Honeysuckle Butterfly Bush

With its delicate yellow blossoms and compact development, the “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle (Diervilla sessifolia “Butterfly”) is an appealing choice if you want to put in a new tree into your own garden. This plant shouldn’t be confused with the invasive butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) which is banned for sale in several nations. Although low-maintenance, you must know about this bush’s growing demands before you make your purchase.

Size and Appearance

A mature “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle grows to about 5 feet tall and wide. The coppery new growth provides a colorful display in spring. The leaves turn dark green as they mature. From spring through the summer, the bush produces clusters of trumpet-shaped, pale yellow flowers which attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Although deciduous, the red stems of this “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle add a little color to the garden in winter.

Where to Grow

The “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. The tree should be planted in either full sunlight or partial shade. If grown in full shade, the plant will get leggy and, if it blooms whatsoever, the flowering will be minimum.

Soil Needs

The “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle is going to do well in most soils but grows best in well-drained, loamy soil. Soil pH is not a issue with this plant, but drainage is. The tree will not thrive in areas of standing water or if it is planted in heavy clay soil because the poor drainage can lead to root rot.

Care and Maintenance

Once established, the “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle is a low-maintenance plant. It can also tolerate short periods with dry dirt. During dry spells, water the tree intensely when you first notice the leaves wilting. The plant does not need regular feeding, but can be mulched with compost to provide nutrients. In late February or early March, prune your “Butterfly” bush honeysuckle to remove any dead branches and to thin out and shape the tree. The plant can send out suckers and these should be cut to the ground when they look.

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When Do Willows Bloom?

Willow trees’ booming stage begins in February in warm areas, and it continues until June in colder climates. The trees’ long, tube-shaped blossom clusters called catkins produce their appearance just before leaves reappear on the branches. The flower clusters are full of nectar, which insects continue for pollination. Within 45 to 60 days after pollination, willow seeds are ripe and ready to begin another reproduction cycle.


Willow trees are characterized by long, narrow, pointed, slightly serrated leaves that are yellow green on the top and also have a white or light-green underside. Leaf color changes within the yellow-green range according to species. Most varieties are deciduous. All willows are dioecious, producing female or male catkins on separate trees. Willow seeds are from fruits located just on the female trees. The trees begin to reproduce by airborne seeds after 10 years. They grow quickly and live 55 to 70 years.


Willow trees with springtime bloom patterns include pussy willow, weeping willow and black willow. Salix caprea, also known as pussy willow, great sallow and goat willow, produces bright-white, slightly fuzzy blossoms on the male trees. The catkin flowers are 1 to 2 inches long, and each blossom is composed of numerous hairlike protrusions. The blossoms mature to yellow until they are disbursed by rain or wind. Both weeping willows and black willows have yellow, tubular-shaped blossoms. Black willow flowers open and float away, looking like white mist, even when they are pollinated.


The optimum age for a willow tree to reproduce is 25 to 75 years old. Willows produce large volumes of seeds each spring after the blooming phase. Seed capsules are light brown. At maturity, the capsules split open and release tiny, green seeds. Each fertilized seed has long, silky hairs that act as wings, allowing the seed to travel a long distance before falling to the ground. Willow seeds are distributed widely by water and wind. Each seed has a 12- to 24-hour time period in which to land and germinate. The seeds germinate best in quite moist soil conditions. Willow tree roots are propagated easily through cuttings. Roots form shallow networks near the ground.


The genus Willow (Silax) contains 90 varieties widely distributed across the eastern portion of america. Black willows, Scouler or mountain willows and Hooker willows are varieties often found in american U.S. zones. Willow trees adapt to many soil conditions but prefer a moist environment. They’re cultivated for erosion control since their extensive interlocking root systems form a barrier against water. Some non-native willow species are identified from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service as invasive plants due to their vigorously spreading root systems that overwhelm native vegetation. In traditional cultures, willow trees are valued as an early source of pollen for bees, as an excellent weaving material and for use in seasonal ceremonial practices.

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Growth Stages of Ragweed

Native to the midwestern and eastern U.S., several species of annual ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) Have found their way west of the Rockies, including varieties that have developed resistance to common herbicides. Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and associated species, banes of allergy sufferers, have different developmental stages. Many ragweed species germinate over prolonged, extended intervals, which makes them difficult control because neighboring plants can be at different phases of growth. The two primary phases of ragweed development, vegetative and reproductive, can be split further.


