If you are looking for plants that bloom throughout the summer in a sunny location, crape myrtle, roses and butterfly bush are the plants for you.
There was a time, not too long ago, when we could not grow crape myrtle on Long Island. The plants were not hardy enough to live through our cold winter months and instead thrived only in warmer climates like North Carolina. Luckily many of those southern varieties have been cross-bred with hardier types, making crape myrtles more accessible to Long Islanders.
Why Should I Grow a Crape Myrtle?
Crape myrtles are of interest for many reasons.
- They are highly ornamental and are available in a variety of colors including white, pink, purple and dark red.
- They bloom in mid-late summer and the flowers can last as long as 60 days.
- There is a crape myrtle for every garden! They come in a range of sizes.
- The interesting bark color and patterns of crape myrtle is a real landscape asset.
How Do I Care For a Crape Myrtle?
- Wait to prune until the buds break in spring.
- If the plant has been injured by cold, simply prune out the dead wood in the spring. *Please note: These plants are very late to leaf out in spring (late April/early May), so be patient.
- Because crape myrtles bloom on the current season’s growth, they can recover from winter injury and bloom by late summer.
- Fertilize when new growth begins to appear in late spring; use a well-balanced shrub fertilizer such as Espoma Plant-tone.
Nothing in the garden quite matches the beauty and elegance of roses. An important first step, before you purchase a rose, is to think about where you plan to enjoy it. Are you looking for roses you can cut for a bouquet? Large flowers? Small flowers or shrubs? We have a rose to fit every need.
Types of Roses
Hybrid Teas Roses produce large, often fragrant blooms in small clusters on a stem; makes a great cut flower. Repeat-blooms providing color all season long. Tall-growing 3-5 ft.
Floribundas bear clusters of smaller flowers on compact plants (usually 4 feet and under). Repeat-blooming, many are fragrant.
Grandifloras have smaller flowers in clusters on tall plants that grow up to 4 ft. tall.
Climbing Roses include many kinds of roses that grow long canes requiring trellises, fences or other supports.
Shrub Roses are among the easiest to grow; great when low maintenance is desired. They are one of the most vigorous, hardiest and most disease resistant roses to grow. Provides continuous color.
Miniature Roses are small in stature, typically less than one foot in size. Blooms, stems and leaves are equally dwarf in size.
Tree Roses, also known as standards, are a novelty created by using grafting and pruning techniques. Tree roses look great in a container.
Where Should I Plant My Roses?
Plant roses anywhere there is a sunny spot in garden beds, with shrubs in the landscape or even in containers on decks, patios or near entryways.
How Do I Care for My Roses?
- Fertilize with a well balanced fertilizer beginning in late spring.
- Water newly planted roses deeply and frequently the first few weeks; after that, normal rainfall is usually sufficient. Avoid wetting foliage and flowers with overhead watering as much as possible to minimize insect and disease problems.
- Pruning: Deadhead spent flowers as needed. Remove dead branches, crossing or rubbing branches, weak or old canes as needed. Make cuts at an angle just above (1/4 inch) an outward facing bud or where the leaf is or was attached (node).
- And most importantly, be sure to maintain an open center to the plant to improve and maintain good air circulation.
The easy care and low maintenance butterfly bush requires full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It produces large arching branches with masses of fragrant flowers mid-summer till fall and is often available in a myriad of colors from white and pink to many shades of purple.
Why Should I Grow Butterfly Bush?
This prolific bush attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden all summer long. It also creates an attractive backdrop for garden beds with its color and texture. Butterfly bush has a long bloom time, making it a favorite among gardeners.
How Do I Care for a Butterfly Bush?
Prune back to about 1 foot from the ground in late fall or early spring. There is no need to fertilize. Once established, butterfly bush is drought tolerant.