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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope I am posting this in the best place.

Been hearing/reading about these bushes and started looking for some.
They are pretty much all gone for the year now.
However, a fellow couple of hours away made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
They are small young plants - look great. Couple at Home Depot almost dead looking.

As I have more plants than I planned, I need to figure out the best place to put them. Have couple of acres of open.
I was thinking of putting some near our open shed barn. The hive will be near there also. We no longer have horses. Good location all but for 1 thing.
There is usually 1 wasp nest in the barn rafters every year. Don't mind them.
BUT - this year had a yellow jacket nest in some stacked dog houses and getting rid of them was a bit awkward.
SO - is that a bad location ?? don't want to encourage the yellow jackets.

I'm a newbee so all suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated. Trying to learn all I can.

Thanks
Natilie
 

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Give them space.Our mature trees are about 20 feet tall and 15 or so feet in diameter.They are not bushes in the way I think of bushes.They might be described as bushy trees since they sprout multiple trunks from the rootstock. Good bee forage and easy from seed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Gone2Seed
Thanks for the information, Great Advice.!!
Wow - I did not think they got that big. I thought it was more like 12 high x 8' wide
I'll definitely keep that in mind when I plant them.
Some spots I was thinking of -ummm maybe not. grin.
Multiple trunks - OK - now I have ammo when hubby is already talking pruning to single stalk - and he has no clue about these plants - he just hears "tree". I want to let them be for now anyway.
Take Care and Happy Holidays
Natilie
 

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I am thinking to buy some vitex trees also.
There is one local seller asking $15 dollars per tree. They are about 3' tall now.
Are they the drought tolerant trees too? It would be nice to plant a few in my front and
backyard. Is $15 dollars per tree is the right price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Beepro

Even in Sacto winter is coming and most people won't buy bushes that no longer have any leaves.
So nurseries are cutting prices to get what they can get while they can before they toss them out.
The Home Depot here had 3 in 2qt pots about 2' tall that were marked down from $20 to $10. But they did not look good with only a few leaves at the top.
Another local nursery also 50% off had 2 maybe 3' marked down to $20.00 (I didn't see um)
Most of the bushes I got are 16" tall with 3 about 22". They are young, lots of leaves just now starting to yellow with less daylight. These were the last he had for this year (raised himself) so to be done with it, he made me an offer if I take all of them, instead of $5 and $10 - his already marked down price, I ended up with 11 for $30 total. I was only going to get 3 or 4.

$15 for a 3' tall tree/bush - yes I definitely would get some. Come spring, especially when they have blooms on them - those same bushes will be selling for probably $45 or more.
Now is the time to plant them - let the roots settle in and be ready to go come spring.
I have read they do get bigger than I thought - but you can prune them to what you want.
Stay with multi branches from the ground. For now I am going to let mine stay bushy from the bottom - I may prune up later on to have multi trunks but look more like a tree. It just depends on what you want and why.
Right now I want all the blooms I can get - and - it will let the bushes get started better I think.
They are good with drought and they like sandy soil so Sacto should be a good area.
Oh - need 5-8 hours a day of sunlight at least. They like the sun. Guy in Alabama just had to trim some trees to give his more sunlight. Probably grow, but not much in the bloom department I'm thinking.
Gal in Florida said they are easy to start from seed. Got my bushes first - but while now would be a good time to start seeds I guess, I still wouldn't get them into the ground until next fall and I don't want to wait that long. Several people have said how much the bees love them here and around. Even the guy that does the watering at Lowe's noticed as much this summer.
I did not remember they get 20' tall and 15' wide - so depending on part of why you want them - think to the future left alone or how much you want to prune them before you plant. Her note made me change where I think I'll put a couple of them. grin

$15 - for 3' yah I would. I'm not the richest person in the world and $35-$45 or more - not gonna happen. I'd really be upset if it died.

