- [Narrator] With so many daylily hybrids on the market you can have blooms from April until frost. Annette Schrader visits with a couple who have an impressive collection of this easy-care perennial. Then, referred to as the money tree or lucky plant, jade plants are a common houseplant worldwide. Tammy Algood visits with a collector and learns how easy they are to propagate. Join us. There's such a diversity of color, shape and bloom scape that has daylily collectors wanting more. - [Annette] I'll tell you, whether your interest in daylilies is for large ones or small ones, early ones or late ones, when we're finished talking to Ken here at Ken and Vicki Louallen's gardens in Gallatin, Tennessee, interest in daylily, it's gonna be large when we're finished. Ken? - [Ken] Yes, ma'am. - [Annette] Thank you this morning. Give us those early beginnings of this beautiful garden. - Well, it started about almost four years ago. That's when we started with this and I did some work for a man in Hendersonville and seeing his garden and seeing his daylilies and just fell in love with 'em. Just the different colors and the variety that there was, I'd never seen anything like it before. So it was pretty amazing. - [Annette] And that started it all? - [Ken] Yes, ma'am. - [Annette] Well, there's nothing like a man in a garden, especially when he has all the equipment to start doing all the beds and everything you just said. - [Ken] Yes, ma'am. - Okay. Now then, in the beginnings of... Someone that wants to be new into the daylilies, tell us about the classes of daylilies? - Well, there's several different types. It's just a variety. And that's what sold me on 'em to begin with, is there's so many different kinds. No two daylilies are exactly alike. And so you can go from spiders, you can go to unusual forms. There's just all types of varieties of daylilies, colors, shapes, and sizes. I prefer big tall dark colored day lilies. My wife's favorite is a orange color, because she's a Tennessee ball fan. And we have all types and all colors here, as you can see. - Well, I think it's interesting that when we're yearning in the early spring, there's one that'll bloom then. And you say, today we are in the middle part. - Yes ma'am. - And you also have some that have yet to show color in their bloom scapes. - Yes, ma'am. - So that means that you get... Whether the daylily is a one day bloom or not, you have a length and season, because of that early and late season, don't you? - [Ken] Yes, ma'am. One plant will have four or five scapes on it. And that four or five scapes will have five or six buds per scape. And so that bud will bloom one day, then the next day on that same scape, you got another bloom. So you might take that one plant and go for two weeks blooming one bloom at a time. And you multiply that times 1,100 plants and you've got color pretty much for the whole season. - When exactly does that daylily bud open? I've seen my garden at night thinking, "Oh, you're going to be there." But when does it actually open? - [Ken] Well, most of them begin opening in the morning. That's why they called daylily, they start... You have some that start prior to dawn, but most of them will be open by dawn. And usually by one o'clock, two o'clock, they'll start losing their colors and fade a little bit. - Well, let's talk about the varieties that you particularly like. You like them tall and then you liked them doubled. - I liked doubles. I liked tall. You know, I really, I have not found one I didn't like, I like 'em all. When I first got started, I did not like the spiders, because they reminded me of clowns and the colors in a clown. But the more I got to looking at them and the patterns that you have, some that has patterns in them and so forth. So I even like spiders now. - [Annette] And then they have teeth. - [Ken] I have some with teeth, yes ma'am. - [Annette] Well, let's just kind of walk through your garden and let's talk about a garden in particular, that's your family. - [Ken] Yes, ma'am. - [Annette] And you have some different ones in there that- - I do, yes ma'am. - ... that you've liked, one for you. - [Ken] I got one for my wife, I have one for my grandkids. - [Annette] Yes. - [Ken] Some of 'em we've hybridized ourselves and so we have several different gardens, I have a football garden, I have a fantasy garden, I have a family garden. I have, when you first come in the farm, that's my granddaughter's, that's her secret garden down in the left-hand corner. So we've got them everywhere. - [Annette] Excuse me. And I believe that Vicki has one that she likes, it's the faith garden. - [Ken] Yeah, we have a faith garden and then everything that has to do with our faith is displayed somewhere in that garden. She can actually give you the plan of salvation walking through her garden. - [Annette] I did see it, and it was really beautiful. Well, let's talk about some of your dark, tall ones that you like. - [Ken] Mm-hmm. - [Annette] How about the "You Fooled Me"? - [Ken] Yeah, "Fooled Me" is not really a dark tall one, but that was one of the first ones I ever had, the "Fooled Me" was. But I have several, "Dark Star" is a dark tall one. I have "Two Cats Laughing". I have- - [Annette] I like that one in the dogwood tree. - [Ken] I have a dogwood tree, I plant it next to "Two Cats Laughing", so I call it "Two Cats Laughing in a Dogwood", so. - [Annette] Okay. - [Ken] I have several