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Lawn & Garden
Treat drought-, heat-stressed plants carefully
(Distributed 08/28/15) HAMMOND, La. – What a rough July and August in Louisiana for hot temperatures and droughty conditions. The LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station in Hammond had 43 straight days of temperatures 95 or above. During that time we measured only 0.60 inches of rainfall. Similar high temperature durations and low rainfall totals were recorded across the state.
Celosia, ornamental peppers pep up fall landscapes
(Distributed 08/20/15) HAMMOND, La. – As we enter fall, many home gardeners are considering adding new plants to dress up the landscape. Two great plants for fall are celosia, which some of us also call cockscomb, and ornamental peppers.
Irrigate wisely during dry weather
(Distributed 08/14/15) HAMMOND, La. – The second hottest July on record in many parts of Louisiana coupled with below-normal rainfall statewide over the past eight weeks has led to drought symptoms in most landscapes. Lawns and landscape beds are suffering. Irrigation is vital through the rest of summer and through fall to prevent long-term damage to plants.
Cassias add golden yellow flowers to fall landscape
(Distributed 07/31/15) HAMMOND, La. – We are still a couple months away from fall, but there are several plants to consider now that will be showstoppers come October.
Gomphrena produces colorful flowers now ’til frost
(Distributed 07/24/15) HAMMOND, La. – A tough plant that will keep blooming through summer and into fall, gomphrena likes really high temperatures. Also called globe amaranth, legend has it that the original planting was at the gates of Hades.
New trees, shrubs evaluated at Hammond Research Station
(Distributed 07/17/15) HAMMOND, La. – Since the debut of a landscape horticulture research and extension program at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station nine years ago, gardens supporting the research at the station continue to expand.
Roses need summer care
(Distributed 07/10/15) HAMMOND, La. – Summer is not the most enjoyable time to work in the yard in Louisiana, but rose bushes need attention to ensure good performance through the summer and into early fall.
Practice sustainability in your landscape
(Distributed 07/02/15) HAMMOND, La. – Several years ago the LSU AgCenter developed a program called Louisiana Yards and Neighborhoods to inform home gardeners about sustainable landscaping and home horticulture practices.
Coneflowers provide summer color year after year
(Distributed 06/24/15) HAMMOND, La. – One of the most popular non-woody perennials in Louisiana is the purple coneflower. The scientific name of this plant is Echinacea purpurea. It is native to an area from the Midwest into the southeastern United States.
Pentas is a top performer in summer gardens
(Distributed 06/19/15) HAMMOND, La. – If you’re looking for some great summer color for your landscape beds from now through our first killing frost this fall, the Butterfly series of pentas will give you that, and maybe even more.
Louisiana gardeners have many hibiscus choices
(Distributed 06/12/15) HAMMOND, La. – An abundance of hibiscus varieties do well in Louisiana.Many of us are very familiar with the tropical hibiscuses Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. We see them frequently. They’re typically not cold-hardy for the majority of the state.
Crape myrtles highlight summer landscapes
(Distributed 06/05/15) HAMMOND, La. – With rain following a cold winter, early spring growth was not good on crape myrtles this year. But we are seeing very nice blooms on these great summer-flowering landscape trees as we approach their peak performance time of late June through July.
SunPatiens produce great flowers for Louisiana summers
(Distributed 05/29/15) HAMMOND, La. – If you like the flowering habit of shade-loving impatiens, you’ll be excited to know more about the impatiens that boldly go when no impatiens have gone before – into full sun.
AgCenter evaluating olives for Louisiana
(Distributed 05/22/15) HAMMOND, La. – The past ten years have seen increased interest in growing olive trees in the southeastern United States. In Louisiana, a number of individuals and businesses have planted a few olive trees. In addition to culinary and processing quality of the fruit, olives can be long-lived trees with finely textured
Try some new daylily varieties
(Distributed 05/15/15) HAMMOND, La. – Daylilies are one of the most popular flowering plants for late spring and early summer Louisiana landscapes. They have reached peak bloom about three weeks early this spring because of the lack of significant cold weather in February and March.
