Schaffitzel's Greenhouse

the-way-it-used-to-be-jpg.jpgIn the oldest part of Springfield, Missouri, is a nursery that's been a sort of godsend for generations of home gardeners.
     Schaffitzel's Greenhouse, founded in 1949, includes a nursery, flower shop, and two greenhouses.
     "We've got guys who've been shopping here 40 or 50 years," says Tony Schaffitzel, who with his brother Mike grew up in the nursery. Today, he and Mike run the business along with Barbara, their mother, who in addition to raising plants and children is a nursing administrator retired.
     Barbara runs the greenhouses at her house near Fair Grove, Missouri. "We grow 80 percent of our vegetables out there," says Tony. "We focus on vegetables--that's probably 25-30 percent of our sales in bedding plants."
     The nursery also grows and sells a wide array of annual and perennial ornamental plants for the garden and flowers to put in the flower shop. The plants include many newer hybrids and some special choices the family brings in for novelty and variety.
    "We do 40 or 50 different kinds of perennials," said Tony when we first talked with him in 2009. "We did some things this year with the Missouri native stuff, I've got some native asters, larkspur,and a light lavender bee balm. We also carry quite a few herbs. They're pretty easy."

    For us, Schaffitzel's visually is nothing more nor less than a Norman Rockwell painting. Long on substance with a complete absence of fluff, the place takes us back to a time when nurseries were all and entirely about helping neighborhood gardeners get the job done. We suspect that the feel it has today is the same as in 1949. But you can see for yourself.

Tony Schaffitzel

Tony Schaffitzel, amiable and easygoing, looks reflectively out over the nursery greenhouse. The family business moved to its current location at 1771 E. Atlantic in Springfield in 1959.

Mike Schaffitzel

"We started working pretty early," Mike said of his brother and himself. "Pulling weeds and planting a lot of stuff, we were pretty welcome around here. When we really started working to amount to anything, though, was junior high."

Barbara Schaffitzel

Barbara Schaffitzel, "Mom" to Tony and Mike, operates the family's four greenhouses in Fair Grove, Missouri. 

The Nursery Greenhouse

The nursery greenhouse is packed with colorful begonias, zinnias, impatiens, marigolds, and many other plants, resting on benches beneath a world of hanging baskets of bougainvillea, purslane, petunias, and more.

Potting 'Em Up

Debbie Meier, who it's said "does about everything" around the nursery, pots up a Schleffera, also known as Umbrella Plant, for the flower shop.

A Huge Job

Watering so much plant stock isn't exactly a walk in the park, as Debbie can attest.

Elephant-Size Elephant Ears
elephant-size-elephant-ears-jpg.jpgMuch loved by Ozarks gardeners, Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) do wonderfully well in our hot and humid summers and always add an element of drama to our gardens. This one grown in the greenhouse beautifully illustrates the dramatic size of the largest varieties. 

A Century-Old Lemon Tree

Believe it or not, this vigorous and beautiful lemon tree is 100 years old. According to Mike, when Schaffitzels bought it 30 years ago it was already 70 years old. Clearly it's found a home in the nursery's greenhouse, and, hey, look at the lemons it was showing in December, 2014. Yep, that's right, December.

A Lemon for the Ages

A closer look at the century-old tree's amazing fruit--almost the size of a softball.


Inside the nursery are the floral shop and a world of whimsical odds 'n ends to catch the fancy of gardeners and, well, just about everybody.

The Storefront

The weathered sign on the storefront at 1771 E. Atlantic in Springfield has greeted customers for more than 50 years, but inside, nothing is out of date.


Penny greets customers with a smile and a ready sense of humor.

The Florals

Schaffitzel's always has an abundance of fresh flowers arrangements. "We're a greenhouse-flower shop," says Tony. "The flower shop helps us out a lot. We grow stuff in the greenhouse for the flower shop. It allows us to have plants all summer and have green plants all year 'round."

The Way It Used to Be

We can't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia every time we visit Schaffitzel's, the place so reminds us of images from our own childhood, scenes that we love recalling for their simplicity.

'Blackout' Up Close


A closer look at 'Blackout'.

A Real Down-Home Sale

We love this picture because it says so much about this nursery and how down-to-earth they really are.

'David' Garden Phlox

'David' Phlox ( Phlox paniculata 'David') is a great favorite of home gardeners for its beautiful, highly fragrant, whiter-than-white blooms. If that weren't enough, the flowerheads are extra-large, measuring up to 6 inches across, and the plant is somewhat mildew-resistant. It grows to 3 feet tall in full sun or partial shade. Note: 'David' was the 2002 Perennial Plant of the Year, as named by the Perennial Plant Association.

'Starfire' Garden Phlox

'Starfire' Garden Phlox ( Phlox paniculata 'Starfire'), commonly called Tall Garden Phlox, is a glorious presence in the garden with its deep-pink-to-cherry-red flowers. It grows to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide and does best in full sun and rich, moist soil with bimonthly fertilizing.

The Bird of Paradise
Care to grow a Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) in your backyard garden? You can, you know, in our hot 'n humid Ozarks summers. This one's doing beautifully in the Schaffitzel's nursery yard. Experts say to give the Birdt at least 4 hours of sun per day, preferably more, plus well-drained soil with some bone meal, and even moisture. It's hardy only to 20 degrees, so should be taken inside for the winter.

