This week’s plants are both for sunny spots and flower long into summer for lasting color!Read More
Filtering by Tag: trees
This week I feature two Magnolia trees that bloom in April with great color! Magnolias in our area prefer full sun but some wind protection. Neighboring mature trees, houses, or other buildings work great to shield them from hot summer wind from the south to west. Magnolia are not drought tolerant, they prefer to be watered regularly. They also prefer to be fed regularly with a fertilizer for acid loving plants like a Rhododendron fertilizer.
Black Tulip grows to 15 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide. It has large dark burgundy, tulip shaped flowers that begin in early spring before the leaves. It’s smaller habit works well in smaller yards that need some spring impact!
Felix Jury Magnolia grows to 16 to 22 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide. It boasts 12 inch wide blooms of hot pink. Another tree that would work well small spaces that need lots of spring color!
I wanted to share the two most popular plants that we took to Regional Home and Garden Show.
The Pink Dawn Viburnum is one of the best “Welcome Spring” plants there are on the market. For it is a tough plant that can take full sun to part shade, handle wind and our cold temperatures. Pink Dawn Viburnum grows to 8 to 10 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. In late winter to early spring it flowers fragrant soft pink blooms. They almost remind one of lilacs. In fall, their green leaves turn to a rusty red. I like to use this plant as a height and surrounded by summer flowering perennials. You can also use it for privacy screening by a patio to take advantage of the fragrance.
The Blue Short Needle Japanese White Pine attracted people at the Home Show because of it’s blue-green foliage and irregular shape. It grows to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. It doesn’t grow fast which allows it to be used in smaller spots that can’t have full size pine growing there. They enjoy full sun to part shade conditions and enjoy well drained soils. It would work great to serve as a backdrop to perennials and shrubs while providing year round interest.
Our soils are alkaline (pH above 7) because of the areas low annual rainfall and the lack of organic matter. Alkaline soil can be problematic to some plants because if the soil pH is too high it makes it hard for some plants to take up vital nutrients. By selecting plants that enjoy these soil conditions it a lot less work to keep them happy. A good looking landscape with minimal effort, is much easier to maintain.
Below is a list of plant families that thrive in alkaline soil with little to no pH adjustments. From here you can find a variety that fits your yards needs and personal taste.
Feather Reed grasses
Hydrangeas (though big leaf varieties are pink in alkaline soils)
Butterfly Bush (sterile varieties)
Common Snowball Bush
Red Hot Poker
Black Eyed Susans
Golden Rain Tree
Green Ash (Urbanite is resistant to Ash Bore)
The Green Spiral Fir is a small weeping tree, it provides a rich green color to the landscape with great texture. It gives the appearance that the needles spiral out of the trunk. It can handle full sun but needs to have consistently moist soil. Green Spiral reaches 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide with a mounding habit. Use this plant as a focal point and mix with dwarf Hydrangeas, daylilies or bee balm.
Hot and Cold Hot Poker is a hot and dry loving plant. It enjoys full sun and doesn’t mind being in hot gravel. The orange to cream torch flowers appear throughout the summer with deadheading. The flowers also attract pollinators really well. Hot and Cold reaches to 2 to 3 feet tall and wide with the torch flowers rising above grass like foliage. Red Hot Pokers play well with lavenders, yarrows, sumacs and junipers.
The Black Hills spruce is a smaller growing, tough spruce that doesn’t have as sharp of needles as the Colorado Spruce. It’s green color makes a nice specimen for Christmas lights. They grow to 35 to 40 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. It handles all of our area’s landscaping quirk of sun, heat, cold and soil pH.
The Midnight Rose Coral Bells is a dark purple variety with flecks of hot pink that stand out in shade gardens. Coral bells prefer afternoon shade in our area (noon to 5) and would prefer to have well drained soil. In spring it flowers white. Midnight Rose Coral Bells with their dark foliage contrasts well against bright green foliage to yellow foliage plants like hostas, hydrangeas, or astilbes.
The Weeping Norway Spruce is a classic, durable weeping evergreen for the Tri-Cities. It handles full sun to part shade, our range of temps from summer to winter and our soils with ease. The Weeping Norway Spruce is also flexible to how you train it. You can twist it, train it upward, or let it creep along the ground. The versatility is endless. It’s mature spread is 6 to 10 feet.
The Fiji Rose of Sharon is for full sun spots and has a long bloom season. The pink/white blend stands out well whether it’s a sunny day or in moonlight. This plant is available as a shrub for privacy or accent as well as a small “tree” for focal points. It grows to about 10 to 12 feet tall and six feet wide. The more sun it gets the better for it needs heat to bloom like it’s cousin the dinner plate Hibiscus. Keep it well fed and hydrated so Fiji won’t disappoint.
