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History and Care

History of Fleming's Flower Fields and How to Care for Your Fleming Hybrids

Fleming's Flower Fields was started by Jim, Bob and Dave Fleming in 1947 Lincoln, NE but really it had started much earlier. These World War II Vets returned home and quickly turned to what they knew would cheer others up as well as themselves, flower power.  Their mother, Ruth Bates Fleming, a pioneer, who started some of the first State parks in their home state of Nebraska, had endoctrinated them into her lifes passion, horticulture, teaching them the value of the beauty found in nature and to spruce it up where you could through hybridizing, but most of all she taught them that flowers brought happiness to peoples heart when they needed it most.  The three were themselves some of the first perennial pioneers in the garden industry realizing that there were alot of native plants that could have bigger and better flowers, also be less invasive and be hardier for colder regions.  They created 1000's of hardy, giant flowered Chrysanthemums and perennial standards today, such as 'Spotty' and Dottie' Dianthus, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' and the first blue-flowered Caryopteris, 'Bluebird' among many others.  They sold these winter hardy hybrids of theirs as well as those of other renowned perennial breeders in their retail and wholesale, mailorder catalog. Fleming's Flower Fields biggest and best known achievements after 65 years of going strong is what it's done for hardy Hibiscus and hardy Crapemyrtle.  Our Hibiscus are famous for our firsts in hardiness to -30 Fahrenheit, the new colors of purple and yellow in our Hibiscus flowers and their dark purple leaves with smooth edged 'Maple' shapes among others.  And our Hibiscus are only 3 foot on average, covered in flowers from Spring or Summer (depending on your zone) until onset of winter.   Our Crapemyrtle are the shortest and hardiest in the world and along with our Hardy Hibiscus transform any garden, whether North or South into a tropical paradise.  Fleming's hybridizing and sales are now continued  by the Fleming's long time apprentices: Gretchen, Kerry and Joe with the same obsessive eye toward quality, refined and truly unique hybrids the brothers would be proud to show off.  We still sell wholesale and retail-mailorder as always with an emphasis on personal customer care. 

Our winter hardy Hibiscus, Crapemyrtle and all of our perennials are very EASY TO GROW, but the hard part is getting used to doing less than you usually would to take care of plants.  Whether IN A POT OR IN THE GROUND, plant your Fleming Hybrid so that you are covering all of the roots but not the stem.  They are VERY ADAPTABLE to a multitude of soil types but you will need to add at least 50% soil mix to majority sandy soils.  These perennial Hibiscus and Crepes are DROUGHT AND FLOOD TOLERANT once established.  While being established, and even after, they really would WATLIKE TO DRY BETWEEN WATERINGS to thrive.  It is best to water them in good and then let them go for at least a few days, depending on the weather.  Use our 'rule of thumb' or should I say of index finger..  put your index finger in the soil near the plant and if the tip of your finger feels any moisture, then let the plant continue to dry.  This would probably translate to letting the plant dry approximately 4-6 inches down between waterings.  The hardy Hibiscus have a middle tap root that can search water sometimes 10 feet below!  The Crepes and our other hybrid perennials are also bred to be drought tolerant and therefore VERY SUSTAINABLE for our everchanging environment.  Fertilize with Jack's or organic fertilizers everymonth because they contain micronutrients that the hybrids enjoy.  Yum Yum.  All of our hybrids also "seek the heat" and require 8 hours of FULL SUN or more a day to see their true characteristics.   Our plants are also breed to be pest resistant, so if you notice any whitefly or aphids or notice the plants stretching or not showing their purple leaves, etc. then you may not be giving them the sun, drought, or above requirements that they desire.  If give yourself a rest and allow them to thrive, your Fleming Hybrids will be a integral part of your 'garden family' for up to 20 years!