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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here



Garden mums or chrysanthemums don't bloom until fall because they're light sensitive-when days get shorter and nights longer in September, the vegetation stops growing and they begin flowering. However, if you wait until fall to plant, plants will bloom when too described in a Parsons-when-he-had-hair video at:

The best way to have a beautiful chrysanthemum display is to buy them already "finished" at local nurseries. The plants are dirt-cheap so you will be able to buy many picture-perfect plants of any color you want. For instance, one of my favorite nurseries is selling them for $2 per six inch pot or 10 for $19. So for a $20 bill, you can have a professional planting of these flowers which are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that make a dazzling display. Then simply "plant" or sink the plants still in the pots into your planting bed and you have a spectacular bloom display in a matter of minutes. If you want immediate color, choose the plants with blooms fully open. If you want the color spike to be in a week or so, choose plants with buds just beginning to swell into full bloom. When you water use a water wand so you won't damage the flowers. Be sure to water each pot below the flower canopy. The pots will not dry as fast when they are surrounded by the planting bed soil and mulch.

Nothing lasts forever so after about two weeks of beautiful bloom (depending on heat and growing conditions), the blooms will fade. What should you do? If your reputation as the best mum grower in the state is to continue, I recommend you replace these specimens with budding-and-soon-to-be-in-full-bloom plants. This process should continue well pass Thanksgiving.

The major dilemma occurs about what to do with the out-of-bloom mums. The best answer is to use them and lose them-throw them away as described in the video at:
But that sort of talk is blasphemous to the Plant's Rights folks and sentimental plant people-not to mention the frugal gardeners. So for those folks, here is what to do. Remove the root system of the plants from the pot and plant in a permanent bed which receives full sun. Before planting add 3 pounds of a slow-release 19-5-9 fertilizer per 100 square feet of planting bed. Set plants at same depth they were grown in the nursery and water thoroughly. The plants will normally not bloom again until next fall.

In the spring you will begin to groom and care for the plants through the summer in order to obtain a stronger plant and, consequently more flowers in the fall. The general range of garden pests, such as aphids, thrips, mites and leaf miners, will bother mums. The same pesticides that work on roses and other spring flowers will also do the job for your mums.

To develop strong branches and good flowering plans, pinch off about one inch of the stem tip two or three times during the growing season. Don't pinch after July 15. Start pinching when stems are six to eight inches long and repeat when the new shoots growing from the leaf axils reach four to six inches in length. This will prevent those tall, leggy plants that break over when the flowers start to show color.

Fertilize every three to four weeks with a slow-release fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet of planting bed and provide supplemental irrigation during drought periods. If mum plants suffer from lack of moisture, the stems become hard and woody and new growth virtually stops so maintain a thick layer of mulch around the plants at all times. Chrysanthemums seem to be very appreciative of any extra care and attention you give them and will reward you with extra blooms and a longer flowering period.

Chrysanthemums are not the only plants which can be slam-dunked into the landscape to beautify the fall gardens. You should think about doing the same with plants which attract and feed migrating butterflies and hummingbirds. Some of the plants which are listed at: include summer favorites which can now be found in full bloom in nurseries such as: Autumn Sage, Cherry Sage (Salvia greggii), Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus), Firebush (Hamelia patens), Firecracker Plant (Russelia equisetiformis), Firespike (Odontonema strictum), Lantana (Lantana spp.), Mexican Cigar (Cuphea ignea), Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha), Milkweed, Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Milkweed, Mexican Oleander (Asclepias curassavica), Pentas (Pentas spp.), Petunia (Petunia species), Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), Red Salvia (Salvia splendens), Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora), Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea), Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana), Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus spp.), Verbena (Verbena X Hybrida 'Blue Princess'), and Yellow Bells or Esperanza (Tecoma stans). You don't have to keep refilling the hummingbird and butterfly feeder----just put Nature's best feeders in your own back yard.

This is the month when butterflies and hummingbirds begin their migrations through this area. In celebration of the Monarch butterflies' journey through the Texas Hill Country en route to Mexico, Wildseed Farms of Fredericksburg, Texas is hosting the 2nd annual Monarch Celebration on October 8th and 9th, 2005. Each fall, millions of Monarch butterflies make the long, perilous journey from the southern borders of Canada to their over-wintering grounds in the mountains of Mexico and along the pacific coast states. In combined effort with Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas, Monarchs will be "tagged" and released throughout the United States as part of a large-scale mark and recapture program to aid in the study and research of their migration. Tagging consist of placing a tiny official Monarch Watch self-adhesive tag on the butterfly's wings. Wildseed Farms' Monarch Celebration tagging and release event will be held on Saturday, October 8th at l1:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and again on Sunday, October 9th at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visitors can observe Monarch tagging and release demonstrations and see graceful butterflies surrounded by the plants they use for nectar and as host plants. Witness the magic of the butterfly life cycle and learn the basics of butterfly gardening.
"Our mission at Monarch Celebration is to educate the public on the Monarch butterfly's migration and generate interest in the tagging program" John R. Thomas said. "I believe knowledge and understanding are the first steps to respect and appreciation of nature."

There is no charge to Wildseed Farms' Monarch Celebration, which includes tagging demonstrations. The standard admission fee (see butterfly haus website) is charged for entrance to the Meadows, which includes the live butterfly exhibit. The Butterfly Haus is open April through October, weather permitting. For additional information on the Butterfly Haus, see: or call them locally at (830) 990-8080, or toll- free at (800) 848-0078.

The Wildseed Farms Butterfly Haus is now the only butterfly within 200 miles since a horrible thing happened to the original butterfly house at the San Antonio Zoo. During the night of September 23, 2005, a 45-foot red oak tree fell onto and destroyed the San Antonio Zoo's butterfly exhibit. Butterflies! Caterpillar Flight School opened three years ago and was a huge tented structure which housed 350 or more South and Central American butterflies. "We prepared for possible storm damage from Rita, but as of yesterday, the storm's course was not going to effect San Antonio. There were no reports of heavy winds at the Zoo. At this time is seems to be an issue of a very old hollowed out tree. Unfortunately it destroyed one of our most popular exhibits. However, we are grateful that it happened during the night when there are no visitors in the exhibit," said Steve McCusker, Zoo Director. The following morning Zoo staff netted all but two dozen butterflies from the torn enclosure. "By the end of the day, most of the remaining butterflies were caught since they did not travel far," said McCusker. The caught butterflies were shipped to a Saint Louis butterfly conservatory. The Zoo will evaluate and determine if it will rebuild the exhibit that would cost approximately $30,000 to rebuild.

The exhibit was a photographer's paradise filled with beautiful wildlife gardens and magnificently colored butterflies. The exhibit provided close-up views of butterflies coming out of their chrysalis and preparing their wings for flight. The Butterfly Exhibit was funded by the generosity of Capital Group/American Funds, G.A.C. Halff Foundation, Boeing Company and San Antonio Water System

Luckily, the Wildseed butterfly exhibit is fashioned after the one which was at the San Antonio Zoo. The Wildseed Farm's exhibit is much larger and beautifully landscaped with a waterfall and bridges. There is also a hummingbird observation window so hummingbirds and butterflies can be observed from the same structure. You can watch the hummingbirds feed while you are being swarmed by hundreds of butterflies.

Don't miss an opportunity to be a part of this year's hummingbird and butterfly migration -IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD!