Houseplant of the Week: Frizzle Sizzle

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Looking to put some pizzazz in your houseplant collection? Well, Warner’s is happy to announce we have some rare Frizzle Sizzle in stock. This native of South Africa is a bulb plant that features fabulously corkscrew leaves.

When in flower, the Frizzle Sizzle (more formally known as the Albuca spiralis) has fragrant, yellow blooms with a sweet smell similar to vanilla.

Caring for Your Frizzle Sizzle

  • Keep them warm. This plant thrives best at temps over 60 degrees. 
  • It likes sunlight, but not direct sunlight, which can burn its leaves.
  • On the other hand, not enough sunlight will take the sizzle out of the frizzle and your leaves won’t curl as much.
  • Let your plant dry out between waterings. 
  • Frizzle sizzles tend to go dormant in the summer after flowering. At that point, stop watering and fertilizing until you see new foliage in the fall/winter.
  • The Frizzle Sizzle seems to be blessedly free of pests and disease, making it an easy plant to maintain.
  • Final note: When your Frizzle Sizzle sends up its flower stalks in the spring, the tips of the leaves might brown. This is a natural occurrence and not a sign that your plant is ill. 

Shop YOUR Way at Warner’s

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In response to the coronavirus outbreak and as part of our commitment to making shopping at Warner’s Nursery a safe, enjoyable and relaxed experience for everyone, we are now offering curbside service for our customers.

Please know that you are still welcome to come to Warner’s for your gardening needs! And we have implemented a variety of protocols to keep you (and our team members) safe. For more details, click here.

But we realize that many would feel more comfortable calling in or emailing us an order and picking it up from our nursery. Here’s how:

1. Call your order in to 928-774-1983, ext. 16, or email us at [email protected]arnercompanies.com.

2. Let us know what you’d like to buy (for your convenience, a list of the most common items being purchased this time of year is below). Include a number where we can call you.

3. We’ll fill the order* and let you know it’s ready for pickup. If you are paying by credit card, you can give us the information at that time or you can wait until you arrive.

4. Park in front of the nursery and give us a call. We’ll bring out your order and receipt, or take your payment at that time. (We have gloves and sanitizer, so it’s safe to hand over your card!) We can also load your order into your car for you.

*Note: if you are ordering a plant, we will use our judgement to pick the best one available. We understand that’s a bit of a subjective thing, however. While we don’t want to run back and forth showing you every option available, we can take it off your invoice if you really don’t like what was selected.

POPULAR ITEMS, SIZES, PRICES:

Exterior Soil List:
Warner’s Supreme Planting Mix: 1.5 cubic feet $6.99
Warner’s Mulch: 1.5 cubic feet $4.99
Warner’s Mulch: 3 cubic feet $7.99
Warner’s Top Soil: 1.5 cubic feet $4.99
Black Gold Compost: 1 cubic foot $8.99
Gypsum: 40lbs $7.99
Steer Manure: 1 cubic foot $1.99
Deodorized Steer Manure: 1.5 cubic foot $3.99
Peat Moss: 3 cubic feet $39.99
Peat Moss: 2.2 cubic feet $32.99
Mushroom Compost: 1 cubic foot $6.99

Interior Soil List:
Warner’s Potting Soil: 1.5 cubic feet $9.99
Black Gold Potting Soil: 1 cubic foot $12.99
Black Gold Potting Soil: 1.5 cubic feet $14.99
Happy Frog Potting Soil: 2 cubic feet $24.99
Fox Farm Ocean Forest Potting Soil: 1.5 cubic feet $22.99
Black Gold Cactus Mix: 1 cubic foot $12.99
Growell Cactus Mix: 1 cubic foot $9.99
Growell Organic Potting Soil: 8 quart $5.99
Vermiculite: 3.5 cubic feet $46.99
Perlite: 3.5 cubic feet $29.99

Seed Starting Supplies:
Black Gold Seedling Mix: 8 quart $6.99
Black Gold Seedling Mix: 16 quart $12.99
Black Gold Seedling Mix: 1.5 cubic feet $19.99
Greenhouse Kit: 36 cells $6.99
Greenhouse Kit: 50 cells $12.99
Plantable Pots: x32 (2”) $5.99
Plantable Pots: x12 (2.25”) $2.99
Plantable Pots: x8 (3”) $2.99
Plantable Pots: x6 (4”) $3.99
Individual Peat Pellet: 15¢
Seeds: Please call store to see if item wanted is available.

