Our Plant Pick: Camellias

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 10, 2016 10:11:24 AM

Our Plant Pick: Camellias

Camellia s. Kanjiro 001-515949-edited.jpg

Camellias are a hardy evergreen shrub native to eastern and southern Asia. They have a long history of cultivation there, as the leaves of one species - Camellia sinensis - are harvested to produce tea. Ornamental varieties such as the Japanese (Camellia japonica) and Sun (Camellia sasanqua) are commonly found in the United States, although there is nothing common about the beauty and diversity offered by this flowering shrub. 

GA_FOL_Janet-Camellia-s-WEB-658155-edited.jpgCamellia flowers come in six forms: anemone, formal double, peony, rose-form double, semi-double and single. These flowers come in white, pink, red or a combination thereof resulting in dozens of unique varieties. Sacramento is the Camellia Capital of the World, if you walk around the grid this winter you may be graced by the sight of 15-foot-tall camellia shrubs in bloom, some of them over 100 years old.

Despite their delicate appearance, Camellias are actually very resilient. They thrive in our climate when planted in rich, acidic soil with afternoon shade. Starting in late summer, fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer such as E.B. Stone Ultra Bloom to encourage cold hardiness and maximum flowering. Clean up flowers that have fallen to reduce your risk of petal blight, a fungal disease which causes rust-colored spots on petals. After bloom, prune to shape and fertilize again with E.B. Stone Azalea & Camellia food. 

Janet's plant pick is Camellias because:

"The sasanqua varieties start blooming in the fall, and then the japonicas go all the way through spring, keeping color in the garden all winter long."

Are you looking to keep your garden colorful this season? Check out some cool-season container ideas  Winter Container Ideas


Topics: Fall Shrubs, Winter, Flowers, Shrubs, Planting Ideas, Flowers for Shade, Camellias

Our Plant Pick: Hydrangeas

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jul 21, 2016 3:57:22 PM

Our Plant Pick: Hydrangeas


Nothing compares to Hydrangeas. They are the most versatile plant you can grow in the shade, ranging from small to large shrubs, climbing vines, and even patio trees. Showy bracts surround inconspicuous flowers which bloom throughout the spring, lasting much longer than most flowers do as it is bracts, as opposed to the petals, that are colorful. These flowers can be quite diverse as well, from lacecap varieties to multi-colored flowers and even reblooming varieties such as the Endless Summer® and Let's Dance® series.  

luisa_lauren_hydrangea-793709-edited.jpgIn the Sacramento Area, Hydrangeas are comfortable in a little morning sun, but no late afternoon sun. They thrive in rich soil, well-mulched to a depth of two-to-three inches. This showy shrub is also unique in that its flowers change color in reaction to the the acidity (pH) of the soil, except white varieties which stay white. If you're soil is acidic, the flowers will lean towards blue,  if it's alkaline, the flowers will be pink. To change the color of your Hydrangeas flowers in spring, you must feed them the previous fall with an amendment that alters pH. Try E.B. Stone Cottonseed Meal for blue, and E.B. Stone Naturals Agricultural Lime to go pink. Most Hydrangeas should be pruned after they've finished blooming, but no later than mid-August. This is because they bloom on old wood, and if you prune them late in the year, it may be at the expense of next year's flowers. Reblooming varieties such as the Endless Summer® and Let's Dance® series bloom on both old and new wood, so they can be trimmed any time. 

Luisa and Lauren love Hydrangeas because:

"The flowers are enormous, sometimes reaching ten inches across, and they can bloom for months!"

 Want more flowers that look fabulous in bouquets?  Cut-Flower Gardening

Topics: Shrubs, Summer, Flowers for Shade, Hydrangeas

Our Plant Pick: Maejima Winter Daphne

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 7, 2016 1:27:03 PM

Our Plant Pick: Maejima Winter Daphne 


Maejima Winter Daphne (Daphne odora 'Maejima') is an evergreen shrub which forms a mound of glossy green foliage rimmed with gold. It has an upright, somewhat open growth habit, reaching about three to four feet high and wide with little pruning needed. It's an underrated problem-solving plant, which tolerates dry shade, is deer resistant and can withstand temperatures all the way down to 0°F. 

MelinaDaphne-272309-edited.jpgPerhaps the most enchanting attribute of this overachieving evergreen is its bloom. In late winter or early spring, clusters of deep pink buds open to reveal highly fragrant white flowers. The flowers may be small, but the fragrance carries- a sweet-spicy perfume reminiscent of ginger and citrus. Requiring afternoon shade and slightly acidic soil, Daphne make nice informal hedges, or even specimen plants in a container. Nestle one in your garden where you can walk past it occasionally and appreciate it's invigorating fragrance announcing the arrival of spring.

