Unicorn plants

In The Garden

08-11-2022 • 11 mins

This morning I've got Shannon with me from Garden Supply Company. She's got a, a couple subjects we're gonna talk about. Shannon, what, what did you have in mind this morning? I wanted to talk about some unicorn type plants that I consider customers who come in and look for something that's evergreen flowering.

And can tolerate full sun. Yeah. We get that question all the time. They want, they want something that's bulletproof, that, that flowers all year long, that's evergreen. That handles sun and shade. And there are few of those out there. Isn't that a plastic plant? , I mean, I mean, a plastic plant always works in that situation.

Exactly. But sometimes people just don't wanna stick that plastic plant. It gets sun damage after a while. It's kinda fade. Looks like a cemetery. I put a plastic plant in my mailbox thing. You know how that mailbox got plants in the back sometimes. Yeah. And my wife is like, Man, that plant's doing well. I'd just be it.

Spot it for my Kia. Yeah.

home run Ron. Yeah. So I just wanted to talk about that a little bit. One of my personal favorites is the Laura Petal. Yeah. Laura Pet's a great plant and so many people come in and when I talk about it with them, they immediately think about the 12 foot one that they have in their yard that's overgrown.

Yeah. And has been there for years. But there's so many other varieties that will. Actually do what they say they do. Exactly. Yep. That will stay small. Specifically, specifically that purple daydream. Mm-hmm. Purple. Purple Daydream's. A great plant. I love that one. Flowers twice a year stays that beautiful purple dark color.

Color. Yeah. The color's a good contrast with just about any other plant in, in the landscape. I think the way it contrasts with that dark. in any other landscape with Boxwoods or Hollys. Yep. Or blue plants or another plant. And I think we, we had talked about in that list is a gold thread, Cypress. Yes. You know, so you take the gold thread cypress and then put the, the lower pedal up against it.

Oh, it's stunning. Yeah. Those are two perfect plants. I really love those. And when you mention the sunshade, wet dry, right Nandina, so many people have negative opinions of it. They think it's invasive, right? Because it has that bamboo. Quality. Right. And there is, I mean, there's, the, the, the na and domestic I think is probably seeds itself and spreads a little bit more than other plants.

But even that, where I see it naturalized in the woods mm-hmm. , it's not clogging up streams or taking up native habitat. It's just an additional plant in the landscape. Exactly. And not on, like, so I, when I moved in four years ago to my place, there were several of the flirts. and sure some of them have send out babies, but the babies are making it look like a nice full shrub.

Exactly. The ones that have become a nuisance, I've just pulled out up the most and it's easy. Yeah. It's so easy, Lord. And Dan is a magical plan. I think I agree. The way the the leaves are bluish silver and then that new growth comes up, that bright red is. It's beautiful. Yeah. And nandina is definitely, you know, there are, there aren't a lot of plants that I think without, without question you can say wet or dry sun or shade.

Mm-hmm. , no insect, no disease problems. I mean, pretty hard to beat. The only thing, you know, Van Nandina, when it goes in, it takes a little bit of time. It, you know, it could shed some foliage, it could thin out. You've gotta, you've gotta push it with a little bit of fertilizer. But can handle the drought, can handle the wet, can handle shade.

So if you've got a situation where you're the, you know, front of your house isn't mm-hmm. , you know, half sun, half shade, that's a plant that can tie the whole thing in. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I love the way it puts out berries over the winter, so it gives it that seasonal interest. Yeah. And so both of those plants that we've talked about are both I mean, it's a, it's a wide range of plants and, and heights and color and everything else.

Mm-hmm. . You've got obsession that gets three to four feet, you know, so it's three to four foot shrub or, or a flirt that gets, you know, 1, 1, 1 and a half feet. So you've got a wide range and they needed domestica that that'll get, you know, six, eight feet tall if you let it get that tall. Absolutely. And mushroom out probably to stick to eight feet tall.

So lower pedals the same way. You've got, you've got a wide range from, you know, a foot or two to, you know, 10 to 12. Right. Zoo lore petal and makes a nice tree, almost like a crate Myrtle. You just have to keep it brewed and mm-hmm. take care of it. Yeah. The dark fire is also one of my favorites.

It seems to hold the color so much deeper and darker than the rest. Yep. I love that one. Yeah. Dark fire is an amazing plant. Yeah. Another one too is the abi. ABIs a great, one of my favorite things about ABI is growing up there was, they were always pollinator plants. You know, you, they'd be covered in butterflies and bees and so that's a nice attribute to speaking to that they seem to flower more toward the fall or this time of year.

So when everything is. You know, losing its flowers, it is a great pollinator for, for those butterflies and bees. Yep. And it's definitely a 12 month plant. Mm-hmm. , I mean, it's, you know, great foliage in the spring, flowers in, you know, through the summer and fall. And then pink, you know, usually has a little bit of pink color in going into the, into the fall and winter.

