What’s New at the Nursery

Fall Crop Seeds

As we reach the midpoint of summer, it is time to start planning ahead and planting seeds for fall vegetable crops like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, kale, carrots and brussels sprouts.  With lower levels of light, more consistent moisture, and the occasional light frost, cool weather crops can excel during the waning days of fall.  With some careful planning, you can keep your garden productive well into fall and even winter.   At Fort Collins Nursery we have a number of great seed varieties from great companies like Botanical InterestsBaker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.Seed Savers Exchange and Territorial Seed Co.  Before you get started, it is important to know the following information:

Average First Frost

In Fort Collins, the average first frost date is October 2nd.  For those of you in other surrounding areas you can look up your average first frost date through the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Days to Maturity

To find out the best dates to plant your seeds, you will need to calculate when to plant your vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by frost and cold.  To find the optimal date, simply subtract the days to maturity from the average first frost date in your region.  For example, for a vegetable like beets that take 60 days to reach maturity, you would need to plant your seeds by August 3rd based on our October 2nd average first frost.  Most seed packs will list information on how many days until the crop reaches maturity.  A quick Google search will also yield several examples of vegetable planting guides like this one from CSU Extension. Worried you missed your chance to plant? You can easily extend the growing time by providing frost protection with frost cloths or cold frames.

Cold Hardiness

Certain varieties like broccoli, beans and winter squash are more susceptible to frost while kale and cabbage are more tolerant.   If you’re worried about losing your crops to premature frost, you may want to choose from the more cold tolerant crops.

Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Flowering Shrubs

The Proven Winners® plant brand has introduced some of the best, most unique, and high performing plants since 1992.  Their plants are well-known for flowering, growth habit, disease resistance, and garden performance.

The Proven Winners® ColorChoice® series is one of the most recognized brands in flowering shrubs and produces many of our personal favorites.  Come in and check out our awesome new selection of ColorChoice® shrubs including several varieties available for the first time at Fort Collins Nursery.  Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Pugster® Blue Butterfly Bush

This jazzy little beauty is true blue and sturdy too!  A true color of blue can be hard to come by in the garden but this lovely shade evokes feelings of cool waterfalls and chilly breezes.  Thanks to its thick, sturdy stems, the Pugster® series offers vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bush. Although Pugster® Blue Buttefly Bush is a compact plant that reaches just 2 feet tall, it has large, full sized flowers normally seen on a much larger plant. The Pugster® series butterfly bush are also available with white, pink, and periwinkle flowers.

  • Height: 24”
  • Spread: 24”-36”
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Flower Color: Blue
  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Water: Low
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall

Invincibelle® Ruby Hydrangea

The dark burgundy red flower buds of the Invincibelle® Ruby hydrangea open to a two-toned combination of bright ruby red and silvery pink. The foliage is extra dark and the stems are strong, making this new hydrangea a gem in any garden. Invincibelle® Ruby is a strong rebloomer that flowers on new growth and blooms every year without fail. It works great in mass plantings, landscapes, cutting gardens and mixed borders. The Invincibelle® hydrangea series is also available in other varieties including the Wee White® and pink blossomed Spirit.

  • Height: 36”-48”
  • Spread: 24”-36”
  • Hardiness Zones: 3-9
  • Flower Color: Pink, Red
  • Light Requirement: Partial sun
  • Water: Average to High
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer

Oso Easy® Urban Legend® Landscape Rose

Looking for a bright red landscape rose with non-stop blooms? The Urban Legend® landscape rose is the newest disease-resistant addition to the best-selling Oso Easy® series. Its true-red, semi-double flowers bloom in early summer and continue through the first hard frost. A crown of lush yellow stamens in the center add interest and contrast. Because it is disease resistant, it is easy to care for and there is no need to spray or fret about black spot or powdery mildew.  The Oso Easy® series features many other varieties including Cherry Pie, Hot Paprika®, Italian Ice®, Lemon Zest, Mango Salsa, Paprika, Peachy Cream, Strawberry Crush and Honey Bun.