Angel Falls White Pine is a weeping pine with blue green foliage. It’s needles are soft to the touch versus the spiny feel of the Austrian Pines. The blue green foliage lends itself to contrasting red, dark green, or yellow leafed plants. The Angel Falls mature size depends on how tall you train it. 12 to 15 feet would be the tallest it grows upward if trained. Training Angel Falls upright is simple, you tie it to a bamboo stake, move the stake upward and retie as needed. The flexibility of training the plant lends itself well to focal points near the corner of the house, blank walls or corner where something tall is needed. Angel Falls prefers at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Whipcord Western Red Cedar is a dark green mop-head evergreen. This one is just cool when put in the yard. It breaks away from the standard upright globe shaped plants. The dark green plays well with different shrubs and perennials. It also enjoys full sun (at least six hours) and moist but well drained soils. Whipcord grows to about 4 to 5 feet tall and wide.
The Baby Blue Eyes Spruce is a dwarf Colorado Blue Spruce that reaches 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. It’s slow growing, so it takes awhile to that large. It enjoy a wide range of soil conditions and like the rest of the Colorado Spruce family they do very well here. Our sunny weather actually bring out the blue color! It’s great to use for bird cover, Christmas lights and focal points.
Sheila’s Perfume rose is a delightful Floribunda Rose (flowers in clusters). It grows to about 4 feet tall and wide. It’s blooms resemble a Hybrid Tea in form and size. Sheila also isn’t prone to powdery mildew but it’s still best to not water her going into the night and making sure she has at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Sheila has a strong fragrance which is nice to enjoy in the garden or in a bouquet.
The Variegated Alaskan Cedar is an evergreen tree that gives a yard texture, height accents, or just a good block. The foliage is dark green with a smattering of yellow needles. This tree grows to about 20 to 30 feet tall and 12 to 15 feet wide, making it a small tree. They can handle fun sun, though strong winds when it’s over 90 can lightly burn the yellow.
Onyx Flamingo Hydrangea is a type of big leaf hydrangea that loves afternoon shade in our hot summers. The pale pink bloom clusters is striking when compared to both the black stems and the dark green foliage. It grows to 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. It also blooms on new and old wood, so now matter how bad winter is, you will still have blooms. If you would like a pale blue version of this, just treat the soil with sulfur, G&B Acid Planting Mix or Aluminum Sulfate to acidify the soil.
The Carnival Watermelon Coralbells are great border plants for Tri-City shade gardens. They can play well with Hostas and contrast well with Hydrangeas. Carnival Watermelon reaches 12 inches tall and 2 feet wide. The foliage ranges from a frosted peach to a copper purple. It’s does best with afternoon shade in the Mid Columbia because they don’t enjoy getting dry. In mild winters it is an evergreen as well.
The Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is a large growing shrub or small tree. It has with spectacular fall color with reds and oranges. They grow to about 20 to 25 feet tall and wide. In the spring they flower white. In summer develop purple black berries that are great for bird habitat. You can also make jams and jellies with them. Autumn Brilliance works great to provide a screen when in shrub form. Or as a small shaped tree with irregular branching. Handles full sun to part shade conditions.
The Dwarf Fothergilla is a small sized shrub that has exquisite fall color! It is a slow growing plant that reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Green in the summer time and in spring it has fragrant white flowers that remind me of a bottle brush. Forthergilla grows well in full sun to partial shade (4 or more hours a day).
The Kwanzan Cherry is a flowering cherry tree that grows to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Most known for it’s double pink blooms in the spring, it has a surprising nice fall color. The yellow and oranges contrast with red fall color like maples, burning bushes or fothergilla really well. Prefers full sun but does best not being next to sidewalks and streets for they don’t like the reflected heat on their trunks.
The Gold Flame Spiraea is stunning in the fall with a nice bright red fall color. It grows to about 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. Gold Flame handles full sun to part shade as well as being versatile in many landscape areas. In the summer it has a gold/green and has pink flowers in the late spring and summer.
Golden Colonnade Ginkgo is a ginkgo with a strong central leader. Unlike other ginkgos that enjoy being naturally free form. It matures to 45 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Ginkgos do well in the Tri-Cities and are very durable. The fall color is a brilliant golden yellow like the ginkgos on Haines St in Richland. Except Golden Colonnade are male, so no stinky fruit!
Fall is upon us and it’s time for planting. Here is what you can plant now and into winter as well as a few tips to make sure things go well.
