Best Types of Squash for Beginners to Grow

Squash is a great vegetable to grow, but it can be confusing with many different types and names. Squashes are broadly separated into two categories which are summer squash and winter squash. They’re very easy to grow as long as they’re growing in fertile soil and watered frequently. 

We’ve put together a list of the best types of squash for beginners that will help you choose what kind is right for your garden space. Let’s get started!

Patty Pan Squash

This type of summer squash is sometimes called flying saucer squash. This is a fun squash to grow because it will turn bright yellow and have a sweet taste if you let the fruit mature. Pattypan squash is small, yellow, hard squashes with a light, nutty flavor. It’s very easy to grow, and it can be challenging to cut a pattypan squash, but that should never stop you from having this squash.

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corn Squash

Acorn squash is very simple to grow because it has a vine that doesn’t cover too much space. It will produce a big yield if you let the fruit mature to its orange-red color. The skin is a rich dark green and bright orange with a sweet, nutty flavor.

Crookneck Squash

The crookneck squash is a very productive vine. The fruit is long cylindrical, pointed at the blossom end, and has yellow skin with stripes and greenish-white flesh. It has a distinctive pale yellow flesh with hints of green when cooked. These summer squashes have a crookneck rather than a straight neck.

The vines may trail up to 10 feet or be quite erect, 3 to 4 feet tall. The most popular crookneck is yellow crookneck squash. It’s a bush-type plant that is easy to grow. It produces fruit up to 12 inches long with golden yellow skin and golden yellow flesh rich, sweet, nutty, and firm.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a great all-around plant that produces small fruits with a firm, tasty orange smell. The taste and texture of the cooked butternut squash are similar to sweet potato. It’s also a good choice to add soups and recipes, especially when you drizzle it with olive oil and then slowly roast it.

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Butternut squash is widely known for the rich, nutty flavor of its yellow flesh. The neck of the fruit is tan and narrow, while the bulbous bottom is bright orange. It can grow up to 2 feet long. This plant grows best in temperate climates, making it great for cooler regions.

Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is a semi-bush plant, which produces yellow flowers and small, tender fruits. If the summers are hot, it will produce abundant crops of fruit. These fruits can be harvested at any stage of growth from very young to mature if still green. They have a perfect shape for stuffing with delicious cheeses and meats.

It is a good choice to use in soups and recipes, especially when you stuff it with any of your favorite ingredients. It also has thinner skin than many other winter squashes, which makes it easier for you to prepare. Their flesh is creamy white and sweet as well. Delicata squash is a hybrid of the Hubbard and Butternut varieties, making it close to both types.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is another type of squash that’s easily identified. Spaghetti squash comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors and has distinctive comma-shaped spaghetti-like strands that contain its stringy flesh. Spaghetti squash is low in calories, carbs, and sodium. It also contains rich amounts of potassium.

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You can find them at your local grocery store with either a yellow or orange exterior. Spaghetti squash has gained popularity in the last five to ten years, thanks to its low-carb and healthy alternative to spaghetti.

Kabocha Squash

A very popular Asian squash, Kabocha (or Japanese pumpkin) is a thick-skinned winter squash shaped like a squat cylinder with dark green skin. It should be eaten cooked, as its raw flesh tastes very bitter and woody. Kabocha squash has an earthy flavor and goes well with savory dishes.

When you cut it, you’ll find a bright orange flesh that tastes like a pumpkin and sweet potato blend. However, it doesn’t store as long as other types of squash; therefore, you don’t have to grow many of them.

Buttercup Squash

In comparison to Kabocha, Buttercup is a very large, bright orange squash with a bulbous bottom and long neck. It has a dense texture and sweet flavor that tastes great when baked or pureed into soups. 

Buttercup squash store well into late winter and are buttery flavor and satiny when baked and mashed. After baking, add olive oil and Romano cheese and roast until browned and crispy on the outside edges.

Hubbard Squash

Hubbard is the largest American variety of winter squash, with an average weight of 50 pounds, which means you’ll need a big storage space to keep them. They’re suitable for pies and baked goods because they’re dryer than other types of winter squash.

It’s used in cooking in much the same way as a pumpkin. It’s also used as a filling for pies and puree in other dishes. Hubbard squash takes at least a hundred days from seed germination to harvest. Its fruits are ready to pick when the vines start to turn dry. Allow your fruits to cure for about two weeks before eating. Also, ensure you store your fruits in a dark, cool place for up to six months.


If you’re looking to grow edible fruits, then you should not let go of zucchini. Like any other squash, zucchini requires cross-pollination between male and female flowers. The most common summer squash grown in summer gardens is green zucchini. Green zucchini can grow in a range of conditions and climates. It requires cross-pollination for fruit production, so you need to plant at least two plants. 

There’s also baby round zucchini which is a popular choice if you want to grow a lot of zucchini in a small space. It’s also good for growing in containers. If you’re just learning how to grow zucchini, you need to know that it can be grown from seeds or by transplanting seedlings outside after all danger of frost has passed. You can also learn how to harvest zucchini so you don’t end up damaging your precious fruits.

Banana Squash

Banana squash is largely elongated in shape. It comes with several varieties that can grow up to 4 or 5 feet long and 1 foot wide. The fruit is very sweet, and the flesh is dark yellow. The skin of this squash is usually orange, pink, or blue in hue. When you store it properly, it can take up to six months. This squash is a great product for you to store.

Turban Squash

The shape of this squash does resemble the shape of a turban. They are very decorative squash with vivid color. They have many colors at the same time, but unlike decorative gourds, they are also good for eating. This squash is very popular with chefs because it can be cooked in many different ways, both sweet and savory. 