Water Hyacinths
Water Hyacinths (
Eichhornia crassipes) are wonderful free-floating water plants that produce perfectly gorgeous lavender-and-white (and sometimes pink) flowers. Native to the Amazon basin, it's one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, and as such can be very invasive if let run free. If shepherded by the water gardener, though, it's a gorgeous prize in ponds and water features.

Other Water Plants

The nursery grows other healthy and vigorous water plants as well, such as the sedge and lily pads shown here.

Tickseed Coreopsis

The name "Tickseed Coreopsis"
turns up in the nursery trade on more than one variety of Coreopsis, especially those with exceptionally fine foliage and simple yellow eight-petaled flowers. We're unsure of the variety here, but we love it and hope you agree.  

'Barbara Karst' Bougainvillea

Bougainvilleas are tropical vines but do wonderfully well as annuals in the midwest. Its intensely red-to-magenta flowers make ' Barbara Karst' a spectacular centerpiece plant on trellises or other supports or in hanging baskets and other containers. The hardiest of all bougainvilleas, it survives termperatures down to 25 degrees. It does best with a full-sun southern exposure, and be careful not to overwater.

'Barbara Corsair' Daylily

The ' Barbara Corsair' Daylily is a true prize in the garden--
a reblooming daylily that grows 30 inches tall and bears flowers 3 inches wide that have a lovely rose scent.

'Stella Supreme' Daylily

The 'Stella Supreme' Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Stella Supreme') is a vastly improved form of 'Stella D'Oro', the yellow daylily so popular that it's became something of a landscaping cliche. 'Stella Supreme' produces an abundance of fragrant, lemon-yellow flowers from late spring into early summer and reblooms freely if deadheaded. The plant grows in a compact clump to 15 inches tall and 28 inches wide, making it ideal as a garden border.

'Sungelonia Deep Pink' Angelonia

'Sungelonia Deep Pink' ( Angelonia angustifolia 'Deep Pink') is an outstanding variety of Angelonia. From early spring through summer it produces an abundance of beautiful pea-like or snapdragon-like flowers that are especially lovely in mass plantings. The plant grows to a foot high and a foot wide.
Note: Angelonia are best treated as annuals. Their common name is Summer Snapdragon.

Angelonia Planted

This darker Angelonia, possibly the variety 'Serena Purple' ( Angelonia angustifolia 'Serena Purple' shows how lovely this plant can be when planted en masse in a weathered old whiskey barrel.

'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm
Named for the son of Georgia plantman Jack Cline, 'Jacob Cline' Bee Balm (Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline') stars in the garden with its extra-large, deep-red flowers. Growing to 4 feet tall by 3 feet, it flowers profusely and even more so if deadheaded. Its pointed, lance-shaped leaves have a minty scent, and with full sun and adequate moisture, it thrives beautifully in the Ozarks. 

The Mystic Desire Dahlia
mystic-desire-dahlia.jpgThe Mystic Desire Dahlia, botanical name Dahlia 'Scarlet Fern', has won worlds of admirers for its deep bronze-black foliage and vivid red-coral flowers, a virtually breathtaking combination. Very easy to grow, the plant is compact and vigorous, grows to 2 feet tall and as wide, and blooms from early summer into fall. We've bought several from Schaffitzel's and they've all been winners all the way.


This is easily the reddest Oleander we've ever seen, and we think it may be Hardy Red Oleander (Nerium Oleander 'Hardy Red'). Oleanders are extremely vigorous shrubs that like full or part sun and produce large, fragrant flower clusters from summer till fall. Easy to grow, they do require one major Warning: All parts of the plant are extremely toxic if eaten.

Wonder of Wonders....

Among the wonders to be found on a leisurely visit to Schaffitzel's Greenhouse...Tony's shirt.

Gloriosa Daisy

These Gloriosa Daisies (Rudbeckia hirta 'Gloriosa') are a great example of the Schaffitzel's healthy, vigorous plant stock. These guys know what they're doing.

'Henna' Coleus

'Henna' Coleus (Solenostemon hybrida 'Henna') is an extremely attractive Coleus that features chartreuse-and-copper variegated leaves. The plant is compact and grows quickly to 28 inches tall, making it ideal for containers as well as the garden. It does best in shade to partial shade and rich soil.

Aztec Magic White Verbena

Aztec Magic White Verbena is a beautiful  trailing white verbena ideal in the landscape and especially in hanging baskets and mixed containers. It grows to 10 inches tall with a spread of 18 inches and does best in full sun. The Aztec Magic series of trailing verbenas come with white, pink, purple, lavender, or pale lavender flowers.

Kopper King Hibiscus

'Kopper King' Hibiscus (Hibiscus 'Kopper King') is one of the most strikingly beautiful of all the darker foliage Hibiscus. Easy to grow and perennial in the Ozarks, it can reach 4 feet tall with a similar spread. With consistent watering and a sunny exposure it thrives and produces an abundance of very large, gorgeous red-centered white-to-pink blooms that can be as much as 10 inches across.

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