5 Reasons NOT to Buy Plants from Box Stores

1) Box Stores are where plants go to die, often because under trained staff have little horticulture knowledge. By “rescuing” sick, clearance plants, you can introduce unwanted pests to your landscape. Generally, buying a heathy plant at a reputable nursery is a better investment.

2) Some box stores now work strictly on consignment, meaning growers have to eat the costs if the plants don’t sell. (or if their staff kill them before folks can purchase them) 😉 This puts an unnecessary burden on the grower and is an unfair business practice. (imho)

3) Box stores buy plants regionally, meaning their inventories are NOT well tailored to thrive locally. Although there have been improvements in recent years, many of these “bread and butter” plants are often short lived in our climate. Other times they sell plants that have little chance of surviving even one season. There is zero comparison to the plant selection at local nurseries. Local plant shops sell species that are best adapted to our area.

4) Buying from local nurseries (and garden clubs) supports our local economy and ensures that they can stay in business, providing a resource for higher quality plants AND educational resources season after season. Plus they sell the RIGHT Plants, in the RIGHT Season, setting gardeners up for success.

5) It’s silly. Would you go to a local nursery to buy lumber? Would you ask someone with limited financial knowledge to do your taxes? Could you imagine going to your mechanic and asking for a physical? As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. In this case the value added that you get from purchasing from a local nursery will pay dividends for seasons to come.

Easy Holiday Gifts for the Budding Gardener

One of the silver linings to spending more time at home is an increase in time spent taking care of our plants. In fact, gardening indoors and out is a hobby now more popular then ever.

If you’re searching for that perfect gift this holiday season or you just want to brighten someone’s day with the gift that keeps on growing, you might just dig one of @TXPlantguy’s favorite options.

Continue reading “Easy Holiday Gifts for the Budding Gardener”

Plant A Tree In Honor Of ‘Texas Arbor Day’

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “Friday November 6th is Texas Arbor Day. Don’t confuse this with National Arbor Day that falls in April of every year. The reason for a different Arbor Day celebration in the Lone Star State? Timing.

You need to remember the next sentence if you are going to live in north Texas. Late Fall is the time to plant a tree. There are many reasons for this but it all has to do with how the tree prepares itself for the upcoming growing season.”

To watch to whole segment, visit our friends at: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2020/11/04/gardening-101-plant-a-tree-in-honor-of-texas-arbor-day/

How to Make a Wildflower Bomb

“You can throw them out of a moving car, from a bicycle, on a hike,” says Daniel Cunningham, a horticulturist at Texas A&M, who has conducted preliminary trials on bomb-making techniques that lead to higher rates of seed germination. Before you go launching wildflower seed projectiles, start with a solid recipe. You’ll need a mixing bowl and baking sheets. Add one part native wildflower seed mix — Cunningham’s include bluebonnets, blanket flowers and native grasses, but yours should reflect what grows endemic to your region — to four parts powdered clay and five parts fine-grained compost. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and stir in water slowly until you have a thick, bread-dough-like consistency.

Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/03/magazine/how-to-make-a-wildflower-bomb.html

Texas could have its best wildflower season in almost a decade


For Dallas-Fort Worth, last fall was the wettest on record with 29.21 inches of rain from September to November, according to the National Weather Service. In October alone, Dallas-Fort Worth picked up 15.66 inches, nearly four times the area’s 4.21-inch average for the month.

Daniel Cunningham, a horticulturist and project manager with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, said North Texas is beginning to see promising signs of this year’s wildflower season, with basal rosettes already growing in dense patches across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

“Higher-than-average rainfall in most of North and Central Texas definitely bodes well for our bluebonnet forecast,” Cunningham said. “We’ve had ample rainfall this winter as well, assuring that moisture is not likely to limit their growth.” 

Read more here

5 types of living Christmas trees that actually grow well in North Texas

Full disclosure: I hate artificial plants. Last week I jokingly told a co-worker that if anyone put artificial plants on my grave, I would come back and haunt them. But Halloween is long over, and Christmas music is playing almost everywhere you go. So let’s talk Christmas trees.

As a horticulturist whose sole purpose is growing (and teaching folks how to grow) plants more sustainably, many of the people I run into still believe that artificial turf, plastic interior plants and even artificial Christmas trees are more sustainable because they use less water and fewer fossil fuels or that they save a tree from being cut down. But most of the time, that really isn’t the case. In fact, there are a number of environmentally friendly reasons to buy a real Texas-grown Christmas tree from a local tree farmer or cut down the tree yourself as a family outing to make lasting memories.   

More at https://www.dallasnews.com/life/gardening/2018/12/10/5-types-living-christmas-trees-actually-grow-north-texas