Drift roses offer smaller plants, great blooms
(Distributed 05/08/15) HAMMOND, La. – Roses are completing their initial spring bloom across Louisiana, and one group of roses is getting a good deal of attention.
Fireworks purple fountain grass named Louisiana Super Plant
(Distributed 05/01/15) HAMMOND, La. – With spring in full swing, it’s time for another Louisiana Super Plant announcement from the LSU AgCenter.
Zinnias produce great color all summer long
(Distributed 04/24/15) HAMMOND, La. – Home gardeners have long enjoyed zinnias, one of our most popular warm-season bedding plants. New zinnia varieties have been introduced regularly over the past few years.
Senorita Rosalita, new ‘cousins’ shine in flower beds
(Distributed 04/17/15) HAMMOND, La. – Every few years, a new variety of bedding plant comes along that takes the country by storm. Greenhouse growers instantly fall in love; retailers cannot sell enough once they get it on the shelves; and home gardeners go crazy when they truly realize how great of a new plant it is.
Early April is azalea time in Louisiana
(Distributed 04/02/15) HAMMOND, La. – Early April is here, and that signifies the peak flowering season for azaleas across the state. Some years, flowering is earlier; some years, flowers come later.
Start caring for crape myrtles now
(Distributed 03/27/15) HAMMOND, La. – Our spring- and summer-flowering trees and shrubs are growing and preparing for another great bloom season. One of favorite landscape plants for late spring and summer is the popular and loved crape myrtle.
2015 named ‘Year of the Gaillardia’
(Distributed 03/20/15) HAMMOND, La. – The National Garden Bureau has named 2015 the “Year of the Gaillardia.”
Know your hardiness, heat zones
(Distributed 03/13/15) HAMMOND, La. – As we transition from late winter to early spring in the landscape, many gardeners start thinking about weather conditions, last frost and freeze dates and consider whether it’s safe to plant this plant or that plant in the landscape.
Camellia season nearing end
(Distributed 03/06/15) HAMMOND, La. – Beneath the mighty, majestic live oaks surrounded by gardenias, Southern magnolias, azaleas and sweet olives stands the camellia – what many in the South may refer to as “the queen of the garden.”
Southerners love live oaks
(Distributed 02/17/15) HAMMOND, La. – Have you noticed that Southerners have a love affair with the live oak (Quercus virginiana)? And rightly so! Noted for its strength and longevity, this stately tree was one of the major tree species that survived the wind and flooding of Hurricane Katrina.
La. landscapes beginning to awaken
(Distributed 02/20/15) HAMMOND, La. – Landscapes around the state are in various stages of their spring awakening, but it’s still February.
These warm-weather plants do well in shade
(Distributed 03/30/12) As the peak of the spring bedding plant season arrives, you may want a few warm-season flowers in the shady areas around your landscape. Most of our warm-season flowers prefer full sun or at least more sun than shade. But many great bedding plants will provide desirable flowering and foliage for those shaded areas in your landscape through fall.
Sun-loving bedding plants perform spring through fall
(Distributed 03/16/12) It’s mid-March, and spring bedding-plant time is here for most of us. We have been eager to plant flowers this spring with our warm winter weather and the early arrival of springlike conditions in the landscape.
Native shrubs, trees are worthwhile additions
(Distributed 03/09/12) Many home gardeners have an interest in native plants. We are fortunate in Louisiana to have a vast abundanace of native plants for home landscape use. These include our native wildflower, the native Louisiana iris, our state flower, the Southern magnolia, and our state tree, the magnificent bald cypress.
Silverbell is a great, underused native tree
(Distributed 03/02/12) Silverbells comprise several species of native trees that are attracting increased interest in the southeastern United States. The two-winged silverbell (Halesia diptera) is one of our many smaller-growing native tree species that should be considered for inclusion in a native landscape plan.
It’s time to start rose care
(Distributed 02/24/12) Home gardeners need to increase their knowledge and awareness of cultural practices recommended for roses in our landscapes. February and March is the time of the year to get started with your rose garden maintenance.
