Newsletter for December 11th, 2021
December 11, 2021 - Issue #543 Read in Browser

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle.
The Winners of the 2021 Photo Contest are revealed!

Over 4,000 photos were submitted in this year's contest and the members all voted for their favorites. We now reveal the winning photos!
The Top Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplants

Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all in the nightshade family. Let's open the Summer Vegetables Celebration Week with a look at the top varieties of each of these highly popular home garden vegetables.
Sweet Potato Basics

Sweet potatoes are less popular now than they were in the 1920s, when many farm families grew them for winter food. Back then, the average yearly consumption per person was about 30 pounds. Now, with fewer people growing their own sweet potatoes, the average consumption is about five pounds per person. This is unfortunate, because like potatoes, sweet potatoes furnish us with energy, supplying sugars and other carbohydrates, some protein, calcium, iron and other minerals. They also contain vitamins A and C. Some people think of sweet potatoes only as a traditional holiday vegetable, but if you grow and store them, you can furnish your family with good nutrition for many months of the year.
Potato Essentials

Here are the basics to growing potatoes.
Irish Potato Varieties

There's a growing abundance of multicolored and differently shaped potato varieties available to home gardeners. To find out which potatoes do best in your area, ask around -- quiz gardeners, your local cooperative extension service office or the people at a good garden store. Ask about early maturing varieties (to give you some tasty midseason eating) and late varieties (for your main crop and winter storage). Try some red, purple or yellow-fleshed varieties, or experiment with fingerlings.
Pepper Types

Seed companies break the peppers we grow down into two categories: hot and sweet. The hot types include Cayenne, Jalapeno and Anaheim. Examples of sweet peppers are Bell and Pimiento. Banana and Cherry peppers come both sweet and hot.
A Brief History of the Potato

The history of the potato dates back more than 2,000 years, to the time when the Inca Indians of the South American highlands were bringing wild varieties under cultivation.

Sponsored by AgroThrive

ONE WEEK comparison after one application of AgroThrive General Purpose organic fertilizer on Jamaican Sorrel plants. Photos submitted by Julian from Florida on Click here to shop organic fertilizers
Devil's Backbone (Euphorbia tithymaloides)

Plant Habit: Shrub, Cactus/Succulent
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Plant Height: Can reach 6 to 8 feet in height
Plant Spread: 24 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Other
Flower Color: Red
Flower Time: Summer, Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Houseplant
Dynamic Accumulator: B (Boron)
Wildlife Attractant: Hummingbirds
Toxicity: Other
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon, Needs excellent drainage in pots
Elephant's Ear (Colocasia 'Electric Blue Gecko')

Plant habit: Clumping
Plant height: Medium (20-40 inches)
Leaf base: Peltate
Leaf form: Wavy, Bullate (quilted)
Leaf surface (top of leaf): Glossy
Leaf color (top of leaf): Blackish
Leaf variegation color (top of leaf): Blackish
Leaf main veins color (top of leaf): Blackish
Petiole color: Similar to leaf blade, Blackish
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade, Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 36 inches (90 cm)
Plant Spread: 36 inches (90 cm)
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Flower Time: Other
Underground structures: Tuber
Resistances: Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant, Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other
Propagation: Seeds: Other info
Propagation: Other methods: Division, Offsets
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Patent/Plant Breeders' Rights, Goes Dormant
Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)

Plant Habit: Herb/Forb, Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade, Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 4 to 6 feet, possibly taller
Leaves: Evergreen, Broadleaf, Other
Fruit: Showy, Edible to birds, Other
Fruiting Time: Late winter or early spring, Late summer or early fall, Fall, Late fall or early winter, Winter
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Fall, Late summer or early fall, Winter, Late fall or early winter, Late winter or early spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Root
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Jade Plant (Crassula ovata 'Ogre Ears')

Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Plant Height: 3 feet
Plant Spread: 3 feet diameter
Flower Color: White, Pink
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Rose F. Kennedy')

AHS link:
Hybridizer: Doorakian
Year of Registration or Introduction: 2007
Foliage type: Dormant
Scape height: 29 inches
Bloom size: 7.5 inches
Bloom time: Midseason
Plant Traits: Diurnal
Bud Count: 21-25
Branching: 4-way
Fertility: Pod Fertile, Pollen Fertile
Bloom Traits: Edged
Bloom Form: Single
Color description: green with wide purple red picotee edge above green throat
AHS Awards: Stout Silver Medal, Award of Merit, Honorable Mention, RWM
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Flowers: Showy
Propagation: Seeds: Will not come true from seed
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Ploidy: Diploid
Parentage: Emerald Starburst x sdlg

King Begonia (Begonia 'Escargot')

Photo by Joy

Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Chaos Theory')

Photo by Henhouse

Feather Cactus (Mammillaria plumosa)

Photo by DaisyI

Rose (Rosa 'Butterscotch')

Photo by pmpauley

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Mississippi Bill Robinson')

Photo by Betja

Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Pioneer Woman')

Photo by TBManOR

Aeonium 'Emerald Ice'

Photo by Baja_Costero

Silver Princess (Eucalyptus caesia subsp. magna)

Photo by bootandall

Albuca concordiana

Photo by elgecko

Double Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda Black Dragon)

Photo by Henhouse

Sponsored by Jung Seed

Jung Seed is excited to offer Holiday Gifts for your gardener in your life. We have partnered with two local Wisconsin companies and one non-profit to bring you a unique selection of gifts gardening enthusiasts will enjoy.
The numbers from this week: 368 members joined. 3,593 posts written in our forums. 703 photos posted to the plant database. 705 plants added to personal inventory lists.
One kind word can warm three winter months.
Pinterest Facebook Linkedin Twitter Instagram Youtube

Unsubscribe or Manage Communication Preferences

Copyright © 2022 National Gardening Association. All rights reserved.