The flesh of this type of squash is very dense, and the flavor is described as nutty with a sweet, almost maple syrup-like aftertaste. Besides that, they are also low in calories and easy to digest. They also come in different colors, such as bright orange or golden yellow with green striped skin that add beauty to your salad.

Carnival Squash

Carnival squash is one good example of a common hybrid type. It’s a cross between acorn and sweet dumpling squash. It’s got a pale orange color, so it adds flavor to your meals. This type of squash is also great as a side dish because it can be enjoyed with sweet or savory dishes.

Red Kurri

This is another Japanese squash, but this time it’s also known as red Hubbard. It’s got a slightly nutty flavour than the carnival squash, but with an equal sweetness too. Despite its name, it is not related to pumpkins at all. They have a delicious, mildly sweet flesh which gives them a chestnut-like flavor. They are versatile because the flesh can be used in many dishes, like soups and roasted vegetables.


This is probably one of the most common types of squash on the market today. If you already know how to cook pumpkins, think smaller and more flavorful. It is fun growing this type of squash because the vines wrap around trees and other structures for support. The flesh of pumpkins can be used like butternut squash in soups, stews, dishes with pasta, or risotto.

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 Also, you can make pies with it if you roast it in slices before placing it in the oven. They start small and green on enormous vines, then start fattening up and transforming into the bright orange color we are accustomed to. This is another squash type for which you need a big pot.

Zephyr Squash

Zephyr squash are two-tone fruits that make them easy to distinguish in the garden. The squash has long fruits that are straight and divided into two colors. The yellow color is on the top, while the pale green color is on the bottom. The fruit of zephyr squash can be eaten or added to salads, stews, and pies. 

In order to have a successful harvest, you need to keep your plants healthy all summer long. Ensure that they get enough water and fertilize them every two weeks with a special formula for vegetables that contain more potassium. Also, take care of pest problems that can damage your crop if not controlled in time.

Straightneck Squash

Straightneck squashes are known for their long, straight shape. They are typically yellow and have mildly sweet flesh and tender skin that is easy to peel. It is often used in pies, soups, and stews. Use the same techniques as for crookneck squashes but watch out for mildew which can damage your crop if not controlled in time.

Sweet Dumplings

Sweet dumplings are small and compact with whitish-yellow skin with green stripes. You can even eat its tender skin if you want. Unlike other winter squash, it’s tender. It is fast-growing and has long vines that creep everywhere. They have a sweet flavor, plus a taste and texture that is similar to sweet potatoes. Make sure you grow them in gardens that are spacious and have full sunlight for optimal growth.

FAQs on Best Types of Squash for Beginners to Grow

What is the best yellow squash to grow?

Yellow Crookneck is considered one of the best types of squash to grow. It’s very easy and fast to grow and perfect for beginners, plus they’re also resistant to bacterial wilt.

What is the healthiest type of squash?

The healthiest type of squash is yellow squash, also known as summer squash. Yellow Crookneck Squash has the most antioxidants and the highest level of Vitamin A, making it one of the healthiest types of yellow squash.

Final Thought on Best Types of Squash for Beginners to Grow

As you can see, there are several squash varieties that you can grow with ease. Try yellow crookneck summer squash if you want to go with something easy to grow and resistant to most diseases. It is considered one of the healthiest varieties of summer squash in the world.



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21 Best Shade-Loving Flowers for Your Shade Garden

You want to plant a blooming shade garden, but you don’t know what flowers will thrive in partial shade. Many flowering plants require full sun to grow and bloom properly. However, there’re some flowers that can do well in shaded areas.

Many of these shade perennials come in a wide variety of colors and characteristics. For example, some will grow relatively large while others will stay petite and remain close to the ground. You will be spoilt of choice when it comes to choosing shade-loving flowers. To make your work easier, here is a list of the best shade-loving flowers to add to your garden. 

1. Astilbe

Astilbe is an incredible plant that is suitable for your garden shade. However, it requires lots of water for it to thrive. You must ensure that it doesn’t dry out. So, the best way to cultivate it is to plant it near a pond or stream of water.

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They are slow-growing and produce plume-like flowers on stalks above the foliage in the spring and summer. They do well in partial shade but can also tolerate heavier shade. But they won’t achieve their maximum size in full shade.

2. Hydrangea

This plant can be cultivated in partial shade but prefers full sun. It produces flower buds that are blue-green. You may also purchase some hydrangea shrubs that are pink or pinkish-red in color, which is more suitable for partial shade conditions. 

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Some hydrangeas bloom in large, round clusters, while others have smaller, flatter appearances. It produces oodles of impressive flowers from early summer to fall.

They also do well under tall deciduous trees. Planting them in areas with low light can reduce their flower output, while too much sun and heat can wilt the plant. They should get some morning sun then followed by afternoon shade. Also, make sure you give them extra water during hot days.

3. Bleeding Heart

This beautiful flower gets its name from the fact that it bleeds out watery sap when cut. The bleeding heart loves shade and mulch yet can’t handle too much cold. It is often found in moist conditions with dark, rich soil. When transplanting bleeding hearts, you should place them 6-12 inches deep while ensuring they are standing upright.

The bleeding heart needs plenty of water during the first week. Too much sun can also interfere with flowering. Apart from the partial shade, you should also select a planting site that’s protected from strong winds because flowers are delicate. When watering, make sure you keep the soil moist and not soggy.

4. Spiderwort

Spiderwort is the favorite of many gardeners because of a few reasons. It’s a shade-loving perennial that can do well in moist soil with good drainage. Although it doesn’t require much maintenance, you should still act fast when you notice that your plant isn’t doing too well.

