A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 74 – Calibrachoa

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“Calibrachoa” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

I don’t often say I hate a plant… But I can honestly say I am not a fan of calibrachoa… I swear when you see it at the nursery in the spring… It is in full bloom… A lot of money has been spent breeding this plant into the multitude of colors currently available… I guess that money has to be made back somehow…

I would be willing to bet a lot of people believe these to be dwarf petunias… After all they are commonly labeled “Mini Petunia” or “Mini-Tunia”… This couldn’t be further from the truth… In my own personal experiences this plant shares none of the same characteristics as Petunias… Where a Petunia is pretty bug resistant… Calibrachoa is one of the first plants eaten… Petunias bloom year-round… While Calibrachoa has a small window at the end of the season…

That is sort of the kick in the ass about this plant… It is really an autumn-bloomer… But when you buy it in the store it is often in full bloom regardless of the season… This is just one trick nurseries often use to get us to buy plants that we would not even notice…

Plants that bloom during a specific time of the year are triggered to do so by the sun… Throughout the course of the year the hours of sunlight we experience is constantly changing,,, For many Autumn blooming flowers this is triggered by the shortening hours of daylight… This trait is called photosensitivity and is a trait shared by many plants… All the nurseryman needs to do to get late-blooming flowers to open is modify the hours of available light in the greenhouse… For many temperate climate plants the magic number is 12 hours on and 12 hours off…

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“First Snowfall on Lilac” – Fall 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

The one redeeming quality of Calibrachoa is the little fact that it blooms well beyond the first snowfall… In fact… It takes a relatively hard freeze to kill it… In its native range of South America it is a tender perennial… Some might even consider it a tender evergreen… Either way… If you do decide to plant it… Which I won’t be doing again… You will at least have something to photograph well after the first snowfall…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calibrachoa

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 73 – Goldenrod

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“Goldenrod Pornography” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – The rural Goldenrod…

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Solidago… Common name “Goldenrod”… Did you know there are around 200 varieties… I had no clue… In fact… When I woke up this morning and started putting this post together… I realized I knew very little about this plant… In fact… I really only noticed it was because I saw it growing alongside Blue Asters in a ditch next to a road… It was seeing this combination of colors that made me take note… Last year I brought some Solidago Canadensis into my front yard garden… It is now alongside my New England Blue Aster…

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“Solidago Canadensis” – Summer 2013 – Center Street – Wilkinsburg, PA – The urban Goldenrod…

Given the fact that I don’t know much about this plant… I have spent the majority of this morning digging through websites… And honestly… I will probably spend the rest of the day doing this… So I am going to provide a few links I would recommend… After the links I will provide some personal experience with transplant and first year cultivation…

Solidago – A general Wiki on Goldenrods (Solidago)

Solidago Canadensis – Specific to my photographs

Solidago Canadensis – USDA

Solidago Canadensis – USDA Forest Service – Extremely Detailed!

Solidago Canadensis – Bucknell University – A Must Read!

So here is what I can tell you… When you pop a goldenrod out of the ground it will wilt almost immediately… The goal is to get it in the ground and watered as fast as possible… Once it is planted it will appear to die… Especially if you planted it in full sunlight… Don’t worry… The plant recovers in a week… This can be facilitated by cutting the plant down to 6″ stubs immediately after planting… This stops the plants desire to grow tall and focuses energy back into root production…

If your Goldenrod manages to recover in time to bloom the first year… Don’t expect much… Transplanting seems to set the flowering back a few weeks later than the plants that have not been disturbed… Again… This is not a big deal and the plant will recover and resume normal timing the following year…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidago_canadensis

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 72 – Jewelweed

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“Jewelweed” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Impatiens capensis…  But much more commonly called “Orange Jewelweed”… Also less commonly known as “Common Jewelweed”, “Spotted Jewelweed”, “Spotted Touch-me-not”,or “Orange Balsam”… Is an annual native to North America… The common name “Touch-Me-Not” is a result of the seed pods which explode when touched…

Jewelweed was one of the first plants I attempted to use medicinally… I grew up in a small community called South Park, PA… For those wondering… It is directly South of North Park… The community is largely wooded and as a result I spent a large amount of time among the trees… We were a motley crew that lived a high impact lifestyle of building forts and tree-houses… As a result we got hurt a lot… A friend had learned of this plants use as a rash treatment in Boy Scouts… Because of this we applied Jewelweed to every wound and burn we got…

