The Consumer Horticulture Web site from North Carolina State Extension is one of the top 5 sites for the southern states. North Carolina Extension Service has built an incredible resource with over 2000 information sheets on all aspects of gardening. Some feature information on specific plants while others are general guides such as How to Fertilize and How to Prune.
Learn about performance of various bedding plants and tree species in their testing program, search a listing of poisonous plants, or link to the famous J.C. Raulston Arboretum or one of their many wonderful public gardens. Gardeners throughout the south will find this a very valuable resource.
Favorite or New Plant
Shady spots can pose a gardening problem for southern gardeners. Our palate is limited and most of our plant options feature foliage with shades of green that get lost in the landscape. However, Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) is a wonderful warm weather, colorful, alternative groundcover for shady areas. It develops its best color in bright shade where the leaf hues of purple and silver are most prominent. Persian Shield is not dependably cold hardy although with heavy mulch it may make it through a mild winter in some parts of the lower south. Plant in soil amended with compost added and keep the plants moist for best results.