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Friday, June 17, 2016
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Tropicals

At this time of year, the nursery is filled with wonderful water plants, succulents, tender perennials and tropicals of every description. While we know that most of these won't survive our winter without protection, they bring back fond memories of tropical vacations and exotic destinations. This is what we call, 'Zone Denial'. So go ahead, don't worry about longevity with these ones, day dream a little, and consider adding a few of these tropical plants to your next patio pot, or warm spot in the garden.

Red Leaf Banana

Red Leaved Banana

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’

A true tropical favourite, the red leaved banana creates exciting vertical interest in the garden and catches attention with its red and green coloured leaves. It is not hardy in our area and will need to be brought inside over the winter. An excellent specimen for containers, in sun rooms, poolside or urban gardens. Plant it in full sun, with a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Bananas like humidity and do require regular watering, especially in extreme heat. This variety is fast growing and will reach 12-15ft in height. Hardy in USDA zones 10-11

canna australis

Bronze Canna Lily

Canna 'Australis'

Cannas are fast growing tender perennials that offer banana-like upright growing tropical foliage. They love water and are often planted pond side or even in boggy soil. They bloom in late summer with very attractive colourful flowers. ‘Australis’ is one of the most attractive varieties featuring dark burgundy leaves and red flowers in abundance. We have many different varieties available during the summer - some with green foliage, others with dark foliage. We generally suggest lifting and storing Canna roots over winter to ensure their survival. Grows 48-60 inches in height. Hardy in USDA zones 7-10

Dwary Papyrus Plant

Giant Dwarf Papyrus

Cyperus percamenthus

This variety of Papyrus is grown in shallow water and creates green upright foliage with large tufts of wispy foliage on top. Looks very architectural and great when mass planted. Best grown in full sun to shade. Grows to 18 inches in height. Hardy USDA in zones 9-10.

Windmill Palm Tree

Windmill Palm

Trachycarpus fortunei

This northwest hardy palm tree is one of the only varieties that can survive a typical winter in our area. It’s a fan-leafed palm with a dark trunk that is usually thicker on top and is covered with dense, hairy looking fiber. It will add a tropical feel wherever it is planted. Prefers rich, well drained soil. Best in full sun. Water regularly for a strong healthy root system. Can grow up to 30ft tall and 20ft wide in optimal conditions. If it gets cold in winter, protect it from cold winds, snow and ice. Hardy to Zone 7.

Silk Tree

Ombrella Mimosa Tree / Silk Tree

Albizia julibrissin ‘Boubri’

The Silk tree is an exotic looking colorful landscape tree attractive to birds with its large, cherry-pink, powder-puff shaped, fragrant flowers that appear profusely-even on young trees. Striking, multi-trunk tree with dark green fern-textured foliage. A great specimen plant, ideal for the poolside, coastal locations, and urban gardens. Best grown in full sun, 6-8 hours of direct sunlight for best growth. Heat tolerant. Water weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Fast growing to 30ft tall and wide in perfect conditions. Hardy in USDA zones 6-9

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax

Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is a bushy flax with grey-green to bronze foliage with bright pink margins. We have several other varieties in stock including bronze, purple and yellow foliaged varieties. Upright habit. Excellent in containers. Bring indoors or at least a sheltered location outside over winter. Prefers full sun and fertile, moist, but well drained soils. Grows 5-6ft tall and 2-3ft wide. Hardy in Zone 8.

Frost Proof Gardenia

Frostproof Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’

Frostproof Gardenia has a more upright habit, supporting shiny, dark green leaves and fragrant, white 2- to 3-inch wide flowers that bloom in summer. Makes a fine hedge or foundation plant that thrives with more direct sun than other varieties. ! buds resist late spring frosts without damage. Deer resistant. Evergreen. Prefers 6+ hours of sunlight per day. Needs regular watering, more often in extreme heat. Slow growing to 5ft tall and up to 4ft wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-11.