So imagine my disappointment a few years ago when I returned to this plant… As is typical I can spend a large amount of time digging for info… Sadly… One thing is pretty clear to me… The medicinal qualities of this plant can not be confirmed… In fact… Most professionals agree that the effects are most likely placebo… But as far as I am concerned… If a plant works for you… Then who cares what modern medicine says…

Last summer I noticed massive patches of Jewelweed dying in Frick Park… This makes me question whether or not this plant is affected by the “Impatiens Downy Mildew” that is currently ravaging my region… Making growing Impatiens all but impossible the last two years…

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So… I have a huge announcement coming next week… Literally… It is coming in the mail and should be here early next week… Made possible by a donation from a fellow blogger who will be thanked properly in the near future… Either way… I have a game changer on the way… Stay tuned…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_capensis

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 71 – Feverfew

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“Feverfew” – Summer 2013 – The Garden Table – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Tanacetum parthenium… But I am pretty sure we all know it as “Feverfew”… I was first introduced to this plant a few years ago in the form of a trade… I was told it was “Gods Tylenol”… It cost me a small chunk of my creeping Oregano…

Feverfew can be a little invasive if neglected… It is a profuse bloomer and has a tendency to reseed itself if the flowers are not dead-headed… This can actually become a bit of an issue mid-season because Feverfew does not bloom all at one time… It blooms progressively throughout the season…

Although Feverfew is a perennial… I would consider it a short-lived one… It just takes on the appearance of having a long life due to the fact that it reseeds readily… In my own experiences each plant lives for 2-3 years before “crapping-out”… Given the size of the plant at maturity the seedlings below stay relatively small… But once the primary plant dies the seedlings quickly come to life in an attempt to take over dominance… This can be helped along with a bit of selective thinning…

Tanacetum has a history of being used as a headache reliever and fever reducer… I am not a doctor and after a few hours of research I have found nothing but conflicting information… For that reason I am simply going to say this… Use any herb you grow with extreme caution… It is not typically the herb/chemical itself that will harm you… It is the reaction of that herb/chemical with something else you are taking that will harm you… Always research the medicine you take… Both holistic and “conventional”-(not sure what word to use here)… Remembering to go beyond the effects and specifically look at the reactions…

Again… I am the farthest thing from a doctor… But something I am sure of is…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feverfew

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 70 – Asiatic Dayflower

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“Asiatic Dayflower” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Commelina communis… AKA “Asiatic Dayflower” due to its blooms lasting only one day each… It is an annual that is extremely sensitive to cold… Even a slight frost will kill it…

I know what you are thinking… This plant is in fact a weed and it is borderline invasive… But pulling it is oh so satisfying… Asiatic Dayflower is a lightning-fast grower… It initially resembles a lily in shape and form… As the plant matures it starts to stretch… When in full vegetative growth the stem stretches up to a foot between leaves… Where the intervals occur the plant likes to branch… These branches tend to grow through each other leading to a massive tangle…

I have found that pulling Dayflower is more of an art form than an attack… I gently grasp a few branched and slowly pull… This plant has very shallow roots so it will slowly free itself… I can regularly pull the entire plant in one try… It is not uncommon to fill an entire lawn and leaf bag with one plant…

Also interesting is the fact that if left in the sun this plant will quickly dehydrate… A few hot days will shrink even a large pile down to practically nothing… What would take me 10 garbage bags to clean up can be done in less than one if you are willing to be patient and let nature do some of the work… When composting massive quantities of garden waste it is always helpful to spread it out on the ground and let it dry in the sun for a few days… Drying also shrinks the amount of plant material to be added to the pile…

The Wikipedia article for this plant is great and I can’t compete with it… I highly recommend reading it…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_dayflower

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 69 – St. John’s Wort

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“St. Johns Wort” – Summer 2013 – The Garden Table – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Snow again… Damn… I’m sorry… And I don’t use this word lightly… But… Mother Nature can be a cruel bitch sometimes… I’m just sayin…

