Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Logee's Tropical Plants Prepares for Martha Stewart Show

Last week, we were invited to NYC as guests on the Martha Stewart Show. (see logee blog- How to Grow Tabletop Citrus Jan 13, 2010). We love sharing our tropical plants with Martha and her audience. The week before the show, we choose the plants. We work with the producers and send them pictures, growing information and highlights of each plant. Getting ready for the show is a company wide task and our growers were all hands on deck the day before.

Rick Logee, our greenhouse manager, Laurie Robillard and Napa Howe, greenhouse growers are pictured polishing leaves, repotting specimens and grooming the plants. We rank what plants would be the best but mostly Mother Nature chooses what plants ultimately go on the show. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which plants will be in bloom or fruit in 4-5 days.The morning we left for NYC was filled with activity. I picked up the white rental van (non-commercial) so we could drive on the Merritt Parkway, while Byron gathered eighteen different mother plants into one warm spot.

We had to have a warm vehicle waiting to minimize exposure to the elements while loading our weather sensitive plants in our Northeast Connecticut freezing climate.

Three and half-hours later at 4:00 we arrived at the NYC Studios. We unloaded our plants and broke them into two groups- the segment for citrus (see blog Jan. 13) and the segment for Flowering Winter/Unusual Plants. The Winter/Unusual Plants that ultimately went on the show were Coffee (Coffea a

rabica)- the coffee of commerce; Bougainvillea ‘Vera Purple’- a colorful, everbloomer ; ‘Desert Rose’ and ‘Uranus’ (Adenium obesum) two unique plants in flower with an unusual caudex form; “Golden Brush” (Burbedgia scheizochelia) - a ginger with brilliant orange flowers; and 'Yerbe Mate’ (Ilex paraguariensis)- the foliage that’s famous for Mate’ tea.

We had to be at the studio by 8 am the next morning for the 10:00 am live show. During those two hours Byron rehearsed with Barbara, one of the producers. Martha and Byron have great charisma together and were like old friends catching up on the horticultural scene. We left the Sunquat for Martha since she didn’t have one in her collection. After the show, I dropped Byron at Laguardia airport. He was on his way to a tropical plants show in Florida and I drove back to Connecticut with a warm van filled with tropical plants and flowers.


  1. I was told a few years ago that Martha Stewart had spoken with you about selling Yuzu, the Japanese citrus that is so hard to find. Is there any chance you will do this? I have been growing some from seed (because at the time I got the seeds one could not obtain the plants from California, the only place I had been able to find them), but I'm told they could take many years to produce fruit (if ever).

  2. We do not sell this citrus at the present time. Mostly because it has not been in high demand. It is a rather seedy lemon. We do have a few plants of Yuzu at our greenhouses and could always propagate more plants from cuttings. Cutting grown citrus will flower and fruit much quicker than seed grown. For example, a seed grown tangerine can take up to 20 years before it will produce, while a cutting grown tangerine will fruit and flower within a year.