  • Height: 30”-40”
  • Spread: 30”-40”
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Red
  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Water: Average
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall

Tuff Stuff Red Mountain Hydrangea

Tuff Stuff Red, the newest edition to the Tuff Stuff series of mountain hydrangeas, is colorful, beautiful, and reliable. These unique hydrangeas fare better in cold weather than big-leaf hydrangeas, making them the perfect choice for landscapes and gardens in zones 5 and 6. Their large, lacecap flowers are a deep pink-red color which is set off by lustrous, deep green foliage. Tuff Stuff Red is a reblooming hydrangea that begins blooming in early summer and continues to produce flowers through autumn. Its small, rounded shape gives Tuff Stuff Red extra versatility in the landscape and works great in masses or as a solo planting.   At Fort Collins Nursery you will also find the original Tuff Stuff mountain hydrangea with lacy pink flowers.

  • Height: 24”-36”
  • Spread: 24”-36”
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Flower Color: Green, Pink, Red
  • Light Requirement: Part Sun
  • Water: Average to High
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Summer through Fall

Inspired White Butterfly Bush

The Inspired White butterfly bush has purer than pure white flowers and blooms from early to late summer. It is a wonderful, compact variety that plays nicely with everyone in the garden. Inspired White has a nice fragrant smell that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees but turns away those pesky deer. The Inspired butterfly bush also come in Pink and Violet varieties that are available here at Fort Collins Nursery.

  • Height: 48”-96”
  • Spread: 48”-96”
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-9
  • Flower Color: White
  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Water: Low
  • Maintenance: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Early through Late Summer

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grasses are beautiful plants that add texture, softness, color, movement and even rustling sound to any garden.  Grasses provide great accents and contrast to flowers and shrubs in the spring and summer months and also provide interest to the fall and winter landscape when other plants have lost their leaves.  Most grasses are sold as container-grown plants in #1 and #5 sizes and are easy to grow and maintain.  At Fort Collins Nursery we have dozens of wonderful varieties to choose from including the following:

 

ShenandoahSwitchGrass_NLShenandoah Switch Grass

Prized for its unmatched foliage color. Fast growing green leaves emerge with red tips in spring, darkening through summer, and turning burgundy in fall. Airy reddish-pink flowers in summer. Use for mass background plantings or in containers.
Light: Partial to full sun.
Water: Once established, needs only occasional watering.
Size: Fast growing 4 ft. tall in bloom, and 2 to 3 ft. wide.

Light: Partial to full sun.

Water: Once established, needs only occasional watering.

Size: Fast growing 4 ft. tall in bloom, and 2 to 3 ft. wide.

 

MorningLightMiscanthus_NLMorning Light Miscanthus

Description: Green blades have highlights of creamy-white margins and mid-veins creating a shimmering silvery appearance. Adds visual excitement wherever used. Accepts dry conditions.

Light: Partial to full sun.

Water: Best with regular watering – weekly or more often in extreme heat.

 

AvalancheFeatherReedGrass_NLAvalanche Feather Reed Grass

Description: Create stunning vertical effects with feathery stalks that emerge reddish-brown in spring, turn golden in fall. Stalks make attractive cut flowers. Foliage has white center and green margins. 

Light: Full sun.

Water: Water regularly- weekly, or more often in extreme heat.

Size: Fast growing, 3 to 4 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide; flower stalks to 6 ft.

Mums & Asters

Looking for some late-summer, early fall perennial bloomers? Add a colorful chrysanthemum to your flower bed or fall container garden! Hundreds of these prolific, hardy and beautifully bushy perennials were grown with love right here by our production team and are available now.

Mums come in a wide variety of colors, from yellow, pink, magenta, red, lavender, and more. Blooms on mums typically last for weeks providing a late-summer boost when other flowers have given out. We also have a great selection of colorful asters, also a hardy late-summer and fall bloomer. Small, abundant, star-shaped flowers tower on 2-3 foot plants,
providing a nice backdrop in perennial beds.

Asters_NLBoth mums and asters appreciate full sun, and a good dose of compost when planted. They also prefer water at their base (avoid overhead watering to discourage powdery mildew).

Stop in soon to see our great selection!

