Author Archives: warner-admin

This Week’s Specials

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All specials below are good through April 14th, while supplies last:
  • 20% off all chicken manure and chicken pellets
  • $10 off Planter Pride Premium Greenhouse Kits, now $29.99 (regularly $39.99)
  • 50% off select cobalt blue pottery

Soil: the Foundation of Your Garden

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The foundation for all gardens is the soil we use to grow our flowers and food, and the sad truth is that soil in and around Flagstaff often isn’t up to the job. 

Our arid climate means that both rocks and plant materials break down very slowly, so soil doesn’t have a chance to develop. This results in soil that is nutrient-poor (about 1% organic matter) and slightly alkaline, both of which interfere with a plant’s ability to draw needed nourishment from the soil.

Add to that the amount of clay in our dirt, which is impermeable and doesn’t give our plants the porous environment needed for proper drainage.

However, soil can be amended to make it more hospitable for your garden.

Your first step is to determine the pH level and “texture” of your soil. We have inexpensive kits at the nursery to find out what your soil has and what it needs to be good garden soil.

Once you determine what your soil’s made of, the next step is to amend it to adjust the pH (if needed), improve texture, and add nutrients. Our staff at Warner’s can help you choose the correct amendments to adjust your soil and give a solid foundation to your garden.

Here are a few other tips for good soil in northern Arizona:

  1. Whether it’s broccoli or begonias, it’s important to plant your garden organically.

  2. Reduce waste by composting and create a probiotic for your soil. Added benefit: it will reduce your household trash significantly.

  3. Grow cover and pulse crops such as buckwheat, beans, lentils and clover. They do double duty- enriching garden nutrients while controlling weeds.

These steps will give you healthy, happy and organically rich soil for your garden.

Happy Spring!

Houseplant of the Week: Spring Cactus

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A close relation to the Christmas Cactus, the Spring Cactus (also known as the Easter Cactus) is a succulent that can bloom well into May.

But don’t think of it as a seasonal plant that’s only for spring. After it finishes blooming, this cactus makes a lovely houseplant and, with a little work, you can coax it to bloom again in the future.

Caring for your Spring Cactus
These plants prefer bright, indirect light. Use a cactus mix soil to make sure they get the drainage they need. We can’t stress enough how important this is, because these plants can get root rot, so make sure you do not let it sit in water.

Spring cactus, unlike regular cacti, like cool temperatures. Fertilize monthly after the bloom period with food with a low nitrogen count. 

Following this care plan, you’ll have a nice, healthy green cactus for the bulk of the year. But if you want to have blooms the following spring, you need to be a little mean to your plant.

First, you need to stop feeding it. Then you need to put it in the dark for about 12 to 14 hours a day. Then you need to keep them cold (the best budding will happen when temperatures are about 50 degrees).

At the end of the year, you can move the plant to somewhere warmer, say about 65 degrees, and your plant will start flowering again in February.

Rex Begonia

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Rex Begonia, the “king” of begonias is also known as the “painted leaf” begonia for its beautiful variegated leaves that can grow up to six inches long and are available is shades of green, red, silver and purple.

This is a plant that you want for its leaves. Unlike flowering plants that may only bloom for a certain season, Rex Begonias provide year-round interest with their colorful foliage, making them a favorite among gardeners and plant enthusiasts. In fact, owners commonly pinch off the Rex Begonia’s not-that-impressive blooms so as to not distract from its dramatic foliage.

To encourage the most beautiful leaf color, you need to give your plant plenty of (indirect) light and pretty high humidity. Here are the basics to giving your Rex begonia the royal treatment it deserves.

Caring for Your Rex Begonia

  • Plant your Rex Begonia in light, fast draining soil.
  • Rex Begonias thrive with bright, indirect light year round. You don’t want to burn those gorgeous leaves, so no direct light. You also want to rotate the plant frequently to give it equal light on all sides.
  • This plant requires regular watering but be careful not to overwater. Let the soil surface become dry to the touch before watering. 
  • They also love humidity, but be careful if you decide to mist the leaves; if they stay wet, you might find yourself seeing powdery mildew. 
  • Rex Begonias like moderate temperatures in the 60-70 degree range.

Propagating for Your Rex Begonia

Rhizomatous begonias such as the Rex Begonia can be easily propagated by rhizome division, layering, or leaf-tip cuttings. For tips on all three method’s check out Misti’s blog about propagating plants here.

Houseplant of the Week: Pink Panther

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Petite and pretty, Tradescantia ‘Pink Panther’ is a little more subtle than the cartoon character it’s named for – but we think even Inspector Clouseau could figure out why it’s a terrific household plant.

Its tufted leaves are colored icy green, white and a soft pink. The foliage gently cascades over the edge of pots, making it perfect for elevated containers or hanging planters. In addition, it’s easy to care for and grows quickly (up to 12 inches high and 24 inches wide).

Here are some guidelines for cultivating your Pink Panther:

Light: Part of the succulent family, Pink Panther needs bright, indirect sunlight when grown indoors. As with many plants, you should avoid direct sunlight, which could damage those beautiful leaves.

Water: Give your plant a good watering, but then let it dry out before watering again.

Soil: A specialized succulent potting soil is ideal, but any good, fast-draining mix will work.

Temperature/Humidity: Warm and cozy are the watchwords for Pink Panther, which also likes humidity, so a pebble tray or humidifier is a good idea for your plant.

