Garden Guide: Magnolia-Musa
Magnolia - Musa
PLANTING: Set plants in a well-drained but moist, organic soil of acid reaction. The site should be sheltered from winds, and since the earlier flowering kinds tend to be prone to frost injury, any frost pockets or low ground is best avoided. MAINTENANCE: Little pruning will be necessary, except to improve the form; prune after flowering. Water liberally during periods of drought. Established plants do not like to be moved. Zones various.
PLANTING: Set out shrubs 3 to 4 feet apart in a location where the soil is acid, moisture-retentive, and well drained. (Avoid hot, dry locations). Light shade is best. Choose a site, too, that is protected against winter sun and wind. MAINTENANCE: If chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves) becomes a problem, it is because the soil has a high pH. Correct this by applying sulphur or ferous sulphate to the soil. Prune only to remove older, bare branches or as desired to shape. Zones 5-8.
MALUS species - Flowering Crabapple
PLANTING: Space to allow for ultimate growth. Malus are widely tolerant of soils, including limestone, with the exception of very sandy soils. The ideal situation is a well-drained loam, high in organic content, and in full sun. We recommend that you not plant near Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana), as these two genera are alternate hosts to Cedar Apple Rust disease. MAINTENANCE: Mulch at planting time to conserve water, and water well during periods of drought. A balanced fertilizer applied each spring is beneficial, as are yearly applications of lime if your soil is of acid reaction. Prune as necessary to shape and remove weak or narrow crotches; pruning should be done during late winter, while plants are dormant. Zones 4-8.
MALVA alcea ‘Fastigiata’ - Hollyhock Mallow
PLANTING: Set out plants in spring, 12 to 15 inches apart, in sun to light shade, and preferably in well-drained soil. MAINTENANCE: For best growth and optimum flowering, keep soil watered during the growing season; plants are otherwise heat and drought tolerant. Propagate by division in spring or by midsummer cuttings. Zones 4-9.
MALVA moschata and sylvestris - Mallow
PLANTING: Set plants, 2 feet apart in full sun to light shade and a well-drained soil. MAINTENANCE: Keep well- watered during the summer growing season. Zones 4-8.
MATTEUCCIA - See Ferns
MAZUS reptans and radicans
PLANTING: Set out in spring, 12 inches apart, in a moist but well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Mazus reptans prefer light shade, while Mazus radicans bloom best with a half day of sun. Withstands even heavy foot-traffic. MAINTENANCE: Mazus should be watered during periods of extended hot, dry weather. Little or no additional attention is required. Mazus radicans, Zones 7-10; Mazus reptans, Zones 5-9.
METASEQUOIA glyptostroboides - Dawn Redwood
PLANTING: Set plants 25 feet apart to allow for ultimate spread. Choose a location in full sun and a deep, well drained, slightly acid, moist soil; the Dawn Redwood is intolerant of lime. Avoid location where early fall or late spring frosts are likely to occur, as these times are when plants grow considerably. They make one of the most beautiful of all lawn specimens. MAINTENANCE: Remarkably easy to care for, hardy, and tolerant of pollution. It is unlikely that pruning will be necessary, for plants naturally assume an attractive, orderly habit. Easily transplanted. Should be well watered during times of drought. Zones 5-9.
MISCANTHUS - See Grasses, Ornamental
MONARDA - Bergamot, Beebalm, Oswego Tea
PLANTING: Set plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Though Monarda will tolerate any soil, best results will be obtained in a moisture-retentive, highly organic soil. MAINTENANCE: Removing faded flowers will prolong the blooming period. Divide every 3 to 4 years as necessary, discarding the central portion and replanting the vigorous outer segments of the clump. If mildew becomes a problem, regular spraying is advised. Plants may be cut to the ground after blooming for appearances’ sake. Zones 4-9.
MUHLENBERGIA - See Grasses, Ornamental
MUSA - Dwarf Banana
PLANTING: Space 4 to 8 feet apart in the garden in full sun to light shade in a rich, moist soil that contains extra organic matter. Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. For Containers: Plant in a 15- to 20-inch pot using a quality packaged potting soil. Use a water soluble fertilizer, through the summer according to label directions. Shift into larger pots as desired. MAINTENANCE: In colder areas where it isn’t hardy, move indoors before the first hard freeze and grow in a sunny window as a houseplant, watering about once a week. If space is not available for a houseplant, it can be cut back close to the base and stored as a dormant plant in a cool, dark basement for the winter. Water every 5 to 6 weeks only enough to keep the soil barely damp. New plants can be started by digging and removing the offshoots that develop at the base of the plant. Once a mature stalk produces bananas, it will slowly die and can be removed by cutting it to ground level. Zones 9-10.