How to Grow Milkweed!

Planting Milkweed Seeds

We recommend planting milkweed seed in the spring or fall in most parts of the U.S. In the fall, the cold will start the stratification process of the seeds ie. exposing them to the cold temperatures that they would experience in the wild and that trigger spring germination. You can also plant in spring. If storing your seeds until then, we suggest storing them in the fridge but not the freezer! When you are ready to plant, it is like planting any other wildflower seed. Clear the area, sow your seeds on the top of the soil and lightly compress for a good seed to soil contact. The biggest mistake folks make when sowing milkweed is planting them too deep. The rule of thumb is that it should be no deeper than it is thick. It doesn’t have the energy to push through all that soil and needs sunlight to germinate.
Most milkweed species prefer lighter, dryer soils to heavy, clay ones. If you have clay soil, you can loosen it with gypsum or by adding some good loose loam. Do not cover them with anything including mulch. If for some reason, you feel you must cover them, then do so with a light layer of straw.

Once Planted, Add Water to Milkweed Seeds

Keep your newly sown seeds moist until germination occurs and until they are 6-8 inches tall. Many milkweed species are drought-tolerant once they’re established. You can time your seeding to take advantage of your local rain patterns. Milkweed will not establish well if you don’t water – rain or by hosing the area yourself!

Collecting Milkweed Seeds

Regardless of species you should collect seeds in the fall, when the seed pods have opened but before they begin to crack. There is an exception to this as seeds of common milkweed, should be collected as soon as the pods turn brown. Remove them from the pod and separate them from the silky floss right away. You can store common milkweed and swamp milkweed for about 2-3 years, all others you should plant no later than the following spring and ideally in the fall right after you collect them!

Easy Tip on Milkweed Seeds

Keep an eye on where they are establishing if you already have some. What is the soil like and try to duplicate that! Remember to think of the natural cycle – what happens in nature is what you should duplicate and you’ll have success and the Monarchs and other butterflies will thank you!

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Saving the Monarchs!

Great numbers of Monarchs gather and migrate each fall and it is hard to imagine that this phenomenon may be coming to an end as the Monarch is facing the threat of extinction. Reality is setting in for many of us and the threat to the Monarch Butterfly is real and imminent. We all need to step up and try to have compassion and do our part to insure it doesn’t happen. Monarchs are seriously threatened by human activities in both their summer and over wintering sites. These activities are destroying the habitats at an astounding rate. Organizations, such as ourselves, are gathering and discussing a multitude of ways to help.

 

So, let’s take action! At the farm, we are doing are part and for those of you who wish to help we have created this page of wildflowers specifically for the Monarch Butterfly. These mixes, discount combos and individual species allow Monarchs a food source, a place to rest and the all-important areas to pollinate and breed. These flowers will have Monarchs flocking to your gardens, fields, containers all summer long!

Suggested Mixes or Species for Monarchs:

Our Saving the Monarch Discounted Combo Deal
Our Ultimate Pollinator Combo Deal
Our Deluxe Pollinator Mix
Our Native Perennial Mix
Our Hummingbird/Butterfly Mix
Our Wildlife Habitat and Forage Mix
Common Milkweed
Butterfly Weed
Swamp Milkweed
Sweet Alyssum
Candytuft
Wild Cosmos
Blanket Flower
Indian Blanket
Sweet Mignonette
Pincushion Flower
Verbena
Zinnias
New England Aster
Bee Balm or Bergamot
Daisies
Phlox
Purple Coneflower
Boneset
Black-eyed Susan
Blazing Star
Joe Pye-weed
Yarrow

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Wildflowers & Their Significance

Flowers that represent love and memory that you can use to convey messages to your loved ones.  Flowers have their own unique language, which was popularized during the Victorian era — from 1837 to 1901. This language of flowers was used to share hidden messages through floral gifts. Learn which flowers to use:

Love: Use Baby’s Breath which signifies everlasting love, Daffodils are used to send messages of true and total romantic love, while daisies convey a sense of loyalty in love. Gloxinias mean love at first sight and a bouquet of withered flowers means love rejected (we don’t want to send too many of those in our lives).

