First, my apologies up front to those experienced gardeners in Houston regarding this week's email tip. Although most seasoned gardening veterans know full well about these two issues, it's amazing to me how many email questions I've received on these two topics.
The first question I will address has to do with Hibiscus. This is the example of the question I've received a lot of lately -- "Randy, what's happening to my hibiscus blooms? They seem to be falling off so quickly." It is nothing to panic about because the simple answer is that hibiscus are one-day-bloomers. That means that the bloom lasts only one day, and when it's done and falls off that is its normal life cycle. In most cases, the questions I've been getting are admittedly from people who are fairly new to Gulf Coast Gardening. They are concerned that there is a problem because the blooms fall off so quickly.
There are some varieties of that last more than one day, but the vast majority are one-day bloomers; the blossoms open early in the morning and wilt late that afternoon. Flowers of a few varieties remain open for two days. Although individual flowers do not last long, I suppose the trade-off is that they bloom nearly all year along the Gulf Coast. By the way, most hibiscus are odorless, but a few varieties are slightly fragrant.
The second issue that comes along at this time of the year (and along the same lines regarding newcomers to Houston and the Gulf Coast) has to do with Crape Myrtles. Besides the prolific blooms, which we enjoy for months and months, the unique shedding bark is another attribute to be enjoyed. However, if you're not familiar with crapes, the "peeling and flaking away" tends to worry some. Don't worry, because it is all very natural. In fact, to me, it is one of the more unique attributes. Not all varieties shed their bark in the first place, and those that do usually mean they are becoming more mature.
Speaking of GULF COAST GARDENING -- that's the title of my coming book -- (Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon) and it should be ready to order online by July 18th. In fact, GardenLine Email Tip Subscribers will be the only people to enjoy a discount for the first few months. Keep an eye on these email tips, and there will be a separate link for subscribers to enjoy that discount on my coming book. I will actually have the first batch for sale, in person, at the upcoming GHBA Home Show at Reliant Center on July 16th. After July 21st, most independent Nurseries and Garden Centers throughout the GardenLine listening area will have copies for sell as well.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.