Houseplants

Houseplants

As the calendar flips to July, veggies and annuals have all been planted and your garden and landscape are (hopefully) in tip-top form.  Now it’s time to put some attention back inside with houseplants!  Our biggest truck of the year has just arrived full of beautiful plants from Florida. The bountiful stock has once again filled our empty benches.  You’ll find an abundance of ferns, philodendrons, fiddle leaf figs, Chinese evergreen, dieffenbachia, schefflera and palms, just to name a few.  Don’t forget to check out our great pottery selection to give your new plant a fashionable and functional resting space.

Plants for Pollinators

Plants for Pollinators

Pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds and bees are necessary for the survival of most plant species.  By introducing plants to our gardens that attract these pollinators, we create a mutually beneficial relationship that provides them with a great food source while allowing the plants to reproduce.  Below is a list of several recommended plant varieties to attract some of your favorite pollinators and read this great article by Deb Courtner for additional information on the topic.

Butterflies

  • Milkweed
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Rabbitbrush
  • Chokecherry
  • Zinnia
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Serviceberry
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Lilac
  • Hollyhock
  • Hardy Hibiscus
  • Salvia
  • Aster
  • Coneflower
  • Daisy
  • Sunflower

Hummingbirds

  • Hyssop
  • Columbine
  • Penstemon
  • Snapdragon
  • Bee balm
  • Foxglove
  • Daylily
  • Lily
  • Delphinium
  • Petunia
  • Weigela
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Pincushion Flower
  • Verbena
  • Catmint
  • Garden Phlox 
  • Blanket Flower

Bees

  • Blue Mist Spirea
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Daisy
  • Coneflower
  • Goldenrod
  • Apple (including crabapple)
  • Russian Sage
  • Bee Balm
  • Yarrow
  • Thyme
  • Veronica
  • Marigold
  • Honeysuckle (vine and bush)

Perennial Hibiscus

Perennial Hibiscus is one of our summer favorites and back in stock at Fort Collins Nursery.  Also known as Rose Mallow, these plants are large, fast-growing, and cold hardy.  They are valued by gardeners for their huge exotic flowers and showy foliage which make for a perfect addition to any perennial border.  Because of their size, they are a great choice to plant against a large fence or wall, or as a showy substitute for many small and medium shrubs. Most varieties produce beautiful bloom colors in white, pink, red and bi-colors, with individual blooms lasting for one or two days. Hibiscus start flowering in July and last until frost so now is a great time to pick one up!

Come in today and check out these beautiful varieties!

Berry Awesome

The “Berry Awesome” Hibiscus has lavender pink flowers and a red eye, with contrasting deep midnight green foliage. The plant gets nicknamed “dinner plate Hibiscus” because the flowers on this plant are a whopping 7”-8” wide. The flowers are produced from the top to the bottom of the plant, rather than just at the top like some other cultivars. The foliage forms a rounded habit and will be ready to show off from midsummer into early fall. ‘Berry Awesome’ is the perfect backdrop or centerpiece for sunny borders. Use it in place of a shrub in your garden.

  • Height: 4’
  • Spread: 4.5’-5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Pink/Red
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Sunlight: Full to Part Sun (minimum 4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Cranberry Crush

The ‘Cranberry Crush’ Hibiscus has a short but full, compact habit and scarlet red flowers. Flowers are produced all along the flowering stems rather than just at the top like some other cultivars. The buds are near-black and open to glossy, scarlet red flowers that are 7”-8” inch wide with heavily overlapping petals.  These dramatic blossoms cover the plant from midsummer to early fall and are set against a perfect backdrop of glossy deep green leaves with slight purple overtones.

  • Height: 4’
  • Spread: 4-5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Red
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Sunlight: Full to Part Sun (minimum 4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Perfect Storm

The ‘Perfect Storm’ Hibiscus features dark foliage like the beloved ‘Summer Storm’ Hibiscus but grows to a much more manageable size of 3’ tall.  Perfect Storm’ has huge, 7”-8” white flowers with pink edged petals and a bright red eye that radiates out the veins. The flowers bloom from midsummer into early fall. 

