers in spring or summer. Use spirea in a mixed or shrub border, as a groundocver, in a rock garden, or as hedging, depending on growth habit.

Noteworthy characteristics: Flowers profusely.

Care: Fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. If plant flowers on previous year's wood, prune after flowering by cutting back flowered shoots to strong buds, young lower growth, or basal growth. For those that flower on the current season's wood, cut back to a low permanent framework as buds begin to swell in early spring.

Spiraea "bumalad Anthony Waterer" / Spiraea Fritschiana

Spiraea "bumalad Anthony Waterer" / Spiraea Fritschiana

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow This pretty shrub with the antique-sounding name is one of the standbys in the Southern shade garden. Native to the tropical and subtropical Americas, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is almost always evergreen here in our coastal zone 9A. Although several species of this plant are widely cultivated, the one I most often see in the garden is Brunfelsia pauciflora. Which is strange when you think about it! “Pauciflora” means “having few flowers” in Latin and that’s just not true for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow! In warm climates like ours, it flowers from April through September or October.

Although the Brunfelsia family will thrive in almost full sun, they always appreciate a little break from the hot afternoon summer sun. And unlike many sun-loving shrubs, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow will bloom in almost complete shade, as long as it isn’t deep, dark shade.

I like to use Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow as a foundation plant, a steadying influence that provides continuity from season to season and from one (sunny) side of the garden to the other (perhaps more shady) side. It’s a quieter sort of shrub, without the drama or razzle-dazzle of azaleas or the finicky tenderness of tropicals like ixora.

As the flowers age, the color fades from purple to lavender to white.

Where did this plant get its unusual name? From the flowers, which open a deep blue-purple and slowly fade to lavender and then white. Over the course of the blooming season, flowers of all three colors are present on the shrub at the same time. I like the initial color best, and apparently, so do pollinators. The theory is that the color changes as a signal to pollinators that the “action” is over for that flower.

I have never had much trouble growing the several Brunfelsia varieties that are available, although they differ a bit in height, cold-hardiness and shade tolerance. It can be hard to tell which is which at the garden center, another reason to shop at reputable independent nurseries who know what they’re talking about.

Filtered shade or dappled sun is ideal.

Brunfelsia pauciflora – native to Brazil, 3-8 feet tall with a rather variable, open habit. Considered to be the most shade-tolerant. Flowers have a tiny white throat. Reliably hardy in zone 9.

Brunfelsia ‘Floribunda’ – a variety of B. pauciflora, above. Same shade and cold-tolerance. Shorter plant, more flowers.

Brunfelsia ‘Macrantha’ – also a pauciflora type. Larger flowers, no white throat.

Brunfelsia pauciflora ‘Compacta’ – a dwarfing variety, typically 4-6 feet tall, foliage less open and more “compact” than species. Tends to bloom only once, in the fall. More tender.

Brunfelsia australis – sometimes called Paraguay jasmine. More fragrant. Larger, up to 12 feet tall. Marginally more cold-tolerant, but I still consider it a zone 9 plant.

Brunfelsia grandiflora – less cold-hardy, maybe zone 9B or 10 in a typical winter. Perhaps less tolerant of shade. Habit is more dense. Blooms once, in late winter or early spring.

Note: all Brunfelsia species produce alkaloids that are toxic if ingested. Don’t eat this plant!

Brunfelsia pauciflora Common Names: Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow, morning-noon-and-night, Brazil raintree. Family: Solanaceae (nightshade Family)

Moisture: Water regularly and don't allow to dry out completely.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 10. Jack grows this shrub in Zone 8 but warns to expect leaf and possible stem damage after freezes.

Hibiscus, Lord Baltimore

Strikingly beautiful 10" red flowers grab attention from across the garden. Plants, with nicely contrasting deep green, lobed leaves, reach a statuesque height of 6-8 ft. and spread fully to 3-4 ft. It loves the heat of summer and prefers full sun to partial shade and moist to wet soil conditions... blooms fall & summer. Perennial. 6-8 ft. tall. Comment: My Lord Baltimore is 8 years old now and comes back every year with more beautiful blooms. We cut ours back to maybe only 4-6 inches above ground about mid November. We started with ONE plant and now we have 8 because when the seed pods drop, they can make new plants. We are in Texas with dark clay and we never do anything to the soil except water.

Ordered 10/17/15 for front bed Anita's window.

Buddleia, Peach Cobbler

Butterfly Bush: Along with a crowd of discerning butterflies and hummingbirds, we are smitten with this cultivar's delectable, fragrant peach-toned blossoms with orange centers. The blossoms contrast charmingly with shimmering silver foliage.. Growing to 6', the hardy, almost sterile plants bloom from early summer until first frost. Needs full sun. Blooms fall and summer. Uses: bed, border, container.

Review: This was my first time growing a buddleia. From the other plants that I've seen, 'Peach Cobbler' is more compact. It's a pretty hardy plant as well. I grew it for a couple of months in heavy clay soil. It didn't die, but it grew slowly. I placed it in a pot with better draining soil, and it took off.

Ordered 10/17/15 for front hell strip or container or where? Beside rose bush in backyard?.

Butterfly Bush: How To Care For The Buddleia Everyone who wants colorful blossoms and fragrant flowers which attract butterflies and birds in their garden, then plant the butterfly bush the Buddleia (sometimes spelled “Beddleja”) also called the “summer lilac.” Especially during the spring season, they help us to enjoy nature to its fullest.

The Butterfly Bush known as the “summer lilac” with colorful blossoms and fragrant flowers attracts butterflies.

The very hardy butterfly bush can survive in almost any weather condition. They grow just about anywhere, whether you want them there or not! However, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone list zones 5 to 9 as most recommended for the plant. Buddleias come in many varieties which vary in color and size. For a home garden, opt for compact versions as the larger varieties tend to take over your garden area. These butterfly attracting plants can prolifically spread and may actually find themselves listed as an invasive species in some areas. Check with your local authorities to determine their status in your area. Watch them carefully: these undemanding, easy-to-grow bushes can get out of control if not taken care of properly.

The Butterfly Bush known as the “summer lilac” with colorful blossoms and fragrant flowers attracts butterflies.

The plants grow best when planted during late fall or early spring.

They require medium fertile well-drained soil to grow.

The main concern with these plants is space. Most types grow 6–12 feet tall and 4–16 feet wide. Always give the plant some extra room.

Choose a space with partial sun and partial shade.

The butterfly bush doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer, but when planting use a good compost while preparing the soil bed.

When planting position the root ball at the same level as the soil surface.

Give plants a minimum distance of 10 feet apart.

Water thoroughly after planting.

Once established the plants are drought tolerant

Dwarf varieties of the butterfly bush do well when grown in containers. I particularly like to see these dwarf varieties grown as a tree. Val Bourne, an award-winning garden expert, recommends varieties like Black Knight, Salvia Black and Blue, Peacock and Pink Delight for container gardening.

These happy, fast growing flowering shrubs with beautiful flower spikes need little to no care, but keep a few things in mind while waiting for those butterflies and hummingbirds to show up.

Fertilize the plant well in the winter.

Deadheading should be your favorite pastime!

Keep the plants at an appropriate size by trimming the edges to avoid overgrowth.

Caterpillars can cause Buddelia trouble. If their feeding is minimal and not harming the plant, leave them alone; otherwise, take the necessary measures to remove them.

Water the plant freely when growing and sparingly at other times.

Avoid using too much fertilizer; this will promote leaf growth rather than flowers.

Do not try to move a butterfly bush from one part of the garden to another. These plants do not cope well with transplanting.

Always be on the lookout to make sure your butterfly bush doesn’t start spreading like a weed. Trim as necessary.

Pruning Buddleia in Spring

Correctly pruning a butterfly bush is of great importance. The varieties which bloom and flower in late summer and autumn, are usually varieties related to Buddleia Davidii, and should receive a hard pruning every year in the spring.

By hard pruning we mean removing the growth and shoots from the previous summer’s growth. Cut them all the way back to within 3 or 6 inches of the older wood. However, if you want to increase the size of the bushes quickly, cut the summer’s growth back to about 6 to 9 inches long. Make sure you remove, cut and thin out all weak twigs.

Most varieties of Buddleias produce their flowers on the new shoots grown during the current year, but there are some exceptions – Buddleia alternifolia.

Buddleia Pruning After Flowering

the flower buds need to be “preserved” and pruning should NOT BE DONE until after the flowering season has finished normally in June. The pruning is slightly different. Lighting thin and removal of old branches at this time. Shorten long shoots.

After 5 or 6 years bushes look tall, awkward looking and unattractive. The old wood needs to be pruned back hard in early April. You’ll lose blooms for one season, but new vigorous growth develop for next years bloom.

When the Crocus come out is a good time to prune indicator. New wood produced after this severe pruning is more vigorous and the flowers heavier than the ones produced on two-year-old wood of the Buddleia.


Top 10 Quick-Growing Shrubs Get fantastic results and garden benefits even faster than usual with these plant picks.

Elderberry Sambucus

Add a few elderberries for you and the birds to enjoy. Butterflies are attracted to the white flowers that appear in summer. The small, purple-black fruit that follows attract birds and can be used for jellies, pies, juice and wine. New cultivars like Black Lace and Lemon Lacy add fine texture and color to the landscape.

Why we love it: Elderberries tolerate wet and even dry soil once established.

Panicle Hydrangea Hydrangea paniculata

Zones 3 to 8 and 9 to 10 on West Coast

The newer and shorter varieties have helped this plant’s popularity explode. Their hearty nature and low-maintenance makes them an easy plant to use as a hedge, in mixed borders or as a specimen. Grow in full to part sun and check the plant tag for proper spacing.

Why we love it: Its close cousin, the Annabelle-type hydrangea, grows quickly and makes a nice addition to shade gardens.

Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius

Zones 2 to 8

New cultivars with colorful foliage have moved this native plant out of the back border and into the spotlight. Use as a hedge, backdrop for flowers or in mixed borders. This tough shrub tolerates full sun to part shade, drought, salt, clay and rocky soils.

Why we love it: You can find lots of compact cultivars like Lady in Red (Ruby Spice), Nugget, Little Devil and Amber Jubilee.

Fraser Photinia Photinia x frasen (Red Tip)

Zones 7 to 9

This is an evergreen shrub often used as part of a screen or tall hedge. Its bright red ends have inspired its other common name—red tip. Regular pruning controls the plant’s size and promotes new growth. White flowers appear in spring and though they’re pretty to look at, they’re not pleasant to smell. Be aware that this shrub is invasive in some parts of Texas.

Why we love it: Red Robin photinia tends to be less susceptible to leaf spot diseases.

