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New to virginia (bv/lex)

Posted by madaussie 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 18, 06 at 13:46

Hi all.. I'm a new virginian via Australia... Moved down here to BV/Lexington.... the soil is some nasty rocky clay :( ohwell..

I cant seem to find any nursries in the area besides a bad lowes.. anyone got any reccomendations?

I guess my big problem is finding what I want to grow.. :) I want to get some citrus (lemon or grapefruit).. I also want to plant some eucalyptus but cant find anything anywhere... and I cant get my parents to post me anything from home either ;)

I'm guessing a seed bank might be my best bet there...

I picked up 'dirty knees' which is specific to rockbridge county and looks pretty good, from the local bookshop.

apart from that, I'm lost at what will+wont work here..

anyone successfully grown purple passionfruit here??

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

Hmmmm....citrus and eucalyptus sound like things you grow in California, not in the mountains of VA. But it sounds like you have had these trees before, so I guess you have reason to know they'll work. Purple passion fruit will probably need a greenhouse in VA. Don't forget, we're in the acid rain region, as well and that may affect what will flourish here.

You can find just about anything at ForestFarm, though they do not specialize in agricultural trees. They do (or did a couple of years ago) sell many eucalyptus varieties. They have a print catalog and you can order online. Their plants are not large, and you have to pay to have them shipped from Oregon, but it's hard to beat the selection when all else has failed.

I have found that most local nurseries sell what the local landscapers want to plant - Bradford pears, barberries and Knockout roses. For ornamental woodies I would go to ForestFarm, Variegated Foliage in CT, Broken Arrow in CT or Fairweather in southern NJ. For hardwoods, Oikos tree crops has a decent selection.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

  • Posted by zebz 7-Va (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 19, 06 at 8:59

Check out the website They have a page on eucalyptus and several are listed as being hardy perennials to zone 6.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

  • Posted by suja z7 noVA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 19, 06 at 15:40

I've seen citrus in the 'Indoor Plants' section of good nurseries. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know what those are in your neck of the woods. The Garden Watchdog (which you absolutely must consult if you plan to mailorder) has a feature that allows you to search for nurseries near your zipcode. I've searched using a zipcode in Lexington, and attached the results URL

From your post, it sounds like you're trying to grow what is familiar to you, not necessarily what will live in this area. It may work out better if you took some time to read and research and find plants that tolerate or thrive in the icky clay soil, the reasonably cold winters as well as the heat and humidity of Virginia summers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant suppliers near Lexington

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

You need to take a trip down to Pungo Palms in Virginia Beach and make an appointment to meet with Ralph or Kathy Denton at the nursery. They have cold hardy palm trees, several cold hardy species of Eucalyptus, hardy citrus trees, hardy gardenias and even cold hardy bananas. I am growing all of these plants in Northern Virginia in amended red clay soil with excellent results in getting them through the winter. E-mail me off line and I can give you more help if you like. If you are ever in the DC area during the growing season, you are welcome to come tour my tropicalesque gardens. Best of luck.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

There are several more close to us (I live in Rockbridge County too): My favorite and the most reasonable is the Mennonite nursery (Milmont) in Stuarts Draft. Right now they have a sale on trees, shrubs and perennials and fall annuals. They have a beautiful selection of fall mums too. Just follow Route 11 north to Greenville and take a right across from the Pilot station onto Route 340 to Stuarts Draft. Stuarts Draft is a small town and is about five to eight miles from Route 11. Milmont will be on your right approximately 3/4 mile after you have passed through the intersection of Route 608 and 340. You can also make a day of it and visit Waynesboro. Just continue on Route 340 (after taking a right from Milmont) and you will shortly be in Waynesboro. Follow 340 all the way to Route 250 and take a left at that intersection. About 1/2 mile on the left you will find Waynesboro Garden Center where you will find large trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, a nice garden shop with two levels. Farther west on Route 250 is Fishersville with a place called I think is called the The Village Garden Center(just look for a big red barn on your right) with more trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Ask for directions there to Viette's (it's not far from Route 250). From Viette's you could then go north to Shreckhise (sp?) Nurseries in Verona for trees, shrubs, p's and a's which is not too far off of Route 11 and from there to Harrisonburg (also on Route 11) there is a nice placed called Hess Greenhouse which sells mums, pumpkins, perennials, annuals, grasses, etc.(look for the huge windmill). And by the way, in Harrisonburg on October 6th at the arboretum at James Madison University there will be a bulb sale (Brent and Becky's Bulbs)! The web site for the arboretum can be found at the web site for JMU. That ought to keep you busy for a while. I know of more but they are farther away over Afton Mountain. Just email me at and I will give you better directions and details. Happy plant hunting! By the way, you are in Zone 6 so don't get too many tropicals before you figure out where your microclimates are.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

I doubt many local nurseries will have cold hardy palms, bananas and citrus like our friend from down under is looking for. Pungo Palms will have them all, even those that will make it in Zone 6. I am in a hard Zone 7 with some years coming very close to Zone 6 and my success has been great.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

Madaussie, sounds like you need to check out Windmill Outback Nursery in Louisa, VA. Mike probably has all the Eucalyptus you'd ever want and is extremely knowledgeable. However, it's pretty tough to get them to grow in our Zone, believe me we've tried without success!

Here is a link that might be useful: Windmill Outback Nursery aka Australia Plants

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

We could probably grow snowgums but I dont fancy such huge gums in my yard. Ive done more research and mostly given up a lot of what I wanted to grow. I'll settle for things that will grown rather than hope to grow :)

thanks for the link the windmill outback nursery looks interestng.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

Viette's is the place to go, check out his website, they also have scheduled afternoon lectures & workshops. It is a pretty ride, well worth the effort.

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

Hi!Welcome to Virginia. I left there 4 yrs ago, but lived just below you (over the mtn. to the east from Buchanan). We'd built a loghome there. Missed family back up north so returned. I cried the first time I tried to garden in that red clay but you'll be amazed at what grows there. I really miss the longer climate there. It's cold in Connecticut!
Yes...I'd say definitely go north to Vietes. On Saturdays he has a gardening program on the radio...and a wide variety of things at his place.Also check out Greenbriar Nursery of Roanoke. There were several small-private garden places I used to attend. Roanoke has a daylily Auction every June (wonderful).
I grew passion vine that went up over the roof of the log home so you can do it too. Figs will grow. And it's so easy to begin cherry pits, peaches, plums etc and have fast fruit.
I left 3/4 of my gardens behind. One day hope to return to see how they've abused what I've left (frown)
Lexington is a nice sweet town...shops & all, being a college town. I often drove up there.
Gardenweb is so useful...stay tuned and everyone will help.
Margie (formerly Loghomelady)

RE: New to virginia (bv/lex)

Eucalyptus cinerea will grow well in Central Virginia, despite what the experts say. We've got several over six feet in our yard. They survive into the teens with some damage, which is easily pruned in the spring and fosters new growth. Citrus will not survive. There are some that do well in pots and produce fruit if placed outside during spring and summer. Just watch out for frost. We have a Japanese kumquat (Nagami, I think) which produces massive amounts of fruit well into December indoors, after spending the spring and summer outdoors. Parks Seed and Parks Landscapes are excellent sources of tropicals.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Eucalyptus in Virginia

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