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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 .pdfs 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

Azaleas

Azalea Care Guide with Botanical Information

Azaleas

FACTS

Grow Zone: 4 – 8
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Rhododendron
Subgenus: Pentanthera & Azaleastrum
Native To: East Asia (evergreen), Europe & North America (deciduous)
Mature Height: 2’ – 8’
Mature Width: 2’ – 8’
Type: Evergreen or Deciduous Flowering Shrub
Growth Habit: Upright, mounding, compact
Foliage: Glossy, thin lanceolate leaves with smooth edges. Elepidotes with no scales
Flowers: Showy, funnel-shaped fragrant flowers grow singly, doubly, or in ball-shaped bunches. Colors include purples, whites, reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, and bi-colors. Bloom in Spring & sometimes Fall.
Propagation: Grafting, Seeds, Cuttings

Why We Love – Azaleas are truly enchanting. These beloved flowering shrubs have been cultivated for so long there are over 10,000 known cultivars derived from nearly 800 different Rhododendron species. Azaleas are the prize jewel of many gardens for their breathtaking fragrant flowers and their adaptability in the garden. 

CARE: 

LIGHT: 

  • Partial Sun to Dappled Shade. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.  Full Sun will burn the foliage, heavy shade will affect blooms and growth. 

WATER:

  • Keep evenly moist in well-draining soil. Do not let dry out or sit in standing water. Water once top inch of soil is dry. Mulch will help with water retention. Water at base of plant, not on leaves.

SOIL: 

  • Neutral to acidic well-draining, loamy soil. Use a balanced 15-15-15 fertilizer or Espoma Holly-tone after blooms are spent.

FYI:

  • Azaleas have a more shallow & more sensitive root system than other flowering shrubs. Amending the soil & improving drainage before planting will ensure happy, healthy roots with the space to grow. Use flower shape, stamen count, and leaf structure to differentiate from Rhododendrons.

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Encore® Autumn Bonfire™ Rhododendron ‘Robleza’ PPIP (& the whole Encore series)
  • Rhododendron eriocarpum ‘Gumpo White’ (Satsuki hybrid)
  • Azalea x ‘Hino-Crimson’ (Kurume hybrid)
  • Rhododendron x ‘Karen’
  • Azalea x ‘Girard’s Pleasant White’
  • Rhododendron indicum ‘Coral Bells’
  • Rhododendron x ‘Stonewall Jackson’
  • Rhododendron x ‘Bloom-A-Thon® Red’ Reblooming Azalea (& the whole Bloom-A-Thon series)
  • Rhododendron x Robin Hill ‘Conversation Piece’
  • Rhododendron x obstusum ‘Blaaw’s Pink’

Camellias

Camellia Care Guide from Patuxent Nursery with Botanical Information

Camellias

CAMELLIAS

FACTS 

Grow Zone: 6 – 10
Family: Theaceae
Genus: Camellia
Native To: Indonesia, East Asia, Himalayas
Mature Height: 3’ – 12’
Mature Width: 3’ – 12’
Type: Evergreen shrub or multi-stem tree
Growth Habit: Upright
Foliage: Simple Alternating Elliptic, Dark Green & Thick leaves
Flowers: Fragrant, Showy, Pink, Yellow, Red, or White, either single, semi-double, double, anemone, formal double, or paeony forms. Bloom in fall or spring.
Propagation: Cuttings, Seeds

Why We Love – Camellias have been cultivated for ornamental gardens in Japan and China for over a thousand years, and in the west for hundreds of years. Their luxurious flowers are truly show-stopping, and they make great hedges too! With enough TLC Camellias can live for decades. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

– Blooms are best in partial shade – morning light and afternoon shade is ideal. More established plants can handle more direct light than younger ones.  

WATER:

  • Prefers even water when young, tolerant of dry conditions once established (3+ years). Cannot sit in stagnant water, needs well-draining soil. 

SOIL: 

  • Mildly Acidic, Well draining soil. Amend soil well with an acidifying fertilizer and organic matter when first planting to improve drainage. Fertilize once every 2 months after blooms are spent, stop fertilizing by early fall. 

FYI:

– Camellias benefit from regular pruning with very clean shears. Most are bred for their flowers but some are grown for their foliage. One variety in particular, C. sinensis, is Tea – the same plant famously dumped in Boston. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Camellia sasanqua (Fall Camellias)
  • Camellia japonica (Spring Camellias)
  • Camellia sinensis (Tea)
  • Camellia x williamsii
  • C. sasanqua ‘Shi-Shi Gashira’
  • C. sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
  • C. sasanqua ‘Kanjiro’
  • C. sasanqua ‘Moonshadow’
  • C. japonica ‘Kramer’s Supreme’
  • C. japonica ‘White-by-the-Gate’
  • C. japonica ‘Professor Sargent’
  • C. japonica ‘Debutante’
  • C. japonica ‘April Dawn’

Hollies

Holly care Guide with botanical information from patuxent nursery

Holly Trees & Holly Shrubs

FACTS

Grow Zone: 3 – 9
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Native To: Worldwide
Mature Height: varies
Mature Width: varies
Type: Woody, Evergreen or Deciduous
Growth Habit: various (genus includes trees, shrubs and climbers)
Foliage: Simple alternate leaves, sometimes glossy with spiny margins
Flowers: Inconspicuous white-green
Propagation: Cuttings, Seeds (most are Dioecious)

Why We Love – We usually think of hollies as an evergreen tree with spiny leaves and red berries at Christmas, but there are actually over 500 species of hollies. The trees, shrubs and climbers in this family are easy going once established, and almost all have the same care needs. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun is best, most are tolerant of partial shade as well. 