Memory: There are quite a few flowers that signify memories such as Periwinkle and myrtle flowers which send a messages of sweet, pleasant memories or lilac which signifies just memories of any kind. Zinnias are planted in memory of an absent friend.

 Memory and Love: There is only one flower in this category and it is the beautiful Forget-me-not. The flower means true love and memories when given to another. Forget-me-not packets are also a good source for many different types of occasions and eco-friendly.

So, at any time you can express your love and memories with wildflowers not just on Valentine’s Day. A new popular trend in wildflower gardening is to create a  ’garden of love’ or a ’garden of memories’. Here’s a larger list of ‘meanings’ we borrowed from the The Old Farmer’s Almanac ,America’s oldest continuously published periodical. Enjoy!

Aloe: Healing, protection, affection
Angelica: Inspiration
Arborvitae: Unchanging friendship
Bachelor’s button: Single blessedness
Basil: Good wishes
Bay: Glory
Black-eyed Susan: Justice
Carnation: Alas for my poor heart
Chamomile: Patience
Chives: Usefulness
Chrysanthemum: Cheerfulness
Clover, white: Think of me
Coriander: Hidden worth
Cumin: Fidelity
Crocus, spring: Youthful gladness
Daffodil: Regard
Daisy: Innocence, hope
Dill: Powerful against evil
Edelweiss: Courage, devotion
Fennel: Flattery
Fern: Sincerity
Forget-me-not: Forget-me-not
Geranium, oak-leaved: True friendship
Goldenrod: Encouragement
Heliotrope: Eternal love
Holly: Hope
Hollyhock: Ambition
Honeysuckle: Bonds of love
Horehound: Health
Hyacinth: Constancy of love, fertility
Hyssop: Sacrifice, cleanliness
Iris: A message
Ivy: Friendship, continuity
Jasmine, white: Sweet love
Lady’s-mantle: Comfort
Lavender: Devotion, virtue
Lemon balm: Sympathy
Lilac: Joy of youth
Lily-of-the-valley: Sweetness
Marjoram: Joy and happiness
Mint: Virtue
Morning glory: Affection
Myrtle: The emblem of marriage, true love
Nasturtium: Patriotism
Oak: Strength
Oregano: Substance
Pansy: Thoughts
Parsley: Festivity
Pine: Humility
Poppy, red: Consolation
Rose, red: Love, desire
Rosemary: Remembrance
Rue: Grace, clear vision
Sage: Wisdom, immortality
Salvia, blue: I think of you
Salvia, red: Forever mine
Savory: Spice, interest
Sorrel: Affection
Southernwood: Constancy, jest
Sweet pea: Pleasures
Sweet William: Gallantry
Sweet woodruff: Humility
Tansy: Hostile thoughts
Tarragon: Lasting interest
Thyme: Courage, strength
Tulip, red: Declaration of love
Valerian: Readiness
Violet: Loyalty, devotion, faithfulness
Willow: Sadness
Yarrow: Everlasting love
Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends

 

 

