Plants that attract Butterflies

Plants that attract ButterfliesThere is no insect more majestic than the butterfly. There is also no insect that people enjoy more. So it is no wonder why many homeowners are doing everything they can to attract butterflies to their yards. How? Plants, that’s how. Butterflies and plants go together like peanut butter and jelly.

“The Butterfly is a Flying Flower, The Flower a Tethered Butterfly.” – Denis Écouchard Lebrun

So, when attracting butterflies to your yard, where better to start than with a group of nectar-rich flowers, often referred to as a butterfly garden.

  1. Butterflies prefer plants with clusters of short tubular flowers.
  2. Choose colorful flowers. Butterflies are attracted to colorful groups of flowers.
  3. Provide continuous blooms throughout growing season.

Additional considerations for attracting butterflies include sunny open spaces, shelter from the wind, fresh water, and a wide variety plants, grasses, and wildflowers. By offering the right combination of the aforementioned factors, it is easy to attract and sustain a butterfly population.

Plants that attract Butterflies

Common Name Latin Name
Allium Allium
Aster Aster
Bee balm Monarda
Butterfly bush Buddleia
Catmint Nepeta
Clove Pink Dianthus
Cornflower Centaurea
Daylily Hemerocallis
False indigo Baptisia
Fleabane Erigeron
Floss flower Ageratum
Globe thistle Echinops
Goldenrod Solidago
Helen’s flower Helenium
Hollyhock Alcea
Lavender Lavendula
Lilac Syringa
Lupine Lupinus
Lychnis Lychnis
Mallow Malva
Milkweed Asclepias
Mint Mentha
Pansy Viola
Phlox Phlox
Privet Ligustrum
Purple coneflower Echinacea
Rock cress Arabis
Sage Salvia
Sea holly Eryngium
Shasta daisy Chrysanthemum
Snapdragon Antirrhinum
Stonecrop Sedum
Sweet alyssum Lobularia
Sweet rocket Hesperis
Tickseed Coreopsis
Zinnia Zinnia

Visit Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater for Plants that attract Butterflies

We have a great selection of plants that attract butterflies at Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. Our experts will help you determine the right products for your unique needs.

More Tips to help attract Butterflies

  1. What butterflies are common to your area? Get to know these butterflies and their preferences. This will help you lure them to your yard.
  2. As we said before, make sure your garden is in a sunny area. Butterflies prefer to be out in sunny places.
  3. Don’t forget about caterpillars. Include plants that caterpillars feed on.
  4. Include shallow watering areas for butterflies to drink from.
  5. Butterflies need protection from the wind.
  6. Use pesticides with caution. Consult with your local nursery for pesticides that will least effect your butterfly population.
  7. Have Fun!

If you have any questions about Attracting Butterflies, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

Plants that attract Butterflies

The Asian Tiger Mosquito in Maryland

Asian Tiger MosquitoThe Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is an exotic species native to Asia, which was first introduced to the Western Hemisphere in the mid 1980’s as a result of international trade in used tires. It is believed that the mosquitos hitched a ride in tires imported to Houston, Texas from Japan in 1985. However, it would take two more years for the mosquitos to make their way to Maryland.

The Asian Tiger mosquito was first discovered in Baltimore City in 1987. It has thrived in Maryland ever since. Today, the Asian Tiger mosquito can be found in all Maryland counties except Allegany and Garrett. The mosquito does best in residential areas with a great deal of shade and plenty of small stands of water – such as clogged rain gutters, tires, buckets, cans, bottles, boats, flower pots, bird baths, children’s toys, rain barrels, and pet food – for breeding. In fact, it is estimated that these mosquitos call more than 100,000 Maryland residences home.

The Asian Tiger mosquito is known to carry several diseases, including dog heartworm disease, West Nile virus, encephalitis, Dengue fever, and yellow fever. This is why it is so important to protect yourself and your loved ones from these pests.

Controlling the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Maryland

  1. Eliminate Standing Water: Draining standing water will help control mosquitoes.
  2. Insecticides: Insecticides have proven effective in controlling Asian Tiger mosquitos, providing temporary relief from biting annoyance and reducing the risk of disease transmission.
  3. Visit Ace: Ace Hardware & Hearth in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewaterhave everything you need to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your guests from the Asian Tiger mosquito, including personal sprays, yard control products, and so much more. Our experts will help you determine the right products for your needs.

