Master Gardener Handbook
Peruse the ultimate in gardening knowledge for Brunswick County. The Extension Master Gardener Handbook is available here online.
Ask your questions to receive personalized answers from North Carolina Cooperative Extension experts.
Brunswick County Newcomers’ Packet
The Brunswick County Newcomers Packet has been refreshed and provides our residents with a wealth of information about plants that we suggest for our Zone 8A. A comprehensive resource for those new to gardening — it is meant to serve as a starting point as you select plants that will grow and thrive in our coastal environment. In this packet, you will find a wide variety of selections from annuals and perennials to large trees and to native plants.
The Brunswick County Extension Horticulture Staff and the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are here for you, to help make the transition to gardening in a subtropical environment a little easier. We provide unbiased, research-based information to help improve the lives (and gardens) of our residents.
Click here for the Newcomers’ Packet.
Integrated Pest Management
Traditional pest control involves the routine application of pesticides. IPM, in contrast focuses on pest prevention and using pesticides only as needed. IPM programs take advantage of all appropriate pest management strategies, including the judicious use of pesticides. Read more here.
The mission of the North Carolina Native Plant Society is to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, propagation, and advocacy. Check out the website to learn of speakers, plant ID, and native plant events. Read more about Natives using our links here.
The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. Click here to register your garden through the Pollinator Partnership and be added to the map in support of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.
Begin planning your garden with the Basics of Butterfly Gardening, from the North American Butterfly Association. Learn which native plants are suitable for butterfly gardens in your location, with Regional Butterfly Garden Guides.
Composting at Home: An Introduction to the Basics
If you missed the live session, which was attended by over 1400 people, you can watch the recording here: https://ilsr.org/webinar-home-composting-may-2020
Many thanks to Rhonda Sherman, NC State Extension Specialist, for sharing this webinar!
NC State Extension Composting portal: https://composting.ces.ncsu.edu
Extension Gardener Handbook, Composting chapter: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/extension-gardener-handbook/2-composting
Handling Flooding and Storm Damage in the Landscape
Click the link to see the NC State Extension article on this topic: https://gardening.ces.ncsu.edu/weather-2/handling-storm-damage-in-the-landscape/
'Sweet Pepperbush', Clethra alnifolia
Clethra alnifolia, commonly called Sweet Pepperbush, is in the family Clethraceae. Sweet Pepperbush grows in mounded clumps and can reach a height of 10-feet tall. It is native to North America from Maine to Florida and as far west as Texas. Sweet Pepperbush is a rounded, suckering, densely branched deciduous shrub that thrives in acidic, consistently moist soil. It can grow in full sun to part shade but prefers more shade than sun. It will not tolerate a hot, dry spot. Sweet Pepperbush responds well to pruning. The sweetly fragrant white flowers appear from mid-July to late-August. plants.ces.NCSU.edu
The genus name comes from the Greek word klethra, the name for alder of which the leaves resemble. www.missouribotanicalgarden.org
Sweet Pepperbush has no serious insect problems. Spider mites may appear in dry conditions. It is an effective hedge when planted in mass. It is at home in cottage, native, pollinator, and wild gardens. Sweet Pepperbush is a favorite of hummingbirds and native bees. The fruit is eaten by local birds and small mammals. plants.ces.NCSU.edu
Three cultivars will be added to the Brunswick County Botanical Garden this spring. ‘Ruby Spice’ is the darkest of the rose-pink cultivars. It was discovered as a sport (variation) of C.alnifolia ‘Pink Spire.’ ‘Sugartina’ is the trade name for ‘Crystalinia.’ It holds its shape without pruning at 2-feet to 3-feet tall and wide. The flowers are 4-inches to 6-inches long. ‘Crystalinia’ sold under the trade name ‘Sugartina’ and was developed through a breeding program at NC State University. ‘Vanilla Spice’ grows 3-feet to 6-feet tall. It has the largest blooms, 10-inches to 12-inches long, which are double the size of other Pepperbushes. ‘Caleb’ is commonly sold under the trade name ‘Vanilla Spice.’.
Information by Jeanne Pavero, Photos by NCExtension Garden Toolbox