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You will need to keep the soil free of weeds while also avoiding overwatering. When winter arrives, make sure you protect your Spiderwort because they will most likely perish without protection. It features long leaves and blue purple flowers. It’s also perfect for shaded areas of your garden and prefers moist and well drained soil.

5. Bellflower

Bellflowers or Campanulas are perennials that can be planted in spring and summer. To have a successful garden, keep the blooms away from your vines as they will block sunlight. The blooming season of this flower runs from June through your first frost.

The soil should be kept moist and well-drained for these flowers to blossom. Keep the weeds away because it will use all the nutrients that your Bellflowers could otherwise use.

6. Yellow Fumitory

Yellow fumitory or Fumaria officinalis is not a parasitic plant, but it does require some nutrients from its host. This yellow flower needs either grass or clover so that it can grow well. So, make sure you plant it in a cooler area of your garden. It grows from about 8 to 20 inches tall and has beautiful yellow blooms.

7. Solomon’s Seal

This flower is also called False Spikenard, and it’s native to North America. It blooms early in the spring before trees begin to bud. The plant can grow up to almost 3 feet tall and has scarlet-orange flowers that look like bells.

This partial shade lover produces small, lengthy, tube-shaped flowers which hang from the stems. Expect its blooms to appear in late spring and last throughout the summer. The blooms turn bluish-colored berries while summer leaves and fall begin.

8. Foxglove

This is another type of flower that you should give a chance in your garden. This perennial plant blooms when exposed to the sun’s heat; that is why it blooms in the early summer with clusters of tubular flowers. It produces tall, spiked flowers in mixes of white, pink, and Light Purple.

This wildflower prefers moist, rich soil to grow in your garden. Foxgloves are great for adding color to an area with partial shade exposure, plus it has beautiful flowers that will look amazing when allowed to grow.

9. Jack Frost Aster

This wildflower is also called “Frost Flower” and can be found throughout wet meadows, grasslands, and open woods. It has small white flowers that bloom during the fall to attract insects for fertilization. The blooms of this wildflower remain until winter, so it has another name as “Snow Queen.”

10. Fuchsia

This type of wildflower is also called Crimson Rambler because it has colorful, fuchsia-colored inflorescence. Another name for this plant is “Princess Feather,” named after the flower that resembles a feather. This flower can grow up to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide, with an equal spread. Other names: “Old-Fashioned” and Rambling Rector.

If you like hummingbirds, you should know how to plant and care for the hardy fuchsia perennial. Expect the tubular to bloom from spring to the first frost of your season.

11. Coral Bells

Coral bells are native to the United States from New England west to North Dakota and south to Florida and Texas. This plant prefers shady areas but will tolerate a little bit of sun. Uh, its soil requirements should be moist but well-draining, rich in organic matter.

Coral bells should be planted in early spring or fall. The leaves will turn an awesome red in the fall. Do not let the soil dry out when it is dormant; otherwise, your plant will die. They grow lower to the ground with small spiky flowers which begin in the spring. It requires less maintenance, making it thrive with less attention.

12. Monkshood

Monkshood also goes by the name of wolf’s bane of aconitum. It needs a moist, shady area to grow well in a temperate climate. Test the soil pH to ensure it’s under six and is not particular about what type of soil it grows in. Monkshoods are poisonous, but they make up for it with their beauty. 

They provide great flowers for bees and butterflies. This deer-resistant plant has sturdy green stems and gorgeous blooms that are either purplish color or deep blue. It adds a layered look to your shade garden because it can grow as high as 3 feet.

13. Leopard Plant

Leopard plant also goes by the name of golden groundsel and golden ragwort. It grows well in a place that is damp but not too moist. It isn’t particular about habitat, just as long as it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. Leopard plants produce large yellow flowers that have a leopard-like shape hence the name. It’s also a perennial for shade gardens.

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14. Bear’s Breeches

This shade garden favorite is the largest of all perennial plants. It has bell-shaped blooms that can grow up to 1 foot in diameter and produce dark green leaves with silver patterns. Moreover, this plant also provides visual interest throughout the four seasons by changing its appearance from spring through winter.

With a height of 3 to 5 feet tall, this plant requires a large growing space. Hardy down to zone 6; forgetting these perennial plants is very difficult.

15. Green and Gold

The name is somewhat misleading because this plant has yellow flowers with green markings. Although it’s not native to North America, many gardeners use this plant to substitute for Green-and-Gold (Loropetalum chinense). Now thanks to its popularity, you can already find Green and Gold in local plant nurseries.

16. Mourning Widow Perennial Geranium

Of all perennial geraniums, this is the best variety to grow in colder climates. It can survive winter, and it can grow beautifully too. While other geraniums’ flowers only last for 10 minutes, the Mourning Widow’s blooms stay for up to five days.

The green leaves of this geranium are splotched with central-chocolate brown marking and dark maroon-purple. It grows up to two feet tall and requires very low maintenance.

17. Toad Lily

This is a hybrid plant that comes from a cross between Lilium henryi and Lilium pardalinum. Its scientific name is “Tricyrtis hirta,” It can also be found in Asian countries like Japan, China, Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan.

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If you want this variety to grow in your backyard, make sure there’s a good amount of moisture during the first years of its life. It produces tall flower stalks, growing up to 1 meter tall, and has an amazing fragrance. Toad Lilies are among the most unique shade-loving perennial flowers. 