Ragweed seeds germinate anywhere as soon as the soil warms and moisture is present. In warm climates, that can be as early as February or March. The seedlings first appear as a set of oval, spoon-shaped cotelydons around 1/2 inch long. Clusters of seedlings often cover the soil surface in which seeds fell. Based on the species, one ragweed plant can produce 3,000 to 5,000 or more seeds. Ragweed seeds that were covered with disturbed dirt can continue to germinate throughout the growing season if moisture temperatures and conditions are appropriate. Annual ragweed plants have a long taproot and many fibrous roots, which makes them efficient at taking in water , even in sandy dirt.

First True Leaves

The ragweed’s first true leaves grow about five to seven days after germination when the seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall. These leaves are oval-shaped, simple leaves around 1 inch wide, arranged opposite each other on the stem. A second set of oval leaves rises above the first, also opposite each other on the stem but tilted in the initial pair.

Lobed Leaves

Following the second set of oval accurate leaves, the very first set of lobed leaves seems. Ragweed leaves are almost always simple, and typically in pairs arranged on opposite sides of the stem. Average lobed leaves have stiff, short hairs covering their surface. Ragweed plants tend to develop over neighboring plants, competing for light. Giant ragweed plants (Ambrosia trifida) growing as annuals in the exact same seed head may reach only 3 or 4 feet tall when competing with low-growing plants, but they can bend over taller plants at 7 to 8 ft in their hunt for sunlight.

Ragweed Reproduction

Ragweed plants are monoecious, meaning one plant has both male and female flowers. They could be in bloom for several months, from ancient adulthood until the end of the growing season. The male flowers are about the graceful spikes, known as racemes, that develop at the peak of the plant. The female flowers form in clusters on small stems just under the racemes. The male flowers on one plant can release as many as 10 million pollen grains. This enormous amount of pollen ensures greater genetic diversity — one reason for the fast spread of herbicide resistance through cross-pollination. Following the flowers are pollinated, ragweed seeds grow inside a pithy, protective husk. The seeds are distributed by hanging to sneakers, clothing, animals, and farm or gardening equipment.

Perennial Ragweed

Western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya), also a native perennial, rises in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10 and produces seeds and also spreads by rhizomes. It tolerates dry, sandy dirt and hot states, sometimes shedding its leaves during periods of stress, then recovering when conditions improve to rebloom and produce more seeds. Desert ragweed (Ambrosia dumosa) is another perennial species that grows in USDA zones 7 through 11. It is a little shrub about 2 feet tall.

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Are Pin Oak Acorns Edible?

Oak trees (Quercus spp.) That fall, reproduce by means of acorns or are harvested in large numbers by birds and squirrels. All acorns are edible, however they must undergo leaching to remove the tannin which makes them bitter. Acorns made by members of the white oak tree group are believed less bitter and sweeter-tasting than those of the red oak group, where the pin oak (Quercus palustris) is a member.

Pin Oak Facts

Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, pin oak is native to the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Tolerant of moist soil, is grows to maximum 70 feet tall with a 60-foot-wide canopy. Its acorns have saucer-shaped, shallow caps and step 1/2 inch. Acorns of northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) are somewhat longer, and each one’s cap covers almost half of this nut. Northern pin oak achieves exactly the same maximum height and spread as walnut and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 7.

Leaching Truth

Their bitter flavor is removed by leaching acorns in water. One method requires putting the nuts, running them through the fine plate of an espresso grinder to form nut meal, soaking the nut meal in boiling water for one hour so that the water turns brown, and reboiling the nut meal into fresh water as often as necessary until the water remains clear. After the nut meal dries in a location that is warm and is ground another time, it is ready to use for baking and cooking.

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The Best Time to Destroy Rag Weeds from Moon Phase

A prolific pollen producer, ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) , blooms from midsummer to early autumn, spreading its allergens around. Growing to the Pacific by the Atlantic coast in a variety of habitats, such as areas, failed and cultivated landscapes and roadsidesreaches up to five feet tall, producing spikes of small flowers that drop pollen. Following centuries of training, the very best time to ruin this weed is when the moon is waning, from full moon through the last quarter, in accordance with the”Old Farmer’s Almanac” online.

Moon Phases

As the moon orbits the earth and the earth orbits the sun, the moon changes position in the sky in relation. The moon with regard to the sun’s place determines how much of the moon reflects sunlight. During the new moon, the side of the moon faces the ground. From the skies following the new moon, a small sliver of illuminated moon looks as the moon changes positions. Each night the amount of illumination increases, known as a moon, before the side of the moon facing the earth is fully illuminated, known as the full moon.