  • Height: 3’
  • Spread: 4.5-5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9
  • Flower Color: Pink shades
  • Foliage Color: Green shades
  • Sunlight: Full Sun (>6 hrs. Direct Sun)
  • Part Shade: (4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Plum Fantasy

This incredibly heavy bloomer sets buds on the upper sections of the stems. Lipstick-red buds open to vibrant, large 8”-9”magenta red flowers with a deeper red eye and red stamens.  The distinctly puckered and crinkled texture of the flower petals is very unique among perennial hibiscus, giving them added dimension. The dramatic flower color really pops against the super dark green, maple-like foliage which takes on a tint of greyed purple late in the season.  ‘Plum Fantasy’ forms an upright rounded clump in the landscape and makes a fantastic specimen plant for sunny landscapes.

  • Height: 4.5’-5.5’
  • Spread: 4.5’-5.5’
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Flower Color: Purple/Red
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Sunlight: Full to Part Sun (minimum 4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Pest Control Products

Warning!  Garden pests are out there and will destroy your plants and veggies if given the opportunity. At Fort Collins Nursery we take pests seriously and have solutions for all your common pest related problems.

When it comes to garden pests, prevention is always the best option and there are several things you can do to keep them from showing up in the first place. Keep your foliage dry by watering the base of the plants and build healthy organic soil. Remove weak and dying plants and clear the garden of weeds and organic debris.  

If your garden is already under attack, the first step is identifying the problem by spotting the destructive culprits or the damage they have caused. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to look at your plant samples or photos to help with diagnosis.  Once you identify the problem we can help with the control process.  Here is a list of several popular products we offer to combat some of the more common problems:

 

  • Live-Ladybugs & Lacewings- Ladybugs and lacewings are beneficial insects that naturally feed on garden pests like Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and other soft bodied insects.  To put them to work, simply tap them out of the cardboard container around your garden in the morning, evening or on an overcast day. They move slowly during those times and will go straight to the food source. They will stick around as long as they find a good food source but will otherwise fly away and seek food sources elsewhere.  (Sorry, we do not sell miniature leashes to keep them from moving on!)

 

  • NOLO Bait- NOLO Bait is a safe, biological control that protects your yard from voracious grasshoppers.  This biological control causes an infection that exclusively harms grasshoppers. When used as long term control, it is most effective when grasshoppers are young, killing them within 2-3 days. More mature grasshoppers are not as prone to infection, and the NOLO Bait might take much longer to kill them, or may simply make them lethargic. When used year after year, this can be one of the most effective controls on the market today, and has the added benefit of not harming beneficial insects, pets, children, or plants.

 

  • Nematodes- Nematodes are beneficial microscopic organisms that live naturally in soil throughout the world and are parasitic to insects that have a larval or pupal life stage that occurs in the soil. They are particularly effective against cutworms, beetles, and root weevil larvae.  Nematode eggs are microscopic and come in a small sponge a million at a time. These are mixed with water and applied to the soil, where they hatch and go to work.

 

  • Monterey B.t.- B.t. is used to combat caterpillars & worms that munch on your beloved fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and shade trees. B.t is a biological insecticide and OMRI listed for organic gardening.  B.t. comes in an easy to mix, ready to use liquid concentrate and may be applied up to and on the day of harvest.

 

  • Diatomaceous Earth- Diatomaceous Earth is a natural contact insecticide that works by causing abrasions on insects as they come in contact with product, resulting in loss of body fluids, then dehydration. It is very effective in controlling snails, slugs, cockroaches, ants, earwigs and other listed crawling insects.  Diatomaceous Earth is digestible by earthworms and will not cause them any harm. To use, simply use hand duster or bulbous duster to apply light coating of dust to areas where crawling pests are found or may hide. Because it is a non-chemical control that does not harm mammals,  it is safe to use around the house, including around pets and children.  
  • Fertilome Triple Action Plus- Triple Action Plus is used to control insects, diseases, certain fungus, and mites on vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, roses, flowers and shrubs. Triple Action is a combination of pyrethrin (a naturally occurring insecticide extracted from certain chrysanthemums) and neem oil (a plant extract that acts as an insecticide and fungicide). This product kills eggs, larvae and adult stages of many pest insects including whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, beetles, fungus gnats, ants, fleas and many others, as well as controlling powdery mildew, black spot, and rust.  Triple Action Plus comes in a ready to use spray and in concentrate.
  • Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap- Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap kills soft bodied insects including aphids, mealybug,  and mites on contact.  Safer® soap utilizes the power of potassium salts of fatty acids to weaken the insect’s waxy protective outer shell.  It is a biological insecticide and OMRI listed for organic gardening and breaks down into its natural elements within 7-10 days and will not persist in the environment.  Apply every 7-10 days when insects are present or as needed to prevent further damage.