WATER:

  • Prefer evenly moist soil & good drainage.. Water young hollies well while they are getting established, then they only need water in severe drought. Mulching helps. 

SOIL: 

  • Acidic, well-draining soil is ideal. Fertilize with Holly-tone or organic compost in spring and fall. 

FYI: 

  • Hollies are great for winter interest, since even the deciduous female varieties sport red berries in winter. All holly berries are poisonous to people and pets. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Ilex opaca (American Holly)
  • Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
  • Ilex cornuta (Chinese Holly)
  • Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
  • Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon Holly)
  • Ilex x ‘Conaf’ (Oakleaf Holly)
  • Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’
  • Ilex crenata (Japanse Holly)
  • Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’
  • Ilex crenata ‘Hoogendorn’
  • Ilex glabra (Inkberry Holly)

PERENNIALS

Dianthus

Dianthus Carnation Pinks Care Guide with Botanical Information

Dianthus, aka Pinks or Carnations

FACTS

Grow Zone: 3 – 8
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Dianthus
Native To: Europe, Asia, North & South Africa
Mature Height: 6” – 24”
Mature Width: 4” – 18”
Type: Herbaceous perennial or biennial
Growth Habit: Low, mounding ground-cover, flowers bloom singly on tall, upright stems
Foliage: Opposite, simple, linear, thin & grass-like, green to silvery green-blue
Flowers: Fragrant, blooms early spring through summer, with either simple, double, semi-double petals & softly serrated edges, found in pinks, reds, yellows, purples, creams, or bi-color.
Propagation: Cuttings, seeds

Why We Love – Dianthus flowers have many common names, but the common name ‘Pinks’ comes from both color and the way they look like nature trimmed them with a pair of pinking shears! Fragrant with a spicy aroma, these low-growing perennials are loved by hummingbirds & butterflies and are mildly deer resistant. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun to partial shade. Prefers over 6 hours of sun ideally. 

WATER:

  • Water when the top 2 inches of soil is dry. Needs well-draining soil. Do not over water. 

SOIL: 

  • Loamy, neutral to alkaline, very well-draining soil.  Fertilize, if needed, with 14-14-14 (or organic 3-4-5) slow-release fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks, from early spring to late summer. 

FYI: 

  • A few varieties are self-seeding, dead-heading is highly recommended to prevent spread & encourage reblooming. While leaves are not edible, the petals can be sometimes. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • D. caryophyllus (Carnations)
  • D. plumarius (Pinks)
  • D. barbatus (Sweet William)
  • D. superbus ‘Kahori Pink’
  • D. deltoides ‘Arctic Fire’
  • D. gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’
  • D. caryophyllus ‘Odessa® Pierrot’
  • D. × allwoodii ‘Frosty Fire’
  • Dianthus x ‘Neon Star’
  • D. alpinus
  • D. chinensis

Ferns (Outdoors)

native Ferns outdoor care guide with botanical information

Ferns

FACTS

Grow Zone: 4 – 9
Class: Polypodiopsida
Family: varies
Genus: varies
Native To: World-wide
Mature Height: varies
Mature Width: varies
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Growth Habit: Slow-growing, vining or compact
Foliage: Megaphylls
Flowers: None, not a member of the flowering plant class
Propagation: Spores

Why We Love – Ferns are some of the oldest types of plants, with some varieties remaining unchanged for over 150 million years! There are now over 10,000 species of ferns. There are both shade-tolerant outdoor ferns (many are native!), and tropical varieties that love bright indirect light indoors.

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Very shade tolerant, some can handle partial sun. Foliage can sometimes burn in hot direct sunlight, especially if leaves are wet.  

WATER:

-Outdoor Ferns prefer evenly moist soil, do not let dry out or sit in sopping wet soil. Water young ferns in drought until established, and mulch well. 

SOIL: 

-Fertile, loamy, well-draining soil is best. Many types prefer moist, acidic soil. 

FYI: 

-Ferns have no flowers or seeds, but propagate via spores. In many cultures’ folklore they are mystical plants with “flowers” that provide magical effects if found. Their fiddleheads or unfurling young leaves are sometimes edible. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • -Polystichum acrostichoides    (Christmas Fern)  – Native
  • – Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern)  – Native!
  • – Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern)   – Native!
  • – Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern)
  • – Athyrium niponicum (Japanese Painted Fern)
  • – Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)    – Native!
  • – Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (Cinnamon Fern)   – Native!

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

Basil

Basil Plants Care Guide Botanical Information

Basil

FACTS

Grow Zone: 10 – 11
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Ocimum
Native To: India, Iran, Central & Southeast Asia, Central Africa
Mature Height: 6” – 24”
Mature Width: 6” – 24”
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Growth Habit: Upright
Foliage: Green, simple opposite , flavorful leaves
Flowers: White, purple or blue flowers, blooming in clusters on inflorescence
Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings

Why We Love – Basil is an herb from the mint family that is used in cuisine around the world. The flavors of basil leaves range from sweet to citrusy to licorice. Basil can thrive in containers, making it easy to grow this tender, warm-weather annual either outdoors or indoors. One robust plant can provide over a ½ cup of basil leaves per week!

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun. Warm season crop, cannot handle frost. Needs bright indirect light if grown indoors. 

WATER:

  • Thrives with even moisture, water when top 1 – 2 inches are dry. Slow and deep is better than shallow, frequent waterings.