Seed Potatoes Available:
Red “Pontiac”: $4.99 per lb
Yellow “Yukon Gold”: $4.99 per lb
White “Kennebec”: $4.99 per lb
Red Chieftan: $4.99 per lb
Katahdin: $4.99 per lb
Russet: $4.99 per lb
Organic packaged seed potatoes, bag of 5, for $9.99 (French Fingerling, Adirondack Blue, German Butterball, Red Prairie, Austrian Crescent available now).

Bare Root Available:
Red Bloedrode Onion: $6.99
Ebenezer White Onion: $6.99
Red Shallots: $6.99
Shallots: $6.99

NOTE: All products are limited to stock on hand.

Our COVID-19 Response

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At Warner’s Nursery, we are committed to keeping you healthy and safe during this unprecedented time and we wanted to let you know what we are doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  1. Obviously we are engaging in the “Big 5” measures that you hear about all the time: frequent handwashing; covering sneezes and coughs with a tissue or elbow; social distancing (six feet please); avoiding touching our faces; and, most importantly, making sure our team members don’t come in to the nursery if they are not feeling well.
  2. We are constantly sanitizing countertops and common areas. Each morning we bleach our carts and door handles. We have hand sanitizer and gloves.
  3. We are now limiting all classes and our Houseplant Club to 10 participants.
  4. We have converted Dottie’s Garden Coffee Shoppe to a “take out” only provider of awesomely delicious caffeinated beverages.
  5. And now we have instituted curbside pickup. Just call or email your order in to us, we’ll fill it, give you a call when it’s ready and bring it to your car when you get here. Details here.

Gardening is a great way of practicing safe coronavirus prevention habits while getting to enjoy the outdoors. If you are going a little stir crazy at home, beautifying your yard or patio is a great way to pass the time.

Your garden is an oasis where you can retreat to. It can provide you with beauty and fresh-grown items to eat. If you have kids, it’s a wonderful family activity and education tool. If you own your property, a well-maintained garden will increase its value. And there have been studies showing that gardening gives peace of mind, particularly in times of upheaval.

We want to make it easy and safe for you to fulfill your gardening purchases, whether you come inside to our open air store or would prefer to minimize contact. Either way, we are here to help.

Stop Treating Your Soil Like Dirt

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Here’s a startling thought: Our soils are endangered.

I know, I know. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment and now I’m telling you that you have to worry about the earth under our feet too. But I wouldn’t be mentioning it if there wasn’t a solution. So let’s talk about how we got here – and how we can make it better.

First off, what happened that caused us to treat our soil like dirt?

Prior to the 20th century, soil was healthy and organically dense. It was the source of good, nutritious botanical delights, and with proper crop rotation, it naturally replenished itself. 

But erosion and deforestation have washed away a third of the world’s topsoil, taking much of its benefits away in the process. And crops today are developed for increased yield, not nutritional value, a classic case of quantity over quality. 

If current trends continue, soil as we know it will be gone by 2050, according to the United Nations Food & Agricultural Association.

But there are things we can do to help regenerate our soils. Here’s the Top 5 soil friendly habits you can practice at home:

  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. Test your soil and replenish it with organic fertilizers.

  4. Till with worms and organic composts.

  5. Grow green manures, 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.

I hope you are managing to enjoy Spring, even as concerns about coronavirus abound. Speaking of which, please check out our homepage for information on what we are doing in response to COVID-19 to keep you (and us!) safe and some new options for shopping with us.  

Happy Gardening!
Misti

Houseplant of the Week: The ‘Sensitive’ Plant

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Ah, the sensitive plant. Reader of romantic poetry, easy to upset, spending long hours in its room obsessing over comments in its Instagram feed . . .  oh wait, no, that’s a sensitive teenager.  Sorry, got them confused.

The fabulously named Mimosa Pudica (which sounds like an alcoholic beverage and a dessert all rolled into one) is commonly called the “sensitive plant” or the “touch-me-not.” Why? Well as you can see in the video above, it features this intriguing trick: at the slightest touch, its feathery leaves will quickly close together. The name is a Greek/Latin hybrid term meaning “bashful mime.”

