Image by Samule Sun
Yellow Flowers

There are lots of simple tricks that will help your garden flourish, and this is a great resource for that.

Have a look at all the tips and tricks to get you started, and check back frequently for seasonal gardening advice.

DWARF JASMINE TREE

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Also known as Radermachera Kunming, or Peep Thong, it is a rare small tree or shrub producing creamy pink trumpet like flowers with yellow centers. 

Native to the subtropical mountainous areas of Asia, China doll plants are evergreen trees that are a part of the Bignoniaceae family. When cared for indoors, they are moderately fast growers and can reach heights between 4 and 6 feet at maturity.

Sun

Lighting

Likes sun to part shade, but does well as a interior houseplant. 

Special Needs

Heat tolerant

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Tip

The most important thing to remember when growing a China doll plant is that they require lots of light and moisture and do not react well to frequent changes in their growing conditions.

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Water

Regular watering is vital. They should be watered once the top inch of soil is dry. They cannot handle "wet feet" and will easily develop root rot if left sitting in water.

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Pet Friendly

Not safe for furry friends and kids

Best Room in the House

Choose a spot nearby a window, but protect plant from any direct harsh rays.

DWARF MONDO GRASS

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Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is an excellent place to start with growing indoor ornamental grasses. It’s a low-growing grass that stays less than 5 inches tall. It is tough and drought-tolerant. Healthy mondo grass has a deep green hue and somewhat resembles turfgrass. It’s an excellent option for a decorative, contemporary container or to be used as a ground cover in a larger container.

Sun

Lighting

Sun to shade.

Special Needs

It’s not particular to repotting as it is a low-growing plant with a relatively shallow root system. Instead of repotting divide the existing plant,  giving the potted specimen more room to fill the container. If  repotting, give new soil.

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Tip

Mulch new plantings, after applying a pre-emergent herbicide to control weeds. Does not tolerate a great deal of foot traffic. 

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Water

Plant in well-drained soil and water regularly to establish. Once established, Mondo Grass is drought tolerant.

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Pet Friendly

Not safe for furry friends and kids

Best Room in the House

Usually a landscape plant, this plant can adapt easily indoors and survive in low light areas.

horsetail reed

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Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale)—also called rough horsetail or scouring rush—is a non-flowering evergreen perennial. It has vertical green stems with horizontal bands similar to bamboo, but they're skinnier and taller like ornamental grass. Similar to ferns, horsetail reproduces through spores rather than seeds, as well as underground rhizomes.

Sun

Lighting

Full sun to partial shade.

Special Needs

Horsetail thrives best in poor, sandy, gravely soil that is frequently wet. Consider adding gravel or sand to the potting mix to give it the texture the plant enjoys.

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Tip

It is an aggressive spreader so consider this if planting outside a pot.

Horsetail grows in wet conditions and can even grow in standing water. For this reason

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Water

When it comes to soil moisture, horsetail prefers soil that is at least moderately wet. It can even grow in standing water up to a depth of about 4 inches.

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Pet Friendly

Toxic to grazing animals

Size

H: 4'   W: 6'

HEMIGRAPHIS 'PURPLE WAFFLE'

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A Purple Waffle plant, also called Metal Leaf plant, Waffle plant, Red Flame Ivy, and Red Ivy originated in the jungles of Java. The plant gets its name because of the”puckered” appearance of its leaves. A Purple Waffle plant, Hemigraphis alternata, only grows about 6”-8” tall but can produce stems 12” to 24” long and looks great in a hanging basket. This is a very pretty plant with shiny, dark green leaves that have a purple underside. Waffle plants are easy to care for and a perfect plant for beginners.

Sun

Lighting

Partial sun outdoor or in bright indirect light indoors

Special Needs

Too much feeding, however, can make the plant leggy and spindly, rather than bushy and full.

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Tip

Warm temperatures and high humidity conditions are a must for healthy plants. Increase humidity around your plants by misting them or growing them in a tray full of pebbles and water or putting them in your bathroom.

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Water

Moist well-draining soil.

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Pet Friendly

Non-poisonous to humans and pets.

Size

H: 6 in.   W: 8 in.

agave

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The agave plant was originally found growing in Mexico, the southwest United States, and central South America. This is an impressive looking, succulent plant that grows well both indoors and outdoors. Some varieties have spines on the edges of their leaves, leading many peopleto  have the misconception that an agave plant is a type of cactus; but it’s a member of the Asparagaceae family and closely related to a lily and an amaryllis plant.

 

In the past, these succulents and other species of Agave had many popular uses. They were known for their numerous medicinal properties and also used in food recipes, rope/paper production, soap, tattoos, and firewood.

Sun

Lighting

Full sun or access to sun if indoors

Special Needs

Agaves thrive on neglect. The key is to make sure they have well-draining soil and ample sunlight. 

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Tip

Some varieties may eventually produce a very tall stalk with clusters of flowers at the top. You may not want your agave plant to bloom since, strangely, they often die after flowering.