SOIL: 

  • Well-draining, loamy soil with neutral pH. Benefits from a 4-4-4 or 10-10-10 fertilizer every 2 – 4 weeks, especially in containers.

FYI:

  • Stressors, pests or drought can cause basil to “bolt,” or produce flowers prematurely. Regularly prune away the flowers if you want your basil to maintain its flavor and stay lush with foliage. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: (6 – 10L) 

  • Ocimum basilicum (Sweet Basil)
  • Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese’ (Genovese Basil)
  • Ocimum basilicum minimum (Greek Basil)
  • Ocimum basilicum ‘Purpurascens’ (Purple Basil)
  • O. basilicum var. Thyrsiflora (Thai Basil)
  • O. × citriodorum (Lemon Basil)
  • Ocimum tenuiflorum (Holy Basil)
  • Ocimum basilicum ‘Cinnamon’
  • Ocimum micranthemum (Peruvian Basil)

Broccoli

Broccoli Care Guide with Botanical Information

Broccoli

FACTS

Grow Zone: 3 – 9
Family: Brassiceae (Formerly Cruciferae)
Genus: Brassica
Species: Oleracea
Variation: Italica
Native To: Mediterranean Europe, Asia Minor
Mature Height: 1’ – 4’
Mature Width: 1’ – 3’
Type: Biennial cruciferous vegetable
Growth Habit: Upright, compact
Foliage: Green, large, flat, wide & leathery simple leaves with ruffled edges
Flowers: Tiny green flower on large flower heads, growing from thick tree-like stalk
Propagation: Seeds

(235ch)  Why We Love – Broccoli is a hearty vegetable, rich in vitamin A, C, & K, as well as calcium, folate, and potassium. They are in the same species as collards, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts. These healthy, cold-weather vegetables are easy to grow in your own vegetable garden.

CARE: 

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun. A cool weather crop, does best when harvested before or after the height of summer heat. 

WATER:

  • Prefers even moisture, water 1 – 2 inches per week. Allow adequate drainage. Try not to get broccoli heads wet, can cause rot. 

SOIL: 

  • Slightly acidic to neutral, fertile, well-draining soil. Fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks, starting 1 to 2 weeks after transplanting outside. Avoid too much nitrogen. 

FYI:

  • Feed and water broccoli well to encourage the growth of new heads. Harvest in cool morning temperatures. Do not grow B. oleracea in the same soil back to back if possible, benefit from crop rotation. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Brassica oleracea var. italica ‘Calabrese’
  • B. oleracea var. italica  ‘Belstar’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘DiCicco’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘Purple Sprouting’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘Romanesco’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘Sun King’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘Waltham 29’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘Blue Wind’
  • B. oleracea var. italica ‘Eastern Magic’

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller Care Guide with Botanical Information

Dusty Miller

FACTS

Grow Zone: 8 – 10
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Jacobaea (Senecio)
Species: Maritima (Cineraria)
Native To: Western, Central & Southern Mediterranean
Mature Height: 6” – 18”
Mature Width: 6” – 12”
Type: Evergreen Subshrub (Grown as an annual in our zone)
Growth Habit: Upright, compact’
Foliage: Pinnate tomentose, Silvery-gray colored leaves, velvety with lacy structure
Flowers: Small, Yellow, insignificant blooms on capitula, blooms in summer
Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings

Why We Love – Also known as Silver Ragwort, Dusty Miller plants are a treat for annual beds and garden arrangements. Their velvety, silvery foliage adds color contrast and texture to any combination of foliage or blooming annuals. They are instantly eye-catching and make your arrangements really pop! They do bloom with small yellow flowers, but the flowers are nowhere near as showy as their lacy, doily-like foliage.  

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full Sun to Partial shade.  More shade results in a reduced silver appearance.

WATER:

  • One inch of water per week.  Drought tolerant once established.  Does not like soggy soil conditions.

SOIL: 

  • Rich soil, well draining. Does not require fertilizer but will benefit from a dose in early spring.

FYI: 

  • Considered deer and pest resistant, Dusty Miller plants work well in Xeriscaping and can thrive with less water and high heat. The botanical name changed recently, so both are listed above. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • J. maritima ‘Cirrus’
  • J. maritima ‘Silver Dust’
  • J. maritima ‘Silver Lace’
  • J. maritima ‘New Look’

Ornamental Cabbage & Kale

Ornamental Cabbage Kale Care Guide with botanical information

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale

FACTS

Grow Zone: 2 – 9
Family: Brassiceae (Formerly Cruciferae)
Genus: Brassica
Species: Oleracea
Variation: Acephala
Native To: Mediterranean Europe, Asia Minor
Mature Height: 1’ – 4’
Mature Width: 1’ – 3’
Type: Biennial cruciferous vegetable
Growth Habit: Dense rosette mounds
Foliage: Ornate frilly or ruffled leaves in a rosette, can be green, white, pink, purple, or red.
Flowers: Yellow or white inflorescence flowers with four petals
Propagation: Seeds

Why We Love – Brassica oleracea started as a wild leafy plant on seaside cliffs, and 5000 years later it has been cultivated into a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Ornamental cabbages & kale are the hardiest, perfect for decorating our winter gardens and containers.  They love the cold!

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun to partial sun. Thrives in bright light in cool weather. Can burn or wilt in hot weather without afternoon shade.

WATER:

  • Prefers even moisture, water when soil is half dry, or dry to the touch 1 – 2 inches down. Allow adequate drainage. 

SOIL: 

  • Fertile, well draining, cool soil. Does best with a light fertilizer after transplanting outdoors. 