Calycanthus Aphrodite

Sweet Shrub ‘Aphrodite’

Calcycanthus ‘Aphrodite’

This medium sized deciduous shrub features large red, magnolia-like flowers, that are fragrant and bloom in summer. It will often re-bloom throughout the season. Flowers are accented by glossy green, attractive foliage. A distinctive addition to mixed borders and perennial gardens. Prune after flowering. Prefers full sun and will tolerate most moist, well drained soils. Grows to 5-6ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Grecian Pattern Plant

Grecian Pattern Plant

Acanthus mollis ‘Oak Leaf’

This easy care plant features large, intriguing looking foliage that resembles an oakleaf. Is often grown for foliage alone or for its attention getting spikes of whitish-lilac flowers. Spreads rapidly in good conditions. Useful in perennial borders or background planting. Best grown in part sun. Likes regular watering. Fast growing to 4ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 6-11

Arbequina Hardy Olive

Arbequina Hardy Olive

Olea europaea 'Arbequina'

Arbequina Hardy Olive is an attractive, silvery-green foliage on a large evergreen shrub. Blooms in spring. It is a self-fertile fruiting olive, prized for its dark brown fruit with highly aromatic oil content. Cold hardy and highly adaptable, it produces abundantly in hot dry climates, ripening in fall. Makes a beautiful specimen shrub or small tree, even without fruit. Excellent in containers, as a specimen or on the seacoast. Needs full hot sun in our climate and deep, but infrequent watering. Grows slowly up to 35-40ft tall and up to 25ft wide. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-11, so winter protection is essential if it gets cold.

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Agapanthus x 'Monmid'

This summer flowering tropical perennial Midknight Blue Agapanthus is an exciting summer flowering tropical perennial with deep, violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Blooms in mid-spring through summer. Lush strap-like foliage is bright green. Great for borders and containers or poolside. Herbaceous perennial. Foliage reaches 2ft tall and up to 2-3ft wide. Flower stalks can reach 3-4ft. Best in full sun. Water regularly, more often in extreme heat. Lower watering requirements once established. Hardy in USDA zones 6-11

Anise Tree

Anise Tree

Illicium simonsii

The Anise tree is an exceptionally fragrant shrub or small flowering tree from China. Crushed foliage releases a spicy anise fragrance. Creamy yellow blooms may produce showy seedpods that resemble culinary star anise- do not ingest! Excellent for cool, lightly shaded spots. Blooms in late spring, may sporadically produce fragrant non-edible fruit. Best grown in part sun, 3-6 hours of sunlight. Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat .Grows slowly up to 6-8ft tall and up to 6ft wide. Hardy in USDA zones 8-10

Corkys Honey Delight Fig

Corky’s Honey Delight Fig

Ficus carica ‘Corkys Honey Delight’

Corkys Honey Delight is a semi-dwarf fig notable for its vigorous habit and bountiful fruit, yielding two crops of succulent green figs each year. In our climate, we usually don’t get enough late summer heat to ripen the second crop. Sweet, amber-colored flesh with a flavorful honey note. This attractive small tree is well-suited for small city gardens where space is limited. Makes a superb accent tree. Provides a handsome leafy background when allowed to grow as a large shrub. Thrives in mild coastal areas and warm humid areas, but often hardy and prolific in zones 5 and 6 as well, if planted in a sheltered location. Deciduous. Needs to be grown in full sun, 6+ hours of sunlight per day. Reaches 10-12ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-10. In very cold winters.

Star Jasmine Vine

Star Jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Star Jasmine is a beautiful vine prized for its very fragrant, star-shaped, white flowers in spring and summer. Plant near a patio, terrace or entry where the fragrance can be enjoyed. In frost free areas, train on posts, walls or trellises, or allow to trail along as a groundcover. A superb summer container plant for colder regions. Twining stems spread to 18 to 20 ft. long; 1 to 2 ft. tall as a groundcover. Best in partial to full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 8-11.

Foxtail Fern

Foxtail Fern / Asparagus Fern

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' The Foxtail Fern, also known as the Asparagus Fern is an unusual evergreen that adds textural contrast to perennial beds and borders. Long, plume-like stems hold soft, needle-like leaves. Blooms in spring, develops red berries in fall. An excellent choice for seasonal hanging baskets and containers. Best grown in part sun. Keep surface of soil moist, but not soggy. Moderately upright growth, 2 ft. tall and 2 to 3 ft. wide. Hardy in USDA zones 9-11

 

As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing


Friday, August 16, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Edibles

Fig trees are large rambling deciduous plants with lush tropical looking leaves and sweet, highly sought after fruit. While heat loving, fig trees can grow exceptionally well in the Pacific Northwest. All varieties love warm summer climates and full sun, but I have even seen them growing well and producing fruit even near the seaside. With that said, a sheltered, south facing location is ideal.

Fig tree with fruit

 

When left alone, fig trees form a large, spreading, multi-branched shrub or tree. However, it will often produce leaves and branches at the expense of fruit. We recommend containing the roots either in the garden or a large pot. When the roots are constrained, the plant puts more energy into fruiting – which I think is what we all want!