 

We all know that gardening takes a lot of work, sweat, and sometimes tears to achieve the success we strive for.  Don’t let garden pests spoil your fun!

 

Clematis

Clematis vines are a real jack of all trades when it comes to planting uses and their adaptability and beautiful flowers have made them a favorite of gardeners everywhere.  Their affinity for vining makes them a perfect choice for filling in vertical spaces on fences, porches, arbors and trellises.  Some varieties can also be trained to spread horizontally along the ground to provide cover and spread in horizontal spaces.  Shorter varieties can fill in gaps around trees and shrubs and provide bursts of beautiful color.  Many varieties can even be successfully grown in containers.

Clematis prefer a moist, cool soil and like to have their roots shaded via a groundcover or some sort of mulch.  The plant and flowers can take full sun and generally require at least 6 hours per day.  Because clematis are deep-rooted, it is important to water thoroughly and regularly.  They are a relatively easy plant to grow and will get larger and stronger each year.

Fort Collins Nursery has a great selection of clematis in stock and here are a couple of great varieties for you to check out:

Boulevard Fleuri Clematis

  • Height: 3-4 ft.
  • Width: 2-3 ft.
  • Traits: This prolific, compact climber offers large purple flowers over a long season. Ideal in containers or in a border where it can grow through a shrub.  Its deep purple color make it a must for a sunny location.
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: Late Spring/ Early Summer
  • Zone: 4-9

Nelly Moser Clematis

  • Height 8-10 ft.
  • Spacing: 4-6 ft.
  • Color: Produces an amazing display of flowers; pink petals with dark pink bar in center, and reddish-brown stamens. Woody vine with leathery textured, dark green foliage.
  • Bloom Time: Spring-Summer.
  • Water: Moderate.
  • Zones: 4-9

Vancouver Danielle Clematis

  • Height: 6-8 ft.
  • Traits: A cross between The President and Violet Charm. This compact variety has deep purple blue 6-8” flowers with striking red tipped stamens.
  • Water: Regular
  • Bloom: Spring and Fall
  • Zones: 4

Cherokee Clematis

  • Height: 3-5 ft.
  • Spacing: 2-3 ft.
  • Traits: Cherokee (aka ‘Ooh La La’) is a compact vine making it a good choice for containers or smaller gardens. The large single blooms are dusky pink with a darker pink bar, blooming in late spring and again in late summer.
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: May-June
  • Zones: 4-7

Hummingbird Feeders

Why attract hummingbirds to your yard? Not only are they fun to watch, they’re also beneficial in pollinating flowers in your garden. As they feed, they rub their forehead against the stamens and pistils and collect pollen before moving from flower to flower.  Hummingbirds also love to eat many garden pests like aphids, gnats and mosquitos!

Fort Collins Nursery has a great selection of hummingbird feeders to help lure these quick and colorful creatures into your yard.  The feeders are easy to use and clean and provide the hummingbirds with much needed nourishment for a busy day of darting around. We have custom blown glass, dish, vintage styles, hand-held, hanging and stake-mounted feeders.  We carry ready-to-use nectar bottles and nectar concentrate or make your own with 4 parts water to one part white granulated sugar.

In addition to feeders, we have dozens of perennial and annual flowers that are great for attracting hummingbirds such as hyssop, penstemon, foxgloves, bee balm, lilies, snapdragons and petunias. We also carry a wildflower seed mix that is blended with varieties especially apt for attracting hummingbirds.