Glossy Abelia Abelia x grandifolia

Zones 5 to 9

Add some fragrance and color with this sweet shrub. Fragrant, bell-shaped flowers first appear in spring and continue throughout the growing season. The season ends with purplish fall foliage. Grow in full sun for the best flowering and fall color. Use en masse, as a hedge, in natural areas or in front of larger plants and evergreens.

Why we love it: This low-maintenance plant has few pest problems.

Hazelnut Corylus Americana

Zones 3 to 9

This low-maintenance native shrub grows in full sun to part shade and moist to dry soils. The edible fruit can be roasted and eaten if you can harvest the nuts before the birds and squirrels do. Use as a screen or hedge in informal or natural areas where it has room to spread.

Why we love it: The pendulous male flowers (catkins) provide added interest in late winter or early spring.

Waxmyrtle Myrica cerifera

Zones 7 to 11

This native tree is often pruned and used as a shrub. It’s easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including drought and flooding. Northern gardeners can grow its hardier relative, Bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica).

Why we love it: The evergreen foliage is fragrant when crushed, and the gray berries are an energy source for winter birds.

Japanese Beautyberry Callicarpa japonica

Zones 5 to 8

The striking violet to almost metallic purple fall fruit make this shrub worthy of a spot in the shrub border. The blue-green leaves make a nice backdrop for both the pinkish white flowers and fruit. It grows best in full sun or light shade in well-drained soils.

Why we love it: The birds love the fruit of both this and its southern cousin, American beautyberry, which is hardy in zones 6 to 11.

Yaupon Ilex vomitoria

Zones 7 to 10

This native evergreen shrub forms dense thickets well suited for screens, hedges, windbreaks and barriers. It can be espaliered or trained as a small tree or topiary. The red berries brighten the winter landscape and provide food for the birds.

Why we love it: Its adaptability, along with drought- and disease-tolerance, makes it a long-lived native alternative to boxwood.


Pittosporum a genus of about 200 species of flowering plants in the family Pittosporaceae. The genus is probably Gondwanan in origin; its present range extends from Australasia, Oceania, eastern Asia and some parts of Africa. They are commonly known as pittosporums or, more ambiguously, "cheesewoods".

Flowering Japanese Cheesewood; Pittosporum tobira / Feuilles et fleurs du Pittospore du Japon
Left photo attribution: "Pittosporum tobira1" by Kurt Stüber [1] - part of Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Right photo attribution: "Pittosporum Tobira JPG0" by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons -

The species are trees and shrubs growing to 2–30 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged or whorled, simple, with an entire or waved (rarely lobed) margin. The flowers are produced singly or in umbels or corymbs, each flower with five sepals and five petals; they are often sweetly scented. The fruit is a woody seed capsule, which bursts on ripening to release the numerous seeds. The seeds are coated with a sticky resinous substance. The genus is named after their sticky seeds, from the Greek meaning "pitch-seed".

Tarata (P. eugenioides) and Kohuhu (P. tenuifolium) – both from New Zealand – and the Japanese cheesewood (P. tobira) from southern Japan are widely cultivated as ornamental plants in subtropical regions; pittosporums can also be grown indoors as bonsai.


Spirea Spireas are small to medium sized deciduous shrubs that produce cascades of flowers in spring and summer.

Among the easiest flowering shrubs to grow, spireas are often used in foundation plantings, as hedges, and in perennial gardens. Most spireas bloom in late spring to midsummer. Flower colors include pink, red, yellow, and white, depending on the variety. Some types have colorful fall foliage. Size depends on the species and variety, and can range from 2 to 10 feet tall and wide. Low-growing bumald spirea (S. bumalda) and medium-sized Japanese spirea (S. japonica) can be used throughout the landscape. Vanhoutte spirea (S. vanhouttei), the classic bridal wreath spirea, grows up to 10 feet tall and 20 feet wide, so give it plenty of elbow room. Masses of small, white flower clusters cover the plant in the spring.

Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 2 to 15 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you've removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don't amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill in around the root ball with soil until the hole is about half filled. Then firm the soil and water thoroughly. Fill the hole with the remaining soil and water again. Form a raised ridge of soil around the perimeter of the hole so it acts like a berm to help hold in water.

Apply a layer of compost under the tree each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Deadheading spent flowers will sometimes induce a second flowering. Most spireas can be pruned after flowering to reduce height and maintain the desired shape. However, Japanese and bumald spireas should be pruned in early spring to promote the best flowering. Remove dead, diseased, and broken branches anytime. Spireas can be severely pruned and will grow and flower again.

Growing Spirea Shrubs Novice and experienced gardeners alike love spirea bushes (Spiraea) for their eye-catching beauty, fast growth rate, hardiness and ease of care. Spirea shrubs are deciduous shrubs that can be divided into two categories: spring blooming and summer blooming.

The spring blooming spirea has a delicate cascading habit with large clusters of white flowers poised on arching branches. The summer blooming spirea bush boasts beautiful pink, white or red flowers atop upright branches. Both varieties are prized for their shape and flowers.

Japanese Boxwood

Japanese Boxwoods vs. Common Boxwoods Japanese boxwood (buxus microphylla var. Japonica) will cope with quite heavy frosts and is also able to take full sun. This gives it a distinct advantage over common boxwood (buxus sempervirans), which can suffer in freezing weather and full sun. Propagation of both boxwoods is by cuttings and the weather-coping capabilities of the Japanese boxwood mean cuttings can be safely planted outdoors even before the last frost.

The Japanese boxwood thrives in alkaline soils. The common boxwood requires a rich, slightly acidic soil. The roots of the Japanese boxwood go deeper than those of the common boxwood, which are often so shallow that they break the surface. In warm weather the common boxwood needs to be watered regularly and benefits from a layer of mulch over the roots to help keep them moist.

Both plants are evergreen but the common boxwood is more affected by cold winds and the leaves can turn brown after exposure to a dry cold wind. In severe cases the leaves may fall and replacements will be slow to appear. This could adversely affect the shape of the shrub.

Glossy Abelia

Abelia × grandiflora Common Name: glossy abelia; Type; Deciduous shrub; Zone: 5 to 9; Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet; Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet; Bloom Time: May to September; Bloom Description: White/flushed pink; Sun: Full sun to part shade; Water: Medium; Maintenance: Low; Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize; Flower: Showy, Fragrant; Leaf: Good Fall

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun. Prefers moist, organically rich soils which drain well. Somewhat evergreen in the South, but generally deciduous in the St. Louis area where stems may suffer substantial damage (including dying to the ground) in cold winters.

Glossy Abelia Abelia x grandiflora Originally from Italy, this popular rounded shrub makes a fine hedge, barrier, mass or foundation plant. It also works to combat erosion when planted along a bank. Graceful, arching branches are covered with white flowers tinged with rose from late summer through the fall, attracting butterflies and bees.

What Are the Best Tips for Growing Abelia Shrubs? Abelia shrubs are adaptable, low-maintenance shrubs with broad evergreen leaves and delicate flowers. These shrubs can be planted in sun or shade. Though they are low maintenance and generally immune to pest problems and diseases, proper placing in the landscape, ample water and fertilization, and some pruning is required to keep Abelia shrubs looking their best.

There are a variety of different Abelia shrubs from which to choose. Glossy Abelia, or Abelia x grandiflora, is a hybrid in the Abelia genus commonly planted in gardens and landscapes. From this hybrid, several cultivars have been developed. These include Edward Goucher, Sunrise, Little Richard, Kaleidoscope, Sherwoodii and Canyon Creek.

The flower color, height and spread of Abelia shrubs varies depending on the species and cultivar, but they do share similarities. The shrubs typically flower from late spring through early fall and produce clusters of white or pink flowers set against the glossy foliage. The shrubs grow between 3 and 6 feet (about 0.9 to 1.8 m) tall with an equal spread. The branches curve gracefully down to the ground, creating a neat cascading look.

Abelia shrubs grow well in full sun or in partly shaded areas, making them versatile in the landscape. They can be planted as part of a foundation planting or included in border areas and shrub beds. Abelia can also be planted as hedges in areas that get a mixture of full sun and part shade. For the best flowering however, Abelia should be planted in areas that get full sun.

Established Abelia shrubs can tolerate some drought conditions, but newly planted shrubs require consistent moisture. Fall is the best time to plant a new Abelia shrub, as fall-planted shrubs have the winter and damp early spring months to get established before the next growing season. When planting Abelia in late spring or summer, it is important to keep the shrub well watered during dry periods.

Abelia shrubs should be pruned in late winter before the first green buds emerge. A third of the oldest stems should be cut down at the soil line to rejuvenate the shrub and encourage healthy new growth. Dead and broken branches should be removed whenever they are noticed.

Abelia Abelias (Abelia spp.) are shrubs in the honeysuckle family that thrive in warm climates with little care. They are known for their long summer bloom period, attractive foliage, and fragrant flowers that are a favorite of butterflies.

Abelia x grandiflora 'prostrata' / Abelia x grandiflors 'Leonora Enking'

'Prostrata' is a low-growing white-flowered form that grows just 18 inches tall.

Abelia chinensis x A. uniflora


Ligustrum x 'Suwannee River' [Privet]

Privet 'Suwannee River' A versatile hybrid with lustrous, deep green evergreen foliage on a very compact, mounding form. Attracts Birds, Easy Care, Fragrant, Tolerates Poor Soils. White flowers.

Privet 'Suwannee River' Suwannee River Privet features showy panicles of lightly-scented white flowers at the ends of the branches in mid spring. It has dark green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The glossy oval leaves remain dark green through the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The bark is not particularly outstanding.

Suwannee River Privet is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ligustrum x 'Suwannee River' -- Suwannee River Privet

Suwannee River Privet will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It has a low canopy. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution.

Rhaphiolepis umbellata

Rhaphiolepis umbellata 'Minor' - Dwarf Yeddo Hawthorn Category: Shrub; Family: Rosaceae (Roses); Origin: Japan (Asia); Evergreen: Yes; Flower Color: White; Bloomtime: Spring; Fragrant Flowers: Yes; Synonyms: [Raphiolepis, Rhaphiolepis ovata 'Minor']; Height: 4-6 feet; Width: 2-3 feet; Exposure: Full Sun; Summer Dry: Yes; Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs; Winter Hardiness: 10-15° F

Rhaphiolepis umbellata 'minor'

Video: Rhaphiolepis umbellata 'Minor' - 'Minor' Yedda Hawthorn

Rhaphiolepis umbellata 'minor' Gulf Green

Euonymus alatus

Euonymus alatus

Taiwan Abelia

Taiwan Abelia

This shrub also only blooms on old wood (like lilacs) so any pruning should be done directly after flowering.