With an almost ground orchid-like appearance, both the plant and late-season blooms can stop your neighbors in their tracks. They come in several varieties, but most have white blooms splotched with pink, rose, and burgundy speckles.

18. Creeping Veronica (Veronica Repens)

Another shade-loving plant, creeping veronica, is an evergreen perennial with semi-succulent leaves. This trailing perennial dies back to the ground in colder regions, but its roots remain alive throughout the winter. Creeping Veronica produces spikes of blue flowers that bloom across spring and summer.

It thrives in partial shade and moist soil that is well-drained. Like most plants of the Polemonium genus, creeping veronica is deer resistant. The bright blue flowers in late spring have white and green glossy trailing foliage that turns burgundy in the summer.

19. Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

A traditional favorite of the shady gardens, lungwort (Pulmonaria) is an herbaceous perennial with spiky leaves and striking blue flowers. Native to Europe, this garden escapee is hardy in the Northeast United States and southern Canada. Lungwort grows best in partial to full shade. It begins to bloom in early spring as the flowers also begin to clump together. 

The blooms are bell and funnel-shaped and grow in clusters. It can also tolerate more sunlight when the weather is still cool. Too much light can burn the foliage, whereas too much shade can reduce flowering.

20. Lily of the Valley

This is a hardy ground cover with arching medium green leaves and petite, fragrant, white flowers streaked with purple. Although they are evergreen, the leaves will turn yellow in fall when night temps drop below 55˚F.

They can tolerate direct morning sun, but you need to protect them from the strong afternoon sun. Full sun is essential in a warm climate, and make sure you water them to keep the soil lightly moist and not soggy.

21. Lamb’s Ear

This is a low-growing ground cover with silver-gray, beautiful foliage. Although they are considered evergreen, lamb’s ear leaves will turn yellowish in winter when night temps go below 50˚F.

They need to be planted in well-drained soil and can tolerate afternoon shade, but you have to protect them from the strong afternoon sun. They will grow in almost any light condition, but full sun is best in warm climates. Make sure you water them to keep the soil lightly moist and not soggy. Also, learn how to control and care for lamb’s ear for them to grow well.

Final Thought on Best Shade Loving Flowers for Your Garden Shade

There, you have it! There are so many shade perennials that you can incorporate in your compound, whether indoors or outdoors. These shade gardens are not only attractive but also give your home a beautiful fragrance.


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How to Grow Pipe Vines

Pipe vine plant is a great addition to any garden. They add texture and color, but they can also be hard to grow if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pipe vines should be planted in early summer because they bloom in early spring.The plant type is generally vine.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about growing pipe vines in your backyard or on your balcony. You’ll learn the best ways of growing and caring for them so that they thrive and produce beautiful flowers every year.

How to Care for Dutchman’s Pipe Vine

Pipe vine, Dutchman’s pipe or formerly Aristolochia durior, is a perennial plant that has big heart-shaped leaves and resembles wild ginger. It is in the birthwort family, and the scientific name is Aristolochia macrophylla. It’s also known as green pipe vine or green Dutchman’s pipe.

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It has large leaves with smooth texture and heart-shaped. The leaf color includes dark green, deep green and pale silver while flower color is green, purple and yellow.

Pipe vine is a hardy plant that produces interesting flowers that resemble Dutch smoking pipes. The structure flower also resembles the human fetus. While the dense foliage often hides their flowers, they’re truly a unique feature. This easy to grow plant requires few elements such as sunlight and well-draining soil to grow with their vibrant green foliage and full vines.

Follow these other care tips to keep your pipe vine healthy and happy.


Pipe vines prefer partial shade and direct sunlight only part of the day. If the plant doesn’t get enough sun, it will be weak and may not flower. Dutchman’s pipe vine needs four to six hours of full or partial sunlight every day to thrive. If you can provide it with full sun, it will achieve the best growth and flowering potential.

However, this Dutchman’s pipe is a hardy outdoor plant that can tolerate varieties of climate, including areas experiencing harsh winters. While you can plant it in the shade, full sun helps to bring out the beauty of its large leaves into the heart-shaped.

Soil and Transplanting

The Dutchman’s pipe vine doesn’t require any particular soil to thrive. All it needs is moist and well-drained soil, which is why it grows well near woodlands, creeks, or swamps.It also needs space to grow and not disrupt other plants, so plant it 1 to 2.5 meters away from other plants.

If you want to grow the plant in your garden, mix organic composts to loosen up the soil and help drain any water that accumulates during heavy rains. Or else, the stems will rot because of too much standing water where its roots are planted. Testing soil pH is not important to pipe vines because it can thrive in neutral and acidic mixtures.

If you’re looking for large, robust leaves, then rich, nutrient-filled soil is what you need. It’s best to use a blend of cow and horse manure to enrich the soil and add in some clay for drainage purposes. There’s no need for transplanting because Dutchman’s pipe vine is a large climbing vine that you should grow next to a structure where the foliage can start climbing.

Watering and Feeding Pipe Vine

This plant doesn’t need watering more often. But in dry regions and locations experiencing a dry spell, make sure to water the plant at least once a week and for best results. You can also fertilize this plant with a standard liquid fertilizer to help the plant grow faster.

Use the fertilizer two to three times during the spring and summer periods. When watering, aim at the hose of the base and not directly at the dense foliage because this can cause fungal problems.

Size and Growth Rate

Dutchman’s pipe vine plant can grow up to 20 feet in height and be readily available at your local nursery. In good conditions, its heart-shaped leaves can reach up to 12 inches a year. It’s recommended for USDA zones 4 to 8. Its clinging vines grow quickly to produce broad leaves that create a dense cover.

