Houseplant of the Week: Pilea Depressa (Baby’s tears)

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Don’t let the name fool you – Pilea Depressa might be called the “Baby tears” plant, but you will have nothing to cry about with this beauty.

Alex, our houseplant guru here at Warner’s, is a big fan. She says, “This plant will spice up your room with its bright green color.”

Pilea Depressa has small thick leaves. It’s a nice and easy-to-keep plant that looks very pretty in a hanging pot, because the stalks with leaves will hang down. But it also does well in a terrarium, where it can be a decorative climbing plant.

Pilea Depressa likes medium to high light, but no direct light, which will burn the leaves and turn your bright green plant brown.

Allow your plant to dry out between waterings, and don’t let water stand in the saucer underneath the plant.

This Week’s Specials

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Sept. 16 – Sept. 22
Extended by popular demand

  • 10-gallon Warner-grown Autumn Blaze Maple, $59.99 (regularly $79.99)
  • 30% off all flowering trees
  • $1 off cool season veggies (6 pack, regularly $4.99)
  • 1-gallon Warner-grown Shasta Daisy, now $6 each

Houseplant of the Week: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma

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Often called the mini Monstera because of its resemblance to the Monstera deliciosa, the Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is having its moment in the sun as the “it” plant trending on social media.

And it’s not hard to see why – it grows easily and fast and just look those cute peek-a-boo leaves!

Give your Rhaphidophora bright indirect light. These plants don’t like a lot of direct sun, but some is fine. Rhaphidophora likes to be moist but not waterlogged, which – as in so many cases of overwatering – will cause root rot. On the other hand, don’t wait so long to water that it dries out.

One special item you might want to get for your Rhaphidophora is a sturdy climbing support as it does like to climb.

The Best Time to Plant a Tree is Now

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We’re often asked at Warner’s what is the best time to plant a tree, and the short answer of course is any time the ground is not frozen, because trees are awesome and the more of them we can get the better.

But, in looking at this topic a little more closely, we’d have to give Fall the edge. And by Fall we mean when the worst of the summer heat is over, the nights are cooler and the ground is wetter.

This is particularly true in places like northern Arizona where we typically get the bulk of our monsoon rains in July and August (obviously this year was not typical).

So why do trees planted in the fall flourish? There’s a few reasons:

  1. Trees “concentrate” on growing roots in the Fall. During the spring, a lot of a tree’s energy is spent on its foliage and producing fruit or leaves. As the summer fades, that energy is transferred to the tree’s network of roots.
  2. Cool (but not frozen) soil encourages root growth.
  3. The cooler days also mean the tree is less likely to go into “shock” from hot temperatures and also that new tender leaves won’t get scorched by the sun

There’s also an argument that you don’t have to water as much when your tree is planted in the fall and while that’s somewhat true, you really can’t ignore good watering, as I mentioned in my last blog.

Remember, trees don’t really fully establish their root systems until four years in, so in years two and three, you’ll want to water two to three times a week during the spring through the fall, dropping down to once a week after the tree is established. During the winter, your watering can drop off to about once every three to four weeks.

Regardless of when you plant your tree, spring or fall, your home and life will benefit. Trees mean more oxygen, increased value to your home, reduced energy costs depending on where you plant your tree, and the calming affect trees have shown to have in numerous studies.

Plus you’ll be creating another home for birds and other critters to enjoy, so you’ll be adding to the natural ecosystem of your neighborhood.

If you have any questions about trees – or any other gardening issues – please feel free to ask our experts here at Warner’s Nursery. We are happy to help.

Happy Gardening,
Misti Warner-Andersen

Houseplant of the Week: Kalanchoe

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Kalanchoe, which also goes by the lively names “Flaming Katy” and “Madagascar Widow’s-thrill,” is a popular succulent that comes in a wide variety of vibrant colors, including yellow, pink, magenta, orange and red. These blooms are set off by gorgeous, large, deep-green leaves.

They like bright, natural light as long as they don’t get too much direct sun, which can cause burning. The more light they get, the better; the flowers often won’t bloom if the plant doesn’t get enough.

As succulents, Kalanchoe don’t want to be sopping wet. They need good drainage. Water well and then water again when dry (which could mean up to two weeks depending on your house temperature, lighting and the size of the pot).

When you repot, use a mix of regular potting soil and one designed for succulents. And while Kalanchoe aren’t particularly vulnerable to pests, keep an eye out for aphids and mealybugs.

Early Bird Specials This Saturday

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Stop by bright and early this Saturday, Sept. 7, for our Early Bird Sale at Warner’s Nursery. All specials available from 8 am to 11 am.

  • 20% off all pottery
  • 30% off any 1 deciduous tree
  • Buy 3 get 1 free soil (of equal or lesser value)
  • Buy 3 get 1 free 1-gallon mum

Sales only good from 8 am to 11 am this Saturday, Sept. 7.

Houseplant of the Week: The Parlour Palm

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The Neanthe Belle or Parlor Palm is one of the most popular houseplant palms in the world – and its easy to see why. With its elegant lush leaves, this palm is a lovely addition to any home.