Waning Moon

After one night of full moon, the moon begins to wane. Each night, the illuminated side of the moon facing the ground decreases bit by bit, before the illuminated side of the moon is not in any way visible, known as new moon. The moon stages during the period are known as the dark of the moon. According to folklore, the dark of the moon is regarded as a period, as gravitational pull is decreased and moisture is not as abundant in plants or soil. When ragweeds lack vulnerability, cultivation or other control methods are more successful. The fourth quarter of the moon periods — the last quarter of the waning moon — is the most dormant period and the most optimum time for destroying weeds, writes Marion Owen, garden author, in her post”Planting by the Moon,” printed on Plantea.

Where and How Ragweed Grows

Many ragweed species grow as annuals all across the USA, with common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) more prolific in the southeast than in other areas of the U.S. Common ragweed spreads by seeds, and to a lesser extent by rootstocks, as severed roots may send up new shoots. But, western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya) is a native perennial that grows throughout all U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. Western ragweed can spread so eradication of the ragweed species necessitates killing avoidance of seeding, in addition to the roots.

How to Destroy Ragweed

Tillage, or hoeing, is among the greatest approaches to ruin ragweed, which contain a brief taproot plus shallow fibrous roots. Ragweed is less inclined to re-establish itself by simply taking root . Mowing to maintain ragweeds low also interrupts the cycle that is developing and causes the weeds to eliminate .

Lunar Gardening

Scientific evidence for the benefits of gardening by moon phases, known as lunar gardening, is scant, says Sabrina Stierwalt at”Does Lunar Gardening Really Work?” Published about the Curious About Astronomy website. Nevertheless, lunar gardening was practiced for centuries by proponents.

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The Way to Germinate a Fuchsia Magellanica Seed

Fuchsia magellanica can also be known as the fuchsia, which grows well in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 to 9. This number does well when planted in full and watered. Mature fuchsias reach 10 feet in height and width and produce little winged blossoms that hang back. This plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to the landscape. Seed germination is erratic and requires 21 to 28 days.

Mix equal parts of potting soil, vermiculite and peat moss. When there are no holes, poke holes in a seed tray with an ice pick. Fill out the seed tray with the potting media and gently firm it down. Don’t compact the soil, which will make it impossible for the seedlings to root. Place the tray in a container of water until the surface of the ground is damp.

Spread the fuchsia seeds. Cover the seeds with a layer of potting soil and press the ground down. This ensures good contact between the seeds and soil. Mist the soil with room temperature water in a spray bottle.

Cover the seed tray with clear plastic to create a greenhouse. Place the tray in a hot place Fahrenheit, in bright, indirect light. The tray the soil on top looks dry.

Remove for two hours a day after the seeds sprout. Loosely cover the tray leaving room. Keep repeating this process. Transplant the seedlings after the fuchsia plants are 2 to 3 inches tall.

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How to Plant Lavender Beneath Citrus Trees

Lavender (Lavendula) and citrus trees grow well together due to the protection every plant offers the other. Lavender loves sunshine but suffers from too much rain or high humidity. The canopy of a citrus tree keeps the rain and allows the sunlight. The oils in lavender oil act as a natural repellant such as flies, that may harm the fruit of the trees, for insects.

Growing Conditions

Lavender develops in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 5 to 9. A lavender cultivar that does in the warmer climate is Spanish or yellow lavender. Trees, such as mandarin oranges, limes and lemons should be emptied to allow the sunlight to penetrate the canopy to the ground below. Trimming the branches of the tree permits space for your own lavender to grow. Lavender demands sunshine in the cooler climates, however the direct sunshine of a warmer or subtropical climate can damage the plant; so that the lavender isn’t damaged, the leaves of the trees filter the light.

Soil Preparation

Lavender demands a well drained soil with a pH level between 6.4 to 8.2 for optimum growth. The pH level is adjusted by adding lime to raise or sulfur to reduce the level. The inclusion of sand improves drainage, benefiting the lavender in addition to the tree. Lavender does not benefit from the inclusion of fertilizers, but it is possible to improve soil quality with compost or other organic matter. It’s likely to work the soil to a depth of four to six inches, letting the roots of the lavender although citrus trees have a root system.

Planting Lavender

The thickness of the lavender plants should stay exactly the same as when the plant was from the container. Placed approximately 12 to 14 inches away from the tree’s base, the plants get the sun and rain. Until the plant is established the roots of the lavender should stay moist. When the plant has established itself at the growing 14, lavender is drought tolerant. Undergrowth and weeds deplete the nutrients and moisture required by the lavender throughout the growing season.


