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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

Norfolk Island Pine

Perhaps you were given or decided to buy a Norfolk Island pine for Christmas this year. Often they are marketed pre-decorated, making it hard to resist as a living Christmas tree. But what do you do with it after Christmas? Despite its name, the Norfolk Island pine is not a pine. Its Latin name is Araucaria heterophylla (synonym A. excelsa ). They are members of an an...

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Probably the only question anyone ever asks me about holly is why theirs doesn't have berries on it. Everyone seems to plant holly because they want berries. I can see why–in an otherwise dreary winter landscape, a little splash of red is a welcome sight. The trick to producing the highly sought after red berries is realizing that holly is another one of those plants that is dio...

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Live Christmas Trees

Given the recent loss of many area trees, has your household ever considered decorating a live tree for Christmas, one that can be planted in your landscape? It takes a little planning, but why not try it and get a head start on replacing trees you may have lost to the ice storm? Most sources encourage homeowners interested in live Christmas trees to dig the hole sometime in the fall b...

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Storm Damaged Trees

Even if you are not someone with a green thumb, recent winter storms have probably made you take a closer look at your landscape, particularly the trees. Some of you may be more up close and personal with your trees than you ever thought you'd be, as you struggle to remove branches and sometimes whole trees that are blocking your driveway or smashing into cars and buildings, weighted with what...

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We may associate mistletoe with kisses during the holiday season, but mistletoe is a bully in the plant world. OK, technically it is a parasite. But practically speaking it is like a schoolyard bully looking for a victim to steal lunch money from. There is a lot more to mistletoe than I ever thought. Honestly, my experience with mistletoe is limited to the artificially-colored preserve...

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