And while they’re sensitive, there not too sensitive. Leaf closing aside, mimosa pudica is pretty easy to grow and lovely to look at. Here’s the basics:

Caring for Your Sensitive Plant

  • Mimosa pudica likes soil that can hold enough water to remain consistently moist while providing good drainage to prevent root rot. Self-watering pots are a good choice for this plant.
  • Our sensitive plant loves light and if it doesn’t get enough, it will close those fern-like leaves and fail to bloom with pretty pale pink and purple flowers. East facing windows that get lots of morning light will keep it happy.
  • This is a native of the tropics and it likes its humidity. Placing it near a humidifier or misting periodically will help it feel at home even in our high desert.
  • A diluted high-potassium fertilizer (like you would use for tomatoes) is a great choice because the plant’s movement requires energy.
  • Often sensitive plants are houseplant annuals because they decline after blooming in the summer. However, it is easy to propagate new plants from their seed. 

Houseplant of the Week: Hypoestes

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Are you seeing spots? You might very well be with Hypoestes, better known as the polka dot plant.

It’s freckly decorative leaves make this a popular outdoor ornamental plant, but it’s vivid oval variegated foliage, in either green and white or green and pink, can also be cultivated as a houseplant.

Even better, it’s easy to propagate your Hypoestes. They get small flowers that will produce seeds that you can germinate in warm moist soil, but the easiest method for propagation is from plant cuttings. Dip your cuttings in rooting hormone and place in peat moss.

Caring for Your Hypoestes

Your freckle faced plant gets its best color when it is in a low light situation, but you may have to deal with canes of the plant getting “leggy” as they search for light. Indirect bright sunlight is the best for this plant.

Hypoestes does not like the cold and needs temperatures of at least 60 degrees. They like well-drained but moist soil and should be fed once a month.

Houseplant of the Week: Shamrocks

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With St. Patrick’s Day arriving soon, we thought we’d turn our attention to the lovely Shamrock houseplant – symbol of Ireland and boasting hundreds of varieties, most with green or purple clover-like leaves. (The term shamrock comes from the Irish seamróg or seamair óg, which means “young clover”).

They are also a relatively easy houseplant to cultivate. There is one very important thing to keep in mind however: these plants tend to go into dormancy during the summer. Don’t throw them out! They’re resting, not dead.

Caring for Your Shamrock

Soil/Watering: Your Shamrock would like lightly moist soil and make sure to let it dry out between waterings.

Light/Temperature: Room temperature and good air circulation are perfect for the shamrock. It likes bright, but not direct light. (Except when it’s resting, as we’ll explain below.)

Food: Fertilize with a balanced houseplant food every few months.

I’m not dead, I’m resting: In late spring or early summer, the leaves will begin to die, but the plant is still okay. It’s just going into its period of dormancy to rest. Move the plant to a cooler, darker location, away from direct light and leave it alone – no water or fertilizer.  Check a couple of weeks check on it periodically. Dormancy can last from several weeks up to about three months, depending on the plant and external conditions.

When you see new shoots, your shamrock has woken up and would love it if you moved it back into the light and resumed regular care.

Planting from Seeds

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Speaking scientifically, seeds are the reproductive system of a flowering plant; each one contains an embryonic version of its parent plant.

What they really are is little superheroes, tiny packets of potential that can totally transform bare dirt into beautiful garden beds or containers of flowers, veggies and herbs.

Of course, they need a little help from us to get there. But with a little care and commitment, seeds can bring the garden of your dreams into reality.

Here’s my tips for you on how to successfully plant from seeds.

Getting Started

  • Gather the right supplies. In addition to the seeds, you’ll need containers, soil and, eventually, fertilizer. Seed trays are probably the easiest and most convenient way to begin your project.
  • Speaking of Soil… Resist the temptation to repurpose houseplant soil or just get dirt from your garden. Look for a “seedling mix” that is specifically formulated to help grow seeds and is typically a lighter soil, which makes it easier for seedlings to break through the soil once they germinate.
  • Get planting! Moisten your soil and pack it in your container or tray firmly to eliminate gaps. Check your packaging to determine if you should sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil or bury them. Give the planted seeds a little more water with a mister or small watering can. You might want to cover the seeds with plastic wrap or a plastic dome to keep that moisture in before they germinate, removing the cover when you see the seedlings start to grow. 

How to Raise Your Seedlings

Once they poke out of the soil, your seedlings need food and light.

When you are seeing a little green growth, you’ll want to add some fertilizer to provide nutrients and make sure they are getting the sunshine (or lighting system) they need to grow. A south facing window is best for natural light. If you do use a lighting system instead, remember not to have the lights on all the time. Your seedlings need darkness so they can rest.

Finally, when your seedlings are ready for the great outdoors, it’s time to transplant. But I’d suggest exposing your seedlings to the elements gradually before moving them to their final container or garden bed. One way is to leave the seedlings out during the day and bring them back in at night so they can adjust and “harden” to the elements.