The Asian Tiger mosquito is easily identifiable. They are medium sized and black in color with distinctive white stripes, which are the basis for the name “tiger.”

If you have any other questions, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

The Asian Tiger Mosquito in Maryland Maryland Department of Agriculture

Hummingbird Season is here! Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard

Attracting Hummingbirds to your yardThey may have come a little later than normal, but Hummingbird Season is finally here! These tiny, swift-moving birds are a favorite of homeowners everywhere. And, if you play your cards right, you could attract these delightful birds to your yard!

Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard

  1. Hummingbird Feeder: First and foremost, head to your local Ace and purchase a hummingbird feeder. Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater have extensive birder sections. Be sure to place this feeder in the same spot every year, change the nectar at least once a day and clean inside and around the ports with warm water (soap or detergent is not recommended) and a stiff bottle brush. If possible, each spring install your feeder before insects arrive and before flowers bloom. Finally, hang your feeder in a partially shaded area, direct sun can cause the sugar and water nectar mixture to separate and leak from your feeder.
  2. Hummingbird Plants: Plant a few of the hummingbird’s favorite flowers, including Black & Blue Salvia, Bee Balm, Red Hummingbird Salvia, Cardinal Flower (Red Lobelia), Lantana. All are tubular in shape with a high nectar content. Plants are also great for attracting insects, which are a good source of protein for hummingbirds. Do not use any pesticides on flowers from which hummingbirds feed.
  3. Source of Water: Hummingbirds love drippers and misters. They will swoop in and out of the water with incredible glee.
  4. Pest Control: Bees, Bald-Faced Wasps, and Cicada Killer Wasps are a hummingbird’s worst nightmare. These insects not only hog nectar feeder holes, but they pose a serious threat to the hummingbirds. To help combat the problem, consider buying a feeder with a bee guard or smear a little olive oil around the nectar ports. Some pest, however, should be left alone, like spiders. Keeping spider webs around can help hummingbirds in their search for nesting material.

Want to learn more about hummingbirds? If so, head to Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena or Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. Both have extensive birder sections. And don’t hesitate to ask our experts any questions you may have. Ace is here to help.

If you have any other questions about our blog, “Humming Bird Season is here! Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard,” our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Plant Fungus Cures and Prevention

Plant FungusBoth experienced and novice gardeners are very aware on the problem of plant fungus. While some are completely harmless, others pose a real problem for vegetables, perennials, annuals, and even lawns. The primary culprit is, unfortunately, moisture. And because we do not live in the desert, there is no way to avoid this moisture, so other measures must be taken.

Plant Fungus Cures and Prevention

  1. Planting: Proper spacing when planting can help prevent fungus. When plants are crowded, they are able to retain more moisture and are thus more vulnerable to plant fungus. If using containers, wash and disinfect them before replanting.
  2. Aeration: Remove thatch with a metal rake to ensure there is enough air circulating to prevent spores from settling.
  3. Watering: Watering your lawn deeply and infrequently can help control fungus, decreasing the opportunities for mildew and mushrooms to grow. Water at the base of vegetables and annuals, like tomatoes and squash, and avoid watering the leaves. This will help prevent the growth of powdery mildew. If the leaves remain dry, mildew will have no place to grow.
  4. Mulch: Apply new mulch around the base of plants each growing season.
  5. Trim: Try to trim the lower leaves of plants to keep them off the ground.
  6. Quarantine: If one plant is infected, it is sometimes best to remove and quarantine the plant to prevent the fungus from spreading.
  7. Fungicides: Of course, one of the easiest ways to control plant fungus is with the right tools, like Bonide Infuse. That is where Ace comes in! Ace Hardware & Hearth in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater carry a wide selection of garden supplies, including Bonide Infuse. It absorbs into the plant, preventing major diseases – like black spot, dollar spot, rust, brown patch, powdery mildew, leaf spot, and more – on roses, flowers, lawns, trees and shrubs.

Stay alert and treat plant fungus as soon as it happens, preventing it from spreading.

If you have any other questions Plant Fungus Cures and Prevention, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

The Benefits of Native Plants in Maryland

Native Plants in MarylandThroughout our lives, we have been taught to remove Native Plants, opting instead for plants that are common in the nursery industry. These plants are chosen for several reasons, including functionality and aesthetic appeal. They are mass produced and distributed in almost the same way consumer goods are mass produced and distributed. As a result, landscapes across the United States look extremely similar.

