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Plant Care Guides

Having information at your fingertips is empowering. We’re building a collection of plant care guides so you can learn everything you need to know about our plants, readily available for your convenience. Feel free to download the .pdf’s to keep at home!

TREES & SHRUBS

Arborvitae

Quick reference for how to care for Thuja Arbortivae Trees Includes botanical information, light water and soil needs, fun facts and interesting varieties.

Thuja Arborvitae, aka Red Cedar

FACTS

Grow Zone: 2 – 8
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Thuja
Native To: North America (2 species), East Asia (3 species)
Mature Height: 5 ft – 80 ft tall
Mature Width: 5 ft – 20 ft wide
Type: Evergreen conifer
Growth Habit: Upright, conical or globular, medium to fast rate
Foliage: Evergreen conifer, with flat, lacy fan-shaped needles with scales
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Propagation: Cuttings

Why We Love – Although it is a Latin name meaning “Tree of Life,” Arborvitae is actually the common name for members of the Thuja genus. These fast-growing evergreen trees or dwarf trees have a wide variety of uses in landscaping. Many trees are bred to stop at ideal heights for privacy walls, such as ‘Emerald Green’ or ‘American Pillar.’

CARE:

LIGHT: 

Full sun to partial shade. 6 – 8 hours of sun per day is ideal. Great for creating shade and privacy. Likes afternoon shade in warmer grow zones.

WATER:

Prefers even moisture with good drainage, approx 1″/week. Established trees are tolerant of wet or drought, young or newly planted trees are not. Do not overwater.

SOIL: 

Well-draining, neutral, loamy, fertile soil. Fertilize once per year, if needed, with slow-release granular fertilizer. Amend soil to ensure adequate drainage deep below the roots.

FYI: 

Browning needles are normal at center near trunk or at tips during winter. Excessive browning is a sign of stress. Plant 5’ – 10’ apart for a privacy wall with conical varieties.

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Forevery Goldy’
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ (Emerald Green Arborvitae)
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Globosa’  
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘American Pillar’
  • Thuja standishii × plicata ‘Green Giant’
  • Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae or Eastern White Cedar)
  • Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar)
  • Thuja standishii
  • Thuja koraiensis

PERENNIALS

Hellebore

Hellebore Care Guide with Botanical Information

Helleborus, aka Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose

FACTS

Grow Zone: 4 – 8
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Helleborus
Native To: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
Mature Height: 12”-18”
Mature Width: 12”-18”
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Growth Habit: Low clump-forming, Upright
Foliage: Dark green, palmate
Flowers: Showy, nodding flowers bloom winter to early spring
Propagation: Division, seed

Why We Love – One of the crown jewels of a winter garden, these hardy, deer-resistant drought-tolerant perennials are often named Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose for their pink, white, green, or burgundy rose-like flowers. They appear often in Greek mythology. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

Thrives in partial shade to full shade. Protect from harshest winter weather if possible to prevent damage. Tolerant of heavy shade. 

WATER:

Water as needed once top two inches of soil are dry. Enjoys melting snow. Somewhat drought-tolerant. Do not allow to sit in standing water. 

SOIL: 

Prefer rich, fertile, balanced soil with excellent drainage. Fertilize with organic compost as needed in spring. Choose locations that allow for deep roots. 

FYI: 

All varieties of hellebore are poisonous to people and pets. Many of the colors available at nurseries come from hybrids of H. orientalis crossed with closely related species. Will self-sow.

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • H. orientalis (Lenten Rose)
  • Helleborus × hybridus
  • H. niger (Christmas Rose)
  • H. argutifolius (Corsican hellebore)
  • H. foetidus (Stinking hellebore)
  • H. lividus
  • H. viridis
  • H. ericsmithii

ANNUALS

Violas & Pansies

Viola Pansy Care Guide with Botanical Information

Violas & Pansies

FACTS

Grow Zone: 4 – 8
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Native To: Europe, England, Asia
Mature Height: 2” – 8”
Mature Width: 2” – 8”
Type: Half-hardy annual
Growth Habit: Compact mounded
Foliage: Green, alternating ovate to elliptic
Flowers: Showy, 5 single color or dual-colored petals, bloom late fall to early spring
Propagation: Seed, cuttings

Why We Love Pansies & Violas:

This showy, fragrant, winter-blooming annual is a gardening staple, providing a range of vibrant colors in cold months. Pansies are violas but not all violas are pansies. The large pansy we see most often was developed in 18th century England. Violas communicate remembrance in the language of flowers.

CARE:

LIGHT: 

Full sun to partial shade. Best with morning sun and afternoon partial shade. 

WATER:

Water approximately 1 inch per week. Blooms best with even, regular moisture. Needs good drainage, do not leave in waterlogged soil. 

SOIL: 

Rich, peaty, fertile soil with adequate drainage. Fertilize with balanced formula fertilizer (10-10-10, 15-30-15), a granular, slow-release formula, or compost. Mulch well. 

FYI: Considered low maintenance. Some violas are perennials, but are so short-lived they are grown mostly as annuals or biennials. Dead-head to extend bloom season.

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Viola x wittrockiana (Pansy)
  • Viola odorata (Sweet Violet)
  • Viola tricolor
  • Viola cornuta
  • Viola lutea
  • Viola striata
  • Viola pedata
  • Viola canadensis
  • Viola rotundifolia
  • Viola biflora

INDOOR PLANTS

Hoyas

Quick reference for how to care for Hoya Plants. Includes botanical information, light water and soil needs, fun facts and interesting varieties.

Hoya, aka Wax Plant or Wax Flower

FACTS

Grow Zone: 9 – 11
Family: Apocynacae
Genus: Hoya
Native To: South Asia, Indonesia, Australia
Mature Height: varies
Mature Width: varies
Type: Evergreen perennial
Growth Habit: trailing, climbing
Foliage: Waxy, green
Flowers: Small stars in clusters, bloom intermittently on older plants
Propagation: Cuttings

Why We Love Hoyas: Also known as Wax Plants, some believe there are over 700 different species of this attractive, easy-care plant. Often grown indoors, plant a hoya in a hanging basket or terra cotta pot for instant “shelfie” appeal.

CARE:

LIGHT: 

Medium to bright, indirect light. Some can tolerate lower light but will not bloom.

WATER:

Allow soil to mostly dry out, then water thoroughly. Allow all excess water to drain, do not let sit in standing water. Water less in winter.

SOIL: 

Fertile. well-draining soil. Repot 1 – 3 years for fresh soil. Fertilize with a 2-1-2 or 3-1-2 liquid soluble plant food during growing season.

FYI: 

Some varieties, like H. curtsii, need more water & humidity than others. Pay attention to leaf health to determine water needs between various hoya types.

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • Hoya macrophylla
  • Hoya retusa
  • Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Queen’
  • Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta variegata’
  • Hoya pubicalyx ‘Splash’
  • Hoya krohniana
  • Hoya australis ‘Lisa’
  • Hoya kerii
  • Hoya curtsii

Patuxent Nursery | Garden Center and Plant Nursery

2410 Crain Highway, Bowie, MD 20716
(301) 218-4769

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday: 7am-4pm
Saturday: 8am-2pm
Sunday: Closed