The Garden Guy Blog
Here are some interesting facts about the vitex tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
Botanical Name- Vitex agnus-castus is also known as chaste tree, chasteberry, or monk's pepper.
Native Range- The vitex tree is native to the Mediterranean region and southwestern Asia.
Size-It is a small to medium-sized tree, typically reaching heights of 10 to 20 feet tall.
Foliage- The vitex tree has aromatic, palmate (hand-shaped) leaves with typically five to seven leaflets.
Flowers- One of the notable features of the vitex tree is its clusters of small, fragrant, lavender to lilac-colored flowers. These blooms attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Medicinal Use-Historically, various parts of the vitex tree, particularly the berries, have been used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes, including hormonal balance, menstrual disorders, and menopause symptoms. However, scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited.
Landscape Use- Vitex trees are commonly used in landscaping for their attractive foliage, showy flowers, and drought tolerance. They are often planted as ornamental trees or shrubs in gardens, parks, and along roadsides.
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)
This cactus is well-adapted to the arid regions of Texas. It's not only a hardy plant but also produces edible fruits.
Nopal is a common name in Spanish for Opuntia cacti
More fun facts about this…
Prickly pear cactus, also known as nopales, is not only resilient but also versatile in the kitchen.
Here are some ways to enjoy eating prickly pear cactus:
Raw- Peel and remove the spines, then slice the nopales for a fresh, crunchy addition to salads or as a topping for tacos.
Grilled or Roasted- Grill or roast nopales with some olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings. This method adds a smoky flavor and a tender texture.
Stir-Fry- Include sliced or diced nopales in your favorite stir-fry for a unique and nutritious twist.
How to prune your landscaping. Sharpen pruning shears. Clean pruning shears- Clean your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol.Have a wheelbarrow nearby for debris you cut off.Set! Select a Branch- Scratch- Gently scratch the outer layer of bark using the clean pruners. You want to expose the underlying tissue.Look for Green- Pay attention to the color of the tissue beneath the bark. Healthy tissue is typically green. Dead tissue is brown or mushy. Continue down that stem to find green!Prune!Prune- Where you have found green tissue, prune from that point.Trim- Trim away dead or damaged branches, leaves, and buds using sharp, clean pruning shears.Cut back- Cut back to healthy tissue, making clean cuts at a 45-degree angle.
Garden Guy, Aggie Horticulturist + Expert Landscaper tells you the Best Plants, Trees and Flowers for the Houston and Sugar Land Areas. "After more than 33 years of real-world experience in designing and installing plants for homes, these are the plants, flowers and trees that perform best for our area. I hope you find my plant recommendations to be resilient champions, capable of withstanding periods of water scarcity and weather variations, while maintaining their beauty."
How to prune foxtail ferns. Identify Dead or Yellow Foliage on your foxtails. Remove these to improve the overall appearance of the plant.Prune!Cut at the Base- Trim the dead or unwanted fronds at the base of the plant, near the soil level.Make the cut just above the soil surface.Make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle.Thin Out- If the foxtail fern is too dense, you can thin it out by selectively removing some of the older or crowded fronds