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, […]

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, […]

Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting seeds indoors is relatively easy, and right about now it’s time to start thinking about your spring planting. You can use the “Seed Company” page on this website for ideas on where to order seeds and supplies, Starting Out with Starting Seeds You will need a well lit space and some way of keeping your seeds and tender young plants protected. Necessary Supplies Sterile seed-starting soil mixSeedling trays with clear plastic covers – either purchased or repurposed Optional Supplies Grow lightsHeat mat You can purchase kits that have seedling […]

How to Re-Bloom Poinsettia

Re-blooming any plant that has been forced for mass production is not easy. Re-blooming a poinsettia plant is no exception. It can be done, but it requires greenhouse-like conditions with hands-on care. Plus it is a tedious process and one slip – leaving the lights on just once – will blow months of work. Month – by – Month Poinsettia Re-bloom Guide January – March: Water your poinsettia whenever you find that the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. April: Begin gradually decreasing the amount of water […]

Poinsettia Care in the Southwest

In North America, nothing says Christmas quite like the poinsettia. Many people want to keep these lovely plants alive for as long as possible, and here are the tips and tricks to doing so. Genes Rule Plant Behavior Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are native to the cool plateaus of central Mexico. Their origin – and thus their genes – is key to their survival in our modern homes. Many people hear “Mexico” and think of the hot desert areas or maybe Cancun, but much of Mexico is not hot, nor topical! […]

Poinsettia – A Lovely Plant

National Poinsettia Day is December 12. America’s favorite holiday flower* has its own special day of recognition! This day was jointly designated by Congress and the floral industry to celebrate the beauty and rich history of the poinsettia. And an interesting history it is too.  Native to the New World Poinsettia is native to the area of Mexico near present day Taxco. These charming plants were popular long before Christmas and Christianity. The Nahuatl called it cuetlaxochitl (que-tlax-o-chi-tl), and used it as a symbol of purity. Poinsettia was brought off […]