Liriope – a popular ground cover
(Distributed 02/10/12) Ground covers are very popular landscape plants in Louisiana. The percentage of all ornamental plants sold in the state in the ground cover category is much higher than in other southern states. Our most common ground cover is liriope.
Landscapes are looking like spring
(Distributed 02/17/12) Landscapes around the state are in various stages of their spring awakening, but it is still February. With our unusually warm January and February, we’re seeing flower buds opening and foliage growth commencing ahead of schedule.
February care enhances spring, summer roses
(Distributed 01/13/15) HAMMOND, La. – Roses continue to be popular in our residential landscapes, so home gardeners would be well served to increase their knowledge and awareness of recommended management practices for roses. Proper care at the proper time goes a long way to enjoying landscape success.
Japanese maples make good small specimen trees
(Distributed 11/03/14) HAMMOND, La. – Japanese maples have the potential to be one of the most outstanding small trees for specimen plantings and focal-point use in residential landscapes in the Southeast. And fall and winter are the best time of the year to add Japanese maples to the landscape.
Cold weather brings landscape troubles
(Distributed 01/10/14) HAMMOND, La. – Cold weather in early January has the potential to cause varying problems in our landscapes from north to south Louisiana. We have seen damage in our garden trials at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station.
Don't 'murder' your crape myrtles
(Distributed 01/27/14) HAMMOND, La. – We are midwinter in Louisiana, and this is the time when people think about pruning crape myrtles. Unfortunately, these are one of the most abused trees in Louisiana’s residential and commercial landscapes.
Azaleas may look unhealthy in mid, late winter
(Distributed 02/06/15) HAMMOND, La. – One of the most widely planted landscape shrubs in Louisiana is the azalea. Dwarf, intermediate and the larger-growing Southern Indica varieties are common in our landscapes.
There’s a right way to prune trees and shrubs
(Distributed 01/30/15) HAMMOND, La. – Winter and early spring are when many gardeners prune plants, which is the correct time for most plants in the home landscape.
Sweet alyssum hybrids enhance cool-season containers, landscape beds
(Distributed 01/23/15) HAMMOND, La. – New plants make gardening exciting. About five years ago, a new sweet alyssum variety started appearing in trial gardens and garden centers around the country. These are now well-established in the greenhouse trade and have added a great cool-season-to-warm-season transitional plant to the retail marketplace.
Gardenias need proper care in the landscape
(Distributed 01/16/15) HAMMOND, La. – One of the most widely planted landscape shrubs in Louisiana is the gardenia. Many times from the late fall through winter, you may see gardenias with yellow foliage and “poor-looking” growth. This is more of an “end-of-the-growing-season” look when old leaves are being lost and new foliage is preparing for spring emergence.
Celebrate Arbor Day in La. on Jan. 16
(Distributed 01/09/15) HAMMOND, La. – Now is a great time to plant a tree in Louisiana. We observe Louisiana Arbor Day this year on Friday, Jan. 16.
All-America Selections named for 2015
(Distributed 01/02/15) HAMMOND, La. – Eight vegetables and four flowers have been named All-America Selection (AAS) winners for the 2015 gardening season. Each year, the best of the best in new flowers, bedding plants and vegetables receive this national recognition.
It’s time for gardening resolutions
(Distributed 12/23/14) HAMMOND, La. – 2014 is winding down, and 2015 is near. When we think of resolutions for the coming year, most of us include losing weight, being more organized or simply an overall "being better." Resolutions are good goals to have.
Holiday amaryllis go well in Louisiana landscapes
(Distributed 12/19/14) HAMMOND, La. – Amaryllis is a popular holiday plant. Bulbs are commonly available from November to late December. Forcing them to bloom during winter is not difficult, and the results are beautiful.
Prune crape myrtles the right way
(Distributed 12/12/14) HAMMOND, La. – It’s late fall in Louisiana, and this is the time when people think about pruning plants in the landscape. One of the most commonly pruned plants in Southern landscapes is the crape myrtle. It is also the main plant in Southern landscapes that is pruned incorrectly.