One thing I did notice at Home Depot a couple of bumble bees here and there - BUT - lots of honeybees only on the "purple heart" plants nowhere else. Should be OK in my area outside (zone 8) - can be grown as ground cover, as hanging basket or indoors. Pretty purple plants with tiny pink blooms and yes, my bees like them here too. I bought 2 small ones just to see. They are in the "wandering jew" family so I read that when they touch ground, they root. People advised to watch where they put cuttings when or if they prune. I'm thinking they will be OK in your area too.

The gentleman that I got my bushes from also gave me 2 little "Mexican Petunia" plants. He said they will spread a bit also. Bees like them he said. Just looked them up - pretty.

That might make a nice area of different heights - 7" Purple Hearts - clump or maybe 20" Mexican Petunia and Vitex bushes.

Good Luck - keep me posted and Happy Holidays
 

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since you are close to the Tyler area you may want to try some Loquat, Bottle Brush and Firebush.
All Three are late fall bloomers and will be covered with bees. The firebush has nectar, but the Loquat and bottle brush have both and the bees love em.
My yard here in town has fresh nectar and pollen right now. Not much but enough to get em some stores.
Yards outside not some much. So I believe its because of the ornamental bloomers.
The Firebush will be dead 1st frost or freeze. While the Loquat may lose the fruit set the blooms are always mid Nov and early december.
Bottle Brush is tough and stays green year round. But right now they are covered with blooms.
My Chaste tree is better for butterflys and not so much bees. Too much other stuff blooming
The Loquat will come up from seeds and grow extremly fast, blooming about the 3rd-4th year. Fragrant also. Firebush spread each year from roots. Bottle brush dont do nothing for increase but you may be able to grow them from cuttings. Never tried.
I've seen some Chinese tallows in Tyler where my daughter lives.
PM me and in the spring I will send you seeds for both the Loquat and also the Tallow.
Be Warned!The tallow is invasive big time from the popcorn and the Loquat will drop seeds and everyone that hits the ground will sprout into a new tree. They remind me of a Magnolia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi there - thanks for all that information MG. Sounds really interesting.
I'm trying to remember the name of my very invasive bush I deal with now. Spring bloomer people use for hedges. Dang old memory.
If Firebush is dead first frost - sometimes that is Halloween instead of waiting til Thanksgiving. They would be nice. Are you saying they are invasive also or just just slowly spread from main bush roots.
The Bottle Brush sounds like a winner and I'll check into them for sure. Nice to have something blooming now besides Purple Heart.
Thanks, but I think I better pass on the Loquat and Tallow if they are going to be that invasive.
Much appreciate the warning too.
Funny, as many years as we have been here - I have never been close to a Magnolia tree - from a distance, yes, but not up close. Didn't know they were bad about popping up new plants everywhere.
 

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Don't know much about the Chinese tallows.
We have Loquats here blooming now for the very late nectar and pollen for
the bees. They can spend the entire day flowing from flower to flower without
getting tired. So I would recommend those to plant a few just to see for yourself.
And not all seeds/fruits that hit the ground will grow a new tree. As long as they don't touch the ground that has moisture they cannot sprout. I left some seeds out on the ground under the hot summer sun here they all shriveled up and died. So I'm trying to take some cuttings from last year's growth to get me some new trees maybe that will bloom sooner than the 3-4 year wait time starting from the seeds.
Almost all our neighbors here have them perhaps for the evergreen foilage when everything seems to be sleeping here in the winter time.
Last year and this year I did not water them all summer long because we need to conserve water. Many leaves turned yellow on the outer edge. The tree did not die and came back to life in the Fall when I water them after seeing the flower buds around late September. Now they are blooming profusely for my bees. The nectar is clear and the pollen is white. Plant a few of them next to your beehives and they will work them even in the frosty weather when the sun warms them up again. Yes, they are drought and frost tolerant too even the flowers are. If you don't water them all summer long and only water in the early Fall the tree will stay low and bushy. When they have access to moisture then they will grow very tall more than 15' tall. The small branches are easy to prune too with a hand held pruner.
I will definitely check out the local nursery for some vitex that is for sale now.
All I see is the common purplish flowers on the vitex. What other colors do they have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Beepro

Thank you for telling me more about the Loquats. Pictures looked interesting and some people eat the fruit I think ? With as many leaves on the ground and as much hay grass growing in the pasture, most seeds cannot find the dirt. Been trying to plant some ball clove (white) for last 2 years - but since I mow and leave, you can't see dirt and seeds not making contact. So, now I feel much better about Loquat thanks for that.