Unfortunately, as great as these plants look, many are not suited for the environments we force them into. This means lots of fertilizer, lots of pesticides, lots of chemicals, and near constant watering. Homeowners everywhere are saying the same thing, “isn’t there a better way?”

Well, yes. And it is nothing new.  Native Plants. Native plants take care of themselves because they evolved and adapted to their environments. This is extremely beneficial in so many ways!

Benefits of Native Plants

  1. Low Maintenance: Native plants have long ago adapted to their geographical location. Because of this, they require far less attention than other plants. This means little to no watering, and no chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers.
  2. Better for the Environment: Because native plants do not require pesticides and fertilizers, they are much friendlier to the surrounding environment.
  3. Save Water: On the East coast, 30% of water consumption goes to plants and lawns. Native plants will help cut back on water consumption.
  4. Save Money: Native plants require far less attention, far less water, and no chemicals. All of this adds up to more money in your pocket.
  5. Song Birds: The song bird population has dropped a dramatic 5-10% annually. One of the main reasons is a lack of natural habitat. Adopting native plants can help sustain the song bird population.
  6. And Much More!

Native Plants to Maryland

  1. Achillea millefolium, more commonly referred to as Yarrow, Milfoil, or Western yarrow
  2. Acer negundo, more commonly referred to as Ash-leaf maple or Box elder
  3. Coreopsis verticillata, more commonly referred to as Threadleaf coreopsis, Whorled tickseed, or Whorled coreopsis.
  4. Lonicera sempervirens, more commonly referred to as Coral honeysuckle, Trumpet honeysuckle, or Woodbine.
  5. Magnolia tripetala, more commonly referred to as Umbrella tree or Umbrella magnolia.
  6. Phlox divaricate, more commonly referred to as Wild blue phlox, Lousiana phlox, Blue woodland phlox, Sweet William, or Wild sweet William.
  7. Quercus rubra, more commonly referred to as Northern red oak.
  8. Rhododendron prinophyllum, more commonly referred to as Early azalea, Roseshell azalea, or Woolly azalea.
  9. Quercus coccinea, more commonly referred to as Scarlett oak.
  10. And more!

For a full list of native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Maryland, Click Here.

Visit Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater for Native Plants in Maryland

We have a great selection of native perennials, trees and shrubs at Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. Our experts will help you determine the right products for your unique needs.

If you have any other questionsThe Benefits of Native Plants in Maryland, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

How to Naturescape PlantNative

Tips for Attracting Bluebirds to Your Yard

Attracting BluebirdsAs a homeowner, are you tired of seeing the same boring birds in your backyard each and every day? Do you want a little more variety? A little more color? Well, why not try and attract everyone’s favorite bird: the Bluebird? It is the bird that everyone wishes would visit their backyard and nest in their bird house.

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back”- Henry David Thoreau

What you may not know is that there are actually three species of bluebirds: Eastern, Western and Mountain. Each species is common in residential yards, rural fields and meadows, and occasionally urban or commercial areas. And because eastern bluebirds have made a comeback from near extinction, they are willing visitors to any yard that provides what they like.

Tips for Attracting Bluebirds to Your Yard

  1. Purchase a Bluebird Nesting Box: The best bluebird nesting boxes are well-ventilated, have drain holes, a 4” x 4” square floor, a 1.5” hole, no perch, and are made from cedar.
  2. Avoid The Tree: Believe it or not, the best place to hang your bluebird nesting box is not on a tree, but a pole or post with a baffle. It is even better if this pole is in an open area away from other bird houses and bird feeders. Bluebirds like the nesting box 40” high to the center of the hole in the box. Use Diatomaceous Earth or Snake repellent sprinkled around the base of the pole to deter snakes.
  3. Monitor the Nesting Box: Look for and remove bumble bees, wasps and ants.
  4. Food and Water: Around this time, most bluebirds have fledged their first brood and are presently feeding those new hungry mouths. They love live mealworms, bluebird nuggets, and Patio Low Millet blend seed. They respond to a dinner bell announcing your presence to fill their feeder box. It is best to employ a bluebird feeder that has a hole in each end, a top that flops up and a plexiglas front for viewing.
  5. Landscape: Bluebirds enjoy landscapes with dogwood, serviceberry, viburnum, sumac and mulberry.
  6. Don’t Use Pesticides: We repeat: do not use pesticides.
  7. Visit Ace: Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater have extensive birder sections. We have live mealworms, bluebird suet nuggets, nesting boxes, mealworm feeders, and everything you need to turn your backyard into any bluebirds dream home. We also have a cute selection of bluebirds gifts and flags.