The plant can reach three to four feet in height, but it will take several years to get there. This plant thrives in a variety of indoor lighting conditions, but a room with medium to bright light and a north or west facing window is best. Do not keep your plant in direct sunlight.

Keep your plant evenly moist, meaning the soil should never be completely dry or overly wet. Do not keep the plant in standing water for more than 15 minutes as this can lead to root rot and pests.

The Parlor Palm needs more fertilizer than most indoor palms. Feed monthly in spring and summer with a slow-release fertilizer. If the leaf tips are brown, you could be over fertilizing.

Houseplant of the Week: Bamboo or Lady Palm

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For tall, cool elegance you can’t go wrong with Rhapis excelsa, better known as the Bamboo Palm or Lady Palm.

Dark green with fan-like groups of leaves set on tall stalks, the plant is from Asia, most likely China or Taiwan. It’s low lighting and humidity needs makes it a popular choice for offices.

You should place this palm near an east-facing window out of direct sunlight in a room. Water the palm when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 inch during the spring and summer and 2 inches during the fall and winter.

You can repot your palm every couple of years, increasing the size of the pot each time if you want it to grow. After you’ve reached the desired size, continue to repot every couple of years to refresh the soil (they like a soil mix similar to what you’d use for African Violets).

You’ll only want to feed your plant during the summer and take care not to over-fertilize.

Photo courtesy of Eric in SF through Creative Commons 4.0

Savoring the Last Moments of Summer

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Don’t let summer end too soon.

Now with the current weather, I know it might seem ridiculous to remind you that it’s still summer. It’s been in the mid-80s most days and that kind of heat is probably all the reminder you need.

The thing is, there seems to be a shift that happens in August, particularly if you have school-age kids. They go back to class and we let summer slip away. Summer isn’t just about a set number of days on the calendar; I think it’s a state of mind as well.

While the weather is still warm and the flowers are still blooming, make sure to take advantage of the outdoors and your backyard or patio. Savor these last easy going, relaxing days and store up your great summer memories. Before you know it, the leaves will turn and the snow will fall.

Here  are some ideas of things to do to enjoy these last weeks before gearing up for the fall:

    1. Backyard picnic – When is the last time you pulled out a blanket, gathered everyone around and enjoyed some nice “al fresco” dining in your own backyard? If you’ve been growing veggies, you probably have lots of super fresh food to enjoy, which you can pair with a nice glass of wine or some ice tea or lemonade.
    2. Barbeque – With the monsoons lessening the wildfire danger, now is a great time to have a barbeque and it’s a great excuse to gather the kids in the backyard for a few games while dinner is on the grill.
    3. Unplug – Give yourself a digital detox by spending some time outside and off your phone, tablet or computer. And, by the way, that means no headsets or earbuds. Go outside, listen to birds and leaves in the wind, and take your eyes off that screen. There’s more to life than the Internet. Bonus points if you strike up a conversation with another human being. 🙂
    4. Freshening up the garden – Most of your garden is probably doing fine, but it’s likely that some of your annuals have either exhausted their blooms. Grab a few six packs of things like portulaca or diamond frost euphorbia and use them to patch up sections of your garden. They are great late summer plants and can tolerate any end of season hot spells we get.
    5. Watch a sunset. We are blessed with some amazing summer skies to enjoy in northern Arizona. Find a spot and take a moment to really enjoy them.
    6. Join us for FLAVOR. Before summer ends, Warner’s Nursery will be the venue for a brand spanking new event, the FLAVOR Northern Arizona Food and Wine Festival. It’s a great way to learn more about local wine (and mead!) makers, brewers, restaurants and our good friends at the Sweet Shoppe Candy Store. Music and more, all on our beautiful grounds at Warner’s. You can learn more about it here.
    7. Spend every moment you can outside. No, summer isn’t over, but it is in limited supply. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures will soon drop and the holidays will be here before you know it. So make hay while the summer sun shines.

Happy gardening,

Houseplant of the Week: Areca Palm

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With the Areca Palm, the thing to remember is that this houseplant loves the light. Bright, indirect light, preferably from a south or west facing window is the ticket to making this palm grow.

And grow it will. Your tabletop version will gain anywhere from 6 to 10 inches every year until it reaches its mature height of six to seven feet.

Their fronds can have up to 100 leaves that spread out beautifully, which is why this variety is often referred to as the butterfly palm. However, they are one of the few palms that do well if you trim them, making it easier to keep the plant indoors for its lifespan without having to rearrange your furniture to fit it. 🙂

While Areca Palms are not difficult to care for, you can’t neglect them. They like enough water to keep their soil slightly moist in the spring and summer, while you should let the soil dry slightly between waterings in the fall and winter. As for food, you can use a time-release fertilizer in the spring that will last the whole season.

You’ll need to repot your Areca every couple of years, mostly to replenish the soil and remove fertilizer salt deposits that can build up.