It's Melina's plant pick because:

"It looks great year 'round, and the flowers smell phenomenal."


Considering re-doing your yard with low water plants? 

Drought Tolerant Plants


Topics: Waterwise, Fragrant Plants, Winter, Shrubs, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Low maintenance

Our Plant Pick: Forsythia

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Mar 2, 2016 5:24:34 PM

Our Plant Pick: Forsythia


Forsythia falls into the category of plants which are show-stoppers only once a year, but they are very worth the wait. In late winter to early spring, you may start to notice them burst forth from dormancy in a flurry of brilliant yellow fringed flowers which spring directly from the branch. 

SandyForsythia-386565-edited.jpgThe rest of the year they take the form of an unassuming upright shrub with bright green foliage. Water wise, easy to grow and relatively low maintenance, forsythia makes an excellent hedge for a sunny spot. The variety pictured 'Lynwood Gold' reaches about seven feet tall by four to six feet wide, but there are dwarf varieties such as  'Show Off® Sugar Baby' which stay two to three feet high and wide. 

It's Sandy's plant pick because:

"It's so showy! Plus you can cut the branches when they're budded and bring them inside to bloom."





For more low water landscape ideas, check out our design ideas for California Landscape 2.0.
  CA Landscape 2.0  

Topics: Waterwise, Flowers, Shrubs, Low maintenance

Pruning 101

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 4, 2016 9:57:15 AM

pruning_woody_plants-resized-600-011342-edited.jpgPruning is the act of selectively trimming plant material in order to direct growth. This is done to promote better flowering or fruiting, accentuate a plants natural form or increase it's vigor. Everyone who gardens will eventually utilize pruning to maintain their plants health or appearance, so if you're uncertain about how to prune a specific plant visit one of our five locations and let us walk you through the process. 

The right tools are key to the pruning process. 

Here are our recommendations: 
Prune Like a Pro

When is the best time to prune?

For the majority of plants, the best time to prune is in late winter to early spring. This is because a dormant plant is less likely to have a stress reaction to the removal of limbs and foliage. 

It's better to prune towards the end of the dormant season because:

  • Dense branches can help insulate a plant from frost damage, so you want to leave them on during the coldest parts of winter 
  • Late winter is right before new growth happens in spring, so a plant is ready to close off the wound as quickly as possible when it starts growing as soon as the weather warms up
  • Deciduous plants have no leaves, so it's easier to see their natural forms and access the branches which need to be pruned

Fruit trees, roses, perennials (such as lavender and sage), grasses and most shrubs are pruned at this time of year. Fruit trees and roses can be pruned in several different ways depending on their type, age and desired use. 

Click the link below for tips on pruning roses:

Pruning Roses

Click the link below for tips on pruning fruit trees for the home gardener:

Backyard Orchard Culture

There are some exceptions to the rule, some plants should not be pruned in late winter to early spring.

The following categories of plants should be pruned at different times of year:

  • Apricots and cherries are susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections, and open pruning wounds in cooler weather can exasperate the issue. They should both be pruned after fruiting in late summer or fall. 
  • Trees, shrubs and vines which bloom in spring are blooming on old wood, meaning wood that developed the previous year. As a general rule, any shrub or tree which blooms in spring should be pruned shortly after they've finished blooming. 
  • Hydrangeas- if you have an everblooming variety of Hydrangea such as the 'Endless Summer'® or 'Let's Dance'® series, they can be pruned throughout the year. The varieties which bloom annually shouldn't be pruned after mid-August. 

What types of pruning cuts are there?

Heading: Heading cuts prune away the tip of a branch, or it's terminal shoot. This is usually done to stop a branch from growing longer, and encourage bushy growth from lateral shoots. A heading cut on the main leader of a tree, is known as topping. Topping will stunt the tree from growing taller, and is not generally recommended. 

Blueberry_pruning-resized-600.jpgThinning: Thinning cuts (pictured) are where you select a lateral branch you would like to shorten, trace it back to it's point of origin, and cutting it off there. Thinning reduces size while maintaining a plant's natural form–ideal for pruning Japanese Maples. For plants which send up branches in a clumping pattern directly from the ground, the branch is traced back and cut at ground level. 

Shearing: Shearing is a type of pruning in which a lot of small branches are cut with "heading" cuts all at once, usually flush to the same level vertically or horizontally. Shearing encourages dense, uniform lateral growth for a neat and trimmed form–typically to maintain hedges and topiaries.