Gray Santolina

Santonlina this was the first plant I ever fell in love with. My aunt had one in her yard. Gray Santolina, the most common variety is the most vigorous. It forms a naturally mounded shape of dense gray foliage that smells heavenly. It takes full sun and does not need supplemental irrigation unless we have two months of drought with over 100° weather. There is also a green Santolina that is nice but it is not as vigorous.

Gray Santolina

Santolina chamaecyparissus Common Name: lavender cotton
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Western and central Mediterranean
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought

Gray Santolina

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants appreciate regular moisture during the first year, but tolerate drought once roots are established. Plants perform well in limey soils. Plants tolerate poor dry soils. Avoid rich soils. Avoid wet soils. Gritty or sandy soils help provide the exceptional drainage that these plants need. Plants dislike humid weather where they are more susceptible to fungal diseases and tend to lose compact shape by opening up in the center. Deadhead spent flowers as soon as they fade.

Lavender cotton or gray santolina is a small, semi-woody, tender sub-shrub with aromatic, evergreen, silver-gray foliage. It typically grows in a mound to 2' tall spreading to 3' wide. It is native to the Mediterranean area (southern Europe and northern Africa). Pinnately divided leaves have a rough texture and musky fragrance. Button-like, 3/4-inch wide, bright yellow flowers (rays absent) of this aster family member bloom in summer atop stalks rising well above the foliage to 6" tall. Flowers may not appear if plants are regularly trimmed/sheared. Plants are often grown in herb gardens. Foliage has historically been used as an insecticide and moth repellant.

What Is Santolina: Information On Santolina Plant Care Santolina herb plants were introduced to the United States from the Mediterranean in 1952. Today, they are recognized as a naturalized plant in many areas of California. Also known as lavender cotton, Santolina herb plants are members of the sunflower/aster family (Asteraceae).

An herbaceous perennial suited to hot, dry summer and full sun, Santolina (S. chamaecyperissus) is indigent to areas of sandy, rocky infertile soils but will also do well in garden loam and even clay, provided it is well amended and well-drained.

These evergreen shrubs have either silvery grey or green leaves reminiscent of conifers. Santolina has a mounded, round and dense habit reaching only 2 feet high and wide with vibrant yellow ½-inch flowers perched on stems above the foliage, which are notably attractive in dried flower arrangements and wreaths.

The silver foliage makes a nice contrast to other green tones of the garden and persists through the winter. It is a prominent specimen for xeriscapes and mixes well with other Mediterranean herbs such as lavender, thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary.

8 Of The Best Spring Flowering Shrubs

Native Flowering Shrubs

(Malvaviscus drummondii) Blooming year round this small to medium deep-rooted shrub (2-9ft)

Crape Myrtle


Spiny Agarita

Bottle Brush Shrub

CTG: Bottlebrush [Callistemon rigidus] There are lots of different species, varieties, and cultivars of bottlebrush, an Australian native, so do a little research on the differences before you buy.

Bottlebrush is a small, usually shrubby tree, normally getting only 10 to 15 feet tall. Bees absolutely love the fuzzy red flowers and the tree will be buzzing with life all summer long.

bottlebrush.jpg bottlebrush2.jpg This tree is notoriously frost sensitive, usually being completely killed if temperatures get into the 20s. But I’ve also seen bottlebrush taken out by our extreme Texas heat during abnormally hot, dry summers.

And the north side of a landscape should be avoided, since that’s the coldest spot.

Bottlebrush is evergreen, so it’s a good choice for screening out unsightly views. But since it’s wispy, it allows light to filter through, rather than creating a solid hedge-type feel, giving privacy without overwhelming an area.

Robin reports that her trees were very drought tolerant once they were established, and were very happy in her unamended heavy clay soil.

So, final analysis: lovely tree that brings on the bees for months in warm weather. But, it needs good drainage, sunlight but not searing, and we can lose them in cold winters.

BottleBrush Bush I have to admit that this is one of my favorite plants. I love, love, love the Bottlebrush plant. This plant is truly a carefree plant with little to no worries about diseases or bug problems. It will flower several times a year here in the south, (I live just outside of Houston, Texas).

The Bottlebrush is great for covering things and blocking views, such as a fence, or blank wall, or a bright light from a neighbor's flood light attached to the back of their garage. The last example is what happened to us. The light was so bright that it lite up over half of my backyard and shined into my son's bedroom window. We put up a bottlebrush to screen out the light. It grew nicely over a short period of time and is beautiful when it blooms.

Another great thing about this plant is that there is very little pruning involved in taking care. It is best to trim it to shape it. Try not to take out too much out of the center of the plant.

Growth Habit: Zones 8-10 Grows 8 x 6 feet; the average growth is 6 x 4 feet (but I have seen it grown to about 11 feet)

It flowers in late spring and early summer and then again in the fall.


-Drought tolerant. -The bottlebrush plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, as well as bees (this is a good thing).
-Bottle brush have wonderful flowers that are very showy when in bloom.
-These shrubs and small trees are salt tolerant, which makes them great for near the beach.
-Non-toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
-Very little care to keep this plant a beauty, mild pruning.


-The bad thing about these plants is that they will freeze when there is a severe winter. I personally have not lost any of these plants but they have died back to the ground during a hard winter.
-If you don't trim them occasionally, the ends of the branches can bend down instead of staying upright. The flowers tend to be heavy and makes the branches droop on smaller branches.
-Bottle brush plants do not want to be in poorly drained soils.

Other common species:

-Callistemon citrinus- Lemon bottlebrush lemon-scented leaves; red flowers.
-Callistemon viminalis- Weeping bottlebrush, red flowers.

Foraging Texas: Bottlebrush Tree leaves, flowers are eatible.

How: tea, seasoning
Where: dry sunny yards, landscaping
When: all year
Nutritional Value: flavanoids







Shrubs by sun & shade

Pruning Shrubs

Video: How to Prune Bushes and Shrubs

Video: Learn to Prune Bushes General Pruning Techniques



Cold Stream Farm located in Michigan is a wholesale shrub nursery and bare root tree nursery.

Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) - 6-12" $4.39
Chinese Wisteria [Wisteria sinensis] - 6-12'' $5.20
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) - 6-12" $4.39
UPS Ground $12.96 Your order # is: 100152418. Ordered 3/6/17


Sensational Sumac The spectacular color and form of this lesser-known tree make it a garden stand-out

Want something completely different, super-exotic looking, and incredibly tough and hardy, that nobody else has in their landscape?

Think sumac—-one of North America’s best contributions to European gardens. Our native sumacs are small trees, up to 30 feet tall, with fern-like compound leaves which make great loose-textured landscape accents, highly favored as small courtyard trees in English and European gardens and as erosion control in hard-to-mow dry hillsides. The spreading, multiple-trunk plants have hollow, pithy stems which were highly valued by Native Americans and colonists for making pipe stems.

Clusters of small, greenish-white summer flowers, usually covered with bees and other pollinating insects, are held upright in thick spires up to a foot long, which quickly start forming the characteristic dense clusters of crimson red seeds. The small drupes are covered with very fine hairs that have a distinct citrusy flavor when tasted; in fact, as a Boy Scout I often made a tangy summer “lemonade” by soaking and swishing the fruits in water before straining and adding a little sugar. As a bonus, the tiny hairs on the fruits are high in ascorbic acid and vitamin C! The dried drupes of some species can also be ground into a crimson spice used in preparing rice and many Middle Eastern dishes.

The plants are easily spread by seed, but usually far away from your own garden so there is less pulling needed for errant new plants. However, sumacs can spread from underground rhizomes into sometimes–large colonies.

Sumac seed pods remain on plants well into winter, adding a dash of extra texture and color long after everything else has turned brown. They attract colorful winter birds, which know it as a great emergency food when other sources of food may be lacking.

By the way, because sumacs are either male or female, only the female plants have the attractive seed clusters. If you are collecting a specimen for your garden from a native stand found along a roadside, be sure to dig a small plant or two from the outer edge of a clump of female sumac, to be sure you will have the fall and winter fruits in your own garden.

Best of all, one of their strongest suits for sumac is their unsurpassable fall colors. Topping the wide, architectural plants are leaves that turn brilliant golden and crimson in the fall, from Canada and New England to even the normally fall color-starved coastal Southeast and other mild-climate areas. In fact, the name sumac comes from an ancient word meaning “red.”

Unlike its close relatives, poison ivy, oak and sumac, the landscape sumacs do not cause itchy rashes. Vine- and shrub-like poison ivy and oak have three distinct leaflets per leaf, so there is no confusing those. But poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is also a small tree with leaves like regular sumac. Difference is, poison sumac has clusters of grayish white berries that hang down, and the plants grow exclusively in low, wet, or flooded areas such as swamps and peat bogs. You will not find poison sumac growing up on high, dry hillsides where non-poisonous ornamental kinds typically grow.

The most popular sumacs for landscape use are winged, staghorn, and smooth sumac, either the native wild species or specially-bred cultivated varieties such as the golden leaf “Tiger Eye” sumac.

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is a small tree with branches that spread to make a small rounded crown. Its forked branches are covered with furry rust-red colored hairs, much like a stag’s antlers. Fruit clusters are long and tight, and covered with the same velvety fur.

“Cutleaf” staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina laciniata) is an especially beautiful form with finely divided leaflets.

One of its most exceptional cultivars is 'Tiger Eyes', with chartreuse green leaves that quickly change to yellow, in a nice contrast to its rosy-pink leaf stems; it is especially dramatic when the leaves begin to turn scarlet in the fall.

The leaves of winged sumac (Rhus copallina) feature flat membranes called “wings” along the midrib. The flower and fruit panicles are only four or five inches long and wide, and are less dense than other species.

Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is a smaller tree with smooth twigs and looser fruit clusters. The undersides of the leaflets are pale, almost white, giving it a shimmery effect in soft breezes. ‘Prairie Flame’ is a cultivar with exceptionally brilliant red fall color.

There are other sumacs worthy of landscapes, including a low-growing, fast-spreading “fragrant sumac” (Rhus aromatica) which makes a superb groundcover for dry slopes. Though its fall colors are as brilliant as any other sumac, it has three leaflets per leaf, making it look a little too much like poison oak or ivy for some people’s comfort.

Sumac Cotinus Coggygria / Sumac Rhus Coppalina

Aromatic Sumac

Aromatic Sumac

Aromatic Sumac

Aromatic Sumac

Staghorn Sumac [Rhus typhina]

Wikipedia Rhus typhina syn. R. hirta, the staghorn sumac[1] is a species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to eastern North America. It is primarily found in southeastern Canada, the northeastern and midwestern United States and the Appalachian Mountains,[2] but is widely cultivated as an ornamental throughout the temperate world.

Rhus typhina is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5 m (16 ft) tall by 6 m (20 ft) broad. It has alternate, pinnately compound leaves 25–55 cm (10–22 in) long, each with 9–31 serrate leaflets 6–11 cm long.[4] The leaf petioles and the stems are densely covered in rust-colored hairs. The velvety texture and the forking pattern of the branches, reminiscent of antlers, have led to the common name "stag's horn sumach".

