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Wednesday
Aug262015

Spotlight On: Bidens

Scientific Name: Bidens ferulifolia

Common Name: Bidens

Plant Type:  Annual

Sun: Full Sun

Water: Moderate

Bloom Time: Summer

Bloom Color: Gold

Height: 1 to 3 feet

Bidens are a bright gold flower that make a great addition to any container garden.  The fern-like foliage and star-shaped flowers trail over the sides of containers and window boxes, making it a great choice for your “spiller.”

Plant your bidens in a sunny area with well-drained soil. While it does beautifully in containers, bidens can also be used as an annual groundcover.  To keep them blooming continuously throughout the summer, be sure to fertilize and pinch off any flowers that are done blooming. They are somewhat of a tender flower, so be sure to plant them after the chance of frost has gone or protect them from any cool nights.

 

Wednesday
Aug192015

Spotlight On: Licorice

Licorice

Scientific Name: Helichrysum petiolare

Common Name: Licorice

Plant Type: Annual

Sun: Sun

Water:  Moderate

Bloom Time:  Summer

Foliage Color: Silver, Lemon yellow, Lime green, Variegated

Height:  1 to 3 feet

Despite its common name, this has nothing to do with the delicious candy that we all love to snack on during summer road trips.  Licorice plant is a beautiful vine used in container gardening during the summer months.  It’s silver fuzzy foliage adds a new pop of color to pots, breaking away from the usual green leaves of most plants.

Plant licorice in a sunnier area, with well-drained soil, and it will fill in and happily trail down your pots as the perfect “spiller.” Licorice comes in a few different varieties, some with a lemon-lime color for their foliage and others a variegated with different shades of green on each leaf, but they are all the unique fuzzy leaf that licorice is known for.

Licorice can be a great plant to use in fall planters, especially around Halloween, as the grey color looks great with the deep purples and blues used to create spooky pot.

Tuesday
Aug112015

Spotlight On: Gomphrena

Buddy Purple GomphrenaGomphrena

Scientific Name: Globe amaranth

Common Name: Gomphrena, Buddy Purple

Plant Type: Annual

Sun: Sun

Water:  Moderate

Bloom Time:  Summer

Bloom Color: Red, Orange, White, Pink, Purple

Height:  8 inches to 2 feet

Gomphrena is a favorite among the designers at the greenhouse. The buddy purple’s bright blooms add pops of color while the unique texture of the flower adds depth to any container garden.

Gomphrena thrives in the summer heat, blooming throughout the summer and attracting butterflies all season long. The globe-like flowers look like little pom-poms and are great for cutting and drying.

The Buddy variety of gomphrena are a dwarf variety, growing to be about 8 inches tall.  There are also taller varieties available and the ever popular Strawberry Fields variety that is a red-orange color. The various colors and heights available make it great for borders, gardens or containers.

Gomphrena wants a mostly sunny area and it is drought tolerant, making it a great choice for xeriscaping and low maintenance gardens.

Strawberry Fields Gomphrena

Tuesday
Aug042015

Spotlight On: Mexican Heather

Scientific Name: Cuphea hyssopifolia

Common Name: Mexican Heather

Plant Type: Annual

Light: Part Sun, Sun

Height: 2 feet

Bloom Color: Lavender 

Bloom Time: Summer

Mexican Heather is the definition of low maintenance summer flowers.  They are beautiful, drought tolerant and their blooms last throughout the season.

The plant is more compact, almost growing like a shrub, making it ideal for a filler in any contaienr garden.  It has small lavender flowers that cover the branches and stand out from the dark green and glsosy foloage.  Overall, it has a lacy appearance.

Unfortunately, this is only an annual in our growing zone, but the texture and color the plant gives you makes it a must have in any garden. They need well-drained soil with full to partial sun.  While they do best with regular watering, they are drought tolerant, so 

 

 

Monday
Jul272015

Spotlight On: Campanula

Scientific Name: Campanula

Common Name: Bellflower

Plant Type: Perennial

Light: Part Sun, Sun

Height: 6 inches to 3 feet

Bloom Color: Blue, Pink, White 

Bloom Time: Spring to Summer

Campanula, or bellflower, are beautiful flowers that add bright blue and white to any garden.  The flowers are large but delicate looking, bell-shaped flowers, hence the nickname.  There are several different varieties of campanula, all with the signautre flower, but with different growing habits.  There is a short variety that makes a beautiful groundcover in the garden, while the taller varieties are gret accents in a perennial garden. 

For best flower production, campanula will need mostly to full sun with well-drained soil.  They are drought tolerant once the plants are established well. They are very low maintenance plants that can tolerate colder climates quite well. They will need to be deadheaded in order to make the flowers last longer.