This cold-tolerant garden herb can be grown all year long – Orange County Register

1. This is a coincidental time when holiday decorations are involved, as so many plants conveniently fill up with clusters of red, orange, or yellow berries. Unlike cut flowers, leafy sprouts and branches with fruit will last for several weeks when soaked in water. One of the best plants in this category is Heaven Bamboo (Nandina domestica). It is a hardy shrub that can grow up to 8 feet tall, but can be kept much lower with regular pruning. At this time of year, not only do the spikes grow into arches, but the leaves also begin to turn orange or red. Its attractive pinnate leaves superficially resemble true bamboo, but its stems also have no botanical relationship to the plant, although they may also be mistaken for bamboo stems or culms. rhizome.

It is also native to China and Japan, as are many bamboo species. But true bamboo is a grass, and its flowers are nothing special, but heavenly bamboo produces creamy white flowers in late spring. When we moved into our house in 1984, we had a beautiful bamboo tree growing in our front porch, and it has been there ever since. It doesn’t need much water even in the heat of summer. The reason for this is the dense foliage that extends all the way to the ground, effectively eliminating the possibility of moisture evaporation from the soil surface. The associated hot afternoon sun is dulled by the position of the plants as they are adjacent to the front of the house. Heaven bamboo can get full sun on the coast, but it should be noted that it does better in half a day further inland, where it may also thrive in partial shade exposure. and other plants with winter berries include holly (Ilex spp.). Firethorn (Pyracantha species), Cotoneaster species (large shrubs to ground cover), and Hawthorn (Crataegus species). All genera of these woody plants may have red, orange, or yellow berries depending on the species, but the berries found on Southern California species are generally red.

2. Parsley is extremely cold tolerant and can be grown year-round anywhere in California. It can be harvested several times a week for 52 weeks in a year. Parsley is not overly picky about soil requirements, but it grows best in fertile, heavily composted soil. One reason parsley lasts so long is its biennial growing habit. A biennale is a plant that requires a minimum of two growing seasons to flower and complete its life cycle. Depending on the climate, it may take some time before flowering, but it will bloom by the second year at the latest. In Southern California, where temperatures don’t stop many species of plants from growing, biennials, whether hollyhock, sweet william (Dianthus), or parsley, show leaves for only a few months before flowering. was my impression. With parsley, you can continue to harvest the leaves after flowering. Additionally, where it likes soil, the seeds formed in those flowers fall and germinate on the spot.

Another benefit of parsley is that its flowers attract a wide variety of beneficial insects (those that prey on pests). You can also grow parsley on your kitchen windowsill. Parsley grows in some shade, making it easier to grow than certain herbs. There are many varieties of parsley, but the two most common are flat leaves that grow up to 3 feet tall and curled leaves that reach about a foot tall. Flat-leaf parsley is more desirable from a culinary standpoint than rolled-leaf parsley, as it has a stronger flavor and is easier to chop. It’s going to look more gorgeous when you do.

3. A variety of plants can be propagated from hardwood cuttings at this time. Plunge the plow into the soil and rock it back and forth to create a narrow opening in the ground. Next, take a cutting at least 12 inches in diameter from the base of the stem of a deciduous tree, shrub, or vine, such as plane tree, willow, poplar, crape myrtle, mulberry, rose rose (Hibiscus syriacus), or rose. , figs, pomegranate, grapes. The plant in question should be completely devoid of leaves when the stem is cut for propagation. Dip the bottom two inches of these cuttings in root hormone and insert into a narrow groove made with a shovel. Bury 2/3 of the cutting into the soil, leaving the top 1/3 exposed. When spring comes, the cuttings will begin to produce leaves as they form roots underneath.

4. Make sure your bird feeders are well stocked to attract bird critters. They are regular visitors to your garden and will reward your generosity when they come to you in the spring and eat the pests that begin to multiply as the weather warms. Aphids, larvae of all kinds, moths, beetles, ants, and spiders are all part of a bird’s diet.

5. There is no greater joy than seeing plants in full bloom in December, used in unexpected ways. We mention a natal plum (Carissa sp.) trained to grow vertically on a chain link fence on Lecomte Street in Westwood. This appeared to be one of the dwarf or groundcover natal plums because of the small leaves as well as the pink fruit. is the essence or horticulture of manipulating growing conditions so that plants can reach their highest potential. Do you have a winter flower you’d like to share a story with? If so, write me about it.

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