May 8, 2015 @ 1:44 PM

Lately, I've been getting a lot of questions about Impatiens.  Most of the questions center around the hardiness and sun tolerance of New Guinea impatiens.   This is due to the fact that a lot of growers, including Stelz Nursery, has been shifting their growing of impatiens to more disease tolerant (specifically downy mildew resistant) impatien varieties.   

In 2009 the downy mildew disease hit some southern states with a vengence.   One week an impatien garden would look great and the next week the bed would be defoliated and dead.   Because there is nothing a gardener can do to get rid of the disease once it occurs, many growers started shifting their production to varieties that offered resistance to ...

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March 12, 2015 @ 1:47 PM

Laguna Sky Blue Lobelia is a spreading, trailing heat resistant plant that can be planted in full sun to afternoon shade.  The beautiful blue color can be used alone or in combination plantings for planters or hanging baskets.  Laguna Sky Blue attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.   It also has the additional benefit of being a deer resistant plant.   

Laguna Sky Blue grows about 12" wide and low growing at 4" in height.   The plant creates a blanket of small, blue flowers that need no deadheading or maintenance.   Laguna Sky Blue Lobelia can be found in your local garden center now in 6" pots which need to be planted no closer than on 1 foot centers as the plant will fill in your garden ...

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March 6, 2015 @ 11:22 AM

The "Madiera" series of Argyranthemum is a stunning daisy plant that is uniform and bloom profusely.  The upright plant gets to be about 18" high and up to 16" wide in the garden.  The plant can take temperatures down to 32 degrees blooming beautifully in the spring and early summer season.   Use Madiera in full sun spots.  They can be used alone or in mixed containers and plantings.  Keep Argyranthemum well watered but do not allow the plants to sit in an undrained bed or pot.   

The Madiera variety comes in Deep Pink (shown here), Primrose (yellow) and Red Cherry.   They can be found in your local garden centers now in 6" pots.  

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February 26, 2015 @ 10:38 AM

If your garden needs a bit of sprucing up after the chilly winter months try adding some petunias in the garden and in pots.  Petunias can survive temperatures into the mid-20's as well as thrive in the warmer months until at least mid-June.   Three types of petunias which perform well in our climate are Pretty Flora, Madness and Wave petunias.

Pretty Flora petunias are annuals that stay compact and tidy in the garden or in pots growing to a height of aoug 10".  Plant them on 10" centers to allow for bushy growth and good air circulation.  The bright, vibrant colors include coral, midnight (dark purple), mix, pink (rose), purple (light), red and white.   This variety can be purchased in 6 packs or in ...

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November 21, 2014 @ 6:59 AM

How about a fall bedding plant that is equally beautiful in sun or shade, requires no maintenance and continues to bloom into the spring season?  If this is what you need then consider planting some ornamental cabbages or kales in your garden.   Both ornamental cabbages and kales are called "ornamental cabbages" -- the difference is that a kale has a frilly, fringed leaf making it particularly decorative and a cabbage has a simpl round leaf.   Today, I'm going to discuss kales.

There are many different varieties of kales on the market that have different degrees of fringed leaves.   Most grow about 12 inches in diameter so try not to plant them closer than 1 foot centers.  This will give the plant ...

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November 14, 2014 @ 3:01 PM

There are many areas of south Louisiana and Mississippi that rarely get heavy freezes in the winter season.    In those areas gardeners have an extended list of blooming plant material that they can use in their gardens.   One such plant is "Akila" Osteospermum.    This 18" plant blooms with bright daisy flowers on sturdy 10" wide plants.   The colorful flowers attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.     This osteospermum is hardy down to 32 degrees and resists frosts well.   Once established, Akila is also drought resistant.   Plant Akila in full sun or in pots placed in sunny locations.   The plants will fill out your garden and containers quickly.   Feed...

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November 7, 2014 @ 2:03 PM

Dianthus should have a place in the fall garden especially since it's extremely low maintenance, colorful and comes in a variety of sizes and colors.   Also, dianthus can be placed in sun or in shaded areas.    DIanthus bloom a bit better in full sun but because they hold their flowers for an extremely long time they can easily be placed in shady areas without a loss of blooms.   Dianthus are also extremely cold hardy and can tolerate freezing temperatures into the low teens.  Finally, dianthus will last in the garden from fall through winter and well into spring and the beginning of summer.   

Some varieties of dianthus to consider are...

-  "Amazon" - this Louisiana Super Plant ...

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November 4, 2014 @ 9:07 AM

Erysimums (commonly known as Wallflowers) are a cool season plant with over 180 species in the world ranging from annual to perennial types.   Here in the South even perennial erysimums are grown as cool season annuals.   Two of the best varieties for our area are "Citrona Yellow" and "Sugar Rush" - both very different from each other.

"Citrona Yellow" Erysimum is low maintenance and very florific.   It produces bright yellow, lightly scented flowers on stems reaching up to 14" tall.   "Citrona Yellow" has long, narrow leaves producing a free formed plant.   It's particularly great as a background planting or planted in clumps.   It can also be used in mixed ...

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October 24, 2014 @ 11:23 AM

Everybody wants immediate color in their fall gardens.   However, gardeners should consider adding at least two spring blooming plants to their gardens now - Aquilegia and Digitalis.   These two spring bloomers should be planted now so that the root systems get properly established before they bloom.   Allowing the roots to become firmly entrenched will provide the plant with the structure needed to provide you with gorgeous, full blooms at the beginning of spring.

Both of the varieties I'm listing here are L.S.U. Louisiana Super Plants which means they'll do well in our climate and weather conditions.

"Swan Aquilegia" (commonly known as Columbine).  This plant grows to a height of 24" and puts ...

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October 17, 2014 @ 3:00 PM

If one, single type of bedding plant screams "It's Fall!" then it's got to be Pansies.   The two varieties of pansies that provide the most array of big, bold, stunning colors are Mammoth and Matrix.

Mammoth Pansies have huge 3.5" flowers.  Mammoth not only produces a large, sturdy flower but it also stays uniform and bushy.  A lot of varieties of large flowered pansies tend to stretch in our sometimes warm winters; however, Mammoth are very stretch resistant which is an important characteristic in order to keep your garden looking great all season.  Mammoths come a wide variety of colors and have fun, quirky names like "Sangria Punch", "Viva La Violet" and "Prima ...

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