Plant of the Week: JUKE BOX® Pyracomeles

It’s warm somewhere. Not here. Just as much of the country, we’ve had some record cold. There was even snow in Central Park this week!

But other regions had a very nice spring. Those southern areas will soon be into the heat of summer – and I do mean heat. Just as some plants can tolerate cold, others can take (and even love) the heat. Juke Box® x Pyracomeles is one such plant.

Juke Box® is a thornless hybrid of Pyracantha and Osteomeles. With that pedigree, you would expect it to do well in hot climates, and it does. Just make sure the soil is well-drained.

This evergreen plant is a good alternative to boxwood since it is easily sheared into various shapes and has similarly small, evergreen foliage.

Whether as a specimen plant or a hedge, it’s a great addition to landscapes and gardens in USDA 7-9. It will get 1-3′ tall and wide and grows in full sun to part shade.

Speaking of boxwood…

Here are a couple of good resources for anyone growing or using boxwood, which is to say most anyone in the industry.

The first is Best Management Practices for Boxwood Health from HRI. This is helpful for both amateur and professional gardeners.

The second is the Purdue Plant Doctor app, which has lots of pictures of the symptoms of boxwood blight and other plant health issues. Frankly, I found the app a little hard to read, but I expect they will iron out the font problems soon. It’s a cool idea to have all of the information right in your smartphone – perfect for when people find out what you do for a living and want to ask about a plant you’ve never grown!

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