The leaves are shed in the winter and come back in the early spring. By the early summer, you should be able to see a dense, lush wall of leaves.

Temperature and Humidity

If the temperature starts dropping, it’s important to add mulch around its roots to insulate them against cold weather. If you want to plant pipe vine outdoors, remember that it’s not frost hardy, so it must be brought indoors during the winter months. 

The plant prefers high humidity and moderate water conditions throughout the year and with good drainage as well. It needs less watering if you live in a warmer climate. Pipe vines will not grow well without humidity, so you might have to mist them now and then if the room is very dry. If the leaves start to turn brown or yellow at the tips, then it’s getting too much water.


Pipe vines are not very picky about pruning. You can trim them back anytime to keep them healthy and growing fast or keep them in a vase shape for decoration. Prune them to keep them tidy all the time. Regular pruning also promotes more flowers.

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Make sure you look for the weakest branches and any branches that are getting out of hand, then prune them off. Pruning should always be done in late winter or early spring.

How to Propagate Aristolochia Vine

Leaf cuttings, which are from large leaves from healthy plants, can be used as propagation material. The best time to take cuttings is in the spring when the vine is thriving. When taking stem cuttings, make sure your cutting has some leaves to have the energy to grow new roots.

Dutchman’s pipe is one of the easiest plants to propagate from seed. Using this method will ensure that you have a different variety than that which you started with. You can also maintain the desired size of this plant by cutting back excessively long stems.

ristolochia Macrophylla Common Pests and Diseases

Dutchman’s pipe plant doesn’t have any major disease problems and pests. It can quickly outgrow any small infestation of insects or diseases. Because this is a climbing vine, it does need to be treated for any major spider mite infestations in the summer months.

It can grow quickly and reach 40 feet because it can be an invasive species in some regions. So, make sure you check with the local nursery to determine if the plant is off-limits. The plant is also a host to pipevine swallowtail butterfly larvae. The genus of this plant contains a toxin called aristolochic acid which is poisonous. But Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly is immune to this poison.

Uses of Aristolochia Macrophylla

Aristolochia macrophylla is used for ornamental purposes. It is grown in gardens and indoors as well. You can also plant Dutchman’s pipe near a trellis, fences, and any other outdoor structure. Pipe vine can also be used to cover old, dead trees.

Uses of Aristolochia Macrophylla
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Dutchman’s pipe around the dead tree allows the climbing vine to climb up the dead tree and cover it. This will eventually help a new tree grow from a seed in the dead trunk.

FAQs on How to Grow Pipe Vines

Is the Dutchman’s pipe a perennial?

Yes, it’s a perennial vine with heart-shaped leaves and blossom leaves. It has flowers that look like small pipes and produce seeds that you can use to grow new plants.

How long does it take to grow a Dutchman’s pipe?

It will take about two weeks for the vine to grow and cover the fence, tree, or trellis. The flowers might not make seeds in less than 100 days of cold weather. It requires an environment with cold temperatures.

Final Thought on How to Grow Aristolochia Vine

As you can see, growing and caring for pipe vines is not very difficult. Once it starts to grow, this perennial will cover the surface of whatever structure or trellis you put it on. There are so many uses for pipe vines, but they are best used as chain link fence.


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How to Grow Red Salvia

Red salvia is a great addition to your garden because it can be used for borders, containers or even as an annual plant in the ground. It’s also called scarlet sage. Salvias are members of the mint family and are grown as a perennial plant but are often grown as an annual in temperature zones.

Even though the scarlet variety is best known, salvia splendens comes in other colors: white, purple, lavender, salmon, pink, burgundy, and orange. With its dark green and heart-shaped leaves, this plant emits a fragrance that mammals don’t like, making it deer and rabbit resistant. 

We’ve created this guide that will teach you all about red salvia growing tips and tricks. You’ll learn everything you need to know, including soil requirements, light needs and more.

Caring for Red Salvia

If you’re looking for a plant that can add fragrance to your garden, then red salvia is the best choice. To improve the look of this perennial salvia and encourage it to produce continuous blooms, it’s wise to deadhead faded blooms. You can do this by pinching flower spikes and removing the spent blooms.

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Salvia plants are easy to care for and are drought-tolerant; they can survive on natural rainfall. This reduces the need for you to water them during dry spells and will save you money too. Here are some of the caring tips to consider:


Make sure that you choose a bright, sunny position for your salvia plants. They require at least four hours of sun every day to thrive. They can also grow successfully in areas with partial shade. However, full sun will provide them with their preferred conditions.


Red salvia plants like moist soil, but consistent watering can cause root rot. Watering can be done every seven to ten days, depending on the rainfall amounts and hot daytime temperatures. Before watering, make sure the first inch or two of the soil is dry. If the soil is dry, you can water the plant until it flows to the plant roots.

Salvia plants are drought tolerant plants, but they do best with consistent watering. They will tolerate dry soil once in a while if their water needs are met. So, make sure you keep the soil moist to help it thrive.


Plant your scarlet sage in soil that drains well. Soil with a high organic content is preferred. If nutrient deficiencies become a problem, it’s likely due to soil issues. Be cautious about adding any fertilizers as they may burn the roots of the plant. Cultivate the soil approximately four inches down with a garden spade. After that, sprinkle the compost on the top then work down again with a garden spade. Learn how to make a compost bin to make this easier.

Make sure you plant your salvia in well-drained soil to discourage root rot. Mulching around the plant to a depth of 2 inches will help it retain water. So, apply a 2-inch thick layer of bark or wood chip mulch on top of the compost to help it soil moisture and control weeds.