Bluebirds will often have two more broods in a summer, so, get ready for the fun!

If you have any other questions Attracting Bluebirds to Your Yard, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Grafted Tomato Benefits: An Age Old Technique for Better Tomatoes

Ripe Tomatoes on White with Clipping PathWhen it comes to gardening, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel or, in this case, the tomato plant. Grafted Tomatoes have been around since the 1920s and are known for their superior taste and quality, increased production rates, ability to resist disease, and much more. Tomato grafting is the process of attaching the stem of one tomato plant to the rootstock of a different plant. This allows farmers to select a tomato based on taste and graft it to another rootstock with a more vigorous habit and superior disease resistance.

“What the rootstock variety brings to the partnership is a larger, more vigorous root system that lets the plant take up more water and nutrients,” said Barbara Damrosch, author of The Washington Post article, “The benefits of grafted tomatoes.”

“Rootstocks are also developed for their resistance to the many ills that can befall these plants (tomatoes, especially), which are mostly from soil-borne fungi, bacteria and nematodes,” she added. “There are also rootstocks that enable plants to withstand extremes of hot and cold, wet and dry — even salty conditions.”

Grafted Tomato Benefits

  1. Production: Grafted tomatoes produce 4-5 times the fruit of standard tomato plants.
  2. Quality: Grafted tomatoes are known for their quality and superior taste.
  3. Durability: Grafted tomatoes are more resistant to disease and soil borne pathogens than other tomato plants.
  4. Harsh Conditions: Grafted tomatoes stand up better to extreme elements and harsh conditions, like extreme temperatures or poor soils.
  5. Pesticides: Grafted Tomatoes reduce or even eliminate the need for pesticides.
  6. Harvest: Grafted tomatoes have a lengthier harvest season than standard plants.

Grafted Tomatoes Available at the Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater, Maryland

The Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater hand-selects the best vegetable seeds, seedlings, and plants – including Grafted Tomatoes – from local growers. With a little help from Ace, you could be enjoying fresh tomatoes and other vegetables all summer long.

If you have any other questions, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

  1. The Benefits of Grafted Tomatoes The Washington Post

Add Curb Appeal to Your Home with Japanese Maple Trees

Japanese-Maple-Tree-MarylandAre you looking for the perfect way to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home this spring? Well, look no further. The answer is right in front of you. Well, it is in the picture to the right. Japanese Maple Trees (Acer palmatum). These beautiful trees can be the perfect accent piece for your yard.

“Japanese maples are an excellent choice for the beginning gardener, as they are essentially carefree once established,” said William B. Shell, an expert on growing Japanese maple trees. “They offer year-round interest with their ever-changing beauty.”

The Japanese Maple Tree is notorious for its ever-changing nature. Some of these trees – which range from 2-30 feet tall and come in various forms, including weeping, rounded, dwarf, mounding, upright, or cascading – leaf out in a beautiful red in spring, change to green in the summer, and transform to yellows and oranges in the fall. Others stay red from spring to fall. Either way, and no matter what form you choose, Japanese Maple Trees offer an aesthetic appeal unmatched by other trees. And with so many forms to choose from, you are sure to find a Japanese Maple Tree that will fit your needs, your landscape, and your budget.

Best of all, Japanese Maple Trees are very easy to grow and maintain when properly planted.

  1. Soil: Most any garden soil is suitable for these trees, as long as the soul drains well. Otherwise, you may start to notice browning on the tips of the leaves. This is a sure sign that your soil is not well drained and too soggy for the Japanese Maple. Fix the drainage issue ASAP.
  2. Sun: These trees grow well in sun or shade, but prefer an environment with filtered sunlight.
  3. Watering: Young trees should be watered consistently during the first 2 or 3 years after planting. It is also important to water these trees during prolonged periods of dry, hot weather. Water problems during the first few years is the number one killer of young Japanese Maple Trees.

Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater, Maryland: Your Source for Japanese Maple Trees

Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater features a large selection of garden supplies, flowers, fertilizers, soil, mulch, and the equipment you need to care for your beloved garden. We also have tons of Japanese Maple Trees in stock.