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PESTICIDES & NEONICOTINOID

When we state our products are ‘chemical free’ we mean it and this includes Neonicotinoids. What is that, you ask?
Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides that will kill the very pollinators you’re trying to attract to your wildlife garden!his systemic pesticide is absorbed into all parts of the plant: leaves, flowers, pollen, and nectar which means that any catepillar feeding on that plant, any butterfly sipping nectar, or any native bee collecting pollen are often killed simply by visiting plants treated with neonicontinoids.
Neonicotinoids affect the central nervous system of insects resulting in paralysis and death, which is surely not the goal if you are trying to attract them, assist them by planting wildflower seeds or perennial plants! Rest assured, we value the creation around us and all of the pollinators and wildlife that your gardens may bring. Our flower seeds and plant products are free of all detrimental pesticides so you can be confident you are planting GMO-FREE, Open-Pollinated and Chemical free seeds and plants when you buy from us! For more information see below:
All Wildflower Seed Products – No Pesticides or Chemicals Used in Any of the Production Fields
Plant Plugs and Bare Roots – No Pesticides Used in Production Fields nor are any of our Plant Products Treated with Chemicals After Harvest
Flower Bulbs – No Pesticides Used On Bulbs
Grasses – Our Supplier of Grasses Uses an Integrated Pest Management Approach and is well aware of the damage Pesticides/Neonicotinoids can do. There is a very limited use on some grass species production fields of which is presently being phased out. We don’t sell those particular species of grasses here at the farm.
Veggies & Herbs – No Pesticides or Chemicals Used in Any of the Production Fields
NOTE: Current research from the Scientific Beekeeping points to several possible contributing factors for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) including: pesticides (particulary those of the neonicotinoid class), infections with mites, malnutrition, various pathogens, genetic factors, immunodeficiency, loss of habitat, stress of cross country shipment of beehives, winter loss due to cold, changing beekeeping practices, and /or a combination of factors. We encourage you to read articles at scientificbeekeeping.com for a balanced review of these issues. It may be that chemicals are responsible and it may turn out they are not. In any case, we believe natural is better and we want to keep our bees and other pollinators healthy so here at the Vermont Wildflower Farm we will keep doing everything possible to insure our products are chemical free.
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2013 Photo Contest Winners!

Photo Contest Winners:

Congratulations to Our 2013 Photo Contest Winners! We had well over 600 entries and most of the photographs entered were outstanding! Winners were chosen by a panel of judges and narrowed down to 50 finalists. From those a Grand Prize, First Place and 3 Honorable Mention photos were chosen. Believe us, it was difficult! Thank you to everyone that entered! We can’t wait to do it again! Over the coming weeks we will share some of the 50 Finalist and other great photos but for now, please enjoy the winning photographs! **These have been scaled down to fit the web page and will not translate as our judging panel viewed them in full size. If you would like to see the larger photo, please visit our Facebook page!

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Extending the Season with Colorful Fall Perennials

Here in Vermont, the leaves on the trees will offer a beautiful show of color for the fall and birds are gathering, making plans to fly south for the winter. You might think this signals the end of the growing season, but, fall is one of the most beautiful times of year in the garden. Though often over looked, there are many perennials that exhibit a full color show in the fall, whether it is through their flowers or foliage. Of course, there are classic perennials such as sedum, asters, and mums which are typically offered this time of year. Ornamental grasses have also gained popularity because they offer something a bit different than standard perennials: strong vertical appeal, late season bloom, winter interest, and are generally just something that not all of the neighbors have in their garden. But have you ever taken the time to notice the fall foliage color of perennials? If you think you have to plant a maple tree in your garden to see red in the fall, think again! There are some perennials whose colors rival even the brightest maple.

Here are some perennials in bloom or re-blooming during the Fall Season: Gaura (Wand Flower), Achillea(Yarrow), Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), Hardy Geranium Phlox p. ‘Orange Perfection’ (Tall Garden Phlox), Ornamental Grasses, Tanacetum (Tansy), Tall Bearded Iris, Salvia (Perennial Salvia), Delphinium, Vinca minor (Myrtle, Periwinkle) Polygonum aubertii (Silver Lace Vine), Nepeta f. ‘Six Hills Giant’ (Catmint) Armeria m. (Common Thrift, Sea Pink), Campanula (Bluebells), Clematis (some reblooming, others with attractive seed heads)

Perennial That Mimick Fall Foliage Colors:
Upright sedums- yellow (Stonecrop), Sedum r. (Blue Spruce Stonecrop), Geranium- range in color from scarlet to purple to orange to yellow (Hardy Geranium, Cranesbill), Schizachyrium scoparium–copper (Little Bluestem), Ornamental Grasses- range in color from purple to red to orange to gold, Amsonia hubrichtii- rich, warm gold (Arkansas Blue Star), Ceratostigma plumbaginoides–deep crimson to purple (Plumbago, Leadwort), Euphorbia- red (Spurge), Geum (Avens), Heuchera s. (Coral Bells), Hibiscus – bright red stems, leafless by now (Hardy Hibiscus), Bergenia- red (Heartleaf Bergenia, Pig Squeak), Hostas- range in color from gold to orange to tan, Heucherella- range in color from red to orange to yellow to purple (Foamy Bells) and Tiarella- range in color from purple to red to yellow (Foamflower)

Also, try our Fall Blooming Wildflower Seed Discount Combo!