different dark colors. - [Annette] Okay. Now you liked "Spacecoast Five O'Clock Somewhere" - [Ken] "Five O'Clock Somewhere" is a very pretty flower, it has all types of color in it. I got a dark mid red and light in the throat, it's just a multitude of colors in that plant. - [Annette] What about "Steve's Corn Rows"? - [Ken] "Stevie's Corn Rows" is another dark one. I called a lady in South Georgia and asked her what her favorite daylily was, she's a hybridizer down there, and she said, "'Stevie's Corn Rows'." And so she sent me two plants of it. And that thing produces like Carter's lily fields. - [Annette] I can tell that every one of these just roll off of your tongue. And what about the "Get'R Done"? - [Ken] "Get'R Done" is one of my favorite plants. Actually, it's not dark, but it's got a lot of orange and yellow color blend to it and it gets tall. It gets about 38 to 42 inches tall. - [Annette] And then you also like a "Sabertooth" - [Ken] "Spacecoast Sabertooth", yes ma'am. It's another, but it's not dark, but it's got a lot... It's actually got teeth on it. - [Annette] Okay, and so back to the ruffles that are actually on the petals and that's what you were calling teeth? - [Ken] No, the ruffles on the petal, I call that chicken fat, when it gets ruffled around the edge like a little piece of chicken fat would. But the teeth are the little sharp edges on the end of the petal. - [Annette] Then you've got some little double ones, like "Klaus" and "Seth". - [Ken] Yes ma'am. Yes ma'am, I do. "Klaus" and "Seth". - [Annette] That's a "Joiner", isn't it? - [Ken] It is, yes ma'am. - [Annette] Well, I know that I'm gonna just have to go through a list, because my mind is not long enough. I'm familiar with a lot of these names but it's quite obvious that you know all of them. - [Ken] I don't know 'em all, but there's a bunch here. - [Annette] What is it you think that keeps your exuberance going? - [Ken] I guess more than anything, the variety. Day lilies, when you get into hybridizing, you get a seed pod and it will have five or six seeds in that pod. When you put them rascals in the ground, even though they come from the same mama and daddy, there'll be five completely different plants. Just like our kids are, you get three kids. - [Annette] Absolutely. - [Ken] You don't get three kids the same. And daylilies are the same. I can hybridize, put five seeds in the ground, and each one of them will have a different characteristics from its mama and daddy. And so that's, I think just the difference in 'em. That's what I like. - [Annette] So you keep the ones that you're hybridizing and your seedlings all totally separate? - [Ken] Yes, ma'am, I have a whole seedling garden over here that we keep those in. And we watch those for a while to make sure that each one of them has a consistency that we like. - [Annette] Well, the Middle Tennessee Daylily Society is certainly fortunate to have someone like you that will keep the love going. And of course, there's no doubt that if you want to know a variety, how many do you have? - [Ken] I have over 1,100 individual named plant, individual registered plants and close to 1,800 total plants not counting the ceiling gardens. - [Annette] Yes. Is there anything you do, particularly for your plants as you put them to rest for winter? - [Ken] Everybody's different. I do mine, after they're done, I cut mine back to like when you get a plant shipped, how they cut the tops out of them. I do that to all of my plants and feed them with a liquid fertilizer. They're in in the category of corn, so I use an old corn fertilizer, that- - [Annette] I didn't know that. - Yeah, I used an old corn fertilizer that Mr. Bell told me about. And again, I don't try to reinvent the wheel, I do what works for other people and so that's what works for me. - What's the analysis on that corn fertilizer? - It's a 1648, is what it is. - How old is the plant? Not much root and not much... Well, the flowers, the middle analysis... - But I put him to bed like that. And that keeps me from having to do a lot of cleanup in the early spring, where you have all the dead leaves you've got to go in and pull. If you've cut them back like you just put them in a shifting, they do well. - So these are your evergreens and semi evergreens and everything? You just treat them all the same? - Course the dormants disappeared anyway. - Yes. - But I do them all the same way. - [Annette] Well, I have to say that usually people that are into plants have another collection of plants beside the daylily, but I can tell your gardens, you are a strict daylily lover. - [Ken] Yes, ma'am. I do like daylilies. My wife has a variety of other plants that we use as an accent for them, but the biggest boat is daylilies. - [Annette] And then when the end of July comes, you're ready to go fishing aren't ya? - [Ken] Yeah, I am, I am. But now, we actually bloom through August and September. We have blooms... - [Annette] Oh, you do? - [Ken] We have blooms into September, sometimes in here. - [Annette] Well, now I'm going to have to get the names of those, because I don't know about those. - [Ken] Yeah. - [Annette] Well, it's definitely a day for being in a daylily garden and it's definitely, the man of the hour is you. - [Ken] Well, I appreciate y'all being here. - When I moved into my first house, my friend Melinda gave me a jade plant. She told me to put it at the front door, because it was a symbol