FYI:

  • Most closely resembles original wild cabbage. Best as ornamental annuals: these are very bitter to the taste. Will shoot up flower stalks in their second year and produce less attractive foliage.  

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Kamome’
  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Chidori’
  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Peacock’
  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Osaka’
  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Pigeon’
  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Crane Bicolor’
  • B. oleracea var. acephala ‘Blue Knight’

Peppers

Hot Sweet Peppers Care Guides Botanical Information

Peppers

FACTS

Grow Zone: 8 – 11+
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Native To: North, Central & South Americas
Mature Height: 3’ – 6’
Mature Width: 1’ – 3’
Type: Cultivated perennial nightshade
Growth Habit: Comact, erect or prostrate
Foliage: Green, alternate elliptic foliage with smooth edges
Flowers: Tiny white flowers in bunches, short lived, 5 petals
Propagation: Seeds

(235ch)  Why We Love – Bring the heat! Chili Peppers and milder Bell Peppers are not in the botanical Piperaceae family, but in the Solanaceae family with tomatoes. Pepper varieties are cultivated for flavor & capsaicin levels. The more capsaicin in the fruit, the hotter the chemical burn when consumed by insects, animals, or us. Birds are unaffected. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun, at least 8 hours per day. Benefit from afternoon dappled shade in very hot areas. Warm season crop, cannot handle frost.

WATER:

  • Thrives with even moisture, aim for 1 – 2 inches per week minimum. Slow and deep is better than shallow, frequent waterings. 

SOIL: 

  • Neutral, loamy, well-draining soil. Fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks, starting 1 to 2 weeks after transplanting outside. Benefit from 5-10-10 or 11-11-40 type fertilizers. 

FYI:

  • Capsicum plants produce flowers when they are fully grown or they run out of room, pinch them off if you want more growth. Need pollinators. Can be overwintered for a second year yield. Capsaicin content is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: (6 – 10L) 

  • Capsicum annuum ‘Jalapeño’
  • C. annuum ‘Carolina Wonder Bell’
  • C annuum ‘Marconi Red’
  • C. annuum ‘Poblano’
  • C. annuum ‘Anaheim’
  • C. annuum ‘Serrano’
  • C. annuum ‘Cayenne’
  • C. chinense ‘Habanero’
  • C. chinense ‘Cachucha’
  • C. frutescens ‘Tabasco’

Petunias

Petunia Care Guide with Botanical Information

Petunias

FACTS 

Grow Zone: 9 – 11
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Petunia
Native To: South America
Type” Tender Perennial, Annual
Mature Height: 6” – 24”
Mature Width: 12” – 36”
Growth Habit: Mounding or spreading, fast-growing
Foliage: Simple, ovate, typically smooth margins with small sticky hairs
Flowers: Large showy trumpet-shaped blooms with 5 fused petals, bloom Mid Spring through early Fall, 1” – 5” in diameter, Ranging from red, white, yellow, purple, or bicolor
Propagation: Seeds

Why We Love –  Available in nearly every color of the rainbow, petunias are the perfect warm-weather reblooming annual. These showy hybrids are a staple in spring and summer landscaping, ranging from containers to groundcovers and more. You can create any look you want to with these versatile trumpet-shaped flowers.

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Partial shade to full sun. Full sun is needed for best blooms and for reblooming. Deadheading needed for some varieties to encourage reblooming & growth. 

WATER:

  • Petunias need 1 inch per week minimum. Increase frequency in hot weather or when planted in containers.  Needs good drainage.  Space 1’ apart. 

SOIL: 

  • Organic, neutral to acidic soil with ample organic matter. Fertilize often (1x per weeK0 with a bloom-boosting fertilizer (15-7-15, for example) or fish emulsion. 

FYI: 

  • Petunias are in the nightshade family. Don’t allow to go to seed: growth will slow or stop. Not frost tolerant, but need to be planted by mid-spring to be established before summer. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Petunia integrifolia (Wild Violet Petunia)
  • Petunia axillaris (White Moon Petunia)
  • Petunia x atkinsiana (Garden Hybrid Petunias, P. integrifolia x P. axillaris)
  • Petunia x ‘Supercascade’
  • Petunia x ‘Bravo’
  • Petunia x ‘Night Sky’
  • Petunia x ‘Easy Wave’
  • Petunia x ‘Shock Wave’
  • Petunia x ‘Carpet’
  • Petunia x ‘Primetime’
  • Petunia x ‘Cascadia Rim’
  • Petunia x ‘Prism Sunshine’
  • Petunia x ‘Colorworks’
  • Petunia x ‘Black Velvet’

Rosemary

Rosemary Care Guide with Botanical Information

Rosemary

FACTS

Grow Zone: 7 – 11
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: Rosmarinus
Native To: Mediterranean
Mature Height: 2’ – 4’
Mature Width: 2’ – 4’
Type: Aromatic evergreen shrub
Growth Habit:Upright, compact, mounding
Foliage: Needles
Flowers: White, Pink, Purple or Blue, blooms Spring to Summer
Propagation: Cuttings, Seeds

Why We Love – Rosemary is a deliciously fragrant shrub, with aromatic needles. The oil from the plant is what flavors cuisine and has other common uses. Rosemary shrubs are drought-tolerant and work well for xeriscaping. Also known as Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary can represent welcoming, hospitality, or remembrance.

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun, a minimum of 8 hours per day direct sunlight. Loves heat.

WATER:

  • Water once the top two to three inches of soil is dry to the touch. It is better to wait between waterings than to overwater. Needs good drainage. Drought tolerant once established.  

