Category Archives: Flowers

Plants for Valentines

Plants for Valentines by June Morgan, Hunt County Master Gardener. Poinsettias for Christmas, lilies for Easter and red roses for Valentine are traditional flowers for gift giving. The first two are usually potted plants, and with the right care can give pleasure for a long time. Alas, it is not true for the beautiful long stemmed roses which are not only expensive but wilt within a short time. With proper care, potted plants with long lasting blooms and dish gardens can be welcome and practical alternatives. Despite having a… Read More →

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Poisonous Holiday Plants by June Morgan, Master Gardener.  If you have been following the columns by Master Gardeners, you are well aware of the main  toxic plants such as poison oak and ivy found in the summer. But decorative  winter plants also have their dangers, especially those prevalent during the holidays which can pose special threats to our pets and children. Poinsettias have a reputation for being poisonous, but it would be unlikely for a pet or child to ingest enough of the leaves to be really dangerous… Read More →

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus by Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D., Master Gardener. Christmas cactus has segmented stems that are flat and have spines along the edge of the sections.  Most of the year, it is just a slightly odd green plant.  However, when it blooms the blooms are beautiful and unusual, and more than make up for the wall flower appearance of the stems. The Christmas cactus is native to the South American rain forests.  This means that it expects a rather high degree of humidity.  It would be impractical to… Read More →


Mistletoe by Madeline Sullivin Mistletoe is the common name for obligate hemi-parasitic plants in several families in the order Santalales. These plants grow attached to the branches of a tree or shrub by a structure called the haustorium.  Through this structure, they absorb nutrients from the host plant. European mistletoe is easily recognized by its smooth-edged oval evergreen leaves seen in pairs along a woody stem with waxy white berries in dense clusters of 2 to 6.  In America, while the genus Viscum does not grow wild, the… Read More →


Poinsettias by Charles Bohmfalk Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were brought to the US in 1828 by the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett.  The Aztecs called poinsettias “Cuetlaxochitl.”  During the 14th – 16th century the sap was used to control fevers and the red bracts (modified leaves) were used to make a reddish dye.  In the early 1900’s the Ecke family of southern California grew poinsettias outdoors for use as landscape plants and as a cut flower.  Eventually the family grew poinsettias in… Read More →

Growing African Violets

Growing African Violets by Sylvia Leeds Would you like a little color in your house in the winter? Do you like to grow things? Do you have an empty window sill that does not get direct sunlight? If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, why not try an African Violet? African Violets are the perfect houseplant to brighten up your home during the winter doldrums. These little plants are easy to grow in the right conditions and can reward you with a beautiful display… Read More →

Growing Wildflowers

Growing Wildflowers by Charles Bomfalk Wildflowers are becoming a popular landscape alternative by adding color and natural beauty to any landscape.    Wildflowers are generally easy to grow from seed.  However, some wildflowers require more effort than broadcasting the seed on the ground and waiting for them to grow.  Many wildflowers require special soil preparation, temperature conditions, ongoing personal attention and patience.  Wildflower planting dates largely depend on site location and weather patterns. The planting timetable should be decided by seasonal rainfall rather than by temperature.  Wildflowers can be… Read More →

Hanging Baskets

Hanging Baskets by June Morgan Hanging baskets can add much to the outdoor porch and deck summer décor, but it can be a challenge to keep them looking their best.  Proper siting, basket design and proper watering are key elements of good management. The best siting is a protected area which allows sunlight from above or the sides such as a deck canopy out of the strong winds which will tear the plants apart. In contrast to the ordinary solid plastic container, the larger mesh basket is the… Read More →

Container Gardening

Container Gardening by Cynthia Beacom and Becky Wivang Does it involve a thriller, a filler and a spiller?  No, it’s not C.S.I.  It’s a Container Garden!  Hunt County Master Gardeners want to feature your original container garden at a contest in the Heritage Garden on the 2014 Garden Tour, May 31, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  The garden tour patrons will vote for first and second place overall favorites of the container gardens on display.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top two favorites.  Tickets for the… Read More →


Camellias by June Morgan On a visit to the Arboretum in Atlanta, Georgia, I stumbled upon an annual judged show of camellias from all over the surrounding deep south area. I was mesmerized by their many varieties, showing quiet charm to flashy allure.  I was almost ready to pack up and move out of north Texas. But undaunted, I researched the possibility of meeting the challenge at home. Camellia sinensis is the teaplant originated in China. After many tries in several places it finally became established near Charleston…. Read More →