Lavender plants stay in bloom. If transplanted further from the base of the tree, the plant shows signs of wilting when there is not enough sunlight reaching the lavender and might benefit. The citrus trees defy pruning in the winter months to allow more sun to penetrate the canopy. Yellowing leaves means water is being received by the plant. Sand raises drainage. Lavender plants stay full when pruned back to a height of six to eight inches each two or three decades.

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The Way to Grow Orchids in Low Humidity

If you’re selling your home, orchids can add color and elegance and might add allure. The species thrive in states and have temperature and humidity requirements. The University of Nebraska in Lincoln states that depending on the species, orchids prefer temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees and relative humidity between 80 percent and 40 percent. In dry conditions, moisture is lost by these crops through pores. If your home has a low relative humidity, you can easily maintain humidity levels for your orchid.

Prepare a humidity tray by putting pebbles and water in a tray, making sure that the water doesn’t reach the top of the pebbles. Place the container . To reduce root rot, the water must not touch.

Keep a humidifier. Use a humidifier that generates a mist so that the temperature will stay cool enough. A steam can make the air too warm for the plant.

Keep your orchid in a space that is always humid, such as the bathroom. In which the plant could receive moisture from water that is warm, you can place the orchid near your kitchen sink.

Arrange several orchids in a bunch, but don’t crowd the plants. The orchids will create a humid microclimate as they discharge moisture. Allow sufficient space between the crops for air circulation, which helps prevent bacterial and fungal diseases.

Cover the orchid with a transparent plastic jar when the air is dry. The traps the moisture produces a humid environment and produced by the plant.

Mist the orchid’s foliage in the daytime when the plant remains in a hot environment. To minimize the probability of fungal or bacterial growth, don’t mist from the afternoon or day, and don’t allow standing water to stay in the container.

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Fantastic Lakes Gardener's April Checklist

Fantastic Lakes gardeners are nearly giddy with all the things to see and do in April. The garden bursts into bloom, the garden facilities open with cool-season annuals beckoning and gardening starts in earnest.

Barbara Pintozzi

Welcome April Blooms

The larger bulbs take centre stage from the backyard in April, starting with daffodils, such as these sturdy Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’. They shrug off the April snow. Planting daffodils with early-, mid- and late-season blossoms extends the series.

Daffodils provide the most bang for your buck, as they are poisonous and mammals do not consume them, and they reunite reliably. They may be rejuvenated by dividing crowded clumps.

Barbara Pintozzi

When it would not be spring without large tulips, that the small-species tulips, such as this Tulipa humilis var. Violacea, are much more perennial. Like larger tulips, little species require protection from deer, squirrels and rabbits.

Minor bulbs squill (Scilla siberica), grape hyacinth (Muscari sp) along with attractiveness of the snow (Chionodoxa sp) make good companions for larger bulbs.

Barbara Pintozzi

Woody plants start blooming in April, beginning with forsythia (revealed) and continuing with flowering quince (Chaenomeles spp) and the native serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis).

Forsythias look best in their natural form. There is no need to shear them to keep size when there are many good dwarf cultivars available to fit in the smallest backyard without pruning.

Barbara Pintozzi

Some woody plants have blossoms that cologne the April backyard, including Korean spice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) and celebrity magnolia (Magnolia stellata), revealed.

Frosts and freezes can harm the delicate blossoms of magnolias, therefore be careful to site them at a safe location.

Barbara Pintozzi

Cherish Woodland Natives

Now is the perfect time to visit your nearest wooded area, be it a park, arboretum, botanical garden or character place, to visit woodland wildflowers in their glory.

Native spring ephemerals sprout and bloom beneath trees before they leaf out, for instance, tiny trout lily (Erythronium albidum), a species related to the showy exotic dog-tooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis), which also blossoms in April.

Barbara Pintozzi

The larger native bluebells (Mertensia virginica) bloom a sea of blue, then vanish. To prevent holes in the garden left by vanished spring ephemerals, plant hostas in front of them. The hostas will leaf out following the blooming display has ended.

Barbara Pintozzi

Native wildflowers (Thalictrum thalictroides, aka Anemonella thalictroides) are not emphemeral under moist conditions and may rebloom in fall in partial color.

Similarly, bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) blossoms in April, and its foliage may persist into fall to turn butter yellow under suitably moist conditions.