SOIL: 

  • Very well-draining, fertile soil. Can tolerate sandier, drier soils. Rosemary rarely needs fertilizer. Keep soil warm and insulated against cold temperatures. 

FYI:

  • Rosemary shrubs need lots of room to thrive, they do not do well if overcrowded or bound in small containers. They benefit from healthy pruning in mid summer, sometimes even before flowers are spent.  

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Salvia rosmarinus ‘Arp’
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Tuscan Blue’
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Benenden Blue
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Severn Sea’
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Barbeque’
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Roman Beauty’
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Taurentius’
  • S. rosmarinus ‘Spice Island’

Tomatoes

Tomato Care Guide with Botanical Information

Tomatoes

FACTS

Grow Zone: 6 – 11+
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: Lycopersicum
Native To: Central & South America
Mature Height: 3’ – 8’
Mature Width: 2’ – 3’
Type: Cultivated annual nightshade
Growth Habit: Dicots, sprawling bush or vine
Foliage: Green compound pinnate leaves
Flowers: Yellow with 5 petals, typically self-fertilizing
Fruit: Edible berry with locular cavities & seeds
Propagation: Seeds

Why We Love – This delicious red vegetable is technically a berry! Tomatoes are a staple for vegetable gardens since they are easy to grow from seed and produce lots of delicious fruits for cooking. The different varieties available range from big heirlooms to small grape-sized tomatoes. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

  • Full sun, at least 8 hours per day. Warm season crop, cannot handle frost. 

WATER:

– Need to stay hydrated in hot weather. Aim for 1 – 2 inches per week minimum. Slow, deep waterings are better than shallow ones. 

SOIL: 

– Slightly acidic to neutral, loamy, well-draining soil. Fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks, starting 1 to 2 weeks after transplanting outside. Avoid too much nitrogen, aim for NPKs with a higher center number. 

FYI:

– Prune the lowest leaves and keep soil warm for best yields. Determinate & indeterminate varieties both benefit from support structures. Susceptible to slugs, aphids, & other pests. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • S. lycopersicum ‘Red Cherry’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Roma’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Gold Nugget’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Super Sweet 100′
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Green Zebra’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Cherokee Purple’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Beefsteak’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Better Boy’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘San Marzano’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Black Krim’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Granny Smith’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Big Rainbow’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Brandywine Red’
  • S. lycopersicum ‘Mortgage Lifter’

Vinca / Periwinkle

Vinca Periwinkle Care Guide with Botanical Information

Vinca a.k.a. Periwinkle

FACTS

Grow Zone: 4-9, 9-11
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Vinca / Catharanthus
Native To: Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia
Mature Height: 4” – 18”
Mature Width: 1’ – 10’
Type: Herbaceous vining perennial or annual
Growth Habit: Fast-spreading groundcover
Foliage: Opposite, simple broad ovate dark green leaves, either evergreen or deciduous
Flowers: Periwinkle, blue, violet, pink, yellow, or while flowers,  simple 5 petal structure, blooms in spring
Propagation: Spreads via Rhizomes

Why We Love – The color Periwinkle earns its name from the pretty shade of light purple found in some of these spring bloomers, but other colors are available as annuals. Often enjoyed for their durability, versatility, and for their extremely fast-spreading ground cover capabilities, recently gardeners prefer to use these pretty spring blooms in containers and hanging baskets to help control the spread.  That way you can enjoy this spring classic and protect native flora too!

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Full sun/Partial shade. The more sun you can give them, the more flowers they will put out.

WATER:

  • Regular watering.  Can tolerate some drought.  Do not water late in the day so soil can dry out before night

SOIL: 

  • Sandy loam soil. At planting, apply compost to soil or slow-release fertilizer. Feed with 10-10-10 solution once a month.

FYI:

  • Vinca major & Vinca minor are both considered invasive in Maryland, but neither have reached Tier 2 on the invasive species list. That means they are still considered manageable to control and should be grown responsibly. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • Vinca major
  • Vinca minor
  • Catharanthus roseus (formerly Vinca rosea) aka Madagascar Periwinkle
  • Catharanthus roseus ‘Cooler’
  • Catharanthus roseus ‘Heatwave’
  • Catharanthus roseus ‘Soiree DOuble White’
  • Catharanthus roseus ‘Pacifica’
  • Catharanthus roseus ‘Stardust’
  • Vinca minor ‘Alba’
  • VInca minor ‘Atropurpurea’
  • VInca minor ‘Miss Jekyll’
  • VInca minor ‘Moonlit’
  • Vinca major ‘Maculata’
  • Vinca major ‘Variegata’

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

Aglaonema

Aglaonema Care Guide with Botanical Information

Aglaonema, aka Chinese Evergreens

FACTS

Grow Zone: 10 – 12
Family: Araceae (Aroideae)
Genus: Aglaonema
Native To: Tropical South Asia, New Guinea
Mature Height: 18” – 24”
Mature Width: 12” – 24”
Type: Evergreen perennial
Growth Habit: Compact, upright
Foliage: Pointed oblong, simple
Flowers: Inflorescence (green spathe, white spadix)
Propagation: Cuttings

Why We Love – Aglaonemas, aka Chinese evergreens, are very versatile: they can brighten areas of low light with color and also thrive in bright indirect light. Their foliage is a cheerful addition to any space, available in lots of different color combinations. They make great beginner plants. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Bright, indirect light is preferred but many can adapt to low light conditions.

WATER:

– Water once the top 3 inches of soil have dried out. Some signs that indicate your plant needs water are wilting or dropping leaves.

