Monrovia Plant Savvy
design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. May 2012
does your lawn have a drinking problem?

Dear Savvy Gardener,


 

Without a doubt, the most important plants at our nurseries are what we call the mother stock. These are the plants from which we take sections to propagate thousands more plants via cuttings, tissue culture or grafting. They are adored and pampered...much like your mother, most likely! We make sure they are ultra healthy, provided with just the right soil, fertilizer and irrigation; and that they remain free of disease or pests. We keep a watchful eye that our new, improved varieties maintain their special characteristics.

Our selfless mother stock plants are not always the grandest plants on the nursery (after the pruning crews come through to harvest, they can be look a bit ragged), but they do produce the very finest cuttings. So this month we pay homage to all mothers -- both flora and fauna -- and have some great suggestions for fantastic plants for Moms everywhere who love to garden.

  Eco garden
These Kalmia Flowering Deutzia serves a dual purpose: providing pretty pink flowers in our display gardens and providing much needed Mother Stock.
'm' is for the many things she gave me
  Home Run® Red Rose leafgif   score a home run with mom

Moms love roses and she’ll love the new Home Run® highly disease-resistant shrub roses. They are continuous bloomers — literally blooming daily with no gap between large flushes. Unlike most shrub roses, these beauties can handle the weather on either end of the spectrum. These beauties are very cold hardy and amazing in hot, humid conditions. Mom might like the fragrant Red or the vivid rich Pink color. We grow them trained as patio trees and they look fantastic in a container. Planted in mass in the landscape ... it’s a grand slam!


 
  Variegated Sweet Iris
leafgif   sweet scents for sweet moms

Surprise! There are lots of plants that are fragrant that you may not realize — like Bearded Iris. Hollywood Nights has purple-black flowers that are stunning in a cut flower arrangement. Variegated Sweet Iris has light purple blooms and yellow and green stripped foliage. Repeat bloomers like the light yellow Well Endowed or Autumn Circus, featuring white petals with violet edges and veining, are good choices. The fragrance and bright colors attract humming birds, too.


 
  Golden Crane® Hydrangea leafgif   aaaahhhh!

As if Hydrangeas were not fabulous enough ... our new Golden Crane® Hydrangea is one of the few fragrant varieties. Big white and chartreuse lacecaps will fill Mom’s garden with fragrance. Viburnum is a versatile shrub that is loaded with fragrant white or pink flowers in the spring followed by berries and then colorful fall foliage. Birds and butterflies will flock to Viburnum, but deer won’t browse. Try Allegheny, which has pure white flowers and showy red berries, or Korean Spice with waxy pink flowers that fade to white. Daphne is another fragrant flowering shrub that Mom will like. Eternal Fragrance is just that…months and months of sweet blush-pink flowers.


 
  Banana Shrub

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banana shrub ... really?

It might sound like a wacky Mother’s Day gift, but if your Mom loves plants, something out of the ordinary would be fun! Banana Shrubs have big tropical leaves and creamy yellow blooms tinged with purple that have a deep, sweet banana scent. It blooms pretty much all year, especially heavy in spring. She’ll want to plant it by a doorway, to enjoy the fragrance every time she goes in or out. Another plant for a blast of fragrance is Evergreen Clematis. This fast-growing vine will quickly cover a trellis or fence and burst forth with blooms and fragrance in the spring.

 
  Starburst® Susie Daylily
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for a burst of color

Pick up a few of the Starburst® Daylilies for Mom’s garden and she’ll be happy all summer. These evergreen perennials repeat bloom with huge, vivid flowers — which are great in cut arrangements. These improved varieties are pest and disease resistant, easy to grow and will attract hummingbirds but are deer resistant. Susie has bright orange flowers; the petals of Double Gold are layered like a double flower; and Salmon is a dainty coral pink color.

 
  : Mammoth™ Dark Pink Mum
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mums for mom

While we think of Chrysanthemums as a fall flower, there are many varieties that start blooming in spring, like Snowcap Shasta Daisy, or mid to late summer, about the time other colorful blooms are fading. Mammoth™ Dark Pink has long-lasting vivid lavender-pink flowers and Mammoth™ Yellow Quill has tubular petals with a spoon shape at the tip. If Mom gets these in the ground now, she’ll have a sea of cheery flowers in just a few weeks.