Staghorn sumac is an ornamental plant which provides interest throughout the year; though its vigorous, suckering habit makes it unsuitable for smaller gardens. It can grow under a wide array of conditions, but is most often found in dry and poor soil on which other plants cannot survive. Some landscapers remove all but the top branches to create a "crown" effect in order to resemble a small palm tree. Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, of which 'Dissecta' syn. 'Laciniata' (cutleaf staghorn sumac) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, is also grown in gardens as an ornamental plant.

The Staghorn Sumac was introduced to Europe in the 17th century and is popular as a garden plant. In both French and German, the common name of the species (Sumac vinaigrier, Essigbaum) means "vinegar tree".

Smooth Sumac / Staghorn Sumac

How to Plant Staghorn Sumac With its fiery autumn beauty, fuzzy spring growth and red summer fruit that persists through the winter, Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is a deciduous shrub or small tree with year-round interest. Native to the Eastern United States, it adapts easily to sea air and elevations up to 4,900 feet. Drought and pollution tolerant, sumac takes over after fires and clear-cutting by sending up suckers from extensive root systems faster than other surviving plants. Plant Staghorn sumac where you can control its spread.

Choose a location for staghorn sumac where pavement or other obstruction blocks the growth of adventitious roots, those that grow away from the tap root just under the surface. These roots produce the suckers that can transform a specimen into a thicket.

Staghorn Sumac

Dig a hole in a sunny area that is one and one-half times the size of the soil ball. Mix the soil from the hole with a handful or two of well-rotted manure or other organic matter. Line the hole with this soil mixture.

Remove the pot or sack and position the sumac sprout at the same level it was growing in its nursery pot or in the ground where you dug it up. Fill in the hole around the soil ball with the soil mixture. Tamp down but do not compact the soil.

Apply 2 inches of organic mulch around the sprout but leave a 6-inch circle uncovered around the stem to provide a catch-basin when you water the plant and to keep mulch-borne pathogens and pests away from the young tree’s tender trunk.

Water your sumac sprout deeply. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, for a week. As soon as you see new green growth, your tree has begun to grow new roots and requires no extra mulching or watering.

Staghorn Sumac

Tips: Remove suckers and new plants annually to encourage your tree to grow tall. Staghorn sumac trees grow 15 to 30 feet tall. In addition to their attractive features, wildlife benefits and value to xeriscapers, they serve as soil-retainers because their roots spread beyond their leaf canopy.

Fertilize staghorn sumac at your peril. This rugged little tree requires little extra nourishment and may either overdose and die or produce enough offspring to occupy the neighbor’s yard as well as yours.

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn sumac Staghorn sumac is most effective when drifts or colonies, typical of natural settings, are allowed to establish. Colonies can be rejuvenated every few years by cutting them to the ground in mid-winter. Sumacs grow in dry waste areas, such as impossible slopes where even juniper struggle. They are fast growing, generally pest and disease-free, and drought-tolerant.

Thin bark makes sumac especially sensitive to lawn mowers and string trimmers. Wounding, however, triggers development of replacement sprouts. Colonies are often single-sexed, formed from a single, suckering parent. Only female plants produce flowers and berries. The berries are winter food for many upland gamebirds, songbirds, and large and small mammals.

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac This small tree sometimes grows as a tall shrub. Its irregular crown is made up of a few stout, spreading branches. It often sprouts from roots and forms thickets. It grows in well drained to dry soils in open areas and old fields, at forest edges, and along roadways. The Staghorn Sumac is native to the northeastern United States and southern Canada. In Ohio it grows in scattered areas, and generally is absent from the west-central counties. Other than as an ornamental, the Staghorn Sumac has little value to people today. In times past Native American Indians made a lemonade-like drink from its crushed fruit. And tannery workers used the tannin-rich bark and foliage as a tanning agent.

Staghorn Sumac

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils except for those that are poorly drained. Generally tolerant of urban conditions. This is a suckering shrub that will form thickets in the wild via self-seeding and root suckering.

Best for dry, informal, naturalized areas where it can be allowed to spread and form colonies. Effective when massed on slopes for erosion control or in hard-to-cover areas with poorer soils. Naturalize in open woodland areas, wood margins or wild areas. Has some nice ornamental features (flower panicles in spring, shiny dark green summer foliage, fruiting clusters in fall and excellent fall foliage color), but is probably too weedy and aggressive for shrub borders or foundations.

Flameleaf Sumac

Rhus lanceolata Prairie flameleaf sumac, Flameleaf sumac, Prairie sumac, Lance-leaf sumac, Lance-leaved sumac, Texas sumac, Tree sumac, Limestone sumac, Prairie shining sumac

Native from southern Oklahoma through north, central, and west Texas to New Mexico and south to Puebla in central Mexico, the limestone-loving Prairie Flameleaf Sumac is relatively fast growing, generally pest- and disease-free, and heat-, cold-, and drought-tolerant. Flameleaf is a perfect description of this trees outstanding, orange and red, autumn foliage, but its pale trunk and branches, green summer leaves, and pyramidal clusters of red fall fruit are also noteworthy. Though it may sucker from the base to form a colony, it is not as likely to aggressively colonize as the more easterly Shining Sumac (Rhus copallinum). Like the very different-looking Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens), Prairie Flameleaf Sumac produces berries that, when soaked in water, make a tart, tasty, high-Vitamin C tea.

Flameleaf Sumac

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
Native Habitat: Rocky, limestone hillsides and grasslands
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes

Flameleaf Sumac

Soil Description: Rocky, calcareous, well-drained limestone soils, including clays, loams, and sands. Usually in calcareous rocky soils and clays.

Conditions Comments: Will be less likely to sucker and colonize if left undisturbed. Overly rich soil can cause fusarium wilt when the plant is young.

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Red-banded Hairstreak, Banded Hairstreak
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Flameleaf Sumac

Hill Country Natives narrow list, reasonable prices, delivered.

Wright's Nursery central Tx. Briggs between Briggs and Oakalla on 6040 FM 2657, Briggs, TX 78608 about 1/2 further north than Austin

Native Texas Nursery Austin 512-276-9801

10682 Bandera Rd, San Antonio, Tx 78249, San Antonio, TX 78250
+1 210-647-7900

Natives of Texas Upon request we can ship plants for those who cannot come to the nursery. For this service we charge a $25 handling fee to take the plants to UPS for boxing and shipping. The cost of shipping is only known after UPS boxes and weighs/measures the box(s). A credit card number is required to charge the costs to post UPS shipping is known.

Understory trees:

Anacacho Orchid Tree
Possumhaw Holly
Roughleaf Dogwood
Texas Redbud
Witch Hazel

Austin native Landscaping

Native Plant Society of Texas [NPSOT] San Antonio

Green Spaces Alliance of San Antonio The mission of Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas is “to sustain the natural environment and enhance urban spaces land conservation, through community engagement and education.”

South Texas Growers wholesale and retail nursery and landscaping. 22201 Hwy. 46 West, Bulverde TX (830) 980-9179 out 281 past 1604 to almost 46. About as far as New Braunfels.

Almond Verbena

Almond Verbena August Plant of the Month This bee loves Almond Verbena and we bet you will too. Those slender spikes of tiny white flowers have plenty of pollen for the bees and lots of fragrance for us to enjoy. Their fragrance is strong and sweet, but that’s not all. This is is one tough plant! It is heat and drought tolerant once established and tolerates San Antonio soil (or lack thereof).

Almond Verbena has a sprawling, bushy appearance making it something you’ll want to plant as a backdrop to other perennials. and away from paths. The foliage is coarse and scratchy; plant away from pathways. Almond Verbena is great to plant near a deck or patio where the scent of summer flowers will come up to greet you!

This thing grows fast too. You’ll want to give it plenty of room, as it can reach 10-15 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide. The downside? It may not survive a very hard winter. Most years though, it will freeze to ground level and come back the following spring. If winters are mild enough, you may even be able to maintain Almond Verbena as a small tree. By the way, we have a TON of these available now at The Garden Center! Come pick up yours today!

Almond Verbena Aloysia virgata Almond verbena is a must for anyone who loves summertime fragrance! This large, shrubby, deer-resistant plant is an should be planted in full sun, or only light shade, and given plenty of room to grow.

This plant does get very tall, usually very quickly. My experience has been in the range of 10 to 12 feet tall and about 3 to 4 feet wide.

Be sure to plant near a patio or porch to get the full effect of its strong, but lovely, delicately sweet fragrance. Almond verbena is a repeat bloomer, usually from late spring all the way through fall, maybe taking a break during the hottest time of an extremely hot, dry summer.


And when in flower, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will be attracted to it like magnets.

Listed as hardy to USDA Zone 8, in most warm climates, almond verbena will be deciduous, especially in mild winters. But even if it doesn’t die back to the ground, it will perform best if you treat it as you would other root-hardy perennial shrubs, shearing it back to the ground in late winter. This hard pruning forces almond verbena to put on all new growth, making it fuller, greener, and bushier. A little light pruning in mid-summer can reinvigorate the plant for fall growth.

Plant almond verbena in well-drained soil and water sparingly, but regularly. Once a week watering should be fine, and fertilizer is not needed. This easy-care, root-hardy shrub would make a great addition to any low water-use garden.


ALMOND VERBENA - A HONEY BEE MAGNET Also called sweet almond verbena (Aloysia virgata), this is the most beneficial insect-attracting plant I have ever grown. The fragrance is wonderful.

Native of Argentina, it has an upright habit with slightly weeping, sometimes ungainly branches. In mild winter areas, the mature plants reach 15 feet in height and 6 feet in width. At the branch tips are highly fragrant, delicate white flower spikes which sway gracefully at the slightest breeze, sending their aroma wafting over great distances. The buddleia-like flowers are produced in cycles from early spring through summer to fall. They are enchanting on a warm summer's evening. The flowers are also a magnet to butterflies, bees, wasps and other nectar feeding pollinators.


Goldenrod [Solidago] Goldenrod is a perennial plant that is well-known for its healing properties. This wild edible is a plant that reproduces through its roots, bulbs, stems and by its seed. Goldenrod does not cause seasonal allergies as many tend to believe. No one is, no one can be, allergic to Goldenrod pollen. Why? For starters, it has virtually none and it is pollinated by insects. Only wind-pollinated plants such as Ragweed (which blooms at the same time as Goldenrod) can cause allergic reactions.

Currently, there are actually 140 varieties of Goldenrod; therefore it has a unique adeptness in crossbreeding with other plants. All varieties of Goldenrod all are equally nutritious and boast many health benefits... Nebraska declared a type of Goldenrod (Soldiago gigantea) the state flower in 1895.