SOIL: 

– A peat-based potting soil with extra perlite is recommended. Fertilize once a month with a 3-1-2 or all-purpose indoor solution during spring and summer.

FYI: 

– Aglaonemas are generally slow-growing, so the size they are when you bring them home is where they will stay for a while. More light typically brings out more vibrant colors.

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • Aglaonema rotundum
  • Agleonema commutatum ‘Red Valentine’
  • Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’
  • Aglaonema pictum tricolor
  • Aglaonema ‘Emerald Bay’
  • Aglaonema commutatum x nitidum ‘Silver Queen’
  • Aglaonema ‘Firecracker’
  • Aglaonema ‘Chocolate’
  • Aglaonema ‘Sparkling Sarah’
  • Aglaonema ‘White Dalmantion’

Anthuriums

Anthuriums Care Guide with Botanical Information

Anthuriums, aka Flamingo Lilies

FACTS

Grow Zone: 10 – 11
Family: Araceae (Pothoideae)
Genus: Anthurium
Native To: Central & South America, Caribbean
Mature Height: 16” – 24”
Mature Width: 16” – 24”
Type: Tropical epiphyte
Growth Habit: Compact, upright
Foliage: Green, veined, heart-shaped leaves
Flowers: Waxy red, white or pink bracts around spathe, 2” – 3” wide
Propagation: Division, Cuttings

Why We Love – Also known as Flamingo Lily or Flamingo Flower, these showy cousins of peace lilies make great easy-care houseplants.  A. andraeanum is the most popular variety: once their spathes bloom with bright red bracts, they can stay in bloom for a very long time.  You can have red flowers in your home all the time!

CARE:

LIGHT: 

– Bright, indirect light. The more light it receives, the more blooms it will produce. Avoid direct sun as it may burn the foliage.

WATER:

– Allow the top half of soil to dry out before watering.  Avoid overwatering, Anthurium roots are susceptible to rot.

SOIL: 

– Well-draining soil.  An orchid mix with additional sand and peat works well. Feed once a month during spring and summer with a liquid indoor fertilizer.

FYI:

– While these plants are considered low-maintenance, you’ll get the best color and lasting blooms if you find the  indirect light, breathable soil & high humidity they love. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • A. andraeanum (Flamingo lily)
  • A. scherzeranum (Pigtail Plant)
  • A. andraeanum ‘Purple Miss Jane’
  • A. andraeanum ‘Simba’
  • A. bonplandii subsp. guayanum (Cobra Anthurium)
  • A. superbum
  • A. radicans
  • A. watermaliense x pachyneurium (‘Water Dragon’)
  • A. plowmanii ‘Ruffles’

Cacti

Cacti Care Guide with Botanical Information

Cacti

FACTS 

Grow Zone: 5 – 11+
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: various
Native To: Primarily North, Central, & South Americas
Mature Height: 6” – 40’
Mature Width: 1” – 20’
Type: Succulent perennial
Growth Habit: Most are Columnar, some are globular, arborescent, or epiphytic
Foliage: None, Spines
Flowers: Short-lived, showy flowers in reds, yellows, whites, and other colors
Propagation: Cuttings, or asexual offset “pups”

Why We Love – Cacti are one of the most diverse families of plants in the plant kingdom, including species in nearly every shape and size imaginable. They perform photosynthesis in their stems, where they can hold gallons of water inside. Many make great houseplants that need very little water. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Bright light to full sun.  Cacti prefer about 12 hours of light per day but need a minimum of 4 hours.  Avoid more than 14 hours per day.

WATER:

-Allow to dry out completely between waterings.  Cacti store water and will usually shrivel as they use up their reserved water.

SOIL: 

-Cacti grow well in porous, pebbly or sandy soil.  Fertilize once in spring and summer with a 5-10-5 solution.

FYI:

  • Many cacti grown indoors are prized for their stunning, fragrant flowers. Their roots are typically very shallow. Susceptible to scale, mealybugs & other pests. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Opunta albispina (Angel Wing Cactus)
  • Opuntia basilaris (Prickly Pear)
  • Opuntia microdasys (Bunny Ear Cactus) 
  • Selenicereus grandiflorus (Night-blooming Cereus)
  • Ferocactus wislizeni (Candy Barrel Cactus)
  • Schlumbergera bridgesii x. (Christmas Cactus)
  • Acanthocereus tetragonus ‘Fairy Castle’
  • Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus)
  • Carnegiea gigantea (Saguaro Cactus)
  • Euphorbia trigona (African Milk Tree)
  • Gymnocalycium mihanovichii (Moon Cactus)

Calathea

Calathea Care Guide with Botanical Information

Calathea

FACTS  

Grow Zone: 9 – 11
Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Calathea or Goeppertia
Native To: Central & South America, Caribbean Islands
Mature Height: 2’ – 3’
Mature Width: 1’ – 2’
Type: Rhizomatous herbaceous perennial
Growth Habit: Upright, Compact
Foliage: Large, brightly colored bracts with intricate patterns
Flowers: Inconspicuous white or lavender flowers with 3 petals
Propagation: Division, Rhizomes

Why We Love – Calathea are in the Maranta family, affectionately nicknamed “Prayer Plants” for the way they move. A happy Calathea will be in a different position every time you look at its bright foliage. They’re pet-safe too!

CARE: 

LIGHT: 

-Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal.  They can handle low light but increased light will help maintain their vivid colors and patterns.

WATER:

-Calathea have high water requirements.  Thoroughly water when the top 25% of soil is dry. Humidifiers help. 

