Monday, March 31, 2014

Green the Prairie!

Fellow Horticulturists! 

We have an amazing opportunity for anyone who wished to volunteer at Sheldon Lake State Park!
Here is a little history on Sheldon Lake taken from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website:

"Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center is a 2,800-acre outdoor education and recreation facility located in northeast Harris County...

Sheldon Reservoir, located on Carpenter's Bayou, a tributary of Buffalo Bayou, was constructed in 1942 by the federal government to provide water for war industries along the Houston Ship Channel. Texas Parks and Wildlife acquired the reservoir in 1952 and designated it as the Sheldon Wildlife Management Area; it was opened in 1955. Sheldon Lake was designated a state park in 1984.
Formerly in a rural area, Sheldon Lake has survived a tremendous influx of urbanization over the past 50 years as Houston has grown. Sheldon Lake is now a green and blue oasis for wildlife and people on the edge of Texas' largest city. "

Volunteers are needed to plant native coastal prairie grasses. This event will continue the restoration of 400 acres of farmland to native prairie habitat and re-establish the diverse wildlife that it once had. 

If you are interested, please sign up!

Sign up here if you want to volunteer! Please sign up by April 2nd!!!

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Plant of the Month - Native Series

White Prickly Poppy

The white prickly poppy, Argemone albiflora, is the most abundant of the prickly poppies in Texas but it is also found in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. You may be familiar with this flower because they are frequently seen along roadsides and railroad tracks. This plant grows to be 2 – 4 feet in height with flowers that are 3 – 4 in. in diameter. This flower blooms from April to June, allowing fellow plant enthusiasts to enjoy during the warmer months – but be careful; these plants tend to be very spiny!

The white prickly poppy has many uses – some dating to the native inhabitants of the Americas. The Aztecs would use the plant during sacrificial rituals while the Comanche used the sap to treat skin conditions. In nature, they are a great source of food for quail and dove due to the high, dependable, amount of seeds each plant produces.

If you want to grow the prickly poppy in your garden, some negligence is needed. This plant will not thrive in rich soil that is fertilized and watered frequently. The proper conditions for the poppy include dry, well-drained soil with a sunny to partially sunny location.

Info and Photo Credit: Native Plant Society of Texas -

Info: Wildflowers of Houston & Southeast Texas By John and Gloria Tveten  Pg.75-76

Photo Credit: Wild about Texas Photography by Nancy Kissiar

Friday, March 21, 2014

Micronutrient & macronutrient deficiencies and their symptoms

The list below shows the nutrients most plants need and their symptoms if the nutrient is deficient.

MicronutrientsCofactors that aid essential cell mechanisms that are
needed in small amounts.

  • Boron - terminal growths die/thickened/curled/wilting/reduced flowering
  • Chlorine - wilting/yellow-green/leaf bronzing; poor growth/marginal leaf necrosis
  • Copper - stunted growth/leaf tips die; reduced growth
  • Iron - yellow-green/reduced growth; low stunted growth/purple/poor fruit development
  • Manganese - yellow-green of leaves/similar to iron; low stunted growth/purple/poor fruit development
  • Molybdenum - stunted/reduced yield/cupping/rolling
  • Zinc - leaf tip necrosis; interveinal yellow foliage/induces iron and zinc 

MacronutrientsInvolved in photosynthesis and protein synthesis that are used heavily and need to be replaced.
  • Nitrogen - slow stunted growth/yellow-brown; heavy growth/dark green/delayed maturity/low fruit yield
  • Phosphorus - slow stunted growth/purple/poor fruit development; yellow-green/short stems
  • Potassium - slow growth/weak stalks/small fruit; light green
  • Calcium - shortened growth of shoots; E: interferes with micronutrients
  • Magnesium - curled up leaves/yellowing in christmas tree pattern; interferes with Calcium uptake
  • Sulfur - reduced growth/delayed maturity/light green-yellow