Distinguishing Features: Long wood like stems with spiky tooth like parts which are widely-spaced, yellow flowers that grow in thick clusters.

Goldenrod flowers are usually bees last source of nectar before winter hits.

Goldenrod Care: Information And Tips For How To Grow Goldenrod Plants Goldenrods (Solidago) spring up en masse in the natural summer landscape. Topped with plumes of fluffy yellow flowers, goldenrod is sometimes considered a weed. Unknowing gardeners may find it a nuisance and wonder, “What is the plant goldenrod good for?” Goldenrod plants have multiple uses, from providing shelter to larvae of beneficial insects to attracting butterflies.

Goldenrod plants provide nectar for migrating butterflies and bees, encouraging them to remain in the area and pollinate your crops. Planting goldenrod near the vegetable garden can draw bad bugs away from valuable vegetables. Goldenrods attract beneficial insects as well, which may do away with damaging insects when they approach the food source offered by these plants. More than a hundred varieties of goldenrod exist, with one for every climate. Many are native to the United States. Goldenrod plants are clump-forming perennial wildflowers that exist on rainwater and add a golden beauty to the landscape.

More than a hundred varieties of goldenrod exist, with one for every climate. Many are native to the United States. Goldenrod plants are clump-forming perennial wildflowers that exist on rainwater and add a golden beauty to the landscape... All goldenrods are late bloomers, flowering in late summer throughout fall with stunning bright yellow flowers.

Growing and planting goldenrod is easy, as this plant will survive just about anywhere, though it does prefer to be grown in full sun. Goldenrod also tolerates various soil types as long as it’s well draining. Goldenrod care is minimal once established in the landscape, with plants returning each year. They require little, if any watering, and are drought tolerant. Clumps need division every four to five years. Cuttings may also be taken in spring and planted in the garden.

Goldenrod: This native plant should be kept out of the garden There, I’ve said it. I don’t care if goldenrod is a native plant; it is no longer welcome in my gardens. I tried to be understanding, truly, I did, but it just did not want to play nice with the other plants. It did not want to play at all: total garden bed domination was its only goal. And it just about succeeded

Goldenrod seedlings appear in mid-winter to early spring.

Goldenrod Abundance: plentiful
What: young leaves, flowers
How: tea and small addition to salads
Where: fields, borders
When: late summer, early fall
Nutritional Value: low

Goldenrod: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Goldenrod (or Solidago virgaurea) is not a bad guy. Grown and used for centuries as a medicinal herb, for a variety of ailments, goldenrod pollen is not the villain that people with allergies believe it is. Ragweed is the true culprit. Ragweed, which is blooming at the same time as goldenrod, depends on the wind to carry its pollen, whereas goldenrod is pollinated by bees.

There are well over 100 varieties of goldenrod due to its ability to crossbreed with other similar plants. The variety called Solidago is the subject of this information and can be purchased from any nursery that carries a good supply of herbal plants, or it can be harvested in the wild. Solidago goldenrod is easily identified. It has long stems that grow in clusters from a base on the ground with small, bright yellow flowers toward the tops.

If you find yourself needing an astringent or medicinal wash for bites, scrapes, and minor wounds then goldenrod is your “go to” herb. The leaves and flowers can be dropped into boiling water, then, after turning off the heat, leave the mixture sitting until cool enough to use. This application can also give relief to eczema, poison ivy, and insect bites. Just apply with a sterile piece of gauze or cotton ball several times a day. The remainder can be stored in the refrigerator, covered for about a week. Many people prefer it over iodine based fluids due to allergies.

Young goldenrod plant. These the young leaves make a tasty tea.

There are pages of scientific research using goldenrod as a diuretic for kidney stones, bladder infections, and arthritis and also as a tea or gargle for colds, flu, sore throats and as a wound treatment. All above-ground parts of the plant can be used. Just remember that with all natural herbs caution should be used in case of allergic reactions or side effects. For those who are pregnant or have serious heart problems, always consult with your doctor before ingesting any herbal treatments

Canada goldenrod [Solidaga altissima] SIZE: 3-6 feet
LIGHT: Part shade, shade
SOIL: Clay, clay loam, medium loam, sandy loam, sandy, caliche
MOISTURE: Moist, dry
DURATION: Perennial
BLOOM PERIOD: September-November
FAMILY: Asteraceae (Aster Family)
DESCRIPTION: Canada goldenrod, also called Tall goldenrod, is native to the San Antonio River basin. It can grow to six feet. This plant has a very feathery appearance as well as vibrant yellow flowers. Canada goldenrod can be found in a number of habitats including in roadsides, thickets, prairies and open woodlands. This plant is attractive to birds and butterflies as well as honey bees.

Canada Goldenrod [Solidago canadensis] Our native Goldenrods (about 100 species) are THE primary nectar source used by eastern Monarch butterflies on their southbound migration to Mexico in the fall. Long ignored because of the mistaken belief that they cause hayfever, they can be hard to find but please plant them! Canada goldenrod volunteers in many areas and spreads by rhyzomes, so it can be too aggressive for small gardens. In this case consider some of the other species that do not have rhyzomes. Combine any of them with with ironweed and asters for beautiful fall purple and gold--and loads of butterflies!

Pineapple Guava

Feijoa-- Acca sellowiana, a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Colombia. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree. Wikipedia

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

CTG: Pineapple Guava Acca sellowiana Pineapple guava is an evergreen shrub native to subtropical, higher elevation, regions of South America, but is well-adapted to our Central Texas climate.

It may struggle a bit in the extreme heat of a full-on Texas summer, so plan to water it regularly during the hottest months of the year. Planting in an area with protection from late-day sun would also help. This evergreen shrub is listed as hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pineapple guava performs best in well-drained, loamy soil, rich in organic matter, but it will tolerate a bit of clay.

If left to grow naturally, pineapple guava will grow to about 15, maybe 20 feet tall and just as wide, but you can also train it to be a small tree. It responds very well to pruning, making it a good choice if you’re looking to create a hedge row.v

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

The leaves are light green, thick, and somewhat leathery, with soft gray undersides. The flowers are quite striking as well, with just a few pale-pink petals, but dozens of long red stamens. Bees and butterflies absolutely love them!

Its fall ripened fruit is edible, though many recommend letting them actually fall to the ground for the sweetest taste. If you’d like to produce a nice harvest, you should fertilize the plant in spring and give it plenty of water during the heat of the summer.

Feijoa Pineapple Guava Info: Tips On Growing Feijoa Fruit Trees One of the easiest fruits to grow, pineapple guava gets its name from the flavor of the fragrant fruit. Pineapple guava is ideal for small spaces because it’s a small tree that doesn’t need a second tree for pollination.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

Pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana) is an attractive, evergreen tree or shrub with many landscape uses. It’s ideal for warm, western climates and well suited to home gardens. The plant grows 12 to 15 feet tall and wide. The edible flowers bloom in May, followed in late summer or fall by sweet, fragrant, reddish fruit that drops to the ground when ripe.

Feijoa fruit trees and shrubs look best when you prune them lightly. Clipping them into a formal shrub destroys their natural shape and reduces the fruit yield. It’s best to remove side branches that are less than 1 foot off the ground. If you want to grow the plant as a tree rather than a shrub, remove the lower branches up to one-third of the tree’s height over a period of several years.

Gardeners in warm, western climates will love growing pineapple guava for its delightful fragrance, attractive flowers and tasty fruit. The tree is very easy to care for and requires very little pruning.

Although it is considered hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, it can’t tolerate the high humidity of the Southeast. It withstands winter temperatures as low as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 C.). In fact, the fruit tastes better when the tree is exposed to some freezing temperatures.

Feijoa pineapple guava performs well in full sun or partial shade. It prefers rich, organic, well-drained soil with an acid or slightly alkaline pH. When the pH is too high, the leaves turn yellow. Newly planted and young trees need weekly watering in the absence of rain. As the tree matures, its drought tolerance increases.

Pineapple guava needs light fertilization every other month in most soils. Use about half the recommended amount of 8-8-8 fertilizer for the size of the tree. Scratch it into the surface of the soil and water deeply to distribute the fertilizer.

You’ll find plenty of uses for pineapple guava. It makes a dense informal hedge or screen that needs very little pruning. Use it as a container or specimen plant on patios and other places where you can enjoy the intense fragrance of the fruit. The plant provides cover for wildlife, and the flowers attract hummingbirds. Space the shrubs five feet apart for a barrier hedge and 3 feet apart for a foundation planting.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

Pineapple Guava – A great shrub for your Edible Landscape The Pineapple Guava is one of my favorite plants. It serves many purposes in the edible garden. It’s an easy care, evergreen shrub that has edible flowers, edible fruits and somehow, the deer DON’T eat it. How could you know?

Where I live, deer eat almost all our plants, so having one that does all these good things is a real treasure.

Climate:The Pineapple guava grows in Zones 8 – 10. What this really means is that it likes some cool weather, can go down to 10 deg. F, likes rain in the 30? – 40? range, and doesn’t like super hot daytime weather – not so good in the desert.

Soil: It’s adaptable to a wide range of soils, including acidic soil, but prefers a humus rich soil that is well drained. Adding compost and not manure works for this plant.

Sun: Full sun is best – but it can tolerate partial shade

Wind: The Pineapple guava makes a good windbreak. It can take some salt air, but I wouldn’t put it on the dunes as a first line wind break.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

Care: What I really love about this plant is that it needs so little care. It just grows happily on its own. You can prune it for shape or let it alone. If you prune it back hard, you will lose some fruit production.

Pests: Almost none. Well, I haven’t seen any.

Fruit and flowers: The flowers which bloom late Spring are edible. The thick petals are spicy and are eaten fresh. The petals may be plucked without interfering with fruit set.

Pineapple Guava bush/small tree

The fruit ripens in late Fall, which is a great boon, since almost everything else in the garden is gone. The fruit in the picture below, came from my garden on December 22 after many days of frost. They taste fresh and tangy. We eat them by scooping out the fruit with a spoon. Or you can cook them in puddings, pastry fillings, fritters, dumplings, fruit-sponge-cake, pies or tarts.

Hamelia patens ["Firebush", "Scarletbush"]

Hamelia patens: Hamelia patens is a large perennial shrub or small tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, that is native to the American subtropics and tropics. Its range extends from Florida in the southern United States to as far south as Argentina. Wikipedia

CTG: comes in standard or compact size. Try 'twist of lime' or 'lime sizzler' spp. Bummingbiirds go crazy for it. Gets big. Full sun is best.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

Firebush, Scarletbush The Firebush is probably one of the most commonly planted unknown edibles. They are usually arranged in the landscape to attract butterflies and migratory or resident humming birds. However the fruit is edible and the plant has a long history of medicinal and industrial uses.

