HortTube: Get to Know Jim Putnam | Plants by Mail

HortTube: Get to Know Jim Putnam

We here at PlantsbyMail.com are committed to bringing our customers the most accurate and quality plant information possible. For this reason, we often feature videos from HortTube with Jim Putnam on our product pages.

Jim owns Earthworks Nursery and Garden Center in Clayton, NC; and he has an impressive wealth of knowledge and experience that he shares regularly on YouTube.

We sat down for a quick Q&A with him; so spend a minute with us and get to know a little bit about Jim and HortTube. Afterwards, we highly recommend checking out his YouTube channel, in addition to watching any of his videos that you may stumble upon here on PlantsbyMail.com.

The man himself, Jim Putnam

18 Questions with HortTube’s Jim Putnam

PBM: Where are you from originally? 

Jim: I grew up in Raleigh, NC; about 20 minutes away from Clayton.

How long have you been in the nursery industry? How’d you get started?

I got a job at a garden center in Raleigh when I was 16. I had actually been mowing grass and raking leaves for neighbors since I was 10. I stayed at the garden center for 6 years, and then worked for a couple of landscapers before I went out on my own in 1996. I started my nursery around 1999.

How/when did you get started on Youtube?

I started putting videos up two years ago. I had no plans for it. I just saw that there was not a lot of information on ornamental plants at the time.

What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve faced being a Youtube creator and getting your channel off the ground?

It takes a long time to be found (on Youtube) and it can be very discouraging. I think most people would quit during the first year.

What’s your gardening philosophy?

My gardening philosophy is to use natural materials to create casual spaces. I also believe in growing flowering ornamentals and food in the same spaces.

What do you recommend for new gardeners?

To kill a few things, take some chances, know that nothing you do has to be permanent, and don’t take on the whole yard at once.

What’s the most common gardening question you receive?

There is so much confusion about watering. More plants are being loved to death than are killed any other way.

What’re some of the most common mistakes you see gardeners making?

Over-watering, planting things to deep, planting super fast growing plants on foundations, and over-mulching.

Your most common yard pest? How do you get rid of them?

I really don’t get a lot of pest. Most insect issues are from plants being planted in the wrong areas and over fertilizing them. I do have issues with rabbits, and I trap and relocate them.

What is your go-to mulch, and why?

Triple Shredded Hardwood. It mimics the forest floor the better than other mulches Pinestraw ain’t bad either. I can’t stand dyed mulches.

Is there a garden tool you can’t live without?

Trenching shovel. Best tool for planting.

What’s one gardening activity that you always look forward to?

I like to break out the big tools and do some tree pruning

One plant you can’t get enough of?



One plant that if you ever saw it again, it’d be too soon?

Bradford Pears


If you could go back 15-20 years, what would be one plant that you would plant for yourself to be enjoying right now?

Southern Magnolias


One fruiting plant that you look forward to every year?



If you could only grow one herb, what would it be?



One gardening activity that has to be done, but that you dread doing?


We’d like to thank Jim for taking the time to speak with us, and we look forward to hearing more of his tips, tricks, and tutorials going forward!


Check out Jim’s work at one of the links below (you’ll be glad you did):

4 thoughts on “HortTube: Get to Know Jim Putnam”

  1. HI JIM!

    1. Good morning. This is the website to PLantsbymail.com. We do not employ Jim nor relay messages to him. He can be found via his Youtube channel. – Christy

  2. Hello Jim,
    My husband and I planted 6 dwarf autumn chiffon azaleas in early June, 2021 in Longview, Texas (2 hours east of Dallas) and they are not growing. They have spindle-like stems with no buds and some stems no leaves. Should we pull them up and start over next spring if we get no buds or flowers? We want dwarfs for our low windows and eastward facing house. This variety was supposed to bloom in the summer.
    My husband says it is too early to give up but when we took them out of the bucket we noticed
    the soil fell away without seeing any roots. Any advice?

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