Use a test home kit to test the soil pH in a site with good soil drainage and full sun in cool summer climates and partial sun. If the pH is high, add in organic compost because poor or high pH can lead to alkalinity which this plant hates. You can also plant your red salvia in containers filled with potting soil. Add the potting mix to cover the roots firmly.

Plant the Seedling

Water the red salvia seeds. Water thoroughly so that water comes out through the bottom of the container. For container-grown plants, place containers in trays filled with damp pebbles, so they don’t dry out between watering. Make sure you fill your container with standard potting soil.

As you pop your red salvia seedling out of its cell or pot, ensure you maintain the soil mix around the root ball. Place it on the hole so that the root ball can be on the same level with the soil surface. Mulch around your red salvia to retain soil moisture and control weeds, especially if you planted it in a garden bed.

dd Fertilizer

Add a granular fertilizer high in phosphorus when the red salvia has been in the ground for six weeks. Phosphorus promotes blooming and reduces flower bud drop. Look for fertilizers with 7-8 percent nitrogen.

You can also use the same balanced fertilizer you use to fertilize your other annual flowering plants. Red salvia will do fine with one springtime fertilization.

Temperature and Humidity

Red salvia requires a long growing season, and it’s best to start seeds indoors and transplant outdoors when the danger of frost is past. Once your red salvia has finished blooming, cut the dead flowers off close to the stem. If you shear back too far, you’ll get new growth that will flower later in summer or fall.

Do not subject them to prolonged temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re bringing them indoors for the winter, keep them in a cool room and avoid drafts from air conditioners or fans. When it comes to humidity, red salvia doesn’t have any special humidity needs.

Salvia Varieties

You can buy many cultivars of salvia at the garden center and online. While they have the same requirements, they’ll vary in color, height, etc. For example, the scarlet variety has bright red flowers while “Victoria” has pink ones.

Salvia Varieties
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The list below are some popular medicinal varieties of salvia that are also beautiful to look at:


This is a salvia variety with white flower spikes and grey-green leaves. It’s also the tallest variety, growing to around 3 feet tall.

Salsa Scarlet Bicolor

This unique variety features bicolored red and white flower spikes that fade to pink as the flowers mature. It’s a short variety, typically growing about 2 feet tall.


This is a compact variety with red flower spikes that grows to 14 inches.

blazin Purple

This variety produces royal purple flower spikes and can grow to 26 inches tall.

Peruvian Sage

The flowers of this sage are dark purple and have grey-green leaves on top and white leaves underneath.

utumn Sage

This is a drought-tolerant sage with brilliant colors that blooms through the summer and into the fall.

zure Sage

This variety has aromatic foliage and sky blue flowers in the late fall.

Hybrid Sage

These perennial varieties are perfect for colder areas. They’re 24 inches tall and bloom in late spring to early summer.

Red Salvia Pests and Diseases

Monitor salvia plants for slugs, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips and aphids. Slugs are the only known salvia pest that’s difficult to control. Salvia Root Disease is caused by a fungus called fusarium. It can be prevented by good drainage and air circulation around the plant. Also, do not over-fertilize or use fertilizer pellets for the growth of salvia spp.

Red Salvia Pests and Diseases
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FAQs on How to Grow Scarlet Sage

Does red salvia self-seed?

Yes, salvia splendens grow as a self-seeding annual.

Do salvias come back every year?

Salvias are considered annuals because they’re expected to overwinter only in warm climates. They’re typically planted in the spring and compost in late fall.

Final Thought on How to Grow Red Salvia

There you go! Growing red salvia is easy if you have the right tools and information. With minimal care, these bright flowers can dress up your flower garden throughout the growing season.


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10 Best Topiary Plants to Grow

Topiary plants are easier to grow than any other ornamental tree or shrub. The best topiaries among trees, herbs, and shrubs bear small leaves. They also grow quickly and have a dense branching pattern.

If you want to add interesting shapes and forms into your garden without having to spend too much effort on them, topiaries are something worth considering. Here’s a list of several popular choices that we’ve picked out so you can decide which ones would work best for your gardening needs.

1. Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

Buxus spp, or box, is a versatile plant for topiary projects since it can tolerate almost any type of soil and exposure. This makes it ideal for growing indoors as well as outdoors. It’s an old-time favorite to craft a refined look by using its natural features.

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The only problem is the high maintenance requirements when you try a complex design. They can be shaped however you like because they provide a dense style with insignificant flowers. You can use boxwood topiaries to balance your entryway and other simple applications like creating a basic hedge.

For its optimal growth, it requires consistent moisture and proper mulching. It’s also important to provide it with well-drained soil, and it prefers full sun to partial shade.

2. Yew Bush

Yews are conifers that require very minimal care effort. They have a needle structure and dense leaves. Yews are considered an evergreen shrub but don’t need a lot of sunlight. It’s suggested you place them under partial shade. However, it’s important to provide them with well-draining soil and water during the blooming season. 

Taxus bushes are available in many different varieties. Some of them can be used as foundation plants, while others can be used for landscaping needs. If you have a cylindrical topiary in mind, then go for Anglo-Japanese yew. They are the common yew because they grow in a cylindrical shape.

Yew Bush
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The only drawback is that they’re toxic to animals and humans, so avoid growing them where dogs roam, or kids play. If you want to achieve the topiary shape, then Taxus baccata is the most popular choice.

3. Privet Shrubs

Some hedge plants can double as excellent choices for topiaries, and Ligustrum spp is one of them. Its timeless aesthetic makes it perfect for privacy. This topiary plant grows and requires less effort to shape than other topiaries. You’ll also appreciate its superior tolerance to salt and urban pollution.

