Edition 20.12 San Gabriel Nursery & Florist News Spring 2020


It's the beginning of Spring and we are grateful for the few days of rain that we started out with in March to brighten the beautiful blooms that we all need to help us through the unprecedented situation we are all experiencing right now.

To break up the overwhelming scent of bleach that has become the norm lately, look to the bounties of nature...and the internet for home remedies for medicinal and cleaning solutions using citrus, lavender, herbs and many other plants. As we have been serving our community for over 95 years, we have experienced many ups and downs and will do our best to continue to service our valued customers and support our employees during these challenging times.

Click here to see the rest of what's blooming now!


To Our Valued San Gabriel Nursery & Florist Customers,

Thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate through the daily changes and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. At the present moment, we are OPEN for business and are trying to follow the guidelines set forth by the public health and safety recommendations including increased wiping down of commonly touched surfaces and encouraging frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizers and social distancing.

We are fortunate that our business has the outdoor space that allows our customers to wander and enjoy the healing benefits that nature can bring with colorful blooms, fragrant scents and the peace and tranquility that can be found by working in your own home garden. As things are changing daily, please feel free to give us a call before visiting or if you have any concerns. We are grateful to be a part of this caring community and wish you all good health and fortitude during these challenging health and economic times.

Last chance for bareroot pricing

It's the last chance to get fruit trees, roses, and berries at bareroot pricing while we still have a good selection available. The links to our full plant lists are below, but please call to check availability, as it is late in the season.


It's almost time for summer vegetables, like these tomatoes pictured above. It is still a little early for tomatoes, but if you cover them at night, you'll enjoy delicious early tomatoes. It's also still possible to plant cool season vegetables like lettuces and beans.

Featured Vegetable - Artichoke

Artichokes are a great addition to a vegetable garden, but they do get big, so make sure you choose the location wisely! My artichoke plant is currently taller than I am! They generally grow up to 3-6 ft tall and 4-5 ft wide, although they can take a couple of years to reach that level. They produce artichokes in spring, and sometimes again in fall. The plants will start to die back after the season, and can be cut back to soil level at that time. If your plant grows too many artichokes (impossible!), you can always let them flower as the flowers are purple and very showy!

Today, almost 100% of the artichokes grown in the United States are grown in California because our climate is well-suited for it. But this is nothing compared to Italy, which grows about 10 times as many artichokes as California does!

Artichokes like well-draining soil and full sun.

Featured Moosa Creek Nursery Plant

Moosa Creek Nursery is making regular deliveries to the nursery, and their locally grown, locally nurtured native plants are now available. Check out the plants in stock or place a special order for convenient pick up. You can place a special order at the Moosa Creek website here:

Our featured Moosa Creek plant this month is the Concha Lilac. This is a medium shrub with attractive arching branches and dense cobalt blue flowers which bloom in late winter/early spring. It's a very adaptable plant and prefers sun to part shade.

Are you up for a challenge? Try planting peonies!

Definitely a challenge to grow in Southern California, but peonies and tree peonies can still be grown with a little extra attention. They require a period of pronounced winter chill for the best blooms. Tree peonies are less dependent on winter chill than herbaceous peonies, so are a bit better suited to this area. Plant in the ground or in a large 12"-14" container. Plant in soil with good drainage (mix soil with 50% LGM Planting Mix). Plant in an area with morning sun and afternoon shade. Do not plant against hot, sunny walls. Keep the plants cool by planting them under tall shade trees or among shrubs. Many peonies need increased humidity in summer time. For tree peonies, most experts recommend covering the grafted union 3-4 inches below surface with soil mixed with 50% LGM Planting Mix.

Types we have currently (please call to check availability): Takara Itoh Peony, Canary Brilliants Itoh Peony, Keiko Itoh Peony, Bartzella Itoh Peony, Cora Louise Itoh Peony, Julia Rose Itoh Peony, Sequestered Sunshine Itoh Peony, Misaka Itoh Peony, Yumi Itoh Peony, Singing in the Rain Itoh Peony

African Daisies - A great bedding plant!

African Daisies, also known as osteospermums, are herbaceous bedding plants with striking flowers. They are heat and drought tolerant and like full sun to part shade. They bloom spring through fall and are good for beds, borders, containers, and even hanging baskets!

Pictured above, clockwise from top left are: Zion Red, Rose Magic, Zion Copper Amethyst, and Blue-Eyed Beauty

Fragrant Plants

Geranium Cy's Sunburst - Full sun to part sun. Perennial 1-2 ft, 12 in wide. More compact than most geraniums. Tiny, bright green leaves are ruffled and edged in yellow with a strong lemon scent. Plant in average garden soil. Great for containers or small pots.

Osmanthus fragrans 'Sweet Olive' - Tolerates sun, prefers semi-shade. Broad, dense, compact evergreen shrub 10-15 ft. Moderate growth. Small creamy white flowers have a powerful apricot-like fragrance. Blooms spring through fall. Prefers fertile, moist, well-drained, acidic soil.


It's time for camellias to move over, because spring is azalea time! Azaleas usually bloom in spring, and for the rest of the year they are an attractive shrub. Azaleas like cool, shaded areas, and well drained, acidic soil. If you don't have well-draining acidic soil, they will do great in containers. Pictured above are California Peach (left) and Star Light (right).

