Posted by Robert Cox, Arapahoe County Extension
(If they survive and grow in Colorado… it’s a miracle)
About this time of year, many Coloradans yearn for spring and the gardening season. February magazine and newspaper ads seem to target those with spring fever.
Various trees, lawn grass mixtures, vegetable seed or plants, or plants that repel pests are often hyped. Some of these ads are, ummm, pretty fraudulent. Not at all miraculous, such plants and seed mixes can be a disappointment for well-intentioned homeowners.
Gardeners should exercise common sense - “let the buyer beware” and “if it
sounds too good to be true....” are phrases worth remembering.
In general, avoid responding to plant advertisements that over-hype. Avoid responding if the advertiser is a marketing or sales group rather than a mail-order nursery. Post office box mailing addresses rather than actual site addresses may also be cause for skepticism.
But let’s backtrack just a moment, OK?
One of these over-hyped plants, a tree called Empresstree or Royal Paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa), can become a fun-for-kids (and adults) plant in your backyard.
|Empresstree- not the tree we hoped for, but kinda fun to have.|
This die back to the ground and new growth from roots is repeated annually.
So unless you believe that earth warming will continue (or you live in
, where Empresstree might actually grow as a tree), have some fun with this unusual “herbaceous perennial”. Just prune out the old dead stems and allow the new shoots to remain, growing into your "show all the neighbors" plant. Grand Junction
|Empresstree - new growth after dieback|
OK, I exaggerated the “68 feet of growth” thing a little. But trust me, Empresstree is a great landscape tree for
...I know because the ad said “as seen on TV”. Colorado