So the next time you are buying perennials, make sure you check what they might look like in fall. With some careful planning, you can find great perennials like those mentioned above that will create interest during the late growing months.

Visit Us or E-mail Us to Add Fall Color and Bloom to Your Garden! www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com or E-mail Us: vermontwildflowerfarm@yahoo.com

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Wildflower – Sweet William – Great in Flower Borders

This article in our blog is by Guest Writer Theresa Martz of TendingMyGarden.com

Article and Photographs Copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com and used with permission.

Sweet William (Dianthus Barbatus) is a wildflower that  originated in the mountain areas of Europe.

I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing it naturalized in the landscape. But according to most  accounts it has spread and grows wild throughout most of the United States.

These easy, beautiful, hardy, and multicolored plants have taken a front and center position in my borders for many years. They add color like nothing else can and go with just about everything else you’ll ever have. And the patterns in the frilly petals help make these flowers exceptional.  The colors that vary from white, pinks to rose, and burgundy to red are guaranteed to get lots of oohs and ahhs from every visitor to your garden.

Red, pink and pure white – Sweet William.

Sweet Williams, like most dianthus, have a spicy clove-like scent. (Think of a carnation.)

I buy Sweet William seed by the pound and scatter/sow it in the spring and again in late summer and fall all around my borders that edge our acre of ground. Although Sweet William is suppose to be a biennial and bloom the second year after planted, I’ve had them bloom the first year.  But even if you have to wait — believe me they’re worth it.

Multicolored Sweet William bloom.

To get them started and make sure you have continuous bloom, sow seed every year.  That way you’ll always have bloom and you’ll always have some new plants getting ready to bloom the following year.

Red and pink Sweet William blooms.

Bloom time is long.  Two months of bloom is the norm in my borders and sometimes three months.

 

After the flowers fade and the seed is set, I collect it and scatter it  throughout my borders where it’s needed. The seed of some cultivars is said not to bear true to the parent.  To tell you the truth, I never paid much attention — I just know it’s still beautiful.

Shades of pink and white Sweet William.

Most of my borders are mulched, but on the edges (which is where I like to sow Sweet William) the straw is thin and at times non-existent. Fortunately, Sweet William is drought tolerant to a degree.  Where I am in Virginia, periods of drought are normal. In spite of that, the only time I ever lost this wonderful plant was several years ago during the longest drought I ever remember.

White and red Sweet William with Oenothera blooms.

Sweet Williams are excellent cut flowers, but I like them best complimenting the blooms of my other perennials and annuals in the borders.

Once you have these wildflowers in your garden, you’ll never want to be without them.  The beauty they add to your existing plants is amazing.  So if you don’t have any — plan to order Sweet William.  And order enough that you can sow now and then sow again in late summer and fall for the best possible results.

Blooms on these Sweet Williams are blood red and look fabulous with the other blue and yellow blooms.

A Source: Vermont Wildflower Farm

Red Sweet William Bloom

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Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.

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Beautiful Rain Gardens – Conserve Water, Save the Environment

If you’ve ever been to wetland areas then you are familiar with the plants that grow there and the wildlife that frequents them, such as butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, hummingbirds, turtles and a whole host of song and marsh birds. Your garden may be too small to lure in Great Blue Herons, but butterflies, hummingbirds, dragonflies, frogs and turtles are a delight to people of all ages. Rain gardens are comprised of a variety of vegetation found growing wild in the area, rather than exotic species, like roses, marigolds, pansies and others. Rain gardens are usually wildflowers, but some may choose to add grasses, sedges, ferns, bushes or trees. The plants in a rain garden are chosen for their ability to uptake and store water and to withstand drought. They are also extremely good at cleaning water of the nutrients and poisons that fill our lawns and gardens. A rain garden captures the run-off from major storms and stops it from flooding our already strained storm drains and sewage systems. So, why not add a rain garden to your area today, the beauty it will bring and the purpose it obtains will amaze you!

