Success with Houseplants in the Southwest

In honor of National Indoor Plants Week let’s look at some keys to success with houseplants in the Southwest. Houseplants are Trendy Again Houseplants are trendy again – which is “groovy” or “cool beans” or what ever the trendy words are now! Not only do plants make oxygen for us to breathe, they bring nature indoors and can help us relax. Not to mention, there are so many pretty houseplants to choose from. BUT! Here in the Southwest, our humidity both outdoors and indoors is low – so if you Read more

Houseplants for the Southwest & Your Pets

In honor of National Indoor Plants Week here is a post about pet-safe houseplants for the Southwest. Pets and Houseplants I used to think I had pet safe houseplants, because one bite of a really bitter plant is usually enough to deter most pets. Then I got a Siamese cat who would simply eat them anyway – hacking and spitting the whole while.  I believe Kinja (#kinjakat) would simply get bored, or he was trying to get my attention. Or both of course.  Hanging houseplants may be the solution for Read more

You Can Grow A Colorful Garden in the Heat

Most of us enjoy color in our life, including colorful flowers in the landscape. Something cheerful to greet us as we look out the window with the morning cup of coffee, or something welcome us home from the daily grind. Gardeners and landscape folks (members of the Green Industry) call this “color.” Lucky for us, “color” in the Southwest is a year round thing, especially if we use some annuals. Color Choices There are over 10,000 trees, shrubs, and perennial plants that can grow in the Southwest, and they all Read more

Hibiscus For the Desert Heat

Hibiscus abound in the nurseries now, and no wonder. They are beautiful plants with glossy green leaves, very luxurious looking, reminiscent of tropical jungles. And the flowers are pretty too. Hibiscus Flowers Seriously folks, hibiscus flowers are awesome. The large size of the blooms, combined with their exotic appearance and downright durability as a plant has helped them find their way into our cultural world view. Who hasn’t see photos of Tahitian maidens, or the paintings of Paul Gauguin, replete with luscious looking blooms tucked behind the damsels ear? Well, Read more

15 Sunflowers for the Land of Sun

Sunflowers are a native plant, used for centuries by the Native peoples. If you plant the right varieties – and plant them in the spring – you will have a gorgeous garden full of bright, sunny, sunflowers – anywhere in the Southwest! Sunflower Origins Originally sunflowers grew only in North and Central America (the “New World”). After Europeans “discovered” sunflowers, they were rapidly shared around the globe. There are over 70 species of sunflower, and countless varieties. Best known is the annual garden sunflower (Helianthus annus). As it happens, the Read more

Chard for Your Winter Garden

With colors as brilliant as a Southwest sunset, chard is a beautiful plant for any garden. Grow this “Vulgar” Plant for Leaves Sadly, chard’s scientific name is not so beautiful. Chard goes by the scientific name Beta vulgaris – the “vulgar” indicating it is only a commoner and not noble at all, it’s just a “common beet.” Also called Swiss chard, this beet relative is not grown for the roots. It has been bred for centuries to produce colorful and tasty stems and leaves. Chard leaves are good in salads, Read more