I must have flowers. Always and always. -Monet

Hello, again!

With plants arriving almost daily at the stores, it’s always fun to look at the new and different plants that the staff has brought in. This week has been no different. On the Monrovia nursery shipment this week I found perennials such as hosta, coneflower, butterfly bush, large blooming peonies, as well as one of my favorites, Russian sage. One of its relatives is the only plant that I’ve found in every state from Canada to Mexico. Russian Sage is a tough plant, and it’ll do well at your place; just keep it on the dry side.

Also arriving recently was another tropical plant delivery from Florida. While tropical plants will not survive our winters, they are great performers in our hot summer months. From foliage to flowering plants, the tropical selection is almost endless.

Palms - small to large - are especially nice this year. There’s the right size for an Italian clay pot on your deck or patio, up to large 8’ specimens for a show around your pool. While not winter hardy here, many people bring these plants inside during the winter months and then enjoy them year after year outside.

Ferns, again from small to large, are performers on the patio in a fern stand. They are shade to part sun lovers, and their fronds range from a few inches long to the long 3’ fronds of the Macho fern types. These regulars are great indoor performers as well during the cold months. Many are divided every couple of years to keep them from getting too large. We have many sizes and growth habits to choose from, perfect for the patio table, hanging basket, or fern stand.

Mandevilla and tropical hibiscus are heat and sun loving summer bloomers that thrive in summers in our region. Again not winter hardy, they are regulars indoors during the winter. I’ve had good luck with mandevilla on a trellis or chain link fence where it will easily find its way to the top of the structure. Its red, pink and white flowers are showy from the day you pick it up until the end of the season. Hibiscus, with their plentiful blooms that last one day, are also great at showing color with adequate fertilization.

Citrus - I’ve also had good luck with citrus on the patio. Again not winter hardy outdoors, but when overwintered indoors, citrus will set blooms in the spring and provide an abundance of fresh fruit from limes, lemon and oranges for years to come. Most tropicals are heavy feeders. To keep them thriving, I’ll use ferti-lome Hibiscus & Tropical Plant Food. This fast-acting plant food enhances the color, size, longevity, and number of blooms on blooming tropicals. It works for other tropical plants, too. Use it every other week until blooms appear, and then once a month while blooms are present.

Stop by and enjoy these heat-loving tropical plants all summer long, and perhaps beyond!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center