Category Archives: Ornamentals

Greater Houston Plant Conference 2018

If you are interested in learning about new plants for the landscape, then the 2018 Greater Houston Plant Conference is the place to be. We will have speakers from the horticulture industry talking about annuals, perennials, bulbs, trees and more. We have a great lineup of speakers that will provide you with the latest information on new plants coming to the market and maybe a few forgotten ones that should be reconsidered. So don’t miss this opportunity to spend the day with fellow plant enthusiasts and meet new friends… Read More →

Is My Sago Palm (Cycad) Dead?

Sago palms or cycads are a popular landscape plant in the greater Houston area. There are several genera and about 200 species of plants referred to as cycads but the most common by far in our area is Cycas revoluta, which is commonly known as “sago palm”, even though it isn’t a true palm. These plants add a tropical look to the landscape and are generally considered cold hardy in our area. However, when temperatures dropped to 19 degrees (Houston IAH data) in mid January many plants were… Read More →

Highlights from the California Spring Trials 2018 – Day 5

All good things come to an end, so here is my 5th and final entry for the 2018 trials. We covered quite a few miles starting in Los Angeles and ending in the Gilroy area. It’s always a great experience to not only see new plants, but also travel with a great group of people and see colleagues from around the industry. We made two stops today and saw seem good possibilities for Harris County. Let’s see what I found today. Salvia Farina Series This Salvia farinacea has… Read More →

Highlights from the California Spring Trials 2018 – Day 4

Coming into the home stretch for the 2018 trials, only 1 more day to go. We stopped at three different sites today and saw some innovative plants. The breeding companies continue to develop new programs and deliver solutions for both the greenhouse/nursery producers and the end consumer. Here are some plants to look for in 2019. Helianthus ‘SunBelievable Brown Eyed Girl’ A multi-branching sunflower that is a non-stop bloomer throughout the season. This hybrid is sterile so the plant puts its energy into flower production and not setting… Read More →

Highlights from the California Spring Trials 2018 – Day 3

We are halfway through our trip and now visiting breeders in the Salinas area. The weather has been great and the breeding companies have been displaying some awesome plants. Today we made 2 stops after driving 2.5 hours to the northern end of the trials. Take a look at what I found today. Sunflower (experimental) On our stop at Takii (Japanese breeder), we saw this experimental Sunflower that had height, flower size and flower quantity (an ornamental hat-trick). This plant would not be for the faint of heart…. Read More →

Highlights from the California Spring Trials 2018 – Day 2

Howdy from California! The trip has been great so far and we are seeing some exciting new plants. I’m traveling this year with colleagues from Texas Tech, the University of Arkansas and of course Texas A&M. Today we made three stops with some plants that should do well in the Houston area. Here are some potential winners from Day 2. Artemesia Makana Silver This Artemesia is native to Hawaii and comes from Terra Nova Nurseries. If you are looking to add a soft texture to your perennial border… Read More →

Highlights from the California Spring Trials 2018 – Day 1

It’s that time of year to spend a week traveling in California to see the latest and greatest in annuals, perennials, edibles and even woody ornamentals. Think of these trials as “Fashion Week” for the plant world. Breeding companies from the United States and Europe roll out their new introductions that we can expect to see in 2019. So, here are some of the top plants that caught my eye on Day 1. Salvia Big Blue A new interspecific hybrid with large flower spikes and a bold blue… Read More →

Calling All Irrigators!!

If you are licensed irrigator or have in interest in landscape irrigation then we have two great programs for you in February. Drip Irrigation Workshop – February 14 This course provides an overview of drip irrigation systems design and management as well as a review of hydraulics of irrigation systems. Instruction is provided on the types of drip products available and how to evaluate their performance characteristics and quality. Topics include: advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation in landscape applications and product selection. Instruction is provided on: Design… Read More →

Top Caladium Performers-2016 Harris County Trials

We hit a bump in the road this year due to the tax day rains and the eventual flooding of our offices and growing beds at Bear Creek. At the writing of this blog, we are still in our temporary offices but hope to be back in our home offices soon. We were able to get a caladium trial planted off-site and here are the highlights. The caladiums were planted the first week of June, and evaluated for leaf color, uniformity of habit, resistance to insects and diseases… Read More →


The Greater Houston Plant Conference is a great opportunity to learn about new plants, breeding programs and ornamental plant trials in Texas and around the country. Come hear from industry experts about which shrubs, annuals and perennials you should be growing. Get your tickets early, we are at a new venue for 2016 with limited seating.    REGISTER TODAY!