When it comes to growing conditions, this plant is very versatile. It’s hardy within USDA zones 5 through 9. It’s also resistant to drought, disease, and pests. Once planted, the shrubs need an acidic soil with pH levels of 6.2 to 7.0 so you must test the soil pH to ensure it’s the correct one for your plants.

They grow well in full sun to partial shade conditions with at least six hours of sunlight daily. However, too much sun can cause some bleaching on leaves, so keep that in mind. It produces large leaves and has dense foliage. The larger leaves make it suitable for large-scale topiary.

4. Japanese Holly Shrub

The name of this plant comes from the evergreen leaves. The leaves are a dark, solid green color with a toothed edge. They have an attractive appearance and grow in clusters. They’re 2 to four inches long and 1 ½ to three inches wide, making them ideal for topiary projects.

Its rounded form makes this shrub ideal for topiary projects that involve geometrical shapes. The ilex spp is an evergreen with broad leaves instead of needles. It has dense foliage and a bushy appearance with many glossy leaves. Hollies with traditional holly leaves can be trimmed to the shape that you desire.

It grows upright at a moderate rate and requires occasional pruning to prevent it from growing large. It’s appreciated by landscape designers, thanks to its remarkable qualities of blossoms. Growing hardy USDA zones of Ilex crenata are 5 to 8, full sun and part shade.

5. Rosemary Herb

Who doesn’t know this excellent herb? Rosemary, with the Latin name of Rosmarinus spp, is an evergreen with needle-like leaves. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 15 inches wide at full-grown, but it needs little pruning to be used for topiary projects. It’s also known for its white flowers and pleasant scent. 

Rosemary has a strong and fragrant scent and is tolerant to heat and drought. Rosemary can also be used in herbal tea, meats, and fish. Thrives best in USDA growing zones 8 to 10, full sun exposure.

6. Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia or lavender for short can be used as a topiary if not for its beautiful and fragrant flowers. It has a greyish hue and is drought tolerant, thriving in USDA zones 4 to 9, full sun exposure. Lavender can be used in soaps and lotions, but this plant is also known as an insect repellent.

A good choice of companion plant since lavender can protect other plants from insects. Other benefits of Lavandula spp include the ability to draw butterflies and repel deer. You can also take advantage of its evergreen leaves if you’re living in a warmer climate. Lavender can also be grown as a small topiary plant.

7. Thyme

When it comes to small-scale topiaries, herbs like thymus spp or thyme should be your choice. Thyme isn’t only a culinary favorite, but it’s also a suitable plant for topiaries because of its compact nature and tidy appearance.

It has small green leaves and can grow between 6 inches (15 cm) and 2 feet (60 cm). Thyme has deep purple, white flowers, and an earthy scent. This makes it a great choice for a fragrant topiary that can also add color to your garden.

8. Vines

Ivies or Hedera spp are great for this purpose, although some are considered invasive. Therefore, choose non-invasive varieties like Lady Frances, Gold Child, or Duckfoot. It is not very difficult, and it is fun making one in your garden or yard.

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You can grow any variety in a container, but make sure that the plant is not invasive. Dwarf forms of English ivy (Hedera helix “Hahn’s”) can be grown in a pot because they are non-invasive. The same thing can be said about creeping fig (Ficus pumila) and Persian ivy (Ternstroemia gymnanthera).

As for the plants that you might want to avoid, think about English ivy varieties like Pagoda, Imperial Gold, or Queen Emmarentia because these are the ones that might invade other parts of your garden. Working with ivy is incredibly easy and provides flexibility for any topiary artist.

9. Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss is a small flowerless plant that grows in dense green clumps. It’s mostly found in shady and damp locations. When you want to make this topiary plant, you need to find a proper frame then fill it with moss. Once it’s full, it can stand alone and you can use it as a base to plant trailing vines, herbs, and flowers.

10. Dwarf Alberta Spruce Trees

This is another slow grower plant, but it6 makes up for it with dense and fragrant foliage. This dwarf tree is very important if you’re looking for a topiary with pyramidal and conical shapes.

FAQs on Best Topiary Plants to Grow

Which plants make the best topiaries?

Such plants as holly, laurel, boxwood, and privet are excellent choices for topiary. But boxwood, especially morris dwarf, is the best topiary plant choice because of its compact shape, even if it’s trimmed.

Which Buxus is best for topiary?

The best buxus for topiary include English box, Dutch box, and Japanese box.

Final Thought on Best Topiary Plants to Grow

As you can see, there are so many topiary plants to grow and so many different types of topiary styles. Even though there are so many choices, you can always find something that will work for your landscaping project.


The post 10 Best Topiary Plants to Grow appeared first on Kitchen Infinity.

How to Grow Colorado Blue Spruce

The Colorado blue spruce is a beautiful tree from North American native selection. It’s very slow growing but has an excellent pyramidal shape. As a landscape plant, it reaches 15-20 feet maturity in ten years. They were first discovered in 1862, growing in the Rocky Mountains.

But nowadays, they’re widely planted landscape trees. If you live in the right climate and have good soil, this tree will thrive, but only if you plant it the right way.

This guide tells you everything about how to grow blue spruce trees, from seedlings to mature specimens suitable for your yard or garden. You’ll learn what type of soil they need and how much sunlight they require. You’ll also learn tips on pruning them and other maintenance tasks that are necessary for their survival. Let’s get started!