SOIL: 

-Well-draining soil to ensure their roots don’t sit in water.  Fertilize once a month with a 10-10-10 solution during spring and summer.

FYI:

  • Many Calatheas are now in the genus Goeppertia, but still referred to as Calathea. Their foliage moves in search of light via nycinasty, bending from their joints (aka pulvini). Pet-safe.

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Goeppertia roseopicta
  • Goeppertia insignis (Rattlesnake Plant)
  • Goeppertia makoyana (Peacock Plant)
  • Goeppertia albertii ‘Thai Beauty’
  • Calathea albertii ‘White Tiger’
  • Calathea leopardina
  • Calathea lancifolia
  • Goeppertia lietzei ‘White Fusion’
  • Goeppertia elliptica ‘Vittata’
  • Goeppertia orbifolia

Dieffenbachia

DIEFFENBACHIA Care Guide with Botanical Information

Dieffenbachia, a.k.a. Dumb Cane Plants

FACTS

Grow Zone:
Family: Araceae (Aroideae)
Genus: Dieffenbachia
Native To: Central & South America, Mexico, Brazil, West Indies, Argentina
Mature Height: 3’ – 10’ tall
Mature Width: 2’ – 3’ wide
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Growth Habit: Compact, upright
Foliage: Green, simple ovate alternating, frequently variegated or marbled
Flowers: Inflorescence with spathe (green, leaf-like) & spadix (off-white or lightly colored), rare indoors
Propagation: Cuttings

Why We Love – Dieffenbachia, aka Dumb Cane or Leopard Lily, are prized for their showy foliage and how easy they are to care for. Differences in variegation make each variety unique.  They are an indoor plant that can truly brighten up a dark corner and still thrive! 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

– While most varieties can tolerate low light situations, they do best in bright, indirect light.

WATER:

– Allow soil to dry out halfway but not completely. Drooping leaves are usually a sign that the plant needs to be watered.

SOIL: 

– Well-draining soil.  It’s best to add sand or perlite to the potting mix. Fertilize once a month with a 20-20-20 solution during spring and summer.

FYI:

  • While many houseplants are listed as toxic, these plants are especially so. The name Dumb Cane comes from a severe numbing effect. Any people or pets who have ingested any part of the plant should seek medical attention. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Dieffenbachia spp. ‘Panther’
  • Dieffenbachia seguine ‘Camille’
  • Dieffenbachia maculata (Spotted Dumbcane)
  • Dieffenbachia x bausei
  • Dieffenbachia ‘Starbright’
  • Dieffenbachia memoria corsii
  • Dieffenbachia ssp. ‘Crocodile’
  • Dieffenbachia ‘Marianne’

Ferns (Indoors)

Ferns Indoor Care Guide with botanical information

Tropical Ferns for Indoors

FACTS

Grow Zone: 9 – 11
Class: Polypodiopsida
Family: varies
Genus: varies
Native To: World-wide
Mature Height: varies
Mature Width: varies
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Growth Habit: Slow-growing, vining or compact
Foliage: Megaphylls
Flowers: None, not a member of the flowering plant class
Propagation: Spores

Why We Love – Ferns are some of the oldest types of plants, with some varieties remaining unchanged for over 150 million years! There are now over 10,000 species of ferns. There are both shade-tolerant outdoor ferns and tropical varieties that love bright indirect light indoors. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Ferns prefer indirect light as they typically inhabit shady areas in nature.  A north or east-facing window is best as they provide dappled light.

WATER:

-Ferns like regular waterings that provide evenly moist soil.  Do not allow soil to dry out.  This stresses ferns.

SOIL: 

-Mixes with peat moss or sphagnum moss are best as they offer moisture retention.  Fertilize once a month in spring and summer with a general houseplant fertilizer.

FYI:

  • Ferns have no flowers or seeds, but propagate via spores. This has earned them a place in many cultures’ folklore as mystical plants with “flowers” that provide magical effects if found. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston Fern)
  • Adiantum pedatum (Maidenhair Fern)
  • Pellaea rotundifolia (Button Fern)
  • Cyrtomium falcatum (Holly Fern)
  • Platycerium bifurcatum (Staghorn Fern)
  • Phlebodium aureum (Rabbit’s Foot Fern)
  • Asplenium nidus (Bird’s Nest Fern)

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

Monsteras

Patuxent Nursery Monstera Care Guide

Monsteras

FACTS 

Grow Zone: 10 – 12
Family: Araceae
Genus: Monstera
Native To: Tropical Central & South Americas
Mature Height: 6 ‘ 7’ (50’ outside)
Mature Width: varies
Type: Evergreen vining perennial
Growth Habit: Climbing
Foliage: Very large wide, dark green leaves, some fenestrated
Flowers: Inflorescence w/ spathe & spadix
Propagation: Cuttings

Why We Love – Most Monsteras are known for their iconic “cut outs,” or fenestrations. These unique leaves evolved to let heavy tropical rainfall move through easily, preventing damage. They also make it easier for leaves to grow huge and reach more light. Monsteras are perfect in a pot on their own or climbing up a moss pole. They are easy to care for and perfect for beginner plant parents. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Thrives in medium to bright, indirect light. Will tolerate partial shade, but will not thrive in truly low light or under fluorescent lights.

WATER:

-Water once most of the soil has dried out.  As epiphytes with aerial roots, they are sensitive to overwatering.

SOIL: 

-Well-draining. Mix in ingredients such as perlite or lava rocks to increase aeration.  Fertilize once a month with a 20-20-20 solution during spring and summer.