of good luck. Well, we're visiting today with Steve Hawks who is surrounded by that good luck, because his gardening passion is jade plants. Hello, Steve, thanks for letting us come to see you. - Hi, Tammy, nice to have you here. - You've got quite a collection here. - Well, thank you. - How did you get started with, and interested in jade plants? - Very much like you, I was given a Jade plant many years ago and I just started from that. They were easy to propagate, so I just, came by accident with a leaf that fell off into the soil mixture. And the next thing, a few weeks later, it had a few leaves on it. So I planted it and that's how it all started. - [Tammy] So from there we've got a greenhouse full of jade plants. - [Steve] Full of plants, yes. - Well, talk to me about this, because it's such a common plant, do most people carry it inside and leave it there or do they do it inside and outside? - They are primarily a house plant worldwide. The origin is in South Africa. And so most people just use them as houseplants, although they can be put outside in the summertime. Usually if temperatures go below 50 degrees then you don't want them to be outside. - So these plants you've kept inside and they're obviously very different levels of growth. So talk to me about what you expect from the jade plant. I mean, if you're given one like this, how long before it's something that's even bigger like these that are next to it? - Jade plants are a fairly slow growing plant if they're inside and house plants, but put outside they will grow a little bit faster. And of course, we've started here from little bitty, tiny guy. This was potted about six months ago. And then as time goes on, this little plant here is about two years old, two to three. So you can see how much growth you get in that period of time. Then from that to this stage, this is about a five to six year old plant. And then- - [Tammy] Wow. - Then to this stage here, we're looking at eight to 10 years. Of course they can be pruned to keep them at any stage that you want them to. They're used a good bit as beginner bonsai plants, people will use them for that purpose. But keeping them trimmed and shaped the way that you like them to be, is beneficial to the plant also. Trimming produces more growth at that point. - And it is considered a succulent, right? - Yes, it is. - So I'm assuming that the water retention is in the sweet little plump leaves rather than the trunk? - [Steve] Yes. - [Tammy] Or is it both? - [Steve] Both, but the reason that most people say that they don't have success with them is that they love them to death. They water them too much and they are very susceptible to root rot if they're wet most of the time. I usually put these in clay pots. That way, if people are overwatering, the clay pots will evaporate the moisture a lot more often. - That makes perfect sense. So do these need any fertilizer at all Steve, or are they pretty self-sufficient? - With the potting soil that most of the plants come in, there's not any nutrients in it. So adding a little bit of fertilizer, just a general purpose fertilizer. I used a little 10-10-10 or 20 with some granules when I water and that helps speed their growth up some little bit. - Okay, so Steve, what if I wanted to be a Steve Hawks and I wanted to propagate my jade plant, what would I do? - Well, you can either take cuttings or go from a leaf. Sometimes just by breaking a leaf off and then just letting it lay on top of the soil with the base of it, covered up just a tiny bit and then just keep that damp for a couple of weeks or so. And then it will begin to sprout, put new leaves on. - [Tammy] It's that easy. - [Steve] It's that easy. That's why they're such a easy plant to work with, as long as you don't overwater them. - [Tammy] Does it have any disease problems that you need to be aware of? - The things that I have encountered, fortunately not too often, is mealybugs and a scale. That seems to be the only thing. If I get a grasshopper in here, sometimes they'll chew on the leaves a little bit, but I try to keep those out. But those are the two things that I have encountered over the years. - [Tammy] So what light do they need? - [Steve] They do like bright light, close to a window, no direct sunlight through a window, 'cause that will cause a sunburn on or a blister, but bright light, indirect. And if you have bright sunlight, like I have in here, then along the edge of the leaf, there'll be a little red border. - [Tammy] Right. - [Steve] That's a good indication that they're getting plenty of bright light. - [Tammy] Okay, so Steve, I thought that all Jade plants were solid green, but you've actually got one that's variegated. - [Steve] It's called a tri color. It has some variegation to it, but it is a beautiful plant to me. I like the vairegations and it is a little slower growing plant than what just the regular jade is. - [Tammy] But do you treat it the same? - [Steve] Yes. Treat it the same as the other - [Tammy] And it likes the same light, water, everything. 