Note: Whenever shearing a hedge, always shear it at a slight angle like a pyramid, where the base is wider than the top, so that the top of the hedge doesn't cast shade and prevent light from reaching the lower branches. 

Pinching: Pinching is a way of preventing a bud from developing into a branch or flower. It is generally only done to new growth or herbaceous plants, anything soft enough to be severed with your fingers. This method is good for directing growth of young plants, and preventing flowering or fruiting. 

Topics: Winter, Tree, Shrubs, Pruning, Roses, Fruit Trees, Japanese Maples, Perennials

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Lion's Tail

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Sep 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Lion's Tail


Lion's Tail (Leonotis leonurus) is a perennial shrub native to South Africa. It's bright green foliage and upright growth habit is topped by stalks punctuated with whorls of unusual, fuzzy orange tubular flowers in late summer. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators are especially fond of these showy flower clusters.

Elvia_Leonotis-430267-editedGenerally reaching 4-6' high and wide, Lion's Tail produces lanky herbaceous growth off of a woody base, and should be pruned back each winter to keep it looking neat. It also responds well to summer pruning, and will flush out beautifully if pinched back on occasion. Despite its African origins, Lion's Tail is surprisingly cold tolerant, and will withstand temperatures down to 20-25°F. It will grow in a wide range of soils, as long as drainage is adequate, and requires little water when established. 

It's Elvia's pick-of-the-week because:

"The flower is so bright and beautiful, there's nothing else like it. Plus, it makes the hummingbirds happy."






Lion's Tail is one of many options for flower arrangements that are sure to be conversation topics.

Grow a Cut Flower Garden

Fall is officially here! For planting inspiration, check out some of our upcoming workshops Workshop Calendar

Topics: Flowers, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Hummingbirds

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Princess Flower

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 27, 2015 9:28:20 AM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Princess Flower


Princess Flower (Tibouchina urvilleana) is a semi-evergreen shrub native to Brazil. It has velvety medium-green leaves and vivid, electric purple flowers which are well suited to its royal namesake. In our climate it flourishes in the heat of summer, boasting a very long bloom season spring through fall. Given its tropical origins, it's no surprise that Princess Flowers are sensitive when it comes to frost. Hardy to 25-30°F, they must be protected in the winter. This love for heat and cold intolerance make this noble shrub best suited for enclosed courtyards, near pools or in containers.


Due to our chilly winters, Princess Flower usually only reaches 6-7ft high and wide in the Sacramento area. However, if it is in a protected area where it is particularly happy, it might eventually reach 15ft, making it an ideal candidate to train into a small tree. It's deeply saturated blue-violet blossoms adorned with elegant, curly stamens are irresistible to butterflies, making Princess Flower a wonderful addition to a tropical-themed pollinator garden.  


It's Linda's pick-of-the-week because:

"I love how versatile it is, you can prune to shape it any way you want. The velvety foliage tinged with red and those unbelievable purple flowers look so luxurious!"





Want to create your own tropical Pollinator Paradise? Here's some inspiration...
Canna 'Tropicanna Black'


Topics: Tropicals, Shrubs, Container Ideas, Summer, Summer Flowers, Butterflies

Privacy Trees and Shrubs: Plants with a Purpose

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 14, 2014 10:26:00 AM

privacy screen shrubs

Do you long for more privacy or simply crave a secluded area in your yard?  Perplexed about which plant to choose? We have solutions.

All the options below are evergreen or in laymens terms, GREEN YEAR 'ROUND can provide added privacy and will thrive in Sacramento.  

Problem: Filtered Light or Shade
  • Pygmy Date Palm-
    Get a lush, tropical look with these palms. These are simply amazing planted in upright containers and become instant tropical trees!  Plus, if grown  in containers ,they can be moved to a covered area for winter, as they will not survive frost conditions. 
  • Camellias-  
    These grow to sizes from 3ft up to 10 ft!  These beauties  provide both flowers and evergreen foliage. There are many flower colors to choose from and with a moderate growth rate, Camellias are an exceptional choice for a screen.  Many varieties can be maintained at the height of your choice. These can be grown on a trellis as well.  Remember to plant these with acidic planting mix. 
  • Gardenias-  
    Ideal for east facing locations or in full shade.  Planted in the ground or in a tall container.  The 'Veitchii' variety which blooms from spring into summer with large fragrant flowers is excellent in containers.  (pictured above- Photo credits Doreen Wynja)