Ribbon or Bird’s Foot Fern

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The versatile fern comes in many shapes and forms, but one of the most intriguing is Pteris Cretica ‘Mayi’ – the Ribbon or Bird’s Foot Fern.

This is not your “Boston” type fern, with wispy leaflets that flutter delicately in the breeze.

This unique fern grows sturdy, ribbon-like fronds that end in a star-shaped tip that looks a bit like a bird’s foot. Its bright green foliage develops silvery-striped centers as it matures.

Growing tips:
  • Light: This plant will thrive in anything from bright indirect light to low light.
  • Humidity: Like most ferns, the bird’s foot prefers high humidity.
  • Watering: Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the plant to dry out slightly between waterings.

Houseplant of the Week: Philodendron Moonlight

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Moonlight is another bright and beautiful hybrid from the philodendron family. Its leaves unfurl from a central red column and then mature into light, luminous lime green and deep emerald colors. Its vibrancy makes it a great addition to your household.

Here are some guidelines when cultivating your plant:

Light: Like most philodendron, Moonlight likes bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight or you might risk burning those gorgeous leaves.

Water: A tropical plant, the Moonlight philodendron enjoys water in moderation. In the spring and summer, keep the top inch of soil moist to the touch, but starting in September, cut back and allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings.

Soil: A good, fast-draining soil is best. You don’t want your plant sitting in water.

Temperature/Humidity: Moonlight philodendron likes warmth and humidity. A humidifier, pebble tray or daily misting can make your plant happier.

Houseplant of the Week: Anthurium ‘Zizou’

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The elegant cousin of the traditional red waxy anthurium, ‘Zizou’ blooms almost look like a prayer plant that decided to dress up in pink and purple. The distinctive bend at the top of its long colorful spathe leaves is why this anthurium is often known as the “flamingo flower.”

Native to South America and the Caribbean, this “statement” plant can make a lovely centerpiece on a table in your living or dining rooms, but it will also do well in a kitchen or bathroom as it loves humidity.

Like other anthuriums, Zizou thrives in bright, indirect light. You can have them in low-lit areas and the foliage will do well, but they won’t flower. They are not particularly fussy about feeding (general fertilizer every few months is a good idea), and they like their soil moist but not wet. Only water when the top inch or two has dried out. Periodic misting is also a good idea for this tropical beauty.

Warner’s is celebrating this beautiful plant with a sale: get $5 off your Zizou now until February 25, 2024.


Houseplant of the Week: The Money Tree

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Pictures of money tree, Pachira aquatica, outside and in Warner's Nursery

Pachira aquatica, a tropical wetland plant from Central and South America, got its common name “the Money Tree” from a bit of mythology about its origins: a poor man prayed for money and discovered this “odd” plant. After he took it home, he became rich selling the plants he grew from its seeds. Variations of this theme said he was able to make money because the plant wasn’t just one tree – it was five.

Pachira aquatica, the "money tree"And that’s typically what you’ll see in nurseries – a plant that looks like its trunk is braided; it’s actually the five or sometimes even seven plants that are woven together to make one Money Tree.

Although the plant got its start in the Western Hemisphere, it’s also often referred to as a “Chinese” money tree because of its popularity in Asia as a personal or business gift. In Feng Shui, the Money Tree has become a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. 

This is a statement plant, bold and eye-catching that deserves a dedicated spot in your home. In fact, you aren’t going to want to move your Money Tree around a lot, as it will start to drop its leaves. If that happens however, please don’t fret; it will recover.

Here are a few more tips on keeping your Money Tree happy:

  • Go with medium to bright indirect light.
  • Water when this plant is 50-70% dry. They do not have a lot of root mass, so they prefer a dryer pot.
  • Be sure to turn your Money Tree each time you water to allow for even growth and leaf development. 
  • It likes a good misting now and again (remember, it’s a native of the tropics)
  • Feed once a month during spring and summer while new leaves are being produced.

Houseplant of the Week: Jasmine

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We typically think of Jasmine as an outdoor shrub or vine, making our gardens smell wonderful with its blooms of star-shaped flowers. But you can also grow this plant indoors, and while it’s not difficult, it does require a little more maintenance than many houseplants.

Many indoor Jasmine plants bloom in winter, releasing a sweet fragrance in your home. The most demanding part of this houseplant is creating the conditions that allow it to bloom during winter. This is accomplished by making sure your plant is located in a cool room that gets lots of bright (but indirect) light during the day and is completely dark at night.

These conditions will also allow your plant to blossom more slowly, meaning you’ll get to enjoy its beautiful blooms and fabulous fragrance for a longer period of time.

These plants grow quickly and can either be used as hanging plants or upright with a little trellis support. Because they are vigorous growers, you’ll also need to prune your plant periodically – but wait until after it blooms so you don’t accidentally remove flower buds.

Caring for Your Jasmine

  • Light: Avoid direct sunlight, but make sure you plant gets lots of bright light during the day. During rest periods (dormancy) make sure the room is dark at night and cool.
  • Water: Jasmines don’t like dry conditions or soggy soil, and typically watering once a week will work well. Water less during periods of dormancy.
  • Soil: Make sure your soil is well draining.
  • Humidity. Jasmines dislike dry conditions, so don’t place near heating vents or ducts and consider using a humidifier to keep them moist.