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

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Canna 'Tropicanna® Black'

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 19, 2015 5:37:45 PM

Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Canna 'Tropicanna® Black'


Canna 'Tropicanna® Black' is a part of the 'Tropicanna®' series by Tesselaar, but it is truly in a class all it's own. Unlike its fellow Tropi-Canna's, this variety has dark, brown-colored foliage which contrasts beautifully with it's bright, scarlet-orange blossoms in summer. The large, fleshy leaves resemble stained glass when they catch the sunlight, revealing garnet colored veins surrounded with jade green, then fading to deep chocolate. 



It is a perennial from rhizome, which means that if planted in the ground, it will spread over the years, becoming an increasingly dramatic statement in the garden. It can ultimately reach 4-6 feet tall, and the rhizomes should be divided every few years or so. Although it looks very tropical, it is surprisingly hardy and will tolerate temperatures as low at 10°F if left to overwinter in the ground.

It does well in poorly draining, boggy soils making it an ideal plant for surrounding your pond, water feature or pool. It thrives with regular water and 4-6 hours of direct sun per day. Cut to the ground in late fall/early winter and prepare to be amazed when it comes back even more lush next year.

It is Philip's pick-of-the-week because:

"This is a great perennial, it's vibrant and exotic and I love how it comes back strong every year."

Canna 'Tropicanna® Black' makes a great addition to the cut flower garden! 

Grow a Cut Flower Garden

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Tropicals, Flowers for Hot Weather, Pond, Summer Flowers

How to Make Your Summer Patio Look Amazing

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 6, 2014 10:15:00 AM

Sprucing up your summer patio is easy to do.  Follow our four tips to create your patio retreat.

summer patio1. Add a Tropical Look

  • Adding tropical plants creates a lush environment in no time!  Try Bougainvillea or Mandevilla if you are looking for vining color to climb a trellis or arbor.  
  • Hibiscus & Canna (pictured) both add bold color with large full flowers.  Cannas are cold hardy and will return as perennials year after year.  
  • If foliage is more of your thing, plant Palms or Bananas.  Pygmy palms are graceful and easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for containers.
  • One of our favorite items for the warm season in Sacramento is an annual called Coleus.  This plant is an annual with a tropical look. It's prized for its lush, vibrant foliage.

2. Use Colorful Pottery and Fountains 

There's no easier way to add color to your patio than by choosing pottery or fountains to compliment your style.
summer patio

  • When finding pottery for your patio, choose either a few large pots or several small containers.  Always display pottery in odd number groupings.
  • Bring nature closer! A small bubbler or fountain attracts wildlife and makes your outdoor retreat even more enjoyable.  Installing a self-contained fountain with an easy-to-install pump can be just what you need to complete a soothing retreat-like ambiance. 
  • Going for a Mediterranean look?  Choose pottery with a golden mustard hue and plant bright red flowers for complimenting shades.
  • Bright blue pottery will give you a classic, fresh feeling all year.
If your decorating style is inspired by nature, try a neutral rust or green color.

3. Discover Shade-Loving plants 

Summer Patio

Just because you have shade does not mean you can't have patio planters bursting with blooms.  Many plants thrive in shade during summer.

Begonias- Blooming in light & dark pinks and white.  With many sizes and varieties to choose from, Begonias are fool-proof stars for shade.

Gardenias- These evergreen beauties with bright white flowers are both fragrant and beautiful. Thriving in morning sun and afternoon shade, Gardenias grow to nicely rounded shrubs with glossy green leaves. Plant near a window to enjoy their fragrance inside and out from mid-spring to late summer.

Lamium- This elegant, silvery foliaged plant works well as a low ground cover or as a lovely spiller in containers.  Pink or white blooms appear throughout summer.

Ferns- There is a fern for any taste or style. Large or small, ferns add beautiful texture with unique hues of green, red, and silver to any shady garden. 

Fuchsia- Bearing unscented flowers frequented by hummingbirds! (pictured) Fuchsias are traditionally known for the graceful hanging varieties which thrive in morning sun and afternoon shade. More recently, upright varieties have taken the spotlight with their smaller, orange and red flowers. Either variety makes the perfect companion plant for containers.


summer patio

4. Make Outdoor Feel Like Indoor

We spend the time to decorate our indoor spaces, why not do the same for our outdoor room?   

If you don't already have comfy patio furniture, spring and summer is the time to find your dream set.  We offer beautiful in- stock and custom order furniture.  If you already have your furniture setup, consider a colorful rug to break up the space.  Or add privacy to your space by having wall art or a nature inspired living wall.  Think about what hours of the day you will use this space.  If it will be during evenings, install hanging pendant lights or market lights to create atmosphere.

