Rockrose

If there’s one plant that behaves in every way like a California native, but isn’t one, it’s the rockrose. For years, I assumed rockrose (Cistus spp.) was a native because I had see...

Keeping Your Camellia Pest Free

Q: I have a camellia growing under the eaves near my front door with a northeast exposure which gets no direct sun during the winter. The problem is that it gets many flower buds that form fully but ...

A Lantana Bonanza

Familiar plants often show up in unfamiliar places, pleasing you in unexpected ways. Everyone knows that purple, violet or mauve lantana, depending on how you identify the color of its flowers, is a ...

Exciting Pittosporums & Grafted Gardenias

Once upon a time, when people wanted carefree evergreen foliage plants that came in a variety of shapes and sizes, they chose junipers. They could choose from green, blue, silvery-blue and gold-tippe...

Island Bush Poppy

For more than a decade, I had been looking for that highly prized poppy. No one had it. No one could propagate it. Yes, you could see it growing wildon the Channel Islands, and there was a glorious s...

Marigolds Self-Sow in Gas Station Planter

Note:  the following was written in 2000.  Some years ago, the marigold planter  was converted to artificial turf. If you want to learn about the importance of soil in the life of a plant, pay a visi...

Tropical Rhododendrons for You

It is a most lamentable form of floral deprivation that rhododendrons – those magnificent relatives of the azalea – are seldom seen in Los Angeles. The word rhododendron is derived from t...