You can plant plants rated zone 6 or lower for they can withstand our winters. You can plant trees, shrubs, perennials, roses and evergreens.
Even though the irrigation systems are going offline. Plants aren’t using much water. Until deciduous plants drop their foliage check on them for moisture weekly. After they drop their foliage check monthly to see if they need a drink. Evergreens need water on a monthly basis. Water on days where the highs are above 35 degrees.
For roses you want to mulch their crowns as a precaution against sudden cold snaps.
You can plant in fall and into winter you want to avoid cold snaps where on daytime temps don’t rise above freezing. It’s hard on you and the plants when the ground is frozen.
These two summer blooming "trees" love the sun and stay less than 12 feet tall, making them work were a tree look is needed without the size of a tree. I say "trees" because they are really shrubs trained into trees.
The first "tree" is the Phantom Hydrangea a vigorous growing tree that blooms heavy white cone shape flowers. It grows to 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. Phantom enjoys full sun to partial shade. Cold hardy to negative 30 degrees F, so it will weather our winters with no issue. Starts flowering in late June and July, then the flowers dry to a blush pink for a lasting effect.
The second "tree" or shrub is the Tahiti Rose of Sharon has a semi double lavender flower. I have a tree form in my yard since 2015 and it handled the hard winter very well. Rose of Sharons prefer heat, so plan to plant this in at least 6 hours of sunlight. You will enjoy the flowers from July to September. Reaches 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Watering for the First Year
In the first growing season, all new plants (including drought resistant ones) need extra water to allow them root into the surrounding soil. Make sure to deep soak the plants enough with a sprinkler on a hose; so that your soil is moist to 12 inches below the surface of the dirt a day after you have watered. You want your moisture to soak in this deep so that your plant’s roots develop deep and can handle not being watered for a few days in case there are problems with your irrigation system. If in doubt, you need to dig down 12 inches with a shovel, trowel or use a soil probe to make sure you are soaking in deep enough.
A general deep soaking schedule for sand loam soil (the main soil texture for Tri-Cities) it is listed by day time high temperatures
50 ̊F or less once a month for evergreens, check every two months for deciduous plants 50 to 70 ̊F deep soak once every two weeks after foliage emerges or drops on deciduous
70 to 85 ̊F deep soak once a week for one hour
85 to 95 ̊F deep soak twice a week for two hours
Above 95 ̊F soak three times a week for two hours
After all wind storms when temperature highs are above 85 ̊F go check the soil moisture.
**For Clay or compacted soil you will need to shorten you water run time and increase the amount of time your water to get the same effect**
E.H. Wilson Mimosa (Silk Tree) is one of the most cold hardy mimosas offered on the market. We have been happy with the variety for a number of years and we enjoy the dark pink blooms in the summer. E.H. Wilson reaches 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. If prefers full sun. Fun characteristic is the leaves fold up when the plant is dry. It enjoys our hot summers but sometimes in harsh winters can take some damage. It gives a tropical look to the yard.
Glowing Embers Hydrangea is a shade loving Hydrangea that flowers in July. It is an old wood bloomer so it only blooms once but has a sharp dark pink color and large blooms. It reaches 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Prefers to be shaded from noon to 5 pm. Glowing Embers doesn't need any soil pH adjustments in the Tri-Cities to keep it's color. This is one of my favorite Hydrangeas.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea gets its name because the leaves on it look like an oak leaf. They reach 4 to 6 ft tall and wide. They enjoy sun but like a little shade around 3 to 4 pm. They flower white in June and the flowers age to pink over time. The fall colors are shades of red and is striking.
Rugged Charm Maple is a small tree that actually makes use of it’s helicopters. They turn red in June so it looks like the tree is flowering! Rugged Charm grows to 20 to 25 feet tall and about 20 feet wide. Works great for small spaces or yards. Handles full sun and wind with no issues. Fall color is orange red.
Scale is a sap sucking insect that resembles an oyster shell that either cover branches like the tree pictured above or on the foliage of arborvitae. They can be challenging to control for when their shells are soft, insecticides work; when they are hard they do not. For deciduous trees you can use a systemic insecticide like the Bonide Annual Tree and Shrub insect control. For evergreens it would be better to use a horticultural oil like Bonide All Seasons Oil or Malathion to kill the scales.
An few signs you have scale is if you see shells on branches (not normal), the foliage is sticky or there are a lot of flies hanging around you plants (this also is a sign of aphids too).
Alex and Arthur's adventures of tree planting at CBC's Arbor Day event!Read More