The Q&A Archives: Plant Encyclopedia

Question: I was wondering if there is a publication that describes plant varieties and gives detailed information about what kind of soil, sun, food, life expectancy, diseases etc. the plant would be exposed to? In other words a comprehensive information source for different plants.

Answer: Finding good reference books written for southern gardening can be a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, there are several books which give the type of information you mention. Most are specific to a group of plants such as vegetables, herbs, fruit, perennials, roses, turf, etc.

If you are looking for a single reference for the south I think a good place to start is: "Identification Selection and Use of Southern Plants for Landscape Design", 3rd Edition, by Neil Odenwald and James Turner, and published by Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, LA; 800-274-1403;

This reference includes many types of ornamental plants and best of all makes many remarks about each plant's strong and weak points (something I wish more books did!).

If you are looking for a reference for a specific type of plant (such as those I listed above), please submit another question specifying what type(s) you are interested in.

Here is a web site you might find helpful:

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