Pushing Up Daisies, Babywipes and Grocery Store Hydrangeas

picture-23Pushing Up Daisies

Watch out for two varieties of Echinacea, “Sunset” and “Sundown”. When hybridizers start flooding the market with new varieties of plants, you can do one of two things…be one of the first guinea pigs to try them and pay a fortune for the privilege, or wait two years and see if they were worth the purchase and worth the growing. These newer Echinacea varieties have been around forthe requisite two years and have passed both tests. Now they are more available and easier on the check card.They have sturdy stems, 3 inch sunset color flowers and as an added bonus, they’re fragrant. Check your local nurseries.  echsu1q

Babywipes for Orchids

It was only a matter of time…some clever person decided to soak some babywipe-type sheets in Neem oil and voila! Botaniwipes were created. Neem oil is the miracle oil pressed from fruits and seeds of the neem tree that grows in India. Neem oil is an insecticide, miticide and fungicide. It’s perfect for orchid and large leaved houseplants. Just pop one out of the box and you’re ready to go. Order them online at www.gardenshoponline.com.

Grocery Store Hydrangeas

It’s not your fault if you get a foil wrapped hydrangea as a gift…plant it outside and slowly watch it turn into slime. Not all grocery store hydrangeas are happy outside. They’re grown in a greenhouse for a one shot, spectacular, temporary show that usually saps their strength and makes them too weakfor the home garden. However, there are a few things you can do to give these greenhouse hydrangeas a better chance at survival. First, replant it in a larger nursery pot. Put the pot in the shade in a protected area during the summer months. Keep it watered and fertilized.In the fall plant it, pot and all where you eventually want it in your garden. If it survives the winter, pop it out of the pot the in mid spring and plant it in the ground. If it doesn’t survive the winter…well…you tried.

You can compost it guilt-free.