So much of our diverse marine and fresh water species as well as those on land depend on clean waters to thrive. Our native soils from mountains, forest and other areas store, filter and release cool, clean water to streams, wetlands and more. As cities grow, they encroach upon and change much of our natural settings; wild areas are replaced by urban growth, building and hard surfaces. During periods of rain or snow, more water flows from these man-made surfaces than our natural areas and with that, it carries oil, fertilizers, pesticides, unwanted sediments and other types of pollutants downstream. As a matter of fact, much of the pollution we find today in wetlands, streams and rivers comes from storm water run-off from developed areas. This increased volume of water containing contaminants is extremely detrimental to water resources and is harming all types of wildlife, including aquatic.

So while there are many practices and solutions on the table one great solution is a certain type of landscaping called a Rain Garden. A rain garden acts like a native forest area collecting, absorbing and filtering storm-water runoff from your roof top, driveway, patio and other areas that don’t let the water soak in. Rain Gardens are a shallow depression that can be shaped and sized to fit your landscape. It is constructed with soil mixes that allow water to soak up rapidly and support healthy plant life. There are a variety of plants you can use. It is an extremely versatile and effective tool in your yard.

Rain Gardens are also low maintenance. For the first two to three years they need lots of water during the drier part of your season so that they establish healthy root systems. After that providing you selected the appropriate natives or plants they need little to no watering unless you are having a severe drought. A great watering tip is to water deeply but infrequently meaning the top 1/2ft to 1ft is moist. If you need to know if you are applying enough water, just dig alongside one of the plants 12-18 inches an hour to 2 hours after watering to see if the soil is moist. Mulching your rain garden should be done after germination of seed. If using plants, you can mulch away. Just a 2-3 inch layer of mulch is great. If using our Rain Garden Mix, be sure to wait for them to germinate and establish themselves. Most are perennials so you won’t need to mulch the first year, but the second when they are 6-8 inches high. Mulch will keep the garden moist and sponge-like, ready to absorb the rain. You can also mulch along the sides and bottom of the rain garden. It also aids in making weeding your rain garden easier. Don’t worry if you don’t get to the weeds right away, your rain garden will still function, weeds or not. Weeds are just unsightly and the sooner you get them out the better so that you keep your nice rain garden intact. You also don’t want any weeds to go to seed, so get them out insuring you get all the roots of them too!

Your rain garden should be dense with plants. Exposed soil and other erosion sediment flowing into the rain garden can clog the soil mix and slow the drainage. If too much water is flowing into your rain garden you will know by the erosion that occurs. Then you might need to reduce the slope angles that are carrying the runoff.

Remember, rain gardens can be an integral part of your storm-water management and environmental approach. They don’t require a lot of planning or much space and can be done in odd shapes. They also look nice! Anyone can build one!

Here’s how:

Building a rain garden is a very simple process; you might just get a little dirty and do some digging. First, choose your location. You’ll need a space slightly inclined from your water run off (i.e. roof, spout, and drainage points of origin). Make sure it is at least ten feet from your home. Estimating the size of your rain garden is usually done by the type of soil. If you have standard, black dirt, then estimate 1/3 of the sq. ft. of your roof, but if you have sandy soil your garden may be smaller and if you have clay soil it’ll need to be a bit larger, however, if you’ve chosen a low spot in your yard where water collects, size won’t matter, just fill the depression. Dig down 6-8 inches in the center of your garden and slope the sides to run water down into the center. Make sure to create a berm on the downhill side to capture the runoff before it gushes into the drains. Simply fill the floor of the garden with the rain garden mix and any other grasses, shrubs etc. that you have chosen. This is one garden that mulching will help stop weeds, hold moisture and spruce up your rain garden. You may also consider digging a shallow channel from your downspout to your rain garden and lining it with river rock to help guide rain where you want it to go. Voila, you’re done!

