Archives > May 2018

Geranium Hanging Basket C-A-R-E

Posted by Wallish on May 31 2018

We all seem to be looking for a way to simplify our lives from sorting through and clearing out gadgets we no longer need to whittling down our clothing collections to capsule wardrobes – all with the intent of spending less time on stuff and more time on the things we love to do with the people we love to do them with.

Applying this to gardening, Geraniums have a way of making life simple.  If you have an area that gets 6 or more hours of sunshine, this one is for you. They are easy to grow, they are hardy — hardy means they can take a lot of heat and they also bear with our cooler nights.  Never to be one that would recommend abusing or neglecting plants, it can be said that they can take an element of…let’s say…”forgotten-ness”…on occasion.   But not every day.  They come back and revive well from being dry – but again, not every day.  They aren’t sensitive like fuchsias, and they make a great entry-into-gardening plant.

We grow 2 classes of Geranium hanging baskets:

  • Trailing Geraniums
  • Mixed Geranium

In Trailing Geranium hanging baskets, we plant and grow only trailing geraniums.  They cascade down and around the pot and many of them look like a huge disco ball (kind of) or let’s say a big flowering ball. They come in a large array of colors from deep, deep reds to shades of pink, and now orange. Trailing Geraniums are really tough plants and are super easy to care for and hence, their steep rise in popularity over the last few years.  They excel in extreme heat and cold (not freezing) nights – there aren’t a lot of plants that have that kind of range.  They handle the occasional ‘drought’ when they get forgotten in the watering queue and a number of them will handle high winds. Our blog Trailing Geranium Hanging Basket C-A-R-E  has even more detail on how to care for this type of basket.

With mixed Geranium hanging baskets, we plant upright geraniums as the feature plant and then we fill in with trailers to spill out of the perimeter.  That’s why they’re called Mixed Geranium baskets. In this container configuration, the plants that you need to pay more attention to are the trailing plants.  They can be more sensitive to neglect, so keep a watchful eye on them.  Please visit our blog on Mixed Geranium Hanging Basket C-A-R-E to get the nitty gritty details on these baskets.

As always, we would be delighted to walk you through our collection of Geranium hanging baskets in our retail greenhouse and to help you simplify your life.  Nature’s Source, the fertilizer we use, is our favorite.  Miracle Grow and 20-20-20 work well, too.

As always, we are happy to answer your questions either via our contact form on the website. or on the phone – yes, we still personally answer the phone – at 780-467-3091.

Stuff it : Adding Detail to Containers and Hanging Baskets

Posted by Wallish on May 29 2018

What is a stuffer?

Stuffers are used in planted containers used to add depth and detail. They are the smaller plants placed around the central plants in containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. They finish off containers by adding splashes of color and texture – they make a container unique and pop with creativity.

Stuffers can be classified as stuffers or trailers, if you want to get technical – stuffers have an upright growth habit and trailers cascade downward out of the pot. Stuffers can range from leafy trailers of lime green, bronzes, deep purples, or even blacks to delicate upright stalks sporting flowers from every color of the rainbow. The choices can almost be overwhelming.

Of all the plant categories we grow, there is the greatest crossover in this one as to the plants having both sun & shade tolerance, but always be sure to check labels.

We thought we would feature some of our favourites below. Know that this is in no way an exhaustive list of what we carry at Wallish Greenhouses – we’d be happy to tour you through our basket stuffer department to show you the options. To make things simpler, we even have them divided into our sun and shade departments. Feel free to email us or call us at 780-467-3091 if you have any questions.

Favorite Stuffers & Trailers

Stuffer
(Upright)
Trailer
(Trailing)
Full Sun
(8 hours)
Part Sun
(4-6 hours)
Shade
(<4 hours)
Bacopa Bacopa
Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan
Calibrachoa
(Million Bells)
Calibrachoa
Coleus Coleus
Dichondra Dichondra
Dorotheanthus
(Mezoo)
Dorotheanthus
Euphorbia Euphorbia
German Ivy German Ivy
Impoemia
(Sweet Potato Vine)
Impoemia
Lamium Lamium
Lysmachia Lysmachia
Scaevola Scaevola
Verbena Verbena

Light it Up with a Gas Plant Vlog

Posted by Wallish on May 24 2018

This is ONE. FUN. PLANT!

Let me tell you the story of this Gas Plant, correctly called Dictamnus.

