Annual and Perennial Flowers for Mississipi Gardens
The folks at the Mississippi Extension Service have put together a wonderful resource at Annual & Perennial Flowers for
Mississippi Gardens that will be of use to gardeners not only in Mississippi but throughout the southern states. This Web site not only provides the standard information on growing flowers, but also lists flowers according to their uses. If you're looking for a list of annual flowers for cutting, blooms for shady spots, flowers for containers, or flowers that attract butterflies, for example, check out this site.
Favorite or New Plant
A relatively new shrub to our southern gardens (USDA Zones 7 through 9) that offers a stunning new look for our landscapes is the fringe flower, or Chinese witchhazel (Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum). In early to midspring it bursts forth with hot pink to fuchsia blooms that appear in clusters of strappy petals. When new growth emerges in cool weather, it has a striking bronze to purple hue.
Fringe flower will grow in sun or bright shade but blooms best and has better foliage color in full sun. Mix a few inches of compost into the soil before planting. Water new plants periodically to keep them moderately moist. 'Burgundy', 'Plum Delight', and 'Razzleberri' are three of the many varieties available. These reach a mature height of about 5 feet but can be kept a little smaller with occasional pruning. Some people have trained the plant into a miniature multi-trunk tree form, which is also very attractive.