It would be difficult to make a better consumer lawn shrub than the Firebush. It is showy, fast-growing, evergreen, stays small, attracts birds and insects and provide an edible fruit. It blossoms all year with tubular flowers, reddish-orange or scarlet. Even the stems of the flowers are red.

The fruit is a juicy berry with a lot of little seeds. It ripens from green to yellow to red then black. It can be eaten out of hand, made in to a syrup or wine, a particular favorite in Mexico. It can fruit nearly all year unless damaged by cold. The berry is deceptive raw. It has an initial sweetness and grape-texture that yields to a sticky, lingering, slightly bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth. Try one first, not a lot. See if you like it.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

The Mayans called it, Ix-canan, or “guardian of the forest.” In Belize the Firebush is used to treat a variety of skin problems including, sores, rashes, wounds, burns, itching, cuts, skin fungus, and insect stings/ bites. For topical use they boiling two handful of leaves, stems and flowers in two gallons of water for 10 minutes. Once cool, it is applied liberally to the affected area. This same liquid is drunk as a tea to relieve menstrual cramps.

The Choco Indians in Panama drink a leaf infusion to treat fever and diarrhea; the Ingano Indians make a leaf infusion for intestinal parasites. Tribes in Venezuela chew on the leaves to lower body temperature to prevent a sun or heat stroke. In Brazil the root is used as a diuretic, the leaves for scabies and headaches. Cubans use the leaves externally for headaches and sores while a decoction is taken internally for rheumatism. In Mexico it is used externally to stop staunch to flow of blood and heal wounds.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

Hamelia (Hamelia patens) Few plants really thrive in our Texas heat from July to September, but Hamelia patens (sometimes listed as H. erecta) seems to thrive on it. It is a member of the Madder family (Rubiaceae) and is actually a large shrub or small tree native to Mexico. Firebush is a dependable and useful perennial for the southern half of Texas, where it freezes to the ground and resprouts each spring. It typically makes a 4- to 5-foot mound of tubular, reddish orange flowers from early summer until late fall. Its leaves appear in whorls of between 3 and 7 at the nodes of the stems, and are about six inches long and lightly haired.

In addition to its long blooming season, there are several other significant attributes of the plant. Hamelia is very drought tolerant and thrives in most any soil as long as it is well-drained. Full sun or partially shaded locations are preferable to shady ones which will result in rank growth and little bloom. The foliage often turns bright red before freezing back and the small, dark fruit is edible. In Mexico, a fermented drink is said to be made from the fruit. The leaves and stems have been used for tanning an a concoction reportedly is used for various medicinal purposes.

Hamelia patens, Mexican Firebush

The flower buds last longer than the flowers themselves and appear in great numbers. After maturing, the flowers drop off quickly and the plant requires only occasional shearing to keep it in a nearly perpetual state of bloom.

Another common name for H. patens is Hummingbird bush. Hummingbirds are attracted to the tubular red flowers and add another value to the plant.

Euryops "Daisy bush". 2' tall. Full sun or part shade. Long bloom, yellow. [CTG] There is a green-leaved and a grey-leaved variety

Euryops is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family. They are native mostly to rocky sites in southern Africa, with a few species in other parts of Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. Wikipedia

Daisy Bush Care: How To Grow An African Bush Daisy African bush daisy, while a member of the Asteraceae family, takes on the characteristics of common chrysanthemums.

Euryops Bush Daisy

The Euryops daisy is a large perennial bush that grows well in warm climates in USDA zones 8 to 11. The plant will bloom all season long or until cold temperatures appear with yellow daisy-like flowers. The deeply cut, lacy leaves cover a bush that may get 5 feet tall and up to 5 feet wide.

Choose a well-drained, but moist, bed in full sun for growing bush daisies. The Euryops bush daisy makes a great border, container or even rock garden display. Provide plenty of space for mature plants when choosing where to plant the bushes.

The Euryops daisy starts easily from seed. In fact, the bush will readily reseed itself in its habitat. Start seeds indoors in flats eight weeks before the last expected frost in the cooler zones. Plant outside on 18- to 24-inch centers.

Euryops Bush Daisy

Once your African bush daisy has established, it has very low maintenance requirements. The lovely flowers are produced in abundance without extreme daisy bush care. For high performance and exceptional display, the Euryops bush daisy cannot be beat in warm and temperate climates.

In the warmer zones that are appropriate for African bush daisies, little supplemental care is required for a year-round display. In zone 8, cold temperatures, and even periods of freezing, will cause the plant to die back, but it usually re-sprouts in spring. To ensure the plant’s resurrection, pile 3 inches of mulch around the root zone of the plant. Cut down the dead stems in early spring to make way for the new growth.

Fertilize in spring

Euryops Bush Daisy

The daisy-like bush, Euryops are # 4 – top Ten Heat Resistant plants our Arizona garden It is a pleasure to state Euryops are CRITTER proof; NOT even the Javelina ate our daisy bushes!

Euryops is a genus in the Asteraceae family – Daisy family. The Green leaved variety is Euryops pectinatus Viridis. This robust heat resistant plant is native mostly to rocky sites in southern Africa. They produce cheerful yellow daisy flower heads from fern-like leaves. Euryops are perennial and a very hardy plant, bush or shrub.

When winter comes to the Arizona desert, our Euryops still look amazing while other desert plants go dormant. This daisy bush is cold tolerant to 20 degrees F or -7 Celsius. Plant your daisy shrub in a sunny location that is key!

Yellow is the only flower color, but it’s a bright, sunny yellow bloom that enlivens your garden in the winter.

Euryops Bush Daisy

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.

**Euryops Viridis generally keep its deep green color leaves even in the heat of summer, although lower leaves may become brown and need to be removed. Once the yellow flowers have faded, trim off the dried ones to help encourage the Euryops to produce more blooms!

Water Needs — water regularly; do not OVERWATER

We had 2 healthy Euryops planted in large containers that died over the winter. The reason was the shade in their location. Lesson learned: when planting Euryops pick an area with the most sun!

Euryops Bush Daisy

Even without flowers, the feathery leaves of Euryops give the garden interest and a sense of lushness. The Viridis cultivar has deep green leaves, while the Euryops Munchkin cultivar has gray-green leaves.

Euryops stem cuttings root reasonably easy. Summer is the best time to take cuttings. You can also allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.


Planting Sage Seeds Direct seed in spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Sow 2-3 seeds 1/4" deep in individual containers, thinning to one after germination. Plant 6-12 inches apart.

Sage Seeds Sage is a delight in the garden. Planting sage seeds provides you with a beautiful, undemanding ornamental shrub with blue/green leaves. The aroma of sage is often associated with fall recipes. It is a perfect match for beans, squash, sausages and poultry.

Plant sage seeds indoors, in spring with bottom heat and then plant out seedlings in a sunny, well drained location when summer has arrived. Exercise some patience as it can take several weeks for germination. Once sage has become established it is carefree and will provide plenty of leaves for fresh use or for drying.

Sage, Broadleaf Sage is an aromatic perennial plant that is actually part of the mint family. The plant produces grayish-green leaves that are used in many popular food dishes, most notably in the preparation of sausages.

- Natural mosquito repellent.

- The leaves can also be used as a digestive and nerve tonic.

- Excellent as a border plant around the garden.

- Grows well in containers.

- Easy to grow from seed and can be sowed directly in the garden.

Day to Maturity | 75 days

Plant seeds inside 6-8 weeks before transplanting outside.

Big Red Sage Salvia Penstemonides Salvia penstemonides, commonly known as big red sage, is a great Central Texas native plant that gets its species name from the fact that it looks a lot like a penstemon.

It has a large, mounding habit that isn’t common among the salvias, with larger, glossy, deep green leaves as well.

Big red sage produces towering, deep pinkish-red flower stalks, from late spring though summer. Said to be deer resistant, Salvia penstemenoides is hardy to zone 6, making it a perennial in Central Texas gardens.

As they do with most plants with similar spiky floral displays, hummingbirds flock to this plant when in flower.

Full sun is best, with perhaps a little protection from the harsh rays of the late afternoon.

And be very careful not to overwater big red sage, especially if you have clay in your soil, or it could rot. Consider amending the soil with a bit of porous material such as decomposed granite, but don’t overdo it; big red sage doesn’t like to completely dry out, either.

Adding a little organic matter, such as compost, would help keep the soil porous and moist at the same time: an ideal balance for this striking plant.

Big red sage gets about two feet tall and half as wide in most gardens and as with other perennials, will need to be sheared back in late winter to reinvigorate them and encourage new growth.

some helpful advice for growing sage Today, we're going to focus on growing sage indoors, since we think it's one of the best ways to enjoy the tasty herb year-round.

Plant sage from seeds, seedlings, or cuttings in a well-draining soil in a container with drainage. Sage needs to grow in moist soil and in a sunny location. For ample lighting, use fluorescent lights or move your containers to a sunny location outdoors for several hours each day.

You can harvest your sage leaves as needed, after the first year of growth to allow the plant to become established. Store dry sage in an airtight container until needed, or in the freezer.

benefits of growing sage indoors

Sage is a popular herb used in a number of dishes, and a small amount of this herb goes a long way. It also has several medicinal uses, from use in mouthwash for oral hygiene, or use in a gargle for sore throats. You can even apply fresh sage leaves to a bug bite or sting to relieve pain and itching.

If you have a safe place in your home with plenty of sunlight, sage can grow well indoors and provide you with fresh sage year-round. You can choose to grow sage indoors to begin establishing your plants for transplanting to your garden, or grow it indoors to prevent it from pest infestation and weather.

Sage grows vigorously and does not require a lot of maintenance. However, as with most plants, there are a few things you can do to ensure that it has what it needs for optimal growth.

First, choose the type of sage you want to grow. Sage varieties come in several leaf colors, blooms, and tastes, so research types that meet your needs. If you’re looking for a variety of color for your indoor sage, you can partner green garden sage with colorful varieties, like golden sage or purple garden sage. You can even opt for sages with unique scents, like grape scented sage.

Types of Sage:

There are many different types of sage or salvia plants available. They may be either perennial or annual, blooming to non-blooming, but pretty much each of these different types of sage is fairly hardy.

Culinary Sage Plants

Garden or common sage (Salvia officinalis) is the most common type of sage used for cooking. You can also make tea from the leaves. It is very hardy and bounces back in the spring even after a severely cold winter. This particular sage has soft, silvery green leaves that can be used fresh or dried. It is also known to attract beneficial insects, which are attracted to its purple-blue flowers.

There are a number of these common garden sage plant varieties.

There is a smaller dwarf that doesn’t exceed a foot in height and blooms with purplish-blue flowers.

A purple garden sage whose leaves, as the name suggests, are purple when young. Purple sage doesn’t bloom often like some of the other garden sages.