A few years ago, one warm & lovely June evening, as the sky was getting dusky near 10 o’clock when my pink Gas Plant was alive with blossoms and color, my then teenage son, Joshua, asked if he could see if the Gas Plant would light on fire. Rumor had it, the perennial books said, that Gas Plants could light on fire. They produce a citrusy smelling volatile oil that evaporates around the flowers on hot days. They also said that if you lit a match beside the flower, the gas would light up and sparkle. So, I agreed but didn’t really pay that much attention to his quest.

Out he went with the lighter and as I sat in my living room, I saw this FLASH of light out of the corner of my eye. He didn’t just light up a flower; he lit up the ENTIRE STEM!! Just like a Tiki-torch.

It. Was. Amazing.

So we proceeded to light up every single branch. The marvellous thing was that the flowers, leaves, and stems all came out unscathed – not a hint of scorching anywhere. Only the vapor burned.

From that moment on, this has become a June tradition in our household.

What you need:

  • a fully blooming Gas Plant
  • a nice warm, dry day – think 25C or higher so the oil vaporizes
  • still weather, no breeze
  • a lighter 🙂

Dictamnus plants come in white and in pink flowers. They are a tough & hardy zone 2 perennial with a tap root. The tap root means that they can handle hot & dry conditions once they are established. We carry them in our perennial section each year, although it’s not always easy to find both colors every year. They’re not the fastest grower on the block, but they are definitely worth the wait. This is the ultimate fun plant for children, men, and firefighters! And we would be happy to show you them to you on your next visit to our greenhouse.

Call us or email us at and we can let you know about our stock status of Gas Plants and answer any questions you may have about them.

We hope you enjoy this video!

Unwinding The Fertilizer Numbers

Posted by Wallish on May 22 2018

Fertilizer can be confusing.  The sheer quantity of brands and mathematical combinations can be dizzying.  Let’s spend some time unwinding fertilizer and hopefully, the numbers will begin to make sense.

Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and K – Potassium (aka Potash) are the 3 major nutrients or macronutrients contained in fertilizer required for plant growth.  They are the 3 numbers you see on fertilizer labels.  These numbers represent the percentage of each macronutrient in the specific fertilizerSo if you see a label saying 20-20-20, it contains approximately 20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium.  The numbers aren’t adding up?  The remaining percentage is made up of a smaller amount of nutrients known as micronutrients and fillers.  The fillers help you the fertilizer spread evenly.

Joe Lamp’l of Growing a Greener World has come up with a great way to describe the functions of N, P, & K – just remember:  Up, Down, & All Around.

N – nitrogen – UP – think ‘up’ or top growth

  • nitrogen promotes green leafy growth
  • healthy leaves mean a better-equipped system to provide food for the plant
  • If you see a fertilizer with numbers like 30-0-3 – that would be great for a lawn because this fertilizer is all about green top growth.

P – phosphorus – DOWN – think ‘down’ or root development

  • phosphorous promotes root development and flowering
  • flowering means the amount of flowers and size of blossoms
  • For ‘root boosting’ fertilizer, it is common to see combinations like these: 10-52-10 or  5-15-5
  • A common ‘flowering’ fertilizer combination is 13-30-15

K – potassium – ALL AROUND – think good health in general

  • potassium promotes overall health: guards against disease, aids in drought and cold tolerance, cell wall strength & maintenance
  • Potassium also enhances fruit & vegetable flavor & development
  • Vegetable fertilizers are rather conservative in and look like this:  7-4-5, 2-7-4

Our favorite fertilizer and the one that we use is called “Nature’s Best”.  It’s a natural fertilizer and we find it easy to use, gentle on plants with no burning leaf tips, and we think it makes flowers brighter.  ‘Miracle Grow’ is another good choice and other balanced fertilizers like 20-20-20 work well.
Hope that helps!

Hydrangeas

Posted by Wallish on May 17 2018

As you’re walking through the neighbourhood in the autumn, let’s say you happen to see this shrub FULL of HUGE bomb shaped flowers. And you wonder…who is this guy?? Likely, it’s a Hydrangea.  Their full headed, long lasting late summer bloom is breathtaking. Hydrangeas are native to east Asia and parts of the northern regions of South America.

Hydrangeas got their popularity for a number of reasons like being easy to care for; but a curious thing about them is that their bloom colour can be manipulated depending on the pH of the soil.  A blue flower can be produced with acidic soil and a pink one in alkaline. For us in Edmonton, you need to know that many of these varieties of Hydrangeas won’t live through our winter climate. But we still have options!  We can grow whites one, and lime green ones, and varying shades of pinks here.