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Water

Mature agave plants are drought tolerant. However, when first establishing a plant, water every four or five days for the first month. Then, once a week, and gradually space watering to every other week, depending on rainfall.

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Pet Friendly

The sap of agave is toxic both to people and pets.

Size

H: 1–20 ft.  W: 1–10 ft.

liriope or lily turf

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Liriope Muscari pronounced [lir-RYE-oh-pee] [mus-KAR-ee], is also known by the common names Monkey grass, Lily turf and Big blue lily turf. It is native to Taiwan, Japan, and China and belongs to the Liliaceae family of plants.

As far as plants go, liriope is one of the lower maintenance species. They have ideal conditions, but they do not require them to grow, spread, and stay healthy.

Sun

Lighting

Full sun or Part Shade

Special Needs

Although Liriope grows in a wide range of soil types, if the soil is too compact, consider adding a little bit of peat to help with drainage. 

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Tip

L. spicata is commonly called "creeping lilyturf." Whenever you see "creeping" in a plant's name, it's often a red flag that the plant is an aggressive spreader.

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Water

Drought tolerant. 

During the first growing season, water the plants regularly—but not every day, as that can cause soggy soil conditions.

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Pet Friendly

Non-toxic to dogs, cats, horses.

Size

H: 12 inc.  W: 18 inc.

ALLAMANDA 'YELLOW' DWARF 

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Also called golden trumpet, allamanda grows fast and offers spectacular blooming in summer.

It illuminates the garden with its bright yellow flowers. With exquisite butter-yellow flowers over glossy deep green foliage, the dwarf variety of allamanda stays small and bushy, making it a good shrub for smaller spaces.

When placed in full sun, for instance on the edge of a deck, it spreads a delicate fruity fragrance.

Sun

Lighting

Needs as much sun as it can get to bloom

Special Needs

As a precaution against transplant shock, cover it with a shade veil for 2-3 weeks just after planting, if the weather is very hot. Later on, this isn’t necessary.

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Tip

To produce spectacular blooms, add special flower plant organic fertilizer from spring to summer.

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Water

Allamanda cherishes moisture and needs watering in case of heat waves. But don’t forget that the root area must drain well or the roots will rot!

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Pet Friendly

All the parts of the plant induce skin photosensitivity.. Handle it with gloves to avoid this toxicity.

Furthermore, ingesting the plant causes nausea and vomiting.

Size

H: 2-2.5 ft  W: 2-3 ft

ANGELONIA

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Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia) gives the appearance of being a delicate, finicky plant, but growing Angelonia is actually quite easy. The plants are called summer snapdragons because they produce a profusion of flowers that resemble small snapdragons all summer. An Angelonia plant grows about 18 inches (45.5 cm.) tall, and some people think the fragrant foliage smells like apples. The flowers bloom on upright spikes at the tips of the main stems. Species flowers are bluish-purple and cultivars are available in white, blue, light pink, and bicolor. Angelonia flowers don’t need deadheading to produce a continuous display of blossoms.

Sun

Lighting

Full sun or light shade

Special Needs

Give the plants a light feeding with 10-5-10 fertilizer once a month, but don’t overdo it. If you give them too much fertilizer, they will produce more foliage and fewer flowers.

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Tip

When the young plants are 6 inches (15 cm.) tall, pinch out the tips of the main stems to encourage branching and bushiness.

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Water

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings once the plants are well-established.

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Pet Friendly

All the parts of the plant induce skin photosensitivity.. Handle it with gloves to avoid this toxicity.

Furthermore, ingesting the plant causes nausea and vomiting.

Size

H: 18in00

bougainvillea

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Looking for a vibrant low-maintenance ground cover? Need a bright and fast climber for a trellis or structure? Want to spice up a boring hanging basket or container? Bougainvillea is the answer! These tropical vine-like shrubs are quite drought tolerant, love the sun, and pack a huge punch of color. Bougainvillea plants are vigorous growers that can become overgrown if not kept in check; but they offer a dazzling color show nearly year-round in warmer climates.

Sun

Lighting

Full sun

Special Needs

Bougainvillea are heavy feeders and prefer small amounts of nutrients available constantly, making a slow-release fertilizer a good choice. They should be fed regularly during their flowering season.

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Tip

Bougainvillea shrubs have delicate, fibrous root systems, so be careful not to damage the roots when planting. Do not tease or loosen the roots as you would with other plants

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Water

Water your bougainvillea with a good soaking and then let it dry out. If they are left with wet feet, it may cause their bracts and foliage to drop. Frequent, short watering can result in a shallow and weak root system. 

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Pet Friendly

Most varieties have thorns which can prove  dangerous for pets and children

Size

Most varieties of bougainvillea grow 20 to 30 feet tall and wide with support. If grown as groundcover, they will be 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall and spread 8 to 10 feet wide. There are dwarf varieties which will generally grow to be 3-6 feet tall and wide.