Golden sage is a creeping sage with gold and green variegated leaves that accentuates the color of other plants.

Tricolor garden sage looks a bit like purple sage, except the uneven variegation includes white accenting.

Berggarten sage, which is very similar to common sage except that it does not bloom, but it does have the lovely soft, silvery green leaves.

Ornamental Sage Plants for Gardens

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is a perennial flowering sage with tubular red flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Today, this beauty is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it is said to have medicinal uses as well.

Grape scented sage doesn’t smell like grapes, but rather more like freesia. It can get quite tall (8 feet by 6 feet). It is a late blooming plant that attracts hummingbirds. The leaves and flowers can be steeped to make tea.

Another common salvia amongst gardeners is Salvia splendens or scarlet sage (salvia). This is an annual plant that thrives in full sun but withstands partial shade in well-draining soil with consistent irrigation. Blossoms are scarlet in color and last from late spring through the first frost.

Mealycup sage is generally an annual in most regions. It attains a height of 2-3 feet and is punctuated with blue, purple or white flower spikes. Some newer varieties to look for are ‘Empire Purple,’ ‘Strata’ and ‘Victoria Blue.’

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) grow to 3-4 feet, is drought tolerant, but a tender perennial otherwise. This beautiful accent plant has purple or white flower spikes.

There are many other varieties of sage plants for the garden (far too many to name here), whether you want them for their aromatic foliage or as an ornamental or both. Sage plants are a hardy addition to the garden and with so many varieties, you are sure to find one to suit you.

Newe Ya’ar Sage Salvia officinalis x S. fruticosa Newe Ya’ar sage, also known as silver sage, is a hybrid of Salvia officinalis and Salvia fruticosa. A culinary sage, it’s excellent in any foodie’s garden, but is also a great ornamental, even if you never plan to cook with it.

Developed by horticulturists in Newe Ya’ar, Israel, the goal was to develop a sage hardy enough to be commercially productive in Israel’s harsh climate, and they definitely succeeded with this cross.

Like many other soft-leaved Mediterranean herbs, Salvia officinalis, the common culinary sage, often struggles with our intense weather in the southern U.S. In spring, when humidity may be very high and days are often cloudy, garden sage may rot overnight. And in the summer, when humidity is low and the sun is bright, it may burn to a crisp under our intense rays and off-the-chart heat. These conditions can also affect the volatile compounds in culinary herbs that give them their valuable flavor.

With silver sage, you not only get a plant that looks great and performs well in our harsh southern climate, but it also retains its savory taste.

Plant in full sun and well-drained soil, and like other culinary herbs, water sparingly, except in the hottest, driest times. It’s listed as hardy into USDA Zone 8 and so may be winter hardy in your garden, which would allow it to live several years and potentially get 3 or 4 feet wide and tall.

And, as if you needed any more reasons to plant silver sage, it will be covered in delicate spring blooms, serving as a valuable pollen source for bees and other pollinators.

some helpful advice for growing sage Today, we're going to focus on growing sage indoors, since we think it's one of the best ways to enjoy the tasty herb year-round. Plant sage from seeds, seedlings, or cuttings in a well-draining soil in a container with drainage.

Sage needs to grow in moist soil and in a sunny location. For ample lighting, use fluorescent lights or move your containers to a sunny location outdoors for several hours each day. You can harvest your sage leaves as needed, after the first year of growth to allow the plant to become established. Store dry sage in an airtight container until needed, or in the freezer.

what are the benefits of growing sage indoors?

Sage is a popular herb used in a number of dishes, and a small amount of this herb goes a long way. It also has several medicinal uses, from use in mouthwash for oral hygiene, or use in a gargle for sore throats. You can even apply fresh sage leaves to a bug bite or sting to relieve pain and itching.

If you have a safe place in your home with plenty of sunlight, sage can grow well indoors and provide you with fresh sage year-round. You can choose to grow sage indoors to begin establishing your plants for transplanting to your garden, or grow it indoors to prevent it from pest infestation and weather.

Sage is also the perfect herb to grow indoors because it prefers well-draining soil that containers provide.

preparing for growing sage indoors

Sage grows vigorously and does not require a lot of maintenance. However, as with most plants, there are a few things you can do to ensure that it has what it needs for optimal growth.

First, choose the type of sage you want to grow. Sage varieties come in several leaf colors, blooms, and tastes, so research types that meet your needs. If you’re looking for a variety of color for your indoor sage, you can partner green garden sage with colorful varieties, like golden sage or purple garden sage. You can even opt for sages with unique scents, like grape scented sage.

Next, choose a container proper for drainage, as sage needs moist, but not wet, soil. If your containers don’t drain well enough, sage will rot quickly. Clay pots can help assist your soil drainage.

Your containers should be at least one foot in diameter, since sage grows in a bush-like shape, although you can begin them in small pots to transfer to larger ones later if you prefer.

Find a location in your home free from disturbances by children or pets to become the home for your sage. Pick a spot that gets plenty of sunlight for the majority of the day. If you don’t have one, consider using a fluorescent lighting system underneath a cabinet or grow lamps for your sage.

Sage needs a well-draining potting mix, such as the type you’d use for growing a cactus. Alternatively, mix two parts potting mix with one part perlite, which aids in aeration of the soil. Ensure that your soil remains consistently moist for ample growth.

If you want to plant more than one sage plant in a container, make sure your pot is large enough to have about 18 to 24 inches of space between each plant. For indoor growth of sage, it’s usually best to plant only one sage plant in each container.

However, you may also consider planting sage with other herbs you grow indoors, like rosemary or basil, to add a pleasant, herbal fragrance to a room.

To start your new crop of sage, either purchase seedlings from a nursery or grow from seed. Either one can be placed an inch or so into the soil. Move soil over seeds or around the base of seedlings. Water enough to keep the soil moist.

Once you have established sage plants, you can propagate sage plants to grow more. This process creates cuttings, which you can then plant to form new roots and begin a growing a new sage plant.

To get a cutting from an established sage plant, you can clip about three inches of a cutting from the end of a stem. Apply a rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem to encourage root growth. Plant the cut end into vermiculite in a small container, and allow it to remain for about 6 weeks, when you should begin to get root growth. Gary Pilarchik provides a helpful video to show how to replant small cuttings:

CTG: Backyard Plants list of recommended plants for: backyard, beside driveway, sidewalk curbstrip, street appeal, for way back with the vegetables and herbs, attractive vegetables, for a ginger garden

Planting Time References

White Flower Farm See plant descr. then click on Growing guide

West Coast Seeds see plant descr. then go to Growing Guides

Johnny's Select Seeds


Plant Hardiness:

By Zip 1st freeze 11/12... last freeze 3/20

USDA 8b 1st freeze 12/1... last freeze 3/1

Rainbow Gardening by the Month

Almond Verbena

CTG: Almond verbena Aloysia virgata Almond verbena is a must for anyone who loves summertime fragrance! This large, shrubby, deer-resistant plant is an should be planted in full sun, or only light shade, and given plenty of room to grow.

This plant does get very tall, usually very quickly. My experience has been in the range of 10 to 12 feet tall and about 3 to 4 feet wide.


Be sure to plant near a patio or porch to get the full effect of its strong, but lovely, delicately sweet fragrance. Almond verbena is a repeat bloomer, usually from late spring all the way through fall, maybe taking a break during the hottest time of an extremely hot, dry summer.

And when in flower, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds will be attracted to it like magnets.

Listed as hardy to USDA Zone 8, in most warm climates, almond verbena will be deciduous, especially in mild winters. But even if it doesn’t die back to the ground, it will perform best if you treat it as you would other root-hardy perennial shrubs, shearing it back to the ground in late winter. This hard pruning forces almond verbena to put on all new growth, making it fuller, greener, and bushier. A little light pruning in mid-summer can reinvigorate the plant for fall growth.


Plant almond verbena in well-drained soil and water sparingly, but regularly. Once a week watering should be fine, and fertilizer is not needed. This easy-care, root-hardy shrub would make a great addition to any low water-use garden.

Sweet Almond Verbena, Incense Bush Sweetly fragrant spikes of tiny white flowers are produced from spring to fall on this little known but easy to grow and tough deciduous shrub. Its intensely fragrant flowers attract a host of pollinators and it is considered to be an especially good honey plant. Sweet Almond Verbena, a 2008 Florida Plant of the Year, is a vigorous and pest free, heat and sun loving loving large shrub to small tree. Plant it with Sweet Olive, Gardenia, and Banana Magnolia to have outdoor fragrance nearly year round in zones 8-9.

Sweet Almond Verbena is fully hardy well into zone 8 but may freeze to the ground in the coldest winters but well-established plants readily return from the roots and quickly regrow in spring and are flowering again by early summer. Consider providing a loose protective winter mulch in zone 8 to help ensure its survival and plant in spring or early summer to give small plants time to get established. Otherwise provide plenty of sunlight, good drainage, and average moisture and establishment should be easy with this fast growing fragrant shrub.


In mild winter climates Sweet Almond Verbena can reach 15' high and wide and it is certainly amenable to periodic pruning if you so desire. You can cut it back fairly hard in early spring just as or before growth begins to maintain a smaller plant. Sweet Almond Verbena can also be trained into a single or multi-trunked small tree but this should be done only in areas where winter temperatures do not fall below about 20-25oF for extended periods as it can freeze to the ground and your work will be for naught.

Grows To: 10'H x 10'W
USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 8,9,10,11
Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, Part shade
Soil pH Range: Acidic, Mildly Acidic, Neutral
Soil Types & Moisture: Average moist well-drained soils. Somewhat drought resistant once well-established.
Deer Resistance: Not Yet Bothered in Our Gardens
Native To / Cultivar Origin: Argentina


Plant This: Sweet almond verbena Looking for a flowering, sweet-scented shrub that can take the heat and drought dished out in a central Texas summer? Then try sweet almond verbena (Aloysia virgata), an Argentinian deciduous shrub with a strong vanilla almond fragrance. Mine grows at the base of our elevated deck, and the sweet scent wafts up to us when we’re out in the evening.

SAV in Austin

With scratchy, coarse leaves and an open, rather gangly growth habit, sweet almond verbena is not a good focal-point plant. Better to hide it behind prettier, smaller shrubs or perennials. But it is Texas tough once established, thumbing its nose at the Death Star and blooming all summer long in full sun on a spare ration of water.

And the white flower spires are lovely close-up—rather like the flowers of our native kidneywood tree (Eysenhardtia texana), which I also highly recommend, but which doesn’t bloom continuously all summer, as sweet almond verbena does.