Let’s talk a bit about growing Hydrangeas and  we will share a few details with you on a couple of different classes of Hydrangeas:

  • The size of different Hydrangeas vary quite a bit – they can be a compact shrub measuring 3’ x 3’, or can grow to be as large as 10’ x 10’.
  • They are easy care & low maintenance.
  • They are bothered by few diseases or pests.
  • Hydrangeas generally prefer a shady location – they have shallow root systems and grow best in evenly moist soil. These conditions are best provided by in the shade or early morning sun.
  • They do like a minimum of 3 hours of sunshine.
  • Grow them in a high quality, well-draining soil; water them deeply and watch for drought stress.
  • Adding mulch to the base of the Hydrangea will keep roots cool and improve water retention.
  • At the time of planting, fertilize with bone meal, and then fertilize Hydrangeas yearly with a slow release fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or 10-10-10.
  • Give them additional mulch for winter protection.
  • Hydrangeas may need to be staked if their blossoms are heavy & weighing them down.

Be patient with Hydrangeas on 2 accounts:

  • They need at least 3 years to get well established, as with any other perennial.
  • They take a while to emerge in the spring, it’s not uncommon for them start growing in June.

Always be sure to check labels for the details on the particular Hydrangea that interests you with information on the height, color, zone tolerance, and any other particulars specific to that variety.

There are two basic types of  Hydrangeas that are hardy to our zone 3/4 area:

  • Paniculata / Panicle Types
    • These are the most cold hardy and sun hardy of all Hydrangeas.
    • These types have reddish, sturdy, and woody stems with collections of flowers that form cone shaped blossom bundles. The blossom bundle varies quite a bit in size from variety to variety. Their leaves are dark green and leathery.
    • These do well in 6 or more hours of sunshine, but it’s always good if they could get some shade in the heat of the afternoon.
    • Pruning:
      • Lightly trim branch tips in the late fall after they have bloomed or in early spring. This encourages development because their new growth occurs on old stems from the previous year.
      • If you have an old plant that isn’t blooming any longer, it may need a serious cut back & that will stimulate more growth & blooming.
    • Some popular varieties: Pinky Winky (white to pink), Bomb Shell (white to pink), Little Lime (white to lime to pink), Quick Fire (early bloomer, airy blooms, taller 6-8’), Fire Light (white to pink), Bobo, Little Quick Fire, Lavalamp Flare, Pee Gee, Limelight
  • Arborsecens / Smooth Types

    Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle

    • This type has broad, dome shaped flowers. The blossom bundles are large, broad, and dome shaped measuring 6-12” across.  With this type, the flower size is more consistent between varieties than the paniculata types.
    • They have smooth green flexible stems with softer, lighter green leaves.  The blooms dry well, have good winter interest, and can be used in dried flower arrangements.
    • Arborsecens can tolerate 4-6 hours of sunshine.
    • This type grows from the ground each spring.
    • Pruning:
      • These can be pruned in the late fall to 3-6” from the ground, following their bloom.
      • If you would like to hold on to the dried flowers and carry them through the winter in your winter garden, do a hard pruning to 3-6” from the ground in the spring.
    • Some popular varieties: Annabelle (z4-9),  Incrediball – improved Annabelle (lime green to white), Invincibelle Spirit

If you have a spot in your garden for a Hydrangea, we carry a few varieties for our perennial department each spring, being careful to carry the varieties that are the most zone hardy.  Drop by and see us, we’d be happy to show them to you.

If you are looking for other ideas of great fall blooming perennials, check out these links to:  It Doesn’t have to be Over!  Late Blooming Perennials & It’s Not Over Yet – The Glory of all Blooming Perennials.

And if you have any questions, give us a call at 780-467-3091 or send us an email.  We are happy to dialog with you about your garden.  Happy Planting!

Sources:

Sunpatiens — Best. Plant. Ever.

Posted by Wallish on May 15 2018

At least we think so….

Looking for an all around amazingly tough and easy care plant?  Well; look no further; this is the one for you – and everyone else!

Sunpatiens are a recent introduction to the horticultural scene, but they are really gaining momentum as a favorite with gardeners because of their versatility and ease of care.  They are super flexible as far as location placement goes – tolerating all levels of light exposure from total shade to full sun. Sunpatiens have become a top pick with our team at Wallish Greenhouses and we recommend them often.

