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In the Garden with Dave Forehand: Five Things to Know About Osmanthus

Should you grow this sweet smelling, evergreen shrub in your garden?
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When we think “gardening expert,” a few local green thumbs might come to mind, but Dallas Arboretum’s Vice President of Gardens Dave Forehand certainly makes his way to the forefront. Each week, we’ll be sharing Forehand’s seasonal gardening tips and insight. Today, Dave’s talking Osmanthus.

  1. Osmanthus is an evergreen shrub, though it can sometimes look more like a small tree.
  2. They’re deliciously fragrant. You can smell the shrubs from a hundred feet away.
  3. Osmanthus is tough. It can grow just fine even in the shade.
  4. There’s a variety that was cultivated to thrive in North Texas conditions called ‘Carl Wheeler.’ It is very happy in our alkaline clay soil and will do equally fine during the hottest or coldest days of the year. This is the kind you would want to look for when planting.
  5. Even if the plant is small when you purchase Osmanthus, they will get quite large (up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide), so be sure to think long term when you plant.

If you visit the Arboretum in the next couple of weeks, you can see these beautiful shrubs in full bloom throughout the gardens. You will smell them before you find them. There is a great grouping of these Carl Wheeler Osmanthus in the newly replanted Lay Family Garden.

 

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