What's Blooming in January

Posted by @LarryR on
In a more normal winter, our gardens here in Iowa would be nestled under a blanket of snow. Catching sight of even a flake or two has been a rare event so far this winter. As I write this, I'm itching to get outside, because it is sunny and 61 degrees! The average high in January for our state is 32 degrees. If this keeps up, I may have some early spring flowering bulbs to show you in February instead of in April! In the meantime, let's pay a cyber visit to folks who really do have plants blooming now, and also to our Mystery Blossom Contest winner, Paul Anguiano.

 2012-01-10/LarryR/082b82
USDA Hardiness Map (Click map for full view)

This month we'll travel to USDA hardiness zones 6a, 7, 9a (Sunset Zone 15), 9b, and Sunset Zone 2.  The whole hardiness zone business can be quite confusing, so let's take a quick look at what's involved.

Our Mystery Flower This Month

Plant:  Tree
Height:  25' to 40'
Spread:  25' to 30'

Growth rate:  Fast
Exposure:  Partial shade to full sun
Hardiness:  4a to 8a
Fragrance:  Heavenly!

Photo and contest instructions appear at the end of this article.  December's winner was Paul (psa) who gardens in zone 7a.

 
 

The USDA map at right focuses on temperature and tells you only where a plant may survive the winter.  Sunset zones (devised by Sunset Magazine) consider other important factors as well, including latitude, elevation, ocean influence, mountains, hills, and valleys.  Because the geography of the West Coast is so variable, such additional information is of great value.  The zone numbers run from harshest (Zone 1) to mildest (Zone 45).  Click here to get an idea of how all these zones look on a map.

Here is a sampling of the beautiful and exotic plants our readers have blooming this month.

Gardeners
Flowers



 

Lin
(plantladylin)

Zone 9b

2012-01-10/LarryR/16725d
 Weeping Bottlebrush
2012-01-10/LarryR/669fce      Hibiscus




Lin
(plantladylin)

Zone 9b 

 2012-01-10/LarryR/613ed2
Plumbago
 2012-01-10/LarryR/0b5560
White Periwinkle

 



Lin
(plantladylin)

Zone 9b

 2012-01-10/LarryR/cbc25b
Pagoda Flower
 2012-01-10/LarryR/e888d5
Star Jasmine

 



Lin
(plantladylin)

Zone 9b

 2012-01-10/LarryR/527c0e
Pink Periwinkle
 2012-01-10/LarryR/200ffa
Pentas

 



Lin
(plantladylin)

Zone 9b

 2012-01-10/LarryR/6009b3
Phalaenopsis Orchid
 2012-01-10/LarryR/86f507
Laelia Orchid




Lin
(plantladylin)

Zone 9b

 

 2012-01-10/LarryR/ac77a8
Brassavola Orchid
 2012-01-10/LarryR/6682cd
Streptocarpus


Sherry
(wcgypsy
)

Sunset Zone 2


Sue
(
Calif_Sue)

Zone 9a
Sunset Zone 15

 2012-01-10/LarryR/4f42be
Salvia 'Indigo Spires'
 2012-01-10/LarryR/563b4a
Rose 'Louise Clements'

 



Sue
(
Calif_Sue)

Zone 9a
Sunset Zone 15

 2012-01-12/LarryR/25982b
Rose 'Vesper'
 2012-01-12/LarryR/352702
Rose 'Cafe'

 



Sue
(
Calif_Sue)

Zone 9a
Sunset Zone 15

 2012-01-12/LarryR/b6e9a3
Bidens 'Goldilocks Rocks'
 2012-01-12/LarryR/b0b4fc
Bacopa




Sue
(
Calif_Sue)

Zone 9a
Sunset Zone 15
 

 2012-01-12/LarryR/a24c5d
Helichrysum 'Monster Fireball'
2012-01-12/LarryR/ea343c
Pansy 'Frizzle Sizzle Mix'




Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

 2012-01-12/LarryR/11bf14
Schlumbergera hybrid
 2012-01-12/LarryR/abb56e
Amaryllis




Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

 2012-01-12/LarryR/6a3af1
Amaryllis in full bloom
 2012-01-12/LarryR/01ac6d
Gaillardia




Tarev
(tarev)

Zone 7a

 2012-01-12/LarryR/123650
Mandevilla
 2012-01-12/LarryR/a453cd
Pilea 'Moon Valley'
The article thumbnail is courtesy of Allison (Onewish1) who gardens in Zone 6a and still had some mums blooming in December.
MYSTERY BLOSSOM FOR JANUARY
2012-01-12/LarryR/07d303

CONTEST DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 5, 2012

HOW TO ENTER THE NAME THAT BLOOM CONTEST

Scroll down to the forum at the end of this article.  Click on the thread, "January Contest Entries."  Enter the name of the plant at left, either one of its common names or its botanical name (genus and species).  It's important to include its cultivar name, which appears in single quotes when it's cited.  The contest thread should appear shortly after publication of this article. The winner gets to select a photo of a blooming plant from her/his garden, to be published in next month's What's Blooming article, along with a brief interview.

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ABOUT COTTAGE-IN-THE-MEADOW GARDENS

Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens, owned by Larry and Wilma Rettig, South Amana, Iowa, has been featured in local and national publications, on the Internet, and is listed with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., as a national heritage garden. Larry and Wilma grow over 300 varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables. Since 1986, they have maintained a seed bank that preserves vegetable varieties brought from Germany to the Amana Villages during the 1850s.

 

 
Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Show us what's blooming in your garden, indoors or out! by LarryR Jan 23, 2012 4:46 PM 3
Climate change! by crittergarden Jan 22, 2012 8:23 PM 1
Where to find January Contest Entries by plantladylin Jan 21, 2012 11:45 AM 9
We have a winner by LarryR Jan 16, 2012 10:33 PM 0



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