Preferred Location:

  • Sunpatiens grow well anywhere – sun, shade, or any combo of the above
  • Sunpatiens aren’t a fan of wind but can take a light breeze

Growth Habit:

  • Sunpatiens have a natural growth pattern that produces a beautiful dome shape
  • Sunpatiens are classified as:
    • Vigorous growers:
      • Work great in free standing containers
      • Height: 18-32” (45cm – 80cm)
      • Width / Spacing: 24-36” (60cm – 90cm)
    • Compact growers:
      • Do well in all types of containers – free standing or hanging baskets – either featured alone or in mixed recipes with other plants
      • Height: 14-24” (35cim – 60cm)
      • Width / Spacing: 14-24” (35cm – 60cm)
  • Always remember to check labels for the specifics in height and width so you get the plant with the right growth

Available Flower Colors:

  • Sunpatiens sport both neon-esque brightly colored flowers and soft colors
  • They are available in white, pink, fuchsia, red, and orange
  • Some varieties have variegated leaves
  • One stunning plant combination has white flowers with variegated leaves
  • Sometimes the darker colors may fade slightly if they are in a very hot & intense sun exposure

Deadheading:

  • Sunpatiens require minor deadheading and it’s easy to do —
    • You can do a good job by just shaking the pot or ruffling the plant, the old flower petals just fall off
    • Some people prefer to do a more detailed job by picking off the dead flowers individually by hand

Watering:

  • Water requirements depend on its location and how warm the days are –
    • hot days require watering more often
    • cool days require watering less often
    • just make sure to water them thoroughly so the water drips out of the bottom of the pot which indicates that the soil is saturated
  • The really good news is… when they wilt – even badly – Sunpatiens are good at reviving – but don’t abuse this feature, severe wilting is very stressful for plants! And repeated drying out will cause them to die.
  • Sunpatiens are sensitive to high sodium well water and this seems to be one thing that will definitely send them quickly to their death, so avoid well water with a high salt content.

Fertilizing:

  • As with any annual, fertilize weekly – our favorite fertilizer and the one we use at our greenhouse is a natural fertilizer called ‘Nature’s Source’ – it is available in our sales greenhouse.
  • Other fertilizer options include: 20-20-20, and Miracle Grow

Be sure to stop by and have us show you our selection of Sunpatiens – we are enthusiastic about this plant and want to share their joy with you!  Call us at 780-467-3091 or email us.

Hanging Basket Care Infographic

Posted by Wallish on May 10 2018

They’re everywhere. Hanging baskets are a fun, fast, and simple way to add color to your outdoor world. But how do you keep them looking fresh and lovely all summer? By using the word C-A-R-E we have some simple ideas to keep your baskets at their best.

Looking for more information or detailed information about your specific type of hanging basket? Well, we have blogs to cover every category of hanging basket that we grow here at Wallish Greenhouses – check out the following links. And if you would like to talk to us about your hanging basket, feel free to stop by the greenhouse, give us a quick call at 780-467-3091, or fire us off a quick email via our website or wglperen@telus.net (please put in a link) – we’d be happy to help!

Hanging baskets and container C-A-R-E, previous blogs:

And the Bride Wore White – Great White Flowers for Wedding Planters

Posted by Wallish on May 8 2018

June is just around the corner and will soon be ringing in the summer’s wedding season.  You may be hosting a shower, a rehearsal dinner, a gift opening, or any other occasion associated with the wedding and there’s a lot of pressure to have the flowers right, even if it’s not for the actual wedding.  For those of you who would like to dress up your gardening space in white for the occasion, or for those who love having a white yard with its warm and subtle glow at sunset, this blog is for you.

As with any other gardening project, planning is the key to success. To plan effectively, equip yourself with the following information:

  • Determine where you would like to feature planted containers – would you like hanging baskets or standing containers? Are there open spots on a deck that you would like fill in? Are there seating areas, tabls & chairs, or benches that you would like to book end with something floral?  Would you like some hanging baskets under the eaves of your home, or would you like to place some hanging from tree branches, or from a pergola?
  • Once you have a general idea of where you would like to place containers, count up how many you would need because knowing your quantity, more or less, will keep you from running short of materials and having to take extra trips to the greenhouse.

The next bits of information you need are to know what the gardening conditions are like:

  • How many hours of sun exposure does each location have?
  • How much shade will those areas have?
  • How windy are those locations?

Foliage is really important in white containers.  Leaves of different textures, colors, and variegation add depth to white container plantings. Sometimes people are afraid to use variegated or bold foliage but leaf colors like black, bronze, lime, silver, and purple add an element of sophistication.  So don’t be afraid to use them.