Right. And that kaleidoscope, the way it changes color seasonally. Right. . Gorgeous. Yep. And if you don't like the yellow, yellow, green in the landscape there's the radiance. Yeah. Radiance is perfect. Mm-hmm. The Ralston by Burnum is one I wanted to talk about as well. Yeah. The, the that whole Ralston Plant series is amazing.

It's, it's a, it's a collective group of Chip, Chip sits in, in all of those meetings, I, I spent some time in those meetings, but we select the plants with a group from the abo. And local growers and the, a portion of the money goes back to the arboretum, which is a huge win. Yeah, absolutely. Double bonus.

Yeah. But the rawton a the Rawton by Burnham has probably been one of the better selections that we've made. I love that one. And the way it, it sits low the evergreen leaves, but then the, that red stemming that comes out. Yep. And then even taking on the fall color in. Foliage. Yeah. And that's one that I think you could probably easily say that, you know, you get a bloom in April or early May, you get blooms sporadically through the whole year, and then a really good flush in the fall, So mm-hmm.

I mean, I think it's, you can, you can say blooms three to four months, five months outta the year. Yeah. So that's a good one. And the height is perfect in the landscape and the, and that the. The texture of the foliage, I think, you know, is easy to put something against, you know, the texture and the color.

Absolutely. Yeah, that's a perfect plan. I also cannot neglect the nano OSA Krypto area. Even though that's a green one, you know, it stays green all year doesn't flower, but it's still, the texture is so different than anything that's a conifer. Yep. That's, you know, that kind of replaces the Carissa Holly for me, I mean, and Carissa Holly, I still use lots of, but I've, you know, it's, you're better off having a plant that looks perfect, 12 out, 12 months out of the year requires no pruning, requires no real a.

Than to have something that's real showy, like an azalea old-fashion azalea that blooms for two weeks and then it's just kind of soso the rest of the year. Right. So that's a big win. And son or shade too. I mean, I think that the crypto meial will work into a fair amount of shade. The only thing I, I mean, the only downfall to that plant at all is, you know, making sure it has enough water when it goes in the ground and gets really established, and then it's just kind of, it's super, super easy, right?

So, correct me if I'm wrong, somebody was just telling me about once a conifer goes into the ground and stops taking up water, if it's not watered enough, it will never really, it never recovers, right? So, I mean, you'll see once a plant starts to turn color, it's usually gone, you know? It's I think that's a, that's, you know, but if, if once they get rooted in and they're established, it's super easy.

And usually, you know, a plant's gonna be established in the first few months and, you know, since mo we, we'd guarantee our plants for a year. We, and we have some returns on, on those, but not many. Not many. Not many at all. So it, it's a, mm-hmm. , it's, it's a really good plant. The other plant, and it's a big, it's a big wide range.

That I, that I think is way underused. And people will say, I already have one in my yard. But Japanese maples as far as a small tree there's just, they're such a great part of the landscape. They're so long lived and I think they're so much better of value. People think they're expensive, but it's a small tree.

You know, it's so, it's, it's the same age tree as a, as a tree. It's been $300 on, You're gonna spend $300 on a smaller. But it's never gonna outgrow your landscape, and it's gonna be there probably longer than the house. A lot of times they'll be renovating the house and they'll renovate the house around a Japanese maples.

So absolutely. That's a, that's a good tree. And that value area value comes in because they are slower growing. Yep. So you're paying for just as old of a tree. Yeah. Even though it's smaller. Yep. And then to finish off your landscape, I think you know, I always think pansies. Misnamed or, you know, or the, or the, or the term pansy.

Being a, being a pansy is misused for sure. It's a bulletproof annual. I mean, if you, if you don't plant annuals any other time of the year, put some pansies in in the fall. I mean, that plant blooms from October until. I mean, it would be blooming in June if you didn't take 'em out to put your spring annuals in.

Absolutely. So I mean, that's a, that's a good finish to a landscape, but those, I think that plan, those plants pretty much wrap up a, a decent landscape. Definitely One more I'd like to mention is a Hinoki Cyprus. Yeah. Hinos are perfect. The wave of their foliage Yep. Is. Amazing. Yeah. And again, the right size plant a little bit more expensive cuz it's slow growing mm-hmm.

But when you get one in, it's something you're gonna, you're gonna, you know, you'll be happy with forever. Yeah. And some of them have that golden hue right on the tops of their leaves. That's just really beautiful. Yeah. That's a perfect, it's a good texture. The same thing with the with the crypto area.

The texture against, you know, you put that, the needle to Evergreen and, and put it against Alo petal and all of a sudden that the difference in texture and the difference in color is amazing. So it really breaks it up. Yep. Instead of just looking like one slab of landscape. Yeah. We could go on and on with, I mean, we've got, there's more unicorn plants out there.

I always like to remind people stop in. We've got such a huge staff of people that, that can help out. Shannon can help out. I can help out. Really, all of our gardeners are spectacular. Yeah. Yeah. We've got you know, 50 plus people there. So come in, you know, bring pictures, get, get, you know, get ideas.

We can put plants together and come up with ideas for you. Excellent, Excellent. I don't know what that was, .