#ProPlantTips by Nature Hills Nursery

Read and watch our #ProPlantTips how-to series of articles and videos.

  • How to select certain plants to match your site conditions and read Plant Highlight Facts
  • "Farmer's tricks" for planting tips
  • Pruning techniques for both spring, summer and fall blooming shrubs and trees
  • How to handle common plant diseases
  1. Lungwort for Your Shade Garden

    Strange name, incredible plant. 

    Lungwort is a cool plant that emerges early in spring and immediately sends up fuzzy leaves and flower stalks follow soon thereafter.  Flowers are born on short stems just above the foliage with fine textured flowers that are typically blue and or pink in color and last for about a month.

    When the flowers are done, the entire plant begins to transform itself from a small flowering plant into a bold and beautiful foliage plant.  New leaves begin to emerge that are larger and more robust. 

    It is always a great idea to remove the old flower stems right down to the ground and allow the incredible foliage that take over to really punch up your shade garden.

    Early spring, and long-lasting pink and blue flowers give way to a drought tolerant and eye-catching foliage plant g

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  2. Salvia Deadheading Will Reward You!

    Perennial Salvia are unbeatable when it comes to color, that is for sure.  Most of the selections are in the blue and purple range and put on a show like few other plants can. 

    Salvia are tough old plants tolerating drought and have few if any problems.  Really, the only drawback to perennial Salvia is when the first round of blooms is finishing, they can look a bit unkempt.

    The remarkable thing to know is that most selections will blow you away with another round of bloom if you take literally a minute to deadhead the old blooms after round one. 

    As soon as your purple spikes have finished blooming, the plants sometime open up and look a bit rangy.  Just a few snips with your pruners and in a brief period, just a couple of weeks and you will be looking at a whole new show.

    Remember that Salvia

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  3. Handle Wild Parsnip With Care

    A plant commonly found throughout the northern United States and southern Canada.  Have you seen Wild Parsnip growing along roadways at this time of the year in your area?

    Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is flowering now.  From a distance, it might resemble dill plants growing wild. 

    It also resembles Queen Anne’s Lace (which is white flowered as shown below) but otherwise very similar and in the same family.  Here is a picture showing both plants flowering and growing together along the roadside.

    Wild Parsnip is a biennial producing a rosette of foliage the first year, and the next year it bolts and gets up to four feet or so when it flowers.  If you were to cut the plants, the sap is toxic and it becomes very irritating in the presence of sunlight and can cause severe blistering of your

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  4. Best in Show in Your Yard?

    It is kind of interesting how each growing season can affect your annuals and perennials as well as your trees and shrubs.  Weather can affect plants greatly from year to year.  New cultivars are released yearly so until you grow them yourself you will not know how they perform until you try them.   

    Usually by early July you know which plants you will want to use again.

    Annuals are great plants to add color to any landscape or in your containers.  Some annuals need to have the dead flowers cut off to have them continue making new flowers.  Some annuals are sterile and will not make seed and will keep making flowers without deadheading.  Some annuals get mildew or insect problems and others are powerful bloomers with little additional help.  

    Annuals grown in Denver CO will perform differently than they do in Mobile AL.  Catalog

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  5. For Iron Chlorosis

    Soil pH is Higher in Some Areas Than Others 

    Soil pH can change from state to state, but also within the same county and even in the same neighborhood. 

    If you love growing Blueberries, Azaleas and Rhododendrons, and rubrum type Maples, or Pin Oak and they grow slowly with more yellow colored leaves, your site may have too high of soil pH.  It would be best to have the soil pH tested so that you know that is the problem.

    Usually the chlorosis is exhibited in the leaf color being yellowing especially in between the veins on the leaves (interveinal chlorosis).  The veins are sometimes darker green then the rest of the leaves. 

    Elemental Soil Sulfur is a Simple and Inexpensive Approach for Iron Chlorosis

    A horticulturalist from a well known university suggested using:

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  6. What's Going on With my Arborvitae?

    An odd way to prune an Arborvitae unless you are a deer.  Here is a classic example of deer browsing on one of their favorite foods.  The eat off the fresh new foliage on the part of the plant they can easily reach, and continue to eat as new growth is formed. 

    If you are not into hunting, what are some options? 

    Fencing the plant itself in this case might be a simple option in this case since the Pyramidal Arborvitae stays quite narrow on its own so a small amount of fencing around the base of the plant up five feet or so would eliminate the browsing and the plant would be allowed to grow naturally. 

    Another option would be to apply a spray deterrent or repellent of some type.  Deer repellents are basically something that tastes terrible to the deer once sprayed on the foliage without harming the plant.

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  7. Late Summer Lawn Grass

    Typically, bluegrass lawns will enjoy the cooler temperatures and more plentiful rainfall at this time of the year.  NOW is the best time to eliminate dandelions and other broadleaved weeds (use weed and feed or spot treat with your favorite approach) while the weeds are actively growing.  It also eliminates weeds for next spring too.

    Lawn fertilizer is very welcome at this time of the year, and will help to beef up your turf and get it looking great.  Whether you use chemical or organic fertilizers, if you only use fertilizer one time per year...this is that time!

    Eliminate your weeds, feed your grass, and fill in those bare spots.  Now is the time for new lawn seeding also.

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  8. Maple Tree Galls

    Every year we get a few calls regarding maple leaves that have red, green, or black bumps on the foliage. The small raised bumps caused by a tiny mite that feeds on the underside of the leaf causing this tiny Gall to form on the top of the leaf surface. They are most commonly seen on Silver Maple, Red Maple, and sometimes the hybrids like Autumn Blaze Maples.  Although it is a bit strange looking tiny galls do not really harm or affect the tree in any way. No treatment is really necessary, and the leaves are still making food which is their job, so really no cause for concern.

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  9. Pruning, Planting, and Fertilizing

    When it comes to your perennials and annuals, keep on dead heading to encourage fresh flowers to continue.  Annuals love additional liquid fertilizer keeping them blooming right up until frost. 

    In the cooler regions, it is time to be done fertilizing your roses now so that they have time to shut down before winter comes. 

    Please wait on pruning your trees and shrubs at this time of the year.  Pruning can sometimes stimulate new growth and it is a bit late in the season to encourage new growth on trees and shrubs in the more northern areas.  We want the growth we do have on our trees and shrubs to harden off before the end of the growing season. 

    Pruning on some plants can be done later in the year.  Always rem

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  10. Stella de Oro Type Daylilies

    Now that your Stella de Oro type daylilies have bloomed, they should be deadheaded or better yet you can cut them all the way off to the ground.  All new foliage and new flowers recover in a very short period of time putting on a fresh new look in the landscape.

    Freshen the look for an impressive fall display.

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