Problem: Very Narrow Space
VINES make an excellent option for narrow spots.
  • Evergreen Clematis Vine-
    With large, robust leaves and fragrant spring flowers, this vine is frost hardy too.  Simply place a trellis or support for this vine and it will reward you with goregeous flowers. 
  • The Lavender Trumpet Vine-
    A super solution for a sunny area.  This vine flowers consistently from spring into summer and is also frost hardy. (Pictured below)
privacy screening shrubs
Non-Vine Options:
  • Thuja 'Emerald Green'-
    This is also a cold hardy evergreen that will grow to 12-15 ft and 3-4 feet wide in both morning sun and full sun.
  • Bamboo-
    These remain narrow and upright when contained. Keep in mind  you can plant either running or clumping in a pot! Try 'Budda belly' which will grow to 3-6 ft tall,  depending on the depth of the container. 'Alphonse Karr' and the Mexican Weeping  are also great options. Bamboo can be grown in full sun-  keep well hydrated! Morning sun or filtered sun will make it easier to keep your bamboo happy! 
  • Podocarpus 'Maki'-
    Also known as the or Shrubby Yew Pine. This is a great option for those narrow areas and is a slow grower.  Reaching about 8-12 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It will grow in morning sun, full sun or filtered sun.  It can be sheared to any desired height or width.

privacy screen shrub

Problem: Sunny and Wide Area

  • Purple Hopseed Bush-
    Also known as Dodonea is a fast grower- reaching  to 10-15 ' high and wide.  This has a filtered screening capability and can be pruned to desired heighth and width. This is a water-wise plant! (Pictured above)
  • Carolina Cherry Laurel-
    the compact variety is perfect for most areas- 8-10 tall and 4-6  Wide. This will grow in a.m sun and full sun. This has a dark green leaf and dense growth.
  • Palms-
    Other palms are perfect for full sun locations and make a dramatic statement. The Pindo Palm and the Mediterranean Fan Palm will live in a container for up to 5-7 years or more.  These palms are cold hardy have an instant tropical "tree" feel. 


If none of these caught your fancy, there are many additional options including English Laurel, Eleganus, Portugal Laurel...the list goes on.  Visit your nearest Green Acres Store for more ideas or click below to learn about the best shade trees for our area. 

 List of The Best Shade Trees for Sacramento & our Free Tree Planting Guide.


Tree Planting Guide


Topics: Privacy Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs for Sacramento Area, Shrubs, Planting Ideas

Why Crape Myrtles Take the Stage This Summer

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jul 15, 2013 9:54:00 AM


crape myrtle

The Crape Myrtle,
or Lagerstroemia indica, gets its name from the abundant spires of crepe-like flowers that it bears in the warm, summer months. These showy flowers combined with attractive bark, beautiful fall foliage water-wise properties and high durability have made the Crape Myrtle a popular choice within Northern California landscapes.





crape myrtle tree


A Little Background Information

Lagerstroemia indica are native to South East Asia, Australia, Oceania and the Indian sub-continent, making them a perfect candidate for the dry heat in regions of Northern California. Known to some as “living bouquets,” their floral tufts range in color from soft lavender to vivacious red and many shades in between. The Crape Myrtle comes in a wide variety of sizes and is available as a tree or shrub. Gardeners may choose from a dwarf that can remain as small as 3’ to a tree that can reach up to 30’ high.






How to Care For and Maintain Your Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtles are some of the most accommodating plants, thriving in dry, full sun and requiring less maintenance than most trees and shrubs. Follow these simple tips to help ensure its success in your garden:

Be sure to plant in a dry, full sun area and thoroughly soak the root ball at time of planting. Click here to refer to our planting guide for a complete how-to on planting any tree or shrub.


Crape Myrtle Shrub, Natchez variety

  • Implement a deep watering schedule until the Crape Myrtle has become established (usually 3-5 years). Once established, the plant can survive off of less water and really utilize its drought-tolerant abilities. Smaller trees will reach this point quicker than large trees.  
  • Clip spent flowers to promote a round of additional flowering throughout the season.

  • Choose the right variety for your space to avoid unnecessary pruning. If needed, refrain to light pruning in the winter and early spring.




This Season's Top-picks

These popular varieties of Crape Myrtles have won the hearts of many gardeners and landscapers alike,
making them top-picks of the season!

#1 Dynamite

Dynamite Crape Myrtle flowers

#2 Red Rocket

Red rocket Crape Myrtle flowers

#3 Tuscarora

Crape Myrtle Tuscarora lg

#4 Catawaba

Catawba Crape Myrtle Variety

#5 Natchez

Natchez Crape Myrtle flower


Come catch a glimpse of their luscious flowers and learn more about this amazing plant. Feel free to stop by any of our locations and we can help you find the perfect Crape Myrtle to fit your landscape. 