Happy Gardening!
Misti

Getting Ready for Spring by Pruning

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Hi again! We’re back from the winter holidays and so excited about all our new offerings. We have a houseplant club now, plus we’re just about to start a new season of Root Camp, our package of gardening classes at discounted prices that start this Saturday. One of the classes is about spring pruning, an important way to keep your garden healthy and something that people often struggle with.

Here are some basics, but if you really want to master the art of pruning, make sure to attend our pruning class on March 7 (more on that below).

Pruning helps maintain the health of your tree or shrub when you remove diseased or dead branches, or ones that are growing into one another. It can also help increase the yield of flowers or fruit by taking energy away from unneeded foliage. Last but not least, pruning is a safety precaution by removing branches that are cracked or threatening to fall.

Late winter and early spring are the perfect time for pruning because the plants are dormant, meaning that wounds will heal faster. For deciduous plants, there’s the added benefit that it’s easier to see what you are doing because the trees are bare. However, if you have a spring blooming tree or shrub, you should ideally prune them before they bud or else after blooming is finished.

One important rule of all types of pruning is this: never prune more than one third of the plant. Prune more than that and you run the risk of damaging the plant or at least stunting its growth. 

Types of Pruning Cuts for Deciduous Plants

Because many kinds of pruning cuts are made near a growth bud, you have to know how your plants grow in order to determine where to cut. There are three types: (1) a terminal bud grows at the tip of a shoot; (2) a lateral bud grows alongside the shoot; and (3) a latent bud lies dormant beneath the bark. If a branch breaks or is cut off near it, it may develop into a new shoot.

Once you determine the type, you can choose one of these four pruning cuts to keep it healthy.

  • Thinning – This is when you remove an entire branch or stem, taking it back to its point of origin or to a juncture with another branch. These cuts eliminate competing or old stems, reduce overall size, and open up a plant’s structure.
  • Heading – Heading cuts remove just part of a stem or branch – not the whole thing. Such cuts can be made back to a bud or to a twig and it stimulates the growth of lateral buds just below the cut. 
  • Shearing – Clipping a plant’s outer foliage to create an even surface (like with hedges or a topiary). It’s kind of an indiscriminate form of heading, because it doesn’t involve precise cutting just above a growing point.
  • Pinching – This is the simplest of pruning cuts. Using your thumb and forefinger or a pair of hand shears, you nip off the tips of new growth, removing the terminal bud. This stops the shoot from growing longer and stimulates branching. Pinching is used primarily on annuals and perennials to make them bushy and encourage the production of more flowers.

What to Do with Conifers

Part of the allure of evergreens is that they are usually low-maintenance plants. A little periodic pruning, however, can keep your conifers healthy and looking their best. When thinking about pruning conifers – or any plant for that matter – it’s good to remember the old adage, “measure twice and cut once.” In the case of conifers, it’s “think twice and prune once.” 

Here’s the really important thing to remember: there is no place for “recreational pruning” of conifers because they don’t replace growth like other trees and shrubs; pruning is always done for a particular purpose, like keeping a particular look, removing dead or diseased branches or controlling the size if they are threatening to grow into other plants or buildings.

Want to learn more about spring pruning? Mick Henry of Mick’s Tree Services is sharing his expert advice on March 7 at Warner’s. The class is part of our Root Camp series and you can learn more about it here.  

Happy Gardening!
Misti

Houseplant of the Week: Lithops

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Clusters of Lithops plants

Lithops, split succulents, known as “living rocks,” make a rare, colorful and easy-to-care-for  addition to your houseplant  garden.

Tiny and total heat lovers, Lithops are native to South Africa and grow very, very slowly. They also tend to flower prior to producing new leaves, which emerge from the split in the plant.

Caring for Your Lithops Plant

Soil: Your Lithops needs good draining soil, and we recommend a cactus mix, maybe with some pebbles to increase drainage.

Water: Lithops store water in their leaves, which can keep them hydrated for months. That makes overwatering a concern. However, the little guys get stunted if they don’t have enough H20. The solution is making sure to water only when the soil is thoroughly dry. Here’s a cool trick – put a wooden skewer into the soil and see if it’s moist when you take it out. If it is, the plant doesn’t need to be watered just yet. Also, if your plant is in the process of producing new leaves, hold off on the watering until the old pair of leaves are dried up and withered.

Light: Sun and plenty of it. East or south facing sunny windows will give them the light and heat they need.

To see our full gallery of houseplant favorites, click here.