Defiant roses, pruning Texas sage, fertilizer, African violets

February 20th, 2014 Posted in Texas A&M, books, bulbs, fertilizing, house plants, organic fertilizers, pruning, roses

Ouch! Is that how you feel when our dormant muscles get a workout pruning dormant plants? My Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’ cheered me on, though I’m not EVEN close to the finish line.

narcissus erlicheer austin texas

But let’s not go insane about hedging Texas sage (cenizo). Have you ever seen ones like this?

Texas sage cenizo bad hedging central texas

Daphne explains why we give just the briefest tip of the pruners to these native shrubs that won’t develop new growth from the interior. Rosemary is that way, too.

We don’t have to be so nervous about pruning roses except hybrid teas, which I don’t have. Still, I do pay some attention to leaf bud direction, like on my New Dawn climber.

New Dawn rose drought rose

With others, I just cut back for size and to get rid of old-looking leaves. And I clean up dead branches, of course!

pruning old leaves on roses central texas

I got New Dawn from Judy Barrett years ago when she and husband Bob had a nursery. It’s survived drought, hard freeze, and my neglect. I’ve learned so much from Judy from her now online magazine, Homegrown, and ALL her books.

Homegrown Texas magazine Judy Barrett

This week, Judy and Tom dispel myths and tell the truth about growing drought-tough roses, including pruning!

Judy Barrett Yes You Can Grow Roses

She challenges the bad rap on roses with tips from her latest book, Yes, You Can Grow Roses. And yes, you can, because I do it, and I’m the laziest gardener in the world.

Judy Barrett Yes You Can Grow Roses book

Wowsers, some of my pictures are in her book! But let’s see Janet A. Riley’s Souvenir de la Malmaison, one of Judy’s picks that doesn’t need fertilizer or spraying for pests or disease.

Souvenir de la Malmaison rose by Janet A. Riley

She agrees with Judy, “Once they have put down healthy roots and have bonded with the soil, I feel that they perform much as drought tolerant natives.” Indeed!

Obviously, I let things get a little carried away here last fall, but this trio of thryallis, cenizo, and Iceberg rose is companionable in their low-water, scalding sun location. I’ve got it under control again, though just a tip of the pruners on the cenizo!

Iceberg rose, thryallis and Texas sage cenizo
All you need is sun, mulch, and the right choices. With spicy wit, Judy suggests we leave those bagged roses at the box store!

Isn’t this David Austin rose,  Jude the Obscure, such a dreamy color?  Our Viewer Picture of the Week goes to Teresa Holmes. And, look at it upside down, to see the smiling man in the moon!

Jude the Obscure rose by Teresa Holmes Central Texas Gardener

It’s a great time to plant roses and perennials like columbine, Daphne’s Pick of the Week.

Texas Gold columbine

Find out why cultivar Aquilegia chrysantha hinckleyana ‘Texas Gold’ gets Texas Superstar status for those part shade spots.

Now, what about fertilizing in general? Which is the right one for your plants and why pick slow release organics? On Backyard Basics, Brandi Blaisdell from The Natural Gardener explains what, when, and why.

How to fertilize with Brandi Blaisdell, The Natural Gardener

On tour, African violets captivated Penny Smith-Kerker the minute she walked into a First Austin African Violet Society show. She bought a few plants to brighten up her office at IBM under fluorescent lights.

African violet Central Texas Gardener

Now a serious grower (while having tons of fun), Penny shows how to grow and propagate these tidy plants that bloom their heads off.

Pruning African violets Central Texas Gardener

Celebrate FAAVS’s 50th anniversary at their eye-popping show & sale on March 15 & 16 at Zilker Botanical Garden!

Watch now for a new look at African violets!

Thanks for stopping by! Linda

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