Flora in San Diego

Most people’s image of San Diego is white beaches, palm trees, lush greenery and flowers blooming throughout the year. However beautiful this may be, it isn’t really true California flora. Learn about the native plants of this area and where you can see these as well as the diversity of exotic plants that are grown in San Diego County in this virtual tour of some public gardens and other places in the area.

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Container Design

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get 2 hours of continuing education credit for watching the video presentation and reading the articles, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on container garden design.

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Twospotted Spider Mite, Tetranychus urticae

From apples to zucchini – no matter what types of plants you grow – it’s likely something spider mites will attack. The most common spider mite, the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), is a general feeder that attacks a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. Learn about this the biology of this tiny pest, the type of damage it causes and how to manage it in this article…

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American Hog-peanut, Amphicarpaea bracteata

With attractive trifoliate leaves and the ability to fix nitrogen, American hog-peanut is a vigorous annual vine that twines around neighboring plants – making it welcome in some places, but usually considered a weed in ornamental landscapes. It is a somewhat unusual plant because it produces two types of flowers and seeds. Learn more about this North American native in the pea family in this article…

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Dodder, Cuscuta spp.

Tangles of pale yellow or bright orange strings running amok over other plants may remind you of science fiction tales, but there are actually real plants that grow like this. The nearly leafless, stringlike stems of dodder can be seen occasionally on a wide variety of plants in different habitats. Learn more about the biology of these parasitic plants that depend on their host plants for nutrition in this article…

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Scale Insects

Scale insects feed on many plants, but are often overlooked because they are immobile and many types look like small bumps that just might be plant parts blending in with the leaves, twigs and branches. These insects secrete a waxy covering – that gives them their common name – to protect them from the environment and predators. Learn more about this group of inconspicuous and atypical insects in this article…

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Houseplants

Houseplants

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get 2.5 hours of continuing education credit for watching the video presentation, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on the benefits, care and selection of houseplants.

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Kiwifruit, Actinidia spp.

What’s brown and fuzzy all over and green inside? Well, the kiwifruit, of course. This Chinese fruit was popularized when it was imported into New Zealand, renamed kiwifruit instead of Chinese gooseberry, and developed as an export crop. Today this fruit crop is grown in many places worldwide, but there is more than just the kind found at the grocery store. To learn more about kiwifruit, read this article…

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Annatto or Achiote, Bixa orellana

If you’ve ever eaten American cheese, it’s likely you’ve had annato, a natural orange-red colorant that comes from the waxy covering of the seeds of Bixa orellana.  This small tree or shrub native to tropical America has beautiful pink flowers and interesting spiny fruits. Learn more about the plant and its uses in this article…

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Aphids

Aphids may be viewed as just another pest for gardeners to try to eliminate, but they’re really fascinating insects, with bizarre lifestyles and eating habits and they’re also dinner for lots of other insects. Forming colonies covering the leaves and stems of plants, these small sap-sucking creatures reproduce incredibly fast and a few also transmit plant diseases. Learn more about this large group of insects and how to manage them in the garden in this article…

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