Try Our New Rain Garden Wildflower Seed Mix and Get Started Today!

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Happy Earth Day! Things to Do and What We Are Not Doing!

It’s been 42 years since the first time Earth Day was recognized and celebrated in 1970 and 22 years since Earth day has been noted on a  global scale. This Earth Day we are not offering any specials. We have decided that Earth Day is not about us and increasing our business by using Earth Day as a sale or promotional opportunity - it’s about the Earth, recognizing our impact on the environment and participating in activities that are beneficial to the cause. So, here are a few activities that you can do or participate in, even if you think you’ve exhausted every way to honor Earth Day, check out these things to do that will bring attention to giving back to the environment, instead of just taking.

- Walk around your town or city and pick up trash

- Plant a tree

- Start a compost pile

- Prepare the ground to plant a garden so you can use your compost pile

- Watch the sunrise or sunset

- Take a walk on the beach

- Take a hike in the woods

- Ride your bike or walk to work

- Pledge to start recycling

- Go bird watching

- Take a photo of nature

- Eat a meal outside

- Wear a flower in your hair

-Attend a local Earth Day celebration

- Buy some reusable shopping bags

- Swap out your light bulbs with energy efficient ones

- Don’t use any appliances for the day

- Collect hazardous materials like paint and batteries around your house and dispose of them properly

-Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

- Dance in the rain (that’s a fun one)   

- Get involved with your local environmental group

Happy Earth Day from Your Friends at Vermont Wildflower Farm

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Spring Planted, Summer Color – Bulb Tips & Tidbits

Since it is that time a year when we are all planting or getting ready to plant our bulbs for summer color,  we thought we might share some tips & tidbits on  your Dahlias, Gladiolus, Begonias, Calla & Canna Lilies, Caladium & more! Just think of all the beautiful flowers that will be blooming this summer! Warmer areas can plant now but don’t forget for those of us in the Northeast and areas of the Midwest, you don’t want to jump the gun just because of the warm spring……plant when you normally do each year, after all chance of frost has passed and ground tempertures are 65-70 degrees.

Dahlias – Select a sunny (sun for 5-6 hours) location protected from strong winds. Dahlias grow best in fertile, well-drained soil; they are not tolerant of water-logged soils. Dahlias are very sensitive to freezing temperatures. Large tuberous roots may be planted about 2 weeks before the last spring frost date. Small tuberous roots and transplants should not be planted until all danger from frost has passed. Spacing between the plants depends upon the cultivar and method of growing: rows, beds, or borders. Large-flowering dahlias should be spaced 3 to 4 ft apart; smaller dahlias can be spaced 2 ft apart.

Gladiolus – Gladiolus grow best in loose, well-drained soil in full sun (5-6 hours). After last frost, dig a trench per instructions and firmly place bulbs on soil, pointed ends up, 6″ apart. In a flower border, plant a group of at least 10 bulbs for best effect. Cover with remaining soil. Water well. Tip: Begin planting in mid-spring and continue to plant every two weeks until mid-July for flowers throughout the summer. Bulbs will bloom from 70-100 days from this type of planting, depending on the lateness in the season. Tall-growing varieties may need staking. Water well throughout the growing season. For colder regions dig up the corms 4-6 weeks after the flowers fade. Remove as much soil as possible and cut off flower stalk 1″ above corm. Dry and store the bulbs indoors for the winter.

Begonias – Once planted and the shoots are showing, be sure to water. Begonias like a well drained soil. Dead heading regularly will keep the blooms big & beautiful, however this is not required. In colder areas, once they stop blooming in fall, dig and store your tubers until spring. Dig them, clean them off, cover with dry sand, peat moss and store them in a cool, dry and well ventilated place over the winter months. 50-55 degrees is ideal.