Propagating and Planting Blue Spruce

Grafting is the most successful propagation method as it allows you to get earlier crops than cuttings do, but the downside is that this method requires more knowledge and experience. You can use either whip or cleft grafts with scions taken from the upper part of mature trees or use root cuttings. Colorado blue spruce grows very slowly, so, you have to be patient for seedlings to fully grow.

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To plant colorado blue spruce, dig a deep hole of two to three times as wide as the root ball of the tree. Then, place the tree in the hole so that the root ball is even with the surrounding soil. If your soil is poor, add water to the soil to remove air pockets. 

Other special features that come with this plant include bird-friendly, dramatic foliage color, easy-care, North American Native Selection, Tolerates Road Salt, and year-round interest. And the companion plants include spirea, Butterfly Bush and Blanket Flower, Weigela, and Stonecrop.

Colorado Blue Spruce Tree Care

Other common names of Colorado blue spruce include green spruce, white spruce, and Colorado spruce. The main requirement for these trees is an adequate water supply during dry periods. Colorado blue spruce tree requires the following maintenance to keep it healthy and vigorous:


It is essential to plant blue spruce trees in moist soil locations with full sun and light shade. However, blue spruce Picea Punjeb is also drought-tolerant, but growing it in heavily polluted areas can affect the blue color coating of the needle.


It is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is well-drained. Colorado blue spruce trees require moist soil to grow healthy and well. Spruce prefers acidic, boggy soils which are sandy or loamy with low levels of organic material. 

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On soil pH, Colorado spruce requires a range of 6.0 to 7.5, even though they can tolerate extremely acidic and alkaline soils. Make sure you test the soil pH just to be sure.


Plant Colorado blue spruce trees in full sun and ensure they get at least six hours of unfiltered sun per day. The Colorado blue spruce thrives in full to partial sun. It also tolerates partial shade but does better in spots with plenty of sunshine.


Blue Spruce Picea punjens require an ample supply of water and also good drainage. Although blue spruce tolerates drought, it does best when watered consistently throughout the entire year. Water your blue spruce about once every two weeks if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week during the first growing season to keep the soil moist.

Once it’s established, water it only during dry spells and avoid water logging or creating muddy soil. The Colorado blue spruce can tolerate dry soil as long as the plant is watered regularly during its first growing season. At that point, it develops a deep root system and requires less frequent watering.


Blue spruce does not require frequent fertilization to thrive. If you want to fertilize your Colorado blue spruce, do so in early spring or late summer using a balanced 10-10-10 formula. This will give the tree an added nutrition boost. It will increase the length of the needles and improve the needle color. 

The fertilizers will also give full nutrients and help the plant to grow vigorously with a nice look and denser foliage. Better yet, you can consider using green manure for your plants. Learn how to make a composter to make this even better.


The Colorado blue spruce should be pruned to remove dead needles and any diseased branches in its first winter. After the tree has gone through one growing season, it should no longer require any pruning. But a good thumb requires you not to prune them because they do best when their branches are allowed to grow to the ground.

Pruning them will also promote denser foliage. So, apply two to three inches of garden mulch around the plant’s base in a wide circle to keep the soil from splashing during rainy weather.

Temperature and Humidity

The Colorado blue spruce will prefer cool conditions, but they’ll tolerate full sun more readily than other evergreens. Give your tree some protection from the hot afternoon sun. It would prefer cold winters and moderate summers, with an annual minimum of about -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Colorado blue spruce is also tolerant of cold weather, but it will not thrive in extremely hot and humid weather conditions.

Pests and Diseases

Aphids, scale insects, and spider mites are all pests that bother picea punjens. An infestation of whiteflies can cause leaves to have a dusty appearance and also cause root rot. If you see any symptoms of pest damage on your Colorado blue spruce, it’s important to take care of the problem immediately before it becomes an irreversible situation.

Use a magnifying glass to examine your tree. Look for any eggs that may be about to hatch, and remove them by hand if they’re spotted early enough in the process. If you find a fully grown pest, spray it with a strong stream of water from a hose or use an insecticidal soap that can be applied with a garden sprayer.

Failure to treat those fuzzy black spots can make your spruce needles turn purple to brown and eventually fall. However, fungus won’t kill your tree, but these blue spruce trees are also susceptible to white pine weevils.

Potting and Repotting Blue Spruce Tree

Since these trees are used for Christmas decorating, you can add them as potted landscaping plants when the holiday is over. The blue spruce tree can also be added to the Rocky Mountains or any area with good drainage and full sun exposure. Once the season is over, dig a hole and keep the dirt loose to provide enough air for the roots.

Potting and Repotting Blue Spruce Tree
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The Colorado Blue Spruce Landscape Uses

This plant makes an exceptional accent tree. You cannot also go wrong with this tree if you’re looking for a windbreak or privacy screen. And if you’re living in areas with a large wildlife population, these ornamental trees resist deer, thanks to their strong smell and prickly texture. This also makes it a perfect habitat for local rabbits and birds.

FAQs on How to Grow Colorado White Spruce

Can you grow Colorado blue spruce indoors?

No, blue spruce trees are too large to be grown indoors. They can be grown outdoors where they can get natural sunlight.

How can you make blue spruce grow faster?

Make sure your blue spruce tree is planted in a location with lots of sunlight for at least half a day. You can also fertilize the soil around the plant with triple phosphate and potassium to help it grow faster.

Final Thought on How to Grow Colorado Blue Spruce

As you can see, growing these Christmas trees is not that difficult. As long as your location has full sun and is well-drained, you can grow this plant and enjoy its Christmas beauty. Even if you do not use it as a Christmas tree, the blue spruce will still look good around your home. It can also help you separate tall multistory buildings.


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