Once you know the details on container placement, numbers and gardening requirements; take a peek at the chart below for ideas on white flowers and good foliage for containers.  This isn’t an exhaustive list, there is more to discover at our greenhouses.  Come and visit us in our sales greenhouse and any of our Wallish team members would be happy to walk you through to collect the perfect white flowers for your occasion.  Feel free to call us at 780-467-3091 or email us via our website with any questions you may have.

If you are having a wedding coming up, we wish you the very best and that your event is filled with laughter and joy!

Great White Flowers & Foliage for Wedding Containers
Hours of Sun or Shade Upright White Flowers Cascading White Flowers Foliage
Full Sun and Part Sun

 

Direct Sunshine exposure:

Full Sun: >8 hours

Part Sun:  6-8 hours

Alyssum

Baby’s Breath

Gerbera Daisy

Upright Geraniums

Nicotiana

Pansies

Petunias

Shasta Daisies

Snapdragons

Sunpatiens

Zinnias

Bacopa

Euphorbia

Million Bells

Ivy Geraniums

Portulaca

Scaevola

Spanish Daisies

Trailing Verbena

Coleus

Dichondra

Dusty Millar

English Ivy

German Ivy

Purple Fountain Grass

Other Grasses

Helichrysum

Lamium Jade Frost

Lamium White Nancy

Lysmachia

Nepeta

Ornamental Millet

Sweet Potato Vine

Vinca

Shady & Deep Shade Locations

 

Direct Sunshine exposure:

Shady:  < 4 hours

Deep Shade: 0

*All in this category hate wind

Upright  Begonias

Fibrous Begonia

Tuberous Begonias

Fuchsia

Impatiens

Lobelia

 

Trailing Begonias

Bridal Veil

Euphorbia

Kennelworth Ivy

Lobelia

Scaevola

 

Coleus

Dichondra

English Ivy

German Ivy

Grass– Purple Fountain

Lamium Jade Frost

Lamium White Nancy

Lysmachia

Muhlenbeckia

Oxalis

Plectranthus

Setcresia

Sweet Potato Vine

Vinca

Windy Locations

 

Direct Sunshine exposure:

Full Sun: >8 hours

Part Sun:  6-8 hours

Ivy Geraniums

Upright Geraniums

 

 

 

 

Bridal Veil

Euphorbia

Kennelworth Ivy

Scaevola

 

Bridal Veil

Dichondra

English Ivy

German Ivy

Lamium Jade Frost

Lamium White Nancy

Muhlenbeckia

Lotus vine

Vinca

Choosing the Right Hanging Basket Vlog

Posted by Wallish on May 3 2018

Have you ever stood under a canopy of hanging baskets and wanted to tear your hair out trying to figure out which hanging basket is the right one for you?  Well this video is intended to help with that!

Being armed with precise information is key in making the right selection. Know where you’d like to put your hanging basket and then, know:

#1 – know where you’d like to put it

#2 – how many hours of sunshine that area gets

#3 – how windy it is

Most baskets can tolerate some wind, but some can’t stand any – we have that indicated on the chart below. There is more information in our blogs: Hanging Basket & Container Location Recommendations and Things to Consider When Choosing a Hanging Basket.

Actually, as an aside, these rules apply for non-hanging containers, too.

We’d like to invite you stop by our greenhouse and allow us to help you mull over the many hanging basket options we grow – we have baskets for any location.  Got questions?  Give us a quick email via our website, or call us at 780-467-3091.  We’d be happy to help out.

Hanging Basket & Container Location Recommendations
Hours of Sun / Shade Types of Containers
Full Sun and Part Sun Direct Sunshine exposure:

Full Sun: >8 hours

Part Sun:  6-8 hours

Calibrachoa aka Million Bells Ivy Geraniums

Mixed Geranium

Trailing Petunias

Part Sun to Part Shade Direct Sunshine exposure:

Part Sun: 6-8 hours

Part Shade: < 6 hours

 

Indirect Sun exposure

Mixed Geranium

Solenia Begonias

Sunpatiens

 

Fuchsia

Shady & Deep Shade Locations Direct Sunshine exposure:

Shady:  < 4 hours

Deep Shade: 0

*All in this category hate wind

Bossa Nova Begonias

Solenia Begonias

Tuberous Begonias

Mixed Foliage

Impatiens

Fuchsia

Windy Locations Direct Sunshine exposure:

Full Sun: >8 hours

Part Sun:  6-8 hours

Ivy Geraniums

Mixed Geraniums