Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day! I'm very happy to participate in this community of gardeners who blog, which was the brainstorm of Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens. The purpose of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is to see what other gardeners throughout the world have going on in their own gardens on the 15th of each month. And here is what I will share on this first nearly-fall day in September, 2013:
Meanwhile, in a pot around the corner, another tropical plant is holding court with Pennisetum 'Cherry Sparkler' and Bougainvillea 'Flame'. Pachystachys lutea took awhile to really take off, but I think our recent heat wave lit a fire under it. Also known as lollipop or golden shrimp plant, this shrubby sub-tropical plant features brightly-colored bracts from which little white flowers emerge.
Yet to bloom are the Bougainvillea 'Flame' and a Hedychium coranarium, or ginger that has been with me for several years. Another Bougainvillea that has been with us for a long time is having the best bloom season it's ever had.
|Pentas, Geranium, Salvia, Cleome, Coleus and Colocasia make a colorful statement in this huge planter.|
The humongous planter I put together in July with sale plants purchased from Chesterton Feed & Garden Center on July 5 has metamorphosed into its late summer configuration. When I first put it together, I worried about the Salvia having to compete with Colocasia 'Mojito' and not having enough room to grow. I needn't have worried. The Cleome 'Seniorita Rosalita' hasn't slowed down, the Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' is still going strong and, just recently, the Pentas has really begun to flourish. I'm not sure which variety it is, but it's one of the taller ones of either the "New Look" or "Butterfly" series, growing around 12" - 18" tall. This is a plant I have more luck with if I remove the spent blossoms. The reward for this extra step is the visitation of hummingbirds. And in order to make this pot irresistible to all kinds of winged wildlife, I've included the Salvia and Cleome mentioned above.
You could bring your tropical plants inside if you have the space and the patience to deal with dropping leaves and insects. Some react better to indoor winter culture than others. The easiest for me by far has been Murraya paniculata, also known as orange jessamine. In the same family (Rutaceae) as citrus, Murraya paniculata has flowers with the scent of orange blossom. Our potted plant, which is several years old, gives us many flushes of bloom throughout the season. I feed it with about half the recommended amount of a water soluble acid-lovers fertilizer about once a week, but I also sprinkle the top of the soil with an all-purpose time-release plant food at the beginning of the season.
|Unknown yet mature Bougainvillea|