If you have any other questions, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Deer Resistant and Rabbit Resistant Plants in Maryland

Rabbit-Repellent-MarylandNothing is more frustrating for the do-it-yourself home gardener than waking up in the morning and finding your garden torn to pieces. The culprits: deer and rabbits. While these creatures may be fun to watch in the wild, they can wreak havoc on your home garden, the same garden that took you hours upon hours to plant and care for.

Deer Resistant and Rabbit Resistant Plants in Maryland

Ace Hardware & Hearth in Glen Burnie and Pasadena, and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater feature garden supplies, vegetables, hand-selected flowers from local nurseries, shrubs, and any tree you desire, grass seed, fertilizer, soil, mulch and the equipment you need to care for your garden. Our experts will help you determine the right products for your unique needs. We can also help you select deer and rabbit resistant plants. Below are a few examples of such plants.

Deer Resistant and Rabbit Resistant Flowers

  1. Foxglove
  2. English Ivy
  3. Japenese Iris
  4. Daylily
  5. Shasta Daisy
  6. Ajuga
  7. Periwinkle
  8. Black Eyed Susan
  9. Jacob’s Ladder
  10. And More!

Deer Resistant and Rabbit Resistant Shrubs

  1. Fernbush
  2. Red Twig Dogwood
  3. Chinese Lilac
  4. Fragrant Sumac
  5. Gambel Oak
  6. And More!

Deer Resistant and Rabbit Resistant Trees

  1. Colorado Spruce
  2. Ponderosa Pine
  3. Common Hackberry
  4. Imperial Locust
  5. And More!

But what happens when you want to plant flowers or shrubs that are not naturally resistant to deer and rabbits?

Bobbex Deer and Rabbit Repellents Available at Your Maryland Garden Center

Bobbex and Bobbex R are perfect for those do-it-yourself gardeners looking to protect their gardens from the likes of deer and rabbits. Both Bobbex  products are available in Ready to Use and concentrates that can be applied with hose end or compression (pump up) sprayers. Best of all, both Bobbex products are available at the all three Aces…Glen Burnie, Pasadena and Edgewater.

If you have any other questions, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

The Uses and Popularity of Herbs: Ace has the Largest Selection of Herbs in Maryland

Herb-Garden-MarylandHerb gardens continue to become increasingly more and more popular. Odds are that you know someone with an herb garden. You may even have an herb garden yourself, or at least thought about starting an herb garden. What’s stopping you? Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh herbs. And what is fresher than herbs plucked right from your very own herb garden!?

Starting an Herb Garden

  1. Location: First, you have to decide where to put your herb garden. Some people mix their herbs into their vegetable garden, however, it is probably better to grow herbs in a separate, dedicated garden.
  2. Size: It is not the size of your herb garden, but the quality that matters. So instead of taking on too much, start small. It typically takes 12- by 18-inch plots for each individual herb. So pick a few of your favorites and get to gardening.
  3. Drainage: Believe it or not, drainage is probably the most important single factor in successful herb growing. Without adequate drainage, the herbs will not grow! To improve drainage, remove the soil to a depth of 15 to 18 inches and place a 3-inch layer of crushed stone on the bottom. Next, mix in some compost or sphagnum peat and sand. Finally, refill the bed. Remember to allow for settling of the soil.
  4. Soil: As you can imagine, soil matters. The main thing you have to remember is to not over-fertilize. Highly fertile soil tends to produce excessive amounts of foliage with poor flavor.
  5. Selecting Herbs: The hardest part of starting an herb garden is selecting the herbs! Which ones do you chose? A few options for beginners include: winter savory, rosemary, sage, basil, dill, mint, marjoram, tarragon, thyme, chives, and parsley. Now you just have to figure out where to buy these herbs…

Ace: The Largest Selection of Herbs in Maryland

Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater feature garden supplies and, of course, flowers, fertilizers, soil, mulch, and the equipment you need to care for your beloved garden. We also have the largest selection of herbs in Maryland! So why would you go anywhere else?

Our garden experts will help you find whatever you need.

If you have any other questions, our experts are here to help. Please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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About Us: Ace Hardware & Hearth, Ace Home & Leisure is a Premier Caldera and Bullfrog Spas Dealer Serving Washington DC, Greater Baltimore with Stores in Glen Burnie, Edgewater, Pasadena, MD.
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