Hypericum perforatum… Commonly known as “St John’s Wort”… Is a herbaceous-perennial that is well-known as an over-the-counter supplement… Though I consider it an ornamental herb… Honestly… The amount of time and work that go into the preparation of this herb for consumption are rather limiting… I believe this is the reason the supplement has managed to go mainstream while the plant has not…

St. John’s Wort is a care free and work free plant… It requires no water making it a perfect plant for the xeriscape… About the only recommendation I can personally make is to give it a heavy pruning first thing in the spring… SJW grows a profuse number of stems throughout the year… As they grow they eventually flop over onto the ground… SJW that has not been pruned will form a tangled clump… Although this really doesn’t affect the plant negatively… It will create more work for you in the future… I always recommend regular maintenance of all plants… At the very least you should give every plant in your garden a once-over at least once a year…

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A few days last week our temperatures climbed above freezing… I took the opportunity to spend a little time on the lot where I am putting my new guerrilla garden this year… Sadly… The ground was still frozen… I wasn’t able to plant my apple tree… Which is symbolic because in the pioneer days of the United States… A requirement of land ownership was that the owner must plant an apple tree… Only after the apple tree was planted was the land officially considered owned…

A big part of what I do when I am planning to guerrilla garden an entire lot is observation… I have observed this lot for two years now… I know it’s ins and outs… I know where every mouse lives… I know where the tires are buried… I have excavated and identified all four corners of the now torn down homes foundation… I am ready to go…

All I need now is for mother nature to get on board… I want to dig the “urban-wetland” and the channel that will feed it from the neighbors gutters before the spring rains come… I also need to dig my production beds in the rear of the lot…

I need the thaw… I need spring… Because I am running out of steam…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricyrtis

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 68 – Toad Lily

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“Tricyrtis on Grid” – Summer 2013 – The Garden Table – Rebecca Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

This post got away from me quick… Toad Lily is a slow grower… It remains boring for most of the year… Towards the end of Summer it begins to bloom… This plant really only requires shade… No water… Fertilizer… Or even care… If anything it could benefit from a bloom boosting fertilizer around… Say Mid-August… But other than that it is one care-free momma…

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Toad Lily is another favorite of my girlfriend… We were hanging out at our favorite local farm/nursery “Soergel Orchards in Wexford, PA” a few summers ago… They are close friends of ours and honestly… They have done so much to help my efforts in the neighborhood… Well… The idea of buying anything “garden related” from anyone else just sickens us a little bit… Anyway… Towards the back of a row of perennials was a pot with a single white flower… From 50′ away I knew what it was… And I knew I had to have it…

Aware of the rarity of this particular plant (not actually rare)… And the high value of it (3 for $15.95)… I knew I would not be the only being in search of this particular specimen… I casually stepped away from the group… Never making eye contact with anyone… And never putting eyes on the plant as it could possibly give away the position of the object of my desire…

Although the walk was only 50’… It felt like 50 miles… Every crack in the pavement a canyon… Every insect an enemy… Nothing was going to stand between me and my destiny… Towards the end of the row I met my first road-block… A group of older ladies stopped me in my tracks… They will not let me pass unless I can answer a few questions… Number one… Do I work here? (I always get asked this anytime I am in a nursery – everywhere I go – I guess I just look the part) And number two… What is this plant? I answered with a smiling “no”… Then I answered the other question… And then all the rest of their questions…

After a few moments of this… They were satisfied with my answers to their riddles and let me pass… I had finally made it to my toad lily… And to my surprise… There were three of them… Only one had a blossom… All three were perfect… As I sat clutching the three plants I heard a gasp over my shoulder… As I read the name on the tag “Tricyrtis”… One of the ladies I was just talking to muttered the same word at the same time I was reading it… “Tricyrtis”…

Before I could grab my plants and run… I was again surrounded… Questions were flying… Stories were shared… Memories were brought up… And before I knew it I was out my three plants… I was bummed about losing my plants… But the woman had gained a memory… And three conversation plants…

As I accepted defeat and walked back to my girlfriend with my head low… The owner of the farm asked what was going on with me and the ladies… I smiled and told him I lost my Toad Lily… He pointed up the hill and asked if I had looked up in the other perennial aisle…

Guess who got his toad lily? This guy… Wait… Wait… Wait… That won’t go over well… Guess who got “her” Toad Lily?

My girlfriend…

And guess who gets to take care of them?

This guy…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricyrtis

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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