Soquel Nursery Growers
February 2007 Newsletter
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Soquel Nursery Growers 3645 North Main Street Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 475-3533 (800) 552-0802 (831) 475-1608 fax
Senecio mandraliscae

This bold-textured succulent is sometimes called Blue Fingers or
Chalk Sticks. It makes an excellent groundcover in well-drained,
sunny areas. The mysterious powdery-blue color of its foliage
looks wonderful with dark bronzy tones such as
‘Coppershine’. Senecio mandraliscae
grows to about 1’ tall and
will spread about 2’ wide. The flowers are small and not showy.
Is it dead?
You will probably be asking that question a lot regarding the frost-damaged plants in your own yard or those
in your client’s yards.

Check the base of the plant. If you can’t find any healthy tissue that is firm and green when you scratch it
with your fingernail, try removing some soil from around the trunk. If everything is mushy, the plant is
probably dead. If you see little sprouts pushing out, you’re in luck.

We have lots of hardy replacements for those brown and withered tropicals you are ripping out. Our nursery
is full of beautiful survivors native to temperate climates. You’ll save water, too!
Aristea ecklonii

Aristea ecklonii or Blue Stars is a very durable, low maintenance plant for shady
areas. It has 2’ x 2’ clumps of bright green, swordlike foliage and brilliant blue
flowers.  Each flower lasts only one day, but each stalk produces a succession of
flowers. Fresh flower stalks appear constantly throughout the year. In high-water
areas it will produce seedlings. If this is a problem in your garden, you can cut
back on irrigation or remove the flower stalks after bloom.
Acacia stenophylla

Say “Acacia” to most people and they think of that
invasive, messy tree with the brilliant yellow flowers that
you see along the highway. Not all members of the genus
Acacia are so badly behaved. Contrary to popular belief,
the pollen granules are too large to cause allergies in most
people. (It’s the stealthy pines and junipers that make you
sneeze and wheeze!)
Acacia stenophylla or Shoestring
is very tidy and easy to maintain. It is an excellent
tree for small yards, patios and pool areas as it produces
minimal leaf litter.  The long, narrow leaves create an
elegant, airy screen and light shade year round.   Unlike
many trees with a denser canopy, you can plant all sorts
of things under
Acacia stenophylla. It tolerates a wide
variety of soils, including the alkaline clay and poor
drainage common to our area. It will thrive with or without
summer irrigation.  Deer and insects don’t seem to bother
it much. You can plant it near the coast and in hot inland
areas. Our crop here at the nursery survived this unusually
cold winter with no damage. In late spring it produces a
few small creamy white powder-puff flowers.
is not invasive in our climate. Growth rate is
fast to 20-30 high and 10-20 wide with a weeping,
columnar habit.  The leaves are silvery-green and the bark
is a beautiful dark brown.
Dwarf Licorice Plant

The wooly, silvery gray leaves of Plecostachys serpyllifolia
resemble its larger cousin, Helichrysum petiolare.
Plecostachys will
climb eagerly into a topiary frame or dead shrub, where you can
shear it into amusing shapes. Without a support, it will spread to be
about 18” tall and 2’ wide. It looks best with occasional shearing to
keep it dense. Say ‘Pleck-o-stack-ease’ and plant it in full sun or
light shade. Tiny butterflies love the little pinkish-white flowers.
People might not even notice them. This plant is amazingly tough.
Once established it will survive with very little summer water.  
New Manager Chris Pavlos

We would like to welcome our new General Manager Chris Pavlos.
He has more than 10 years experience in horticultural sales and service throughout California.
Come to the nursery and introduce yourself.
Chris will be visiting our retail and wholesale customers to learn
how we may provide the very best selection of products and services.

Dianthus, aka Garden Pinks or Carnations, are ready.  
We have dwarf mounding varieties and taller ones that
make wonderful cut flowers with their sweet clove
fragrance. They have gray leaves and flowers in various
shades of pink, salmon, white and red.
Dianthus enjoy
fast draining, slightly alkaline soil in sun or light shade.
They are classic romantic flowers that make a lovely
Valentine’s Day gift.