March is the time to...

March Is The Time To:
1. Plant drought-resistant plants
2. Do not plant tropicals
3. Plant perennials
4. Plant tigridias
5. Continue to plant gladioli
6. Start tuberous begonias
7. Plant lawns
8. Start planting summer vegetables. Plant more cool-season crops if desired
9. Replace parsley now or next month
10. Plant green beans, tomatoes, and potatoes
11. Plant artichokes from seed-grown transplants
12. In interior valleys prune begonias, ginger, cannas, asparagus fern, ivy and pyracantha
13. Dethatch warm-season lawns just after they begin to grow
14. Deadhead annual and perennial flowers
15. Start to disbud roses if you are growing roses for show
16. Tie floppy leaves of bulbs in knots (don't remove them before they go brown.)
17. Take cut flowers from azaleas while they're in bloom
18. Start to prune tropical hibiscus
19. Cut back blue hibiscus (Alyogyne) progressively from now until fall
20. Pinch back petunias when you plant them
21. Begin to fertilize cirtus and avocado trees in interior zones. Continue to fertilize citrus and avocado trees in coastal zones.
22. Continue to fertilize epiphyllums with 0-10-10 or 2-10-10
23. Fertilize roses
24. Feed all lawns
25. Control slugs and snails
26. Pull weeds
27. Plant French marigolds (Tagetes patula) solidly and leave them for a full season of growth to control nematodes
28. Spray cycads for scale
29. In interior zones protect tender plants until all danger of frost has passed
30. Once all frost danger is over take out tender tropicals you sheltered during the winter
31. Prepare holes for planting dahlias next month
32. Unwrap trunks of young citrus and avocado trees
33. Hand pollinate quince, guava, and cherimoya
34. Continue to harvest winter vegetables
35. Choose a staking method for tomatoes

April is the time to...

Bedding plants/annuals are now available to replace any cool-season annuals that are just about done. Zinnia, ageratum, coleus, dahlia, marigold, nicotiana, phlox, petunia, salvia and many more have brightened up our garden center. Let them brighten up your gardens. Also, try some taller annuals such as cosmos, cleome, sunflowers, and foxgloves to add height and interest to the garden beds.

Roses, Roses, Roses. There's still time to plant roses. They are full of buds and blooms right now - and they are simply gorgeous

If you are a beneficial insect lover, flat-topped flowers like Shasta daisies, scabiosa, strawflowers, and yarrow are perfect additions to your garden for feeding them. Beneficial insects such as the almost microscopic parasitic wasps, ladybugs, etc. keep other insect pests away from your vegetable gardens by eating aphids, scale, and other annoying insect intruders! You can use beautiful flowers to temp these garden friends into your garden. Try putting some of these flowers near to your rose garden for aphid control!

Time to plant dahlias, begonias and get in the gladiolus bulbs. Add some bone meal to the planting hole.

The narcissus and daffodils are blooming, as well as other spring blooming bulbs. However, as soon as the blooms are spent, you can deadhead - but don't remove the foliage! The bulb needs that green foliage to add nutrients back to the bulb for next year's flowers. Hide the clippers for a little while longer. Try and old-fashioned technique of braiding the leaves or if you must cut...leave at least half of the leaf length for the bulb. It will thank you with next year's bloom!

It's time to start warm season crops. Coastal areas can continue planting cool season crops like the leaf lettuces, radishes, and spinach for a while. Inland zones (not the high desert, though) can start the warm season vegetables such as beans, corn, squashes, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. We have them all and more.

Continue with fertilizing those areas of the garden you haven't gotten to yet. Once your azaleas and camellias have stopped blooming their hearts out, they will thank you if you feed them. This is a good time to prune back these spring bloomers. Once the flowering has ended and before the new growth begins, prune and shape to your desired shape and size.

Also, you may see some chlorosis on your acid-loving plants like the azalea or camellia and also on your citrus. This is yellowing of the leaves between the veins. It is a sign of iron deficiency for the plant.

Especially near the coast, this is the time we begin to see powdery mildew on our rose foliage (and other plants too). There are several different foliar fungicidal sprays to try.

Aphids will be back. Remember that you can first wash them off with water. Really, it does help. For more severe infestations, ask us to recommend something suitable for your particular plants.

Mulch, Mulch Mulch!
We will always tell you to mulch. This does not mean mound up the mulch to 5 feet. It means continue to replenish the mulch and maintain a 2-4 inch blanket over your soil. So when you hear us singing the MULCH song, you know just what we mean!

Valid Cardholding Members of the Huntington Library & Botanical
Gardens, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Descanso Gardens
receive 10% off regular priced plants at San Gabriel Nursery & Florist.
(Valid membership card must be presented at time of purchase.)

Recipe: Tomato, Mozzarella, and Oregano Salad

A very simple recipe you can use for your early tomatoes and fresh oregano! What really makes this delicious is fresh tomatoes and a good olive oil.


  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 ball mozzarella
  • small handful fresh oregano
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella as thinly as possible and lay out, overlapping, on a plate.
  2. Chop the oregano and sprinkle over the tomatoes along with the salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle a good portion of olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzarella.
  4. Enjoy!

Click to print.

San Gabriel

Contact Information

632 South San Gabriel Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 286-3782
(626) 286-0787

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