When the fig is grown in a constrained location, it is essential to pay attention to its watering needs and fertilizer. This is especially true in the summer when fruit is swelling and the moisture is needed. I have mine in a large pot and I have been watering at least once every two-three days during the heat of the summer.

fig fruit

 

Fig fruit is incredibly sweet and somewhat ‘space-alien’ looking on the inside. Maybe it’s a great way to get kids to try it… hmmm. Figs require pollination in order for fruit to develop. This is where things get really interesting. Simplified, fig pollination occurs when tiny little wasps enter the base of the fruit and work their magic. You can find out more about this from sites like this.

Feeding Figs

Fig trees should be fertilized with a high potash fertilizer when the fruits begin to swell. You can use a liquid product for a quick feeding or a slow-release if you are more the leisurely type. Our Garden Pro Liquid Transplant fertilizer, Fruit tree and berry food or our Tomato fertilizer are ideal. Figs can be heavy feeders so multiple applications may be necessary depending on the product. Don’t feed after August as you do not want to encourage a lot of growth going into fall.

fig harvestMost figs begin small, green and solid. As they mature, they may change colour depending on the variety, soften and begin to droop at the neck. At this point they are ready for harvest. If the skin cracks open the fruit is completely ripe. You may find the birds in your neighborhood volunteering to help harvest your crop. Cover your fig tree with a garden net to save some of the fruit for yourself.

Figs are supposed to produce two crops of fruit per year. One in the late spring or early summer (called the Breba crop), and the second in the late summer or early fall. However, unless we have an exceptionally warm summer, the second crop often does not ripen before fall rains and winter frosts set in.

Pruning & Caring for Figs

Fig foliage and leavesEstablished fig trees should be pruned in late spring or early summer. Shorten side shoots and deal with the 3 D’s – dead, damaged and diseased wood. To keep a clean and tidy tree, you may also want to remove branches that cross or generally grow in the wrong direction.

Remove leaf debris to reduce the likelihood of pests and disease. To increase next years crop, remove any fruit larger than pea-size in September. The remaining embryonic fruits should over-winter and given some protection over winter, will ripen the following year.

 

This is always a gamble as you are sacrificing a potential fall crop for the promise of a larger spring crop … it’s your choice…

Winter Protection

As some winter protection is recommended, apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch in the fall to provide extra comfort for the plant. This will serve to moderate temperature and protect the roots. Fig trees will usually survive our winters, but may die back to the ground level. If this occurs, new shoots will often emerge from the base.

Common Fig Varieties

While there are many varieties of figs available, these four are generally available at Art’s Nursery.

black jack fig

'Black Jack' Fig

Ficus carica 'Black Jack'

A handsome heat loving deciduous tree that produces a heavy crop of tasty brownish-purple fruit twice a year – in late spring and late summer, weather permitting. Its medium size works well for screening or background use. Prune lightly once a year to showcase its attractive structural form. Grows to a moderate size, 15-25ft tall and wide.

brown turkey fig

'Black Jack' Fig

Ficus carica 'Brown Turkey'

Brown Turkey is a cold hardy fig variety with attractive light-green leaves, smooth gray bark and a delicious edible purple-brown fruit that ripens in late August. Flesh is red when ripe. Grows 10-25 tall. Like other figs it is best grown in full sun in rich, well drained soils. Hardy in zones 6-9.

peters honey fig

'Peter's Honey' Fig

Ficus carica 'Peters Honey'

Peters Honey produces sweet greenish-yellow fruit with wonderful dark amber flecks in summer for extra interest. It’s a mid-sized variety that needs a hot, south facing exposure for fruit to ripen in coastal or temperate areas. Grows 15-25ft in size. Originally from Sicily and is a must-have for Mediterranean style gardens.

mission fig

'Mission' Fig

Ficus carica 'Mission'

Also sometimes called ‘Black Mission’, this fig is one of the most popular in California. This is a large tree that bears especially sweet purplish-black fruit in summer. Mission adapts well to all areas but is best suited for a hot and dry, inland region. Grows 20-25ft tall and wide, but benefits from a light annual pruning. Deciduous. Hardy in zones 7-9

We've also found this helpful video from one of our fig suppliers that gives you even more information about growing figs.

 

Art’s Nursery carries a large and diverse selection of fig trees for your garden. As our selection is always changing, please call 604.882.1201 to confirm availability of specific varieties. If you have any questions about figs, talk to one of our expert horticulturists in-store or on the phone.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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