League City News Online Banner
Skip Navigation and Section Links - Go To Content Your online hometown newspaper
     

Gardening


Program On Plumeria Offered On March 26

by Dr. William M. Johnson
Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture


March 29, 2005

Gardening: Plumeria imagePlumeria is well known for its striking, intensely fragrant, and spiral-shaped blooms which appear at branch tips from around April through November. The flowers are treasured for their durability, fragrances, and range of colors. A program on "Plumerias in the Home Landscape" was held on Saturday, March 26, 2005, at 9:00 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office. Photo credit: William M. Johnson

Plumeria is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and delightful plants grown in our subtropical growing environment. Plumeria is also known as Frangipani and as the Hawaiian lei flower.

Aprogram on "Plumerias in the Home Landscape" was held on Saturday, March 26, 2005, at 9:00 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office at 5115 Hwy. 3 in Dickinson. The program was presented by Jacque Sobotik and Dr. Ron Abbott who are Certified Texas Master Gardeners and members of the Plumeria Society of America.

Topics discussed were proven varieties, proper fertilization, soil and light requirements, pruning, propagation methods, and methods of overwintering. The presentation was sponsored by the Galveston County Master Gardener Association as a public service to our county residents. The program was free-of-charge and required pre-registration (GALV3@wt.net or 281-534-3413, ext. 6) due to space limitations.

Plumeria can be maintained as a shrub or small tree grown in the garden or in a container on the patio. Plumeria is well known for its striking, intensely fragrant, and spiral-shaped blooms which appear at branch tips from around April through November.

There is absolutely nothing like the sweet fragrance of plumeria in flower, with fragrances of jasmine, citrus, spices, gardenia, and other delightful scents. These flowers are treasured for their durability, fragrances and colors of whites, yellows, pinks, reds, and multiple pastels.

The enchanting plumeria can provide a tropical addition to almost any landscape and deserve wider use.

GARDENERS' Q&As

Questions: My houseplants are "looking tired." When can I transplant them?

Answer: The months of March and April are the best time to transplant houseplants. They will reward you with lots of lush, healthy growth. You should select a good sterile potting mix, preferably one contain vermiculite and/or perlite.

Never recycle potting soil because doing so could cause both disease and insect problems. Before repotting check for insects. Treat with insecticidal soap for all soft bodied insects. Also, be sure to inspect the roots. Prune any roots that are mushy, desiccated or severely matted.

When selecting a pot for your plant, pick one that is only one size larger. For example, if your plant is in a 6-inch pot, go to an 8-inch pot. When repotting, you can add a slow release fertilizer to your potting mix. If liquid fertilization is used, wait several weeks until plants reestablish and follow-up with fertilization twice per month during the growing season.

Question: My lawn was mowed the day after it was sprayed with a herbicide for the control of broadleaf weeds. Did this have any effect on the weeds that were sprayed?

Answer: In most cases, it is recommended that there be at least a 3-day wait (a 7-10 day wait period is better) between spraying an over-the-top application of a weed killer and mowing the sprayed area. It takes this long for the chemical to penetrate the leaf and to begin translocating throughout the plant. The removal of the weed's leaves during mowing as you described will very likely reduce the effectiveness of the spraying.

Those weeds that are below the lawn mower blade and closer to the soil surface remain unaffected by the mowing. You will have to judge the effectiveness of the spraying by what type of weeds you have. You should see results within 2-3 weeks or the lack of it.

Question: I am new to this area and plan to start a garden. The soil is a heavy clay. What would you consider to be the most important step in improving this stuff?

Answer: Welcome to the club. The most common soil type in the area is clay-it's affectionately called gumbo clay. Some gardeners call it 12-inch clay-if you take 12 steps in it, you're likely to have 12 inches of soil adhering to each foot! Other refer to it as 12-pound clay-take 12 steps over it when wet and you gain 12 pounds.

