News Release Distributed 01/28/11By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen OwingsMany new gardenia and loropetalum varieties have been introduced to the marketplace over the past few years. Older gardenia varieties are still great plants for us, but the newer varieties offer uniqueness in flowering and repeat bloom tendencies and sometimes have better landscape adaptability. The new loropetalums have unique burgundy-to-purplish foliage color throughout the year. In addition, some of the varieties have smaller growth habits. Frostproof gardenia is a great plant home gardeners need to start enjoying. It’s not really a new gardenia variety, but in the past five years it has become widely known and widely grown. Frostproof is also widely used by landscape professionals. It’s an improvement over other, older gardenia varieties. Frostproof’s characteristics include fast growth, site adaptability and suitability to poorer growing conditions, making it more desirable than August Beauty, Mystery and dwarf varieties. Frostproof was initially propagated in the Forest Hill, La., nursery area and is now distributed across the entire southeastern United States. It reaches a mature height of 5 feet with a spread of 4-5 feet. Try it soon for a low-maintenance, good-performing gardenia – which has not been common in the last few years. A newer gardenia is Jubilation. This variety is being promoted in the new Southern Living plant program (www.southernlivingplants.com) and has performed well in LSU AgCenter evaluations. Jubilation has compact growth and will mature at a height of 4 feet with a 3-foot to 4-foot spread. It has good re-blooming potential. Looking for the newest of the new in loropetalums? This plant is also commonly called Chinese witch hazel. Most loropetalums have purplish-to-burgundy foliage seasonally and pink or fuschia-colored flowers in spring about the time azaleas finish blooming. The Purple Diamond variety is highly recommended by the LSU AgCenter. Purple Diamond has the most intense purplish foliage of any of the loropetalums and has a tighter growth habit that can be maintained in a more typical, shrub-like shape instead of a small tree-like shape common of the older loropetalums. The unique foliage color of this variety lasts year-round. Plants reliably bloom for 4-6 weeks in midspring and sometimes bloom a small degree in late summer. Emerald Snow is a new, white-flowering loropetalum variety with green foliage and a mounding growth habit. Plants reach 3-4 feet tall. Loropetalum and gardenia are shrub standards in Louisiana landscaping. Consider these new varieties to improve landscape performance and use. Visit LaHouse in Baton Rouge to see sustainable landscape practices in action. The home and landscape resource center is near the intersection of Burbank Drive and Nicholson Drive (Louisiana Highway 30) in Baton Rouge, across the street from the LSU baseball stadium. For more information, go to www.lsuagcenter.com/lahouse and www.lsuagcenter.com/lyn.
(Distributed 02/01/10) A home remodeling project – and your investment in it – can do much more than update your surroundings. It can make your home a healthier place to live and breathe, according to Claudette Reichel, LSU AgCenter housing specialist.
(Distributed 01/29/10) Landscape beds, parking lots and construction activities around trees are all possible without harming the trees if you understand where the tree roots are and what they need to survive. Louisiana celebrated Arbor Day earlier in January, and now is a good time of the year to be reminded about tree care in landscape beds, parking lots and construction sites.
(Distributed 01/27/10) During February, the American Heart Association wants people to Go Red for Women and call attention to the need for women to take charge of their heart health. On Feb. 5, women across America are to wear something red as part of the National Wear Red Day, according to Beth Reames, LSU AgCenter nutritionist.
(Distributed 01/25/10) Iron chlorosis is a common and sometimes serious problem in landscape plants across Louisiana.
(Distributed 01/15/10) Mulching is a great sustainable landscape practice when done correctly. The new year is a good time to review the use of mulch in the landscape and how to apply it properly to achieve the maximum benefit.
(Distributed 01/11/10) “Selecting the right plant for the right place” is a frequently mentioned phrase in many of our home horticulture educational presentations. How very important it is. When planning new landscape areas or renovating old landscape areas, you need to consider many factors, including gardening style.
(Distributed 01/06/10) Horses need help to get through the coming freezing weather, according to LSU AgCenter equine agent Howard J. Cormier. Horse owners need to make plans to protect the animals from a possible deadly combination of extreme cold and rain.
(Distributed 01/05/10) You can avoid a frozen pipe crisis and all of the misery that comes with it – being without water while on a plumber’s long waiting list and thousands of dollars of damage to your walls, floors and furniture – by taking a few simple measures to protect your home.
(Distributed 01/04/10) If one of your New Year goals is to lose weight, choose a plan that helps you make healthy lifestyle changes instead of following the latest diet craze, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed 01/01/10) Cool-season bedding plants continue to be popular in Louisiana. Most home gardeners do more warm-weather flower gardening than cool-weather flower gardening, but we all need to realize we have many, great, cool-season flowers that will do well in our climate from mid-fall through late spring.