SAV in Austin

Another bonus is that honeybees love it. Sweet almond verbena dies back after a hard freeze but is root-hardy. I cut mine to the ground by mid-February, before new spring growth begins, but it doesn’t really put on a lot of growth until it gets hot. It can get pretty big by the end of summer—maybe 8 to 10 feet tall and wide—but you can cut it back mid-season to keep it smaller and still get a late-summer flush of flowers.

Note: My Plant This posts are written primarily for gardeners in central Texas. The plants I recommend are ones I’ve grown myself and have direct experience with. I wish I could provide more information about how these plants might perform in other parts of the country, but gardening knowledge is local. Consider checking your local online gardening forums to see if a particular plant might work in your region.


Sweet Almond Verbena Lovely spikes of small white flowers, true—but the real kablam is in the fragrance. They don't call this plant Sweet Almond Verbena for nothing. The evening scent is so powerful, actually, that a more accurate name would be "You can smell it before you can see it."


Here's that same plant three weeks later. New spikes are at the top, while the ones in in the picture above are still hard at work on both flowers and fragrance. The spikes lengthen so productively, and over such a long period, that they give the impression of fireworks caught in the act.

Fragrant and fireworky, and from July to frost. Could any plant do more?

Here's how to grow this tireless and fragrant shrub:

Common Name: Sweet Almond Verbena
Family: Verbenaceae, the Verbena family.
What kind of plant is it? Deciduous flowering shrub.
Hardiness: Zones 7 - 9.
Habit: Multi-stemmed and bushy; a die-back shrub in Zone 7 and into Zone 8; further south, a large shrub or, with some training, a small tree.


Rate of Growth" Fast.
Size in ten years: If in a climate mild enough that there isn't Winter die-back, a large shrub or small tree to fifteen or even twenty feet tall.

Texture: Rather boring just in leaf, but fantastically redeemed by profuse long fingers of small white flowers at the tips of all the stems, for a lively (as well as deliciously-scented) presence throughout the hot months.

Grown for its vigorand flexibility: A. virgata flowers at the tips of new growth, which it produces with gusto given the least encouragement. It can grow as a die-shrub (mulch it well, though) in Zones 7 into 8, a solidly bushy shrub in Zone 8 into 9, and if limbed up, a small tree. It will also grow in containers.

Grown for its flowers: tiny white flowers in narrow pointed spikes that lengthen impressively over several weeks . New spikes appear at the tips of branches as long as the weather's warm enough. Although the flowers are only tidily engaging in themselves, their fragrance—-an almond scent so powerful you'd think someone had just spritzed the whole bush, even the entire garden, with almond extract—-is truly astounding. Stronger in late afternoon and into the evening, it makes sweltering hot Summer nights something to wish for.


Grown for its appeal to pollinators: just about anything that crawls, hovers, or flutters will come for visits. Grow sweet almond verbena and you'll feel like you've done a real favor for your entire animal ecosystem.

Flowering season: July to frost; much of the year at the warmest end of its hardiness range.
Culture: Full sun, any reasonable soil and watering.

How to handle it:

Having any sweet almond verbena is better than having none at all, so growing the bush where it wouldn't otherwise be hardy is irresistible.

If there's a chance at all it's hardy in-ground (from coastal Virginia south), growing in all possible sun in promptly-draining soil are the first helps to successful overwintering. Next, mulch the bush heavily after hard frost, and don't cut back the wood until the plant has started sprouting in the Spring. A little Winter-kill isn't a problem—or even a lot: The bush is so responsive it will resprout even from the roots.

If your climate is mild enough for the bush to get through the Winter unscathed—roughly from coastal South Carolina down to north Florida—you'll probably still want to prune heavily in the Spring to concentrate the display and fragrance of the flowers, just like you'd do with butterfly bushes. Or you could limb the bush up to create a small tree. Or you could do both: Limb it up to make a tree, and then pollard the tree. With flowers only on this season's growth, last season's growth is merely taking up space.

Northern gardeners, though, will need to grow A. virgata in a container. The bush is readily deciduous, so if it gets even a mild frost it will shed its leaves and let you store it dormant in a cool and dark spot—your basement, an unheated but frost-free garage—until it's convenient to bring it into more light and warmth. The shrub is fast growing—or would like to be—so give it plenty of nutrition grow on: good soil, regular fertilizing, and attentive watering. More growth, after all, means more flowers and more fragrance. Want more of everything? Pinch the soft tips of the branches for even bushier growth.

If you have room, you could keep the plant in leaf through the Winter and move the container to a sunny spot to keep the plant active and in bloom as long as possible. Remember, though, that this is a subtropical species, and is used to cool Winter nights and even some frosts. So give it some down-time in the Winter. This isn't the plant for a truly tropical environment, indoors or out, nor for peak performance year-round.

My sense, then, is that it's easier for both you and your sweet almond verbena if you let the plant go dormant. Then keep it dormant in coolness and darkness for weeks or even months until you have the space indoors to start it back into growth, or your weather has become truly Spring-like and you can move the pot outside for the season. If it's still dormant when you move it outside it will tolerate very light frosts and will know to wait until the weather's really warm before resprouting. But if it's already in leaf indoors, wait until your weather is reliably frost-free before setting the pot outdoors.

My full fantasy is to have standards of sweet almond verbena, which I can overwinter in the basement dormant, leafless, and, thanks to a quick pollarding just before the move-in, nicely compact.

Downsides: If only the plant were hardier. Indoors, it, too, is probably as much of a martyr to white fly and spider mites as lemon verbena is (see Variants below), all the more reason to overwinter it dormant and leafless.


There aren't any cultivars, but A. virgatum's cousin A. triphylla—lemon verbena—is, in its own way, just as seductively fragrant. This time, the fragrance is all in the leaves, and it's as powerful as a lemon scent can be that's still legal. Even a light brush-up against lemon verbana foliage releases a massive whiff of lemon, so it's great to keep a pot of this near a pathway where you and your visitors can't help but encounter it. The flowers themselves are neither fragrant nor showy. In flower as well as fragrance, then A. triphylla is the yin to A. virgatum's yang: Virgatum fragrance is only in the flowers not the foliage; triphylla fragrance is only in the foliage not the flowers.

Lemon Verbena ~

Lemon verbena isn't as hardy, but is equally easy in a pot. Cut it down to stumps in early Spring; by August it will still get four to five feet tall and bushy. It's a martyr for white fly and spider mites, so don't torture yourself or the bush by trying to overwinter it in leaf. Let it get a hint of frost, just enough to drop the leaves, then store it cool, leafless, and bug-free until Spring.

Propagation: By cuttings and (I suppose) layering.

Lemon Verbena ~


Top 10 Quick-Growing Shrubs Get fantastic results and garden benefits even faster than usual with these plant picks.

Elderberry Sambucus

Add a few elderberries for you and the birds to enjoy. Butterflies are attracted to the white flowers that appear in summer. The small, purple-black fruit that follows attract birds and can be used for jellies, pies, juice and wine. New cultivars like Black Lace and Lemon Lacy add fine texture and color to the landscape.

Why we love it: Elderberries tolerate wet and even dry soil once established.

bigger the better: aralia cordata and its cousins

aralias: why i grow these big, beautiful plants ‘THANK YOU,’ SAY THE BIRDS, “these are delicious.” And they are delicious to look at, too–especially as fall comes on, with all the giant heads of bird-attracting purple fruit and in some cases (such as Aralia spinosa, above) incredible fall foliage color, too. Do you grow any aralias (sometimes called spikenards) in your garden yet?

Comments: These grow wild here in north central Florida, where I was taught another common name is Hercules club. To a casual observer, the fruit and foliage look extremely similar to the winged sumac (Rhus copallina), but brush up against those spiny trunks and you’ll soon learn the difference!

I would have thought those were elderberry! (sambucas). What gorgeous fall color they provide.

Yes, Stephen, I know what you mean. I love elderberry, too (as do the birds!). The fall color of A. spinosa is exceptional. Give it its own space; it suckers and colonizes!

3/30/17 Elderberry in back starting

Edible Flowers arugula, borage, broccoli, calendula, white mallow, nasturtium, oregano, oxalia, chamomile, chives, comfrey, dill, ox-eye-daisy, sugar snap pea, evening primrose, elderberry, gladiolas, hens and chicks, black hollyhock, black rose, white rose, sage bergamot, squash, St. john's wort, white hollyhock, lavender, pink mallow, purple mallow, sweet rocket, thistle, violet, day lily

Cold Stream Farm located in Michigan is a wholesale shrub nursery and bare root tree nursery.

Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) - 6-12" $4.39

Morag Videos

Urban Farm interesting plants: turmeric [huge leaves], cassaba root edible or cooked leaves, Monstera or fruit salad plant, cherry guava, curry leaf tree, elderberry, malabar or Ceylon spinach, pigeon pea leaves for mulch and seeds are edible, Canna edulis [edibble] or Queensland arrowroot edible roots to use instead of potatoes looks like banana leaves, Canna indica black seeds leaves for mulch, Pinto peanut for leguminous cover crop around orchard creates dense mat for lots of wildlife and creates microclimate, yam, sugar cane grows really fast for mulch

Unknown Source:
If you choose appropriate plants, rare birds, mammals, and butterflies—not deer and raccoons—will appear. dogwood, elderberry, chokeberry, native roses, hawthorn

Unknown Source:
Tachinid flies also like houseflies. pirate bugs about 1.8-inch long, black with white wing patches. particularly like elderberry, mountain ash, hairy vetch, and wild and domestic buckwheat.

Elderberry are summer-fruiting plants.

Common Elderberry [Sambucus canadensis; Caprifoliaceae]

10 great trees for small yards Even small yards and gardens can be home to a variety of trees, without crowding out everything else, and provide fruit, shade, wildlife habitat, or all three.

Elderberry: Elderberries (Sambucus) are most often seen as shrubs, although varieties that grow more like a small tree are available, and their flowers and berries are good for pollinators and other wildlife, while the fruit is also prized for making jam, wine, pies, and other delicacies. According to, elderberries "grow best in a slightly acidic soil that is high in organic matter and stays consistently moist," but that is well-drained, and are suited to full or part-sun locaions.

Common Elderberry [Sambucus canadensis; Caprifoliaceae]

Large Shrubs->
Elderberry bush
Elderberry bush
Common Elderberry [Sambucus canadensis; Caprifoliaceae]. Tall shrub with many stems growing from the [huge shrub between Dotta's house and our's on Moana].

Flowers can be dipped in batter and fried as fritters. Native Americans soaked them in water to make a refreshing summer drink.

Common Elderberry [Sambucus canadensis; Caprifoliaceae]

Dried leaves have been used as an insecticide and as a poultice for sore joints.

Elderberry is an important wildlife food. Its berries are eaten by forty-five different species of birds.

PLAN--Plant in north corner.


Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)


Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Send comments to, Colby Glass, MLIS, Professor Emeritus