Calla Lilies - This beautiful plant is ideal for use in beds and borders as well as bouquets. You can also grow calla lilies in containers, either outdoors or within a sunny window as houseplants. It is easy to grow calla lilies. These plants do not generally require too much. Proper planting and location are about the only important things to consider when growing calla lilies. Care of calla lilies requires that they be planted in loose, well-drained soil. They prefer to be located in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates. Calla lilies are typically planted in the spring. However, wait until the threat of frost has passed and the soil has warmed sufficiently before planting your calla lilies. Sometimes Callas will grow rapidly but fail to bloom, this is usually caused by either too much nitrogen, lack of water or sun. Calla lilies should be planted rather deep, about four inches for greater results, and spaced approximately a foot apart. Once planted, the area should be watered well. Calla lilies enjoy being kept moist and will also benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer throughout the growing season. If you are bring Callas inside during the winter, you need to give them a dormant period. You can do this very easily. Once the calla lily plant has stopped blooming, stop providing water to it. Allow it to go bone dry. The foliage will die back and the plant will appear to be dead. Place it in a cool (not cold) dark place for 2 months. After this, bring it back out into the light and resume watering it. The foliage will regrow and your calla lily plant will start to bloom shortly after this.

Canna Lilies – Cannas require a minimal amount of care and, in return, they provide a long season of beauty. Canna rhizomes, or root stalks, may be planted when all danger of frost has passed. Plant in a fertile to average moist soil and full sun which we consider at least 6 hours. Set plants 12 to 15 inches deep and 1 to 4 feet apart. Plants must be watered if rainfall is less than one inch per week. Frequently water container-grown canna lilies. Cannas can grow to heights of 16 inches to 6 feet so taller varieties should be staked and kept out of strong winds.

Asian Lilies – Select a location that provides good light sun in the morning. These lilies can be grown in partial shade and may benefit from some shading in the hot afternoon sun. Avoid fully shaded areas. Tucking them into tight spaces around the yard will bring a splash of color and add interest to your gardening area. Lilies naturalize easily and are simply stunning along walkways or along the borders of your yard. Plant Asian lilies to a depth of 10 inches and cover with soil. Firm the soil down with your hands and water thoroughly to settle the bulbs and get them off to a good start. Mulch with a layer of straw or leaves in late fall to protect them from winter weather. For best results, plant lilies in groups of three, five or even seven. Odd numbers provide a more natural look than even pairs of plants.

Oriental, Trumpet & Tiger Lilies – Select a location that provides good light sun in the morning. These lilies can be grown in partial shade and may benefit from some shading in the hot afternoon sun. Faces should be in the sun, feet in the shade but avoid fully shaded areas. Tucking them into tight spaces around the yard will bring a splash of color and add interest to your gardening area. Lilies naturalize easily and are simply stunning along walkways or along the borders of your yard. Mulch with a layer of straw or leaves in late fall to protect them from winter weather. For best results, plant lilies in groups of three, five or even seven. Odd numbers provide a more natural look than even pairs of plants.

Martagon Lilies – Martagon lilies usually bloom from late June to mid July . Most reach to at least 4 feet tall and may carry as many as 40 or 50 Turks-cap-like blooms. They are extremely hardy and very long lived and will not require division for many years. While not extremely fast to spread, most martagons will clump up in time to become a permanent fixture in your perennial bed.

Caladium – Caladiums like well drained soil, if the area puddles after a good rain, you should probably look somewhere else to plant your bulbs. They should be moist – not soggy. Where most plants don’t tolerate shade well – most caladiums love shady areas! Where your favorite flower will bloom for a week or two, these plants will provide that additional color and texture all summer. Plant the bulbs about 1 1/2 – 2 inches deep with the knobby side up (these are actually the “eyes” or growing points). When the temps go below 60° and stay there when cooler weather or fall/winter is approaching, harvest the bulbs & leaves, let them dry for a week or so, trim off the tops and store the bulbs in a dry (use paper bags or peat moss) warm area for planting next spring. The bulbs go dormant in the winter as they like to have a period of rest.

 

Plant, Bloom, Be Happy!

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