Don’t neglect winter landscape, garden projects
(Distributed 12/05/14) HAMMOND, La. – Most of us relax during late fall and winter. Our minds turn more toward the holiday seasons and less toward our landscaping and gardening efforts. Many activities, however, should be included in a “to-do list” of gardening tasks for December, January and February.
You can find color in fall Louisiana landscapes
(Distributed 11/28/14) HAMMOND, La. – Your landscape can include many trees and shrubs that will provide significant color in fall and winter year after year. Although decidedly less-than-spectacular this far south, early to mid-November until early December are when the leaves of some deciduous trees turn various colors as they get ready to drop.
Louisiana Super Plants – 5 years old with more coming
(Distributed 11/21/14) HAMMOND, La. – It’s hard to believe, but the LSU AgCenter Louisiana Super Plants program is now 5 years old.
AgCenter names top bedding plants for 2015
(Distributed 11/14/14) HAMMOND, La. – Since the debut of a landscape horticulture research and extension program at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station eight years ago, we have continued to expand the gardens supporting research. One of the largest efforts each year is evaluating new annual warm-season bedding plants and perennial flowers in the sun garden and shade garden.
Bed preparation key to long-term landscape success
(Distributed 11/07/14) HAMMOND, La. – Whether renovating an existing landscape or starting from scratch, we need to remember that soil pH and proper bed preparation will be essential in assuring top performance of our ornamental plants.
Dianthus shine as cool-season flowers
(Distributed 10/24/14) HAMMOND, La. – November is prime time for cool-season bedding plants, and dianthus have been among the plants in this group gaining considerable popularity the past 10 years.
Mid-October, November are time for planting pansies, violas
(Distributed 10/17/14) HAMMOND, La. – The ideal planting time for cool-season bedding plants in Louisiana runs from late September through early December. Some of our common cool-season flowers prefer the earlier planting dates, and some do better with the later planting dates.
Rabbiteye blueberry named Louisiana Super Plant
(Distributed 10/10/14) HAMMOND, La. – The LSU AgCenter’s Louisiana Super Plant program is now on its fifth year of educating, promoting, recommending and marketing truly great landscape plants that have performed well in test gardens at the Hammond Research Station and elsewhere around the state. Plant selections are announced each spring and fall.
Fall-blooming azaleas include Robin Hill, Encore
(Distributed 10/03/14) HAMMOND, La. – It’s getting to the time of year when multiseason-blooming azaleas will begin their fall floral displays. Popular fall-flowering azaleas include the Robin Hill and Encore types.
Celosia, ornamental peppers dress up fall gardens
(Distributed 09/26/14) HAMMOND, La. – As we enter fall, many home gardeners consider adding new plants to dress up the landscape. Two great plants for fall are celosia, which some of us also call cockscomb, and ornamental peppers.
Mesa gaillardia named Louisiana Super Plant
(Distributed 09/19/14) HAMMOND, La. – Fall is starting, and this time of year is great for gardening and planting. Some outstanding plants you can add to your landscape for this fall and future years are Louisiana Super Plants.
Beautyberry provides eye appeal in fall landscapes
(Distributed 09/12/14) HAMMOND, La. – American beautyberry is a great Louisiana native shrub that deserves o increased use. Plants have abundant fruit production in the fall, and with their wildlife benefit, they fit well into a woodland garden setting.
Perennials do well when planted in fall
(Distributed 09/05/14) HAMMOND, La. – Perennials are plants that live for three or more years and often require two or more years from seed to flower. Gardeners are showing renewed interest in non-woody, herbaceous perennials because they often need less maintenance, less water and fewer pesticides than annual bedding plants.
Looking for tropical plants appropriate for Louisiana
(Distributed 08/29/14) HAMMOND, La. – A research and extension program at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station this year and next year – along with some work the past two years – is the evaluation of tropical and tropical-like landscape plants.
Choose crape myrtles that ‘fit’ home landscape
(Distributed 04/20/09) Crape myrtles are one of the most widely used summer-flowering trees in Louisiana landscapes. Many of us are not familiar with the tremendous array of varieties and sizes available. One group of crape myrtles being used more because of its smaller size and excellent flowering performance is the semi-dwarf.
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