FYI:

  • Many Philodendrons or Rhaphidora plants are mistaken as Monsteras. Thankfully, they usually like the same care

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

  • Monstera adansonii 
  • Monstera dubia
  • Monstera obliqua
  • Monstera karstenianum (Monstera sp. Peru)
  • Monstera deliciosa
  • Monstera variegata
  • Monstera punctulata

Pothos

Pothos Care Guide With Botanical Information

Pothos

FACTS 

Grow Zone: 10 – 11
Family: Araceae
Genus: Epipremnum or Scindapsus or Pothos
Native To: Southeast Asia, China, Australia, South Pacific
Mature Height: 1’ -1½ ‘
Mature Width: up to 10’ long trailing vines
Type: Herbaceous perennial vine
Growth Habit: Epiphytic vining, trailing, climbing
Foliage: Green or variegated wide heart-shaped leaves
Flowers: None or inconspicuous inflorescence
Propagation: Cuttings

Why We Love – The name Pothos is both its own genus and the common name for many vining plants with similar leaf shapes and growth patterns to Epipremnum aureum. They are prized for their beautiful trailing foliage that can “thrive on neglect,” withstanding periods of low light or drought. All pothos are a great choice for beginner plant parents. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Thrives in bright, indirect light but can tolerate medium to low light conditions.  Not suited for direct sunlight.

WATER:

-Pothos do best when their soil is allowed to mostly dry out between waterings.

SOIL: 

-Well-draining.  Perlite or coco coir can be added to increase drainage.  Fertilize with a 10-10-10 solution every three months.

 

FYI: 

  • Pothos was one of the plants included in the original clean air experiments done by NASA. They do clean the air around them of toxins, but in very small quantities. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES:

  • Epipremnum aureum (Golden Pothos, Devil’s Vine)
  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’
  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’
  • Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’
  • Epipremnum aureum ‘HANSOTI14’ (Manjula Pothos)
  • Scindapsus pictus (Satin Pothos, Silver Pothos)
  • Pothos curtisii
  • Philodendron scandens (Heart-leaf Philodendron)

Snake Plants

Patuxent Nursery Snake Plant Care Guide

ZZ Plants

FACTS

Grow Zone: 9 – 11
Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Dracaena
Section: Sansevieria
Native To: Africa, Madagascar, South Asia
Mature Height: 1′ – 10′
Mature Width: 6″ – 24″
Type: Evergreen perennial
Growth Habit: Vertical from basal rosette
Foliage: Stiff, long, pointed
Flowers: Raceme of various colors, rare indoors
Propagation: Division, Cuttings

Why We Love – The ultimate beginner plant, these striking drought-tolerant plants are perfect for low light corners with their iconic columnar shape. If you find mixed results when researching the botanical names of various snake plant species, that is because Sansevieria was moved into the genus Dracaena in 2017. 

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Prefer indirect light but can adapt to full sun and low light conditions.

WATER:

-Let soil dry out completely between waterings.  During winter, reduce watering to monthly.  Err on the side of underwatering.

SOIL: 

-Does best in sandier, well-draining soils that are low in peat content.  Fertilize once each spring with a 10-10-10 or all-purpose indoor solution. 

FYI:

  • Snake plants have earned lots of common names, but the common name “Bow String Hemp” is from the bow strings made from their strong fibers. 

INTERESTING VARIETIES

  • Dracaena trifasciata, aka Sansevieria laurentii
  • Sansevieria cylindrica
  • Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Black Gold’
  • Sansevieria francisii
  • Sansevieria Zeylanica
  • Sansevieria ‘Moonshine’
  • Sansevieria ‘Golden hahnii’
  • Sansevieria Ehrenbergii ‘Banana’

ZZ Plants

Patuxent Nursery ZZ Plant Care Guide

ZZ Plants

FACT

Grow Zone: 9 – 11
Family: Araceae
Genus: Zamioculcas
Native To: East Africa, between Kenya & South Africa
Mature Height: 12” – 36”
Mature Width: 12” – 36”
Type: Herbaceous perennial, typically evergreen but deciduous during prolonged drought.
Growth Habit: Upright
Foliage: Rich green or black pinnately compound, with 6 – 8 elliptic leaflet pairs
Flowers: Influorescence
Propagation: Cuttings, Division 

Why We Love – Zamioculcas zamiifolia  is the only species in its genus, and has only been circulating as a popular indoor plant for the past 40 years or so. ZZ Plants are fantastic for decorating low-light areas in your home, and they do not need to be watered often. They make a great beginner plant!

CARE:

LIGHT: 

-Can tolerate low light but thrives in medium to bright indirect light. As long as you can comfortably read a book, it’s enough light for a ZZ!

WATER:

-Allow soil to dry out completely between waterings.  Water every 2-3 weeks.

SOIL: 

-Well-draining.  Add perlite to ensure better drainage.  Fertilize once a month with an indoor solution during spring and summer.

FYI:

ZZs are so drought-tolerant because of their succulent rhizomes, as well as the high water content in their leaves. They love warm air and need temperatures to stay above 55″F

INTERESTING VARIETIES: 

Z. zamiifolia

Z. zamiifolia ‘Zenzi’ (Dwarf ZZ)

Z. zamiifolia ‘Raven’

Z. zamiifolia ‘Zamicro’

Z. zamiifolia ‘Lucky’

Z. zamiifolia variegata


Patuxent Nursery | Garden Center and Plant Nursery

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

Hours of Operation

Monday – Tuesday: 7am-5pm
Wednesday – Friday: 7am-6pm
Saturday: 7am-5pm
Sunday: 8am-4pm