Featured Plant of the Week
Blooming this week at Woerner’s in Birmingham and Pensacola is the
“Columbine” and “Burford Holly”
The “Columbine” can be found at our Birmingham, AL location.
Some Information Concerning Columbines:
Columbines come in many colors; some are even bi-colored. These perennials can
have red, yellow, white, blue, pink or purple blossoms. They are airy plants with attractive
foliage (clover-like when young), reaching ca. 2 feet in height
(taller when in full bloom). Columbine plants bloom in late spring
to early summer and self-seed readily if you don’t deadhead.
Zones for Columbine Flowers:
Grow columbine plants in planting zones 3-9. There are columbine flowers native to many
lands. Aquilegia canadensis, for instance, indigenous
to the woods of eastern North America, is a wildflower often remarked
upon by hikers for its bluish-green foliage.
Sun and Soil Requirements:
There are plenty of exceptions, but “partial shade” is the
standard recommendation for columbine plants. Grow them in a
well-drained soil. Often dwelling on rocky ledges in the
wild, the drought resistance displayed by such columbine flowers as Aquilegia
Canadensis make them good candidates for xeriscaping.
Outstanding Characteristic of Columbine Flowers:
As stated above, columbine flowers come in a number of colors. But of equal value is the
exquisite shape of columbine flowers. Besides their trademark “spurs” and
often showy stamens, columbine flowers nod, and their centers sometimes take on a honeycomb look.
Uses in Landscaping:
The “Burford Holly” can be found at our Pensacola, FL location.
Some Information Concerning “Burford Holly”:
Burford holly is a dense evergreen shrub or tree that can grow up to 25 feet tall and wide. It is a round shrub that is surprisingly tolerant of urban pollution and poor soil conditions. Burford holly’s cold tolerance, however, reaches down only to 10 degrees F, so if you live in an area where the temperature drops below that, the plant will not grow outside.
Plant the Burford holly in an area with rich and well-drained soil and in full sun or part shade. The shrub grows best in sand, loam or clay and will tolerate both drought and flooding once established. The best berry production will occur when the shrub is in full sun. Plant multiple Burfords 3 to 4 feet apart for a dense hedge.
Water the holly, keeping it evenly moist until it starts to grow vigorously on its own. Then decrease the watering amount and frequency, allowing the ground to dry out. Since the shrub is drought-tolerant once established, it can survive on rainwater alone after it starts growing on its own.
Prune the Burford holly once a year in spring, before new growth starts. Cut any broken or diseased branches back to the trunk and any branches that seem out of place because they are so long. Yearly pruning should keep the shrub in check, although if you are using it as a hedge, you may have to clip the holly three or four times a year to keep it small.
Tips and Warnings
To make a single Burford holly shrub into a tree, cut the lower branches back to the trunk. These wounds will heal over and give you a healthy trunk and a shapely tree.
Be careful while handling the plant, as it has sharp edges that can cut you easily.