'Cause I've noticed this one has got a little purple in it. - [Steve] That's just due to the light, it has gotten on this other table here as opposed to where this one has been sitting. - [Tammy] Actually kinda like the purple on it. - [Steve] It does make a difference. That's the reason that they colodate, tri-color, you've got your green, you got your reddish or pink, and the white. - [Tammy] Beautiful. Okay, so Steve, tell me about the leaves on this plant and how do we take care of this? - Okay, the yellow on this plant, the yellow leaves, is not due to too much sunlight. This is due to, it has wintered and it's beginning to grow and it's gonna shed and it'll prune some of its own branches. Just be sure that it has enough nourishment as it grows through the summertime. Now, I'm gonna shake this plant and there'll be several leaves that'll fall off of it. So when people are concerned about leaves falling from their plant, is something wrong with it? No, it's really not. It's just kind of a normal process of how the plant will grow on its own. - [Tammy] Oh. Oh, my. - And as you shake it, something may fall off just like this has. That's a perfect piece to start a new cutting. - Oh. - Just break that off, put that into the dirt and you will have a new plant. - Okay. All right, so now let's talk about other problems that we may have with our home jade plant. And this little baby has got some issues. So talk to me about what we need to do when we start to see this withering problem here, what causes that? - This plant was sitting close to the greenhouse edge or to the wall and with the cold weather that we had this winter, the freeze and the ice and everything that we had, it was just too close to the edge for it to stay warm enough. So it has had some damage to it. So what we'll do with that is we'll just trim this damage away. Just take a sharp blade and we'll cut through that. And you want to cut down to where the plant is damaged, you'll want to cut down to where the plant is not damaged. As you can see that's a damaged part there and we're getting down into an area here now that is pretty much normal growth. And then as I cut there, then that looks pretty good there all the way around. So we'll just leave that and it'll scab over. And then it'll probably, will put out maybe two or three little nodes there and those will form branches and leaves. - So don't be afraid to cut on it. - No, you can cut on it. So you want to get it back to the point to where it has good growth. Or cut at a node, see like where the branch has come out, there's a node there. Then there would be a node here. So if this was damaged, then you'd cut in between that and then this will scab off and that's where your new branches would come from, would be from the node there. This one is frozen back here, right to the node, so I'm gonna cut this one just right outside that. And then hopefully we'll have some branches that'll come from that area there, if it does not then I'll just cut it again back here. - Okay, perfect. Steve, thank you for this education on jade plants and I've always heard, "Jade by the door, poor no more." - You may remember a segment on tropicals a few years ago from Brian's Botanicals in Louisville, Kentucky. Well, we're back with Brian today. And Brian has really been working hard the last few years on breeding some new cannas, new elephant ears, tell me about some of these new plants you're working on. - Well, I've been breeding elephant ears and tropicals for almost 12 years now. And finally, some things are starting to show that they're worthwhile to put on the market. And a few of the things like this cannas, we get a series called the "Punch Series", and this is "Lemon Punch". And originally I was breeding for big bold foliage, because that's what I personally like, but then a lot of people were telling me I need to get some compact small plants. So the "Punch Series" is basically dwarf cannas that stay roughly two to four feet tall and they have a couple of good habits. One is they self clean, the flowers will actually fall off after they're done flowering and they also bloom profusely. So we've got "Lemon Punch" and I also have another one called "Maui Punch". And we've got new varieties on the way. - And then the other thing I know you're working on a lot are the elephant ears. - Yeah, the colocasia's are one of the main things I've been breeding. There's a couple of varieties that I've found were real cold hardy. So we've been working to make them more colorful. One was this one here called "Sangria", which gets a nice dark green leaves and some purple veins. And then a nice red- - [Troy] A dark red stem. - [Brian] "Pink China" has just a light pink. And then this one has a real dark red. And then this one here is "Madeira", which they get, in shade it'd be dark purple veins, but in full sun it would turn solid black and it stays about three to four foot. - So some of these are more compact varieties. A lot of the old elephant ears are so big that I think a lot of people felt like they couldn't really accommodate them. - Right, "Madeira" stays around three to four foot. The main problem was I had "Black Magic" would never survive for me all winter. So I was working to make something that would survive here. - It'd be hardier. - Much hardier. So if you mulch these in the winter time, Zone 6, you can overwinter them outdoors. - Sure. Now you've got some other ones down here too, like this little lime green one. - This is one of our newer ones, it's being released this year. It's called "Red-Eyed Gecko", It's chartreuse with a red dot in the center of each leaf. It gets around three to four feet tall and has a real nice bright leaf on it. And one of my favorite new ones is this one here, We're calling this "Royal Giganties" and