Yes, it's tough, but certainly not impossible, to work with. Without a doubt, the addition of organic matter would be the most important thing a gardener can do to improve gumbo. Organic matter worked into the gumbo clay improves soil texture and thus makes the soil easier to work.

Organic matter also supplies many needed plant nutrients; improves the conditions for the development of beneficial organisms such as earthworms; slows leaching of nutrients by providing a holding system; and speeds excess water movement and drainage through the soil.

I have seen numerous gardeners who started out with tough gumbo and over time achieve a very workable and fertile soil. However, you must add organic matter on regular basis to achieve the same end results.

Lawn clippings, leaves, manure and shredded pine bark are excellent sources of organic matter. You should also consider starting a compost pile so you can recycle your garden and landscape waste into your gumbo clay soil.

Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County
Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University. Visit his web site at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm


Gardening: Scale insects and pampas grass - July 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Bananas - August 1, 2004 article

Gardening: August Gardening Calendar - August 16, 2004 article

Gardening: Trio Of Extension Programs Includes Pear Tasting, Master Naturalist Class & Rose Seminar - August 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Prepare Now For Fall Gardens - August 26, 2004 article

Gardening: Septemberís Garden Calendar Includes Fall Pecan Field Day - September 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Ornamental Grasses - September 8, 2004 article

Gardening: Don't Let Landscape Become A High-Maintenance Nightmare - September 22, 2004 article

Gardening: Oct. 10 Plant Sale & Seminar To Feature Butterfly Gardening - Butterflies Bring Color, Motion to Garden - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Plant It And They Will Come: Getting the Butterflies of Galveston County to Grace Your Yard - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Rose Propagation & Seasonal Decorating Workshops To Be Held - October 13, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29, Seasonal Decorations and Onion and Garlic Workshops - October 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29 and County Pecan Show - October 27, 2004 article

Gardening: November Is Pansy Time - November 6, 2004 article

Gardening: County Pecan Growers Display Their Successes - November 11, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Questions On Fall Crops - November 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardenersí Q&As For November - November 28, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' December Checklist Includes Citrus Show On Dec. 9 - December 3, 2004 article

Gardening: Citrus Show A Huge Success With 185 Entries - December 19, 2004 article

Gardening: Trees and Shrubs - December 23, 2004 article

Gardening: Cold Weather Impact - January 4, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Checklist For January Includes Several Educational Programs - January 7, 2005 article

Gardening:Announcing the 2005 Galveston County Master Gardener Training - January 13, 2005 article

Gardening:Peach & Plum Growers' Workshop To Be Held Saturday, January 29 - January 19, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardening for Texas Wildlife - January 28, 2005 article

Gardening: Wide Variety of Citrus to Be Available at February 5 Fruit Tree Sale and Home Citrus Production - January 31, 2005 article

Gardening: Fruit Trees Of The Gods Featured In February 5 Master Gardener Plant Sale - February 2, 2005 article

Gardening: "If I Were A Tomato, I Would Want To Be Grown In Texas . . . Galveston County, That Is!" Workshop to be held February 12 - February 9, 2005 article

Gardening: February Is Rose Pruning Time...Attend Rose Care Seminar to Learn How - February 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Activities At The Home & Garden Show On Feb. 26-27 - February 23, 2005 article

Gardening: March Gardening Calendar Includes Seminar On Butterfly Gardening - March 2, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Q&As From The Galveston Home & Garden Show - March 10, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Offers Program On "Living To Be 100 . . . A Commonsense Approach." - March 16, 2005 article

Copyright
© 2004-2006
League City Area News Online.
All rights reserved.
The opinions expressed in this or any other column are those of the author, not the League City Area News Online or its staff or any of its affiliates. Any and all responses to any of the columnists are welcome.
Web design by Webmaster
Marilyn Clark.
Send comments and Letters to the Editor to:
League City Area News Online, P. O. Box 1693, League City, Texas 77574-1693

Please include your address and phone number for verification purposes.
Send e-mail to the Webmaster if there are problems with the web site.