Want other low water planting ideas? 

Drought Tolerant Plants

Topics: Shrubs for Sacramento Area, Tree, Shrubs, Low Water Plants, Planting Ideas, Summer

Capable Climbing Roses

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 5, 2013 9:53:00 AM

Climbing roses are in full bloom in June!

climbing roses

Climbing roses, also known as "climbers" typically bloom later in the season in Sacramento, after the rose shrubs bloom.  They are a beautiful addition to anyone's landscape!  When choosing a climbing rose think of it like playing garden decoration: plant to have blossoms cover a fence, prettify a pergola, or even trail from branches of a tree.

There are many types to choose from like- spring flowering or repeat bloomers, small blossoms or large blossoms, and reds, pinks, yellows & more.  Remember that climbing roses don't have the same grasping techniques as some vines do like clematis, ivy, and honeysuckle for example.  They have no actual means of attaching themselves to support so you'll need to train and tie climbers in their early years of growth.  Even though they require training, the results can be spectacular!  

Where to Plant Climbers:

If you have an unsightly wall or fence, climbing roses can be a beautiful solution to that eyesore.  Perhaps you just have lots of evergreen shrubs and bushes in your yard but you would like to add some spring and summer color- then climbing roses are for you!  

Bloom Cycle and Care Tips:

Climbing roses bloom spring, summer and many repeat their bloom cycle again in fall.  All climbers are suited for full sun environments and require regular watering.  Most require regular watering on a weekly basis and a little extra TLC and water when we get into the 100's here in Sacramento.

How to Train Climbing Roses:

Climbers will want to grow upwards.  This is an example of apical dominance; the top most growing point (apex) continues to grow at the expense of growth buds along its length that might produce lateral shoots.  However, when a long, lateral cane is arched over or bent down to a horizontal position, the apex ceases to be dominate and many growth buds along the cane begin to grow.  Most of those growth buds will become flowering canes.

The First 2 Years

During its first year of growth let it grow upward, making no attempt at training.  The next year when it is mature, you can bend it from the vertical and tie it into place.  If canes are fairly limber you can angle them outward into horizontal positions; if they are a bit stiffer, you may have to settle for spreading them into a vase outline.  Either way, tie canes into place with their tips pointing downward thus ending the apical dominance.  

Pruning Climbers:

Climbers require a different pruning schedule than shrub roses.  According to Sunset Western Garden Book it is suggested to let climbers grow un-pruned for the first 2-3 years to get established before Winter pruning.  Going un-pruned simply means you don't need to hack back the plant, however you can still remove dead or diseased canes. 

Capable Climbing Rose Varieties for Sacramento:

'Cecile Brunner'- a favorite rose for cutting especially for minature bouquets.  Small, delicately pointed buds open to fragrant, light pink double blooms in small sprays.  An ever popular climber for arbors or trellises in cottage or country gardens.  Take advantage of the beautiful sweetheart smell this rose has to offer. Deciduous.
climbing roses
'Joseph's Coat'- (right) one of the most popular climbing roses!  Produces multi-colored red-orange to yellow-orange fragrant blooms for cutting.  A natural climber that is best used on arbors or fences.  Cutting faded flowers extends season.  Blooms on new wood- prune early to promote new growth.  Semi evergreen.
'William Baffin'- among the most cold hardy of climbing roses!  Produces deep pink, fragrant blooms for cutting.  A natural climber that is best used on fences and arbors.  Try cutting faded blooms to help extend the season.  Blooms on new wood, so pruning in late winter or early spring is essential to promote new growth.  Semi evergreen and fast grower.  Profuse deep, pink flowers summer through frost.
climbing roses
'Candy Land'- (right) has huge clusters of large impetuous pink blossoms with creamy, ivory yellow on a very showy climber!  Flowers are fragrant and classicly formed, with a 25 petal count.  Exceptional foliage is lush and glossy apple-green which all lends to a classy and beautiful combination.  'Candy Land' is a vigorous, hardy and easy care climber which blooms and re-blooms well, even in the first season.  Deciduous.
'Iceberg'- is a white climber classified as a floribunda rose.  It is often rated as one of the finest  climbing white rose, some even call it the finest climber period.  Profuse flowering and good repeat bloom come on a vigorous plant that reaches 15 feet high.  We have a beautiful example of this climbing rose in action at our Sacramento store in our English "Idea" Garden. 

 Want more tips for Sacramento gardens?

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Topics: Shrubs, Roses, Planting Ideas

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