For something a little more out of the ordinary, use colorful garden art. Try vintage finds or rock art, an up-cycled wagon wheel, metal animals, wind chimes, ceramics like these cute Shroomyz (pictured), or even a garden gnome.  The options are truly endless, but whatever you do, make it your own!


For more ideas visit our Pinterest Outdoor Room board!

Green Acres on Pinterest  

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Summer Patio, Tropicals, Planting Ideas

Cold-Sensitive Plants? Use Frost Protection Cloth This Winter

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 18, 2013 12:04:00 PM

frost cloth

Why is Frost Protection Cloth is the best way to protect your cold-sensitive plants?

Properly applied frost cloth can protect your frost sensitive plants from the cold even when the temps dip into the 20’s!  

Plants that Need Protection:

  1. Avocados
  2. Citrus 
  3. Ferns
  4. Tropical Plants
  5. Cactus and Succulents  


Not All Coverings Are Created Equal

Always use frost cloth designed for covering plants. This specific product is made of a fabric that will not transmit cold to the leaves. Other products made of plastic for example, can actually transmit cold to the leaves and cause more damage!  

Green Acres carries only the best product from Easy Gardener, that comes in 10ft. x 12 ft. which is light and easy to handle. If necessary, the frost cloth can be left on the plants for an extended period of time without the risk of harming your plants. Sheets or blankets must be removed every morning after the temperature under the covering reaches at least 40 degrees. On some days this might not happen until Noon.  

Some people use blankets and sheets to cover plants. Typically blankets are heavy and can be hard to secure over your plant. Furthermore, the frost cloth is light and allows the sun to pass through the fabric, thus warming the ground. Blankets and sheets do not allow the sun to properly filter through and heat the ground.

frost cloth 

Knowing a Bit About the Environment Helps

Sunlight during the day warms the soil surface. As the day progresses into night, the heat from the soil radiates into the atmosphere. The coldest temperatures of the day are early in the morning as the sun rises.  Remember that cold air settles downward and hot air rises.  This fact is instrumental in placing your frost protection cloth over your frost-sensitive plants.


Watering Plus Frost Cloth Equals Success!

Keep soil around the plant moist but not soggy, especially during times of wind or days without rain. Moist soil absorbs more heat. Keep the moisture level as even as possible. Ice crystals form on the leaf surface and take moisture out of the leaves. Plants suffer and take on more frost damage if they are dehydrated. However, succulents are the exception to this rule. Make sure you check soil moisture during periods of cold north winds too. These winds tend to dry plants out the most.  

If plant dehydration is your battle, try Wilt Stop Plant Protector.  

  • It is a natural, non-toxic product derived from the resin on pine trees
  • It forms a soft, flexible, clear film on treated plants.  
  • This film protects plants from drying out, drought, windburn, sun scald and winter kill.  
  • Find it at all Green Acres Nursery & Supply locations. 

frost cloth

Correctly Placing the Frost Cloth

You just bought the frost cloth and the forecast is for a very cold night with frost.  How do you apply the fabric?  

  1. Completely drape the plant from top all the way to the ground.
  2. Apply the cloth right before sun down to make sure the cloth gathers the heat produced in the ground during the day.  
  3. Don't leave any openings in the cloth for the warm air to escape or cold air to enter at night.  
  4. It is crucial that the frost cloth touches the ground, to the drip line of the plant.  

Placing a heavy object, like bricks, or securing the fabric into the ground with frost fabric staples, will ensure that the cloth forms a seal with the ground and traps the warm air that radiates from the soil captured during the day. The bricks or staples will also secure the cloth on the plant in the case of heavy winds and or rain and reduces chances of it blowing off the plant.



Frost Cloth On Trees? Yes!

Remember, it is crucial that the frost cloth touch the ground to soak up radiant heat captured during the day. This is true of trees too. If you just wrap the top of the tree with frost cloth and leave the trunk exposed, much like a lollipop, the tree will not be able to trap the radiant heat from the ground. (See photo for the wrong way to apply it) Also, the cold night air will sink to the ground and the fabric will not be able to collect the heat or moisture to help the frost cloth protect the tree. 


Following these simple instructions will help you keep your frost sensitive plants alive in the winter.


See a One-Minute Demo on Frost Cloth 

How-To Video  




Topics: Winter, Seasonal Items, Nursery Supply Products, Tropicals

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