Barbara Pintozzi

The Egyptian hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. Obtusa) blossoms against the dark reddish old leaves prior to the green foliage emerges. In moist areas, skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) and marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) create their appearance.

These wildflowers can be good garden plants if you plant them in areas in your backyard that fit their preferred habitat.

See more Great Lakes native plants

Barbara Pintozzi

Remember April Garden Tasks

Sow cool-season annuals and edibles.
It’s time to sow cool-season annuals and plants, such as this ‘Merlot’lettuce (Latuca sativa), spinach(Spinacia oleracea), kale(Brassica oleracea) and peas(Pisum sativum). All these cool-season edibles can be sown in containers for an earlier crop.

Make certain the soil is workable prior to digging. To determine whether the soil is workable, gather a small amount into a ball in your hand. If it breaks apart easily, digging might start. If, however, the soil remains in a bulge, working it would harm its construction, and compacted soil hinders a plant’s ability to grow.

Barbara Pintozzi

Plant spring annuals in containers. If a trip to the backyard makes you unable to await the soil to be workable, plant spring annuals, such as pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) and Persian buttercup (Ranunculus asiaticus, revealed), wallflowers (Erysium), inventory (Matthiolia longipetala) and snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) in containers.

Once the soil is workable, perennials from the backyard can be added to the containers for a season-long screen.

Barbara Pintozzi

Welcome Wildlife

Butterflies create their first appearance in April, such as this painted woman on squill (Scilla siberica). Leave bare tiny areas of somewhat depressed soil from the backyard where butterflies can drink from mud puddles. Permit some native violets (Viola sororia) to remain in the yard for frittilary butterflies to use as host crops.

Migrating hummingbirds reach the Fantastic Lakes in April. Hang out feeders for them now.
Put plain sugar from the feeders; do not use anything with red dye in it, which may harm them. Change the nectar every three or four times in cool weather and every day after temperatures reach the 80s. Don’t forget to hang the claws at precisely the exact same location each year so that the hummingbirds can discover them.Clean nest boxes for other birds and provide nonsynthetic lint, string or hair in netting bags for birds to use as nesting materials.

Take time to observe the backyard and its occupants every day: Things change so quickly in April, you can almost see the crops growing.

More ways to bring wildlife into your backyard

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Great Design Plant: California Fuchsia Brings Color and Hummingbirds

Until a couple of decades back, the only place I remember watching California fuchsia (Zauschneria californica)has been 7,000 ft high near Echo Summit, as patches of red blazing through cracks in gray granite boulders. Today it’s possible to see California fuchsia at your neigborhood nursery, possibly even Home Depot (Monrovia, the big wholesaler, grows and distributes a number).

California fuchsia has been tamed, losing the majority of its scraggly, crazy look but maybe not its bright color and toughness. It’s a reliable summer perennial for dry spots, particularly slopes. Hummingbirds love this, and also the plant depends on them.

Explore more blossoms | Garden ideas for your U.S. region

Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated

California fuchsia is a sun-loving perennial that is native. It receives its name from the form of the largely orange or crimson flowers, very similar to the common fuchsia — but it does not have the common fuchsia’s preference for cool, shady places.

Botanical name: Epilobium canum (or Zauschneria californica)
USDA zones: 6 to 9 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Light
Light requirement: Complete sun
Mature dimension: Greater than 1 foot to 4 feet tall and up to 4 ft wide, depending on variety

Distinguishing attributes. Tubular flowers arrive in bright orange or crimson. Leaves are grayish and small. Choose from a number of types of California fuchsia. Newer varieties, specifically, are long flowering. ‘Bert’s Bluff’ is orange red. ‘Ghostly Red’ gets the purest red blossoms and fuzzy gray-green leaves. Others include ‘UC Hybrid’ (developed at UC Davis) and ‘Calistoga’ (orange-red).

The best way to grow it. Plant it in autumn or early spring, so the roots can establish before warm weather. Make sure drainage is quick. Water it regularly (weekly or 2) during the first growing season. Once the crops are established, cut back to watering only as needed. Prune back based plants almost into the floor in autumn after the blossom season. Lightly prune the branch tips in spring to encourage bushy growth.


The best way to use it. For flashes of color, particularly during late summer and early autumn, when other crops fade, unite California fuchsia (revealed here is ‘Ghostly Red’) with mass plantings of other natives and Mediterranean plants. Line a path with it. Let it spill over a stone wall or boulders.

More: What to do in your region now | Browse thousands of landscape and garden photos

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