it's... There's a variety out called "Gigantea Thailand Giant", this is a hybrid and this year we had large purple leaves this big or bigger. And in the sun, it kinda gets a slight blue, but in some shade, afternoon shade, it's like a dark purple. - Almost dark purple. So this is kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum from those compact ones? - Right. - This one's going to be really giant. - Lot of people want... When you want an elephant ear, you want a big elephant ear. So this is- - So this will be one of the first kinda dark leafed forms that gets really huge? - Really monstrous, yeah. - [Troy] So tell me about this variety of canna? - This variety is one we call "Bird of Paradise" and this is about half the height here. It'd grow about seven to eight feet tall and the leaves are going to be like a slate blue-green and then it'd have purple veins. And then it had medium to large pink flowers on it. - Right. So it's about half the height now that it will be? - Right. It's mostly- - [Troy] Once it really starts going. - [Brian] It's mostly for foliage, but the flowers are just an extra on top. - [Troy] It's just spectacular color and texture in the garden, whether it's blooming or not. So this is another one of your new introductions. This is "Bikini Tini", is that right? - [Brian] Right, this is one of the varieties we've been breeding with. It's a polypoid, so it has extra thick leaves and a real cupped up habit where it holds water. It usually grows around six to seven feet tall, has real dark stems. And one of the main benefits of it is it's really cold hardy. So Zone 6 or so, you can cut it down to the ground and mulch it for winter and it should return every year. - [Troy] So hardiness really is one of your main goals especially in the elephant ears? - [Brian] Yeah, when I first started breeding, after a while your back gets sore taking stuff in, so I was hoping I could work on making things where you wouldn't have to dig them up, but just protect them with some leaves or some mulch and leave them out and not have to do all the hard work in the fall. - So there's kind of two basic genus of elephant ears that are on the market, primarily the colocasia's, which we've looked at, with heart-shaped leaves, and then the alocasias. - [Brian] This is an alocasia here and I bred this one. It's not cold hardy for our zone, but it's cold hardy for like Zone 7B and a little further South, but it's a lot easier to grow than some of the other more finicky varieties. This one will get up to about four to six, even seven feet tall. And it has kind of light colored veins, but one of the main features is the dark maroon undersides. And it's great for containers. It's great for in the landscape for the summer. And even further south, you can use it as a landscape plant all year. - [Troy] And this one's called? - [Brian] This is a Alocasia "Mayan Mask". - [Troy] So this is also an alocasia? - This is a new hybrid we've been working on and it's called Alocasia "Zulu Mask". And it's going in our "Mask Series". It has a more streamlined edge to it and white veins. It only stays about two to four feet tops and it'll get a light pink to white stem. And it's also real hardy and tough like the other one. And it also has that real dark underside as well. - [Troy] Really beautiful leaf. And with these alocasias, a lot of times their leaves stand up a little bit more so you can actually see the backside of the leaf. - That other variety of "Mayan Mask", well this one will have the least at facial a little bit more, but these leaves get really long, about two feet long and real narrow with real long lobes in the back. kind of looks like rabbit ears. - So the difference, maybe in growing requirements between the alocatias and the colacacias- - You don't want... The colacacias, you can almost let them sit in water at times, they can handle a lot. These need drying out between watering. And usually a lot of the varieties won't take full sun but these hybrids here will take a lot more sun. - So many times with the alocacias, they need a little bit more shade maybe? - Especially if they got real colorful leaves. - Sure. - But these varieties here, we've been breeding them with some of the more easy varieties and then we'll get a tougher, easier plant to grow than some of the... There's a lot of them that are finicky. - That're really finicky - Yeah, and then these here, they've got some good genes in them. So they're a lot tougher than the other. - Even though I'm surrounded by tropicals here in this garden, they mix in really well with other garden plants. Here they're growing with daylilies, with euphorbia and even some hardy cactus behind me. They're perfect for carrying us through the hottest longest months of the summer. They thrive in our tropical heat in Tennessee. So think about adding some tropical plants to your landscape. Brian does sell plants through his internet website. For more information you can log onto our website at volunteergardener.org.
June 17, 2021
Season 29 | Episode 19
Annette Shrader tours a country estate landscape that contains well over a thousand varieties of daylily. Referred to as the money tree or lucky plant, the jade plant is a common houseplant worldwide. Tammy Algood visits with a collector to learn about maintenance and propagation. Troy Marden likes the big, bold foliage of tropical plants. He visits with a hybridizer to see what's new.