Friday, May 29, 2009

Invasive Plant Species...

What is an invasive species?

An invasive species is a non-native species whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic harm, environmental harm, or harm to human health. The term "invasive"; is used for the most aggressive species. These species grow and reproduce rapidly, causing major disturbance to the areas in which they are present.

These five species are considered invasive in some areas of the country. Please visit for more information.

Berberis thunbergii, Japanese barberry

Ilex aquifolium, English holly

Ajuga reptans, Bugleweed

Ilex crenata, Japanese holly

Lysimachia nummularia, Creeping jenny

These plants will not be a problem if you maintain them properly. However, always be conscious that their potential for escape is notorious. Invasive plants may disturb some natural habitats, but are the most threatening in ecosystems such as wetlands, sand dunes and fire prone areas like pine barrens where rare native plants are found. If you think the plant you have may be invasive, check your state's invasive list and take the proper steps to ensure that your plant does not become a problem.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

'Bonfire' Begonia

Talk about a plant worth having...

Begonia boliviensis 'Bonfire'

The fiery 'Bonfire' is the rare begonia that not only tolerates full sun but thrives in it. This is a mounding begonia that can spread out to be a 20" x 20" plant, with a trailing habit that makes it ideal for hanging basket or urns.

'Bonfire' has small but abundant red-orange, fluted flowers that explode from medium green serrated leaves, edged with red. It is a perennial in zones 9 to 11, but needs to overwinter indoors in colder climates.

As with most begonias, it doesn't tolerate overwatering. Good drainage is essential or roots will rot. It will tolerate shade or partial shade, but will flower most profusely and produce the most vibrant color in full sun.

This plant looks quite provocative with deep burgundies or true purples and with silver plants like lamb's ears or artemisia. 'Bonfire' is the perfect plant to withstand the heat and humidity of the summer garden.