Archive | May 2012

Chenopodium Growing Instructions


“What can you tell me about Chenopodium ‘Anres Hybrids’ specifically Seed germination information. Cut Flower Conditioning. Cut Flower Spacing Fertilization etc. Thank you, ~Roberta”

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Hi Roberta,

Thank you for contacting us in regards to Chenopodium.  Chenopodium is
responsive to nitrogen and phosphorous. Plants grown in average garden soil
will be four-feet to six-feet tall, while those grown in rich soil or
compost may reach over eight feet. Optimum soil is a well-drained loam but
both plants will do well in all but poorly aerated clay soils.

It grows best where maximum temperatures do not exceed  90°F (32°C) and
nighttime temperatures are cool. If direct seeded into the garden when soil
temperatures are around 60°F (15°C), seedlings emerge within three to four
days. However, when chenopodium seeds are planted in soil with night-time
temperatures much above that, it may, like spinach, may not germinate. In
this instance, it’s best to refrigerate seeds before planting to give them
time to have the coolness needed to break dormancy.

The small seeds will germinate more successfully with a finely prepared
surface and adequate moisture. Seeds should be sown no more than one-quarter
inch deep in rows one and a half- to two-feet (45-60 cm) apart or wide
enough to accommodate a rototiller between the rows without damaging the
plants. Planting can be done by hand or with a row seeder. Plants should
eventually be thinned 6 to 18 inches (15-45 cm) apart. (Thinnings make great
additions to salad.)

One gram of seed will sow 50 feet (15 m) of row. An acre requires about one
pound of seed.

When weeding, the Chenopodium in this blend resembles lamb’s-quarters and
red-rooted pigweed, especially in the early stages of growth, so it is best
to sow seed in rows to make weeding less confusing. Since seed is small, you
can avoid considerable thinning by mixing it with sand or radish seed before
sowing, as is sometimes done with carrots.

Soil moisture is probably sufficient until early June to germinate the seed.
Given good soil moisture, don’t water until the plants reach the two- or
three-leaf stage. Chenopodium appears slow growing at first but both are
extremely drought tolerant and do well on a total of 10 inches (25 cm) of
water or less. As the plants reach about one foot in height, they start to
grow very rapidly, the canopy closes in, weeds are shaded out and less
moisture is lost through evaporation.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions,
please feel free to ask.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Rose by Any Other Name


“Dear Horticulturist,

I recently ordered roses from [company name omitted by author] and they are starting to bloom.  One of the roses I ordered was this company’s new 2013 Sneak Peak and [company name omitted] Exclusive ‘Raspberry Cream Twirl’ (PPAF, VAR: MEItaratol).  It is such a lovely climber and I was so looking forward to it.

That’s not what I got.  Instead, I have a peach rose.  It’s also not climbing.  Is there any way you can identify this rose?  I called the company’s customer service line and was told by the lady that the color would develop as the plant matured.  While I am sure that may happen to some degree while a plant gets established, I can’t see how solid peach will become raspberry with white.  Please help.  Thank you, Kendra

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Hi Kendra,

Thank you for contacting us via Twitter regarding your Raspberry Cream Twirl Climbing Rose.  I agree with you — this is not a climbing rose.  The habit is wrong.  Your rose’s blooms are more rugose-type rather than being more tea-type. And, as anyone that is not color blind can tell… there is nothing raspberry or pinkish purple about it!

They really told you that the color would change?  I’d like to pull the disbelief card on that one, but I know from my own personal experiences with [company name omitted] that their staff does not seem to be well informed when it comes to their products and a basic understanding of plant biology.  If zebras can’t change their stripes, then roses can’t change their petal color (at least not that drastically)!

This is what your rose should have looked like (for those readers that are not familiar with it):

I took a look through the other roses that were offered in the 2012 [company name omitted] catalog and the one that would be the best match based on your photo would be a Peach Drift Compact Groundcover Rose.  The blooms are a good match and the growth habit is almost a perfect fit.

If I were you, I’d call them back up and offer to send them photos (if you haven’t done so already).  Send them a copy of the digital photo that you sent me.  I would hope that the folks in their complaints department will be able to see the difference in a heartbeat and either refund your money or send you a new one that is correct.

***AUTHOR NOTE:  after publishing this article, we at Horticulture Talk were contacted by the mail order company that sells this rose and asked to remove their name from our article — or receive a call from their lawyer.  Our purpose here is to be as ‘open’ as possible to all companies and to tell the truth like it is.  In the past, we have been contacted by other companies thanking us for the mentioning their company and the extra publicity they were getting for free.  And we’ve also been contacted by companies that were cast in a poor light to see if they could be put in contact with their customer to ‘make it right’.

Horticulture Talk is not out to get anybody.  We aren’t trying to point a finger of blame, but want to help gardeners learn and understand more about the plants in their garden.  We aren’t trying to put anyone out of business.  We aren’t saying this was done intentionally — it could be the vendor mixed up the order when they sent them to the mail order company or that the person pulling the customer’s order grabbed the one next to the one they were supposed to grab.  Mistakes happen.  It’s just how you go about rectifying them that matters.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Waterlogged Peter Pan… Agapanthus, that is


“I received a gift of small agapanthus(Peter Pan) and put in a pot in my greenhouse when it arrived. One bulb out of 3 grew 1/4″ since then.  The others have not grown at all. I repotted them and there is no sign of them growing. I have grown the large agapanthus for years without difficulty. What are your thoughts? Thank you. ~Patty”

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Hi Patty,

Thanks for contacting me via Facebook regarding your agapanthus.  The only thing I can think of is that the soil may have been too wet.  When initially starting to grow after planting, agapanthus are really finicky being too wet.  If they are already established and it is too wet, they will make do.  Agapanthus thrives in fertile, well-drained, but
moisture-retentive soil.

If you plan to try to repot them and they are not rotted/dead, you should put each into a 8-9in pot in diameter and fill with potting soil. They will grow best in a light, dry area. Do not overpot agapanthus by putting all three in the pot, or there is a risk they may not grow because they feel overcrowded.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.