The Q&A Archives: Buy Now, Ask Questions Later

Question: Something came over me when I was ordering on-line. I bought these plants, without finding out more about them.
This is my first time buying from Burpee, and I should have read through all the Q&A before ordering, but spring was in the air and I was hasty to get my order sent to me without doing my research first.

(1) Butterfly Bush hybrids) - I got 100 seeds, how much space do I need?
(2) Hibiscus Anne Arundel - 1 plant
(3) Geranium, Johnson Blue -1 plant. is this a ground cover?
(4) Yellow trumpet vine - 1 plant. does this need to grow up a wall, or can I wrap it around my deck railing?

Which ones will die over the winter?
Where is the best place to plant them. - shade, full sun, soil, water, etc.
How big will each get?


Answer: These should all be perennial and come back every year.

Butterfly bushes are large shrubs and need full sun in average to better soil. They may die back to the ground in winter or need heavy pruning each spring to remove winter-killed wood. To start them from seed the best method is to use a pan and/or individual pots to grow them to a certain size before setting them out.

Hibiscus "Anne Arundel" is a large perennial for moist soil in full sun and emerges very late in the spring, so mark the spot where it is planted. It grows up and outward so allow three feet around.

Geranium "Johnson Blue" is a sprawly sort of mounding plant, allow about 18 inches in part shade to sun. Average soil is okay. It does not spread by runners like a ground cover. Trim back hard after blooming for another flush of bloom.

Trumpet vine will grow fine on a railing, but be careful to keep it under control by trimming it back hard every spring before growth starts. (It is a strong and large vine and will climb to the roof if you let it.) It needs full sun to bloom best.

All of these will do better if planted into rich soil well amended with organic matter, watered regularly until well established and mulched to keep down weeds and maintain soil moisture.

You might like to invest in a good book or two about gardening if you think this is going to be a habit (grin). Two I particularly like are "Gardening for Dummies" by Michael MacCaskey ISBN 1-56884-644-4 and "Perennials for Dummies" by Marcia Tatroe ISBN 0-7645-5030-6. Enjoy your plants!

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