I will definitely try some from what you said. Take the guy in Houston up on his offer for seeds. 200 Miles south of me and MUCH more humid.

Privet Hedge is the one I was trying to remember last night - 40 bazillion teeny weenie seeds that manage to find dirt and grow, plus shoots from roots too. They just take over my open areas. Nice big bushy plants that can get big like trees, those trunks can be 8" across or more.

Everything I read about what colors to get for bees almost always Blue first - looking at spectrum colors they see goes Lavender, Purple, Dk Blue, Blue, Lt Blue, Shades of Green, Yellows, Oranges and Red. They do not see Red. White is always listed 1st or 2nd - but not sure where it fits on UV spectrum chart for bees.
So I wanted the Blue or Lavender color. While I read some do not breed true, that next color will be white, I am thinking that would be for any shoots coming up from roots. But I would be OK with white.
The bees are happy with Purple Heart plants with pink flowers with tiny yellow stamen.
I know they like Purple, Blue and Pink as I always seem to be wearing those colors when keeping an eye on the new volunteer guys. With Jack Russells, you quickly learn not to wear black. So I'm wearing the wrong colors a that is what I have and am not thinking about it. They obviously think they have struck gold and I am some kind of giant flower. Imagine the disappointment when they figure it out and fly on. ha ha

Oh you did ask what other colors - Cultivars: Abbeville: deep blue flowers; Alba: white flowers; Blushing Spires: soft pink flowers; Lilac Queen: lavender flowers; Rosea: pink flowers. according to texas trees.org But most everything you see online is blue or lavender.

It also says: Grape-colored flowers cover long panicles that can elongate up to 12 inches. Starting in early summer, flowers begin opening from the bottom of the flower stem and continue up the stem over the course of four to five weeks. If the spent spikes are cut off promptly after the first flowering the shrub will bloom again. Not sure if I'm going to want to take time to cut off spikes - maybe some - just depends on what is happening at the time - or maybe some to see what happens.

Just saw on gardener direct 3 gal regular $60 on sale $48 - makes $15 look super and no shipping. ha

Enjoy and Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Mg - based on information Beepro just gave me I may take you up on your offer of Loquat seeds come spring.
Thnks
 

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If Mg knows how to do air layering now then in the Spring time you will have
a small rooted branch from the mother tree. If more than one air layering then
you will get a few trees. I have already cut and selected a few healthy branches for
air layering from my Unique Loquat tree. There are 2 types. One is a low growing 7' bushy
type and the other is a tall with fewer branches 15' tree. I have both and only air layering the low growing one.
Don't want to take a tall ladder to get the yummy sweet yellow fruits when they are ripe. The greenish ones are
sour so wait until they turn fully darkish yellow. Yes, you will get some tasty fruits either by the bunch or just a few
bigger ones by thinning out the smaller fruits at pinky size when they're still growing. I like the bigger size fruits with smaller close to no seeds last early summer.
I prune out the smaller fruits to save a few 3-5 on each branch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How neat - I know nothing about air layering.
Have to remember low bushy one is best for all the reasons you say.
It is going to be 31 in morning here - 3 day cold snap, it's Thanksgiving, normal, then warmer again - so I may or not get any fruit, but willing to try and hope for the best.
Thanks for the info and tip.
I think he mentioned his are the tall ones - but I'm not sure.
Just looking up air layering - would certainly give you a big head start time wise on a new plant vs seed
Those 3 gal plants will flower sooner than my smaller vitex plants too. Same reason.
Still, he is over 200 miles south of me.
Natilie
 
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