Viewing comments posted by Catmint20906

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[ Rex Begonia (Begonia rex 'Red Tango') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Rex Begonia (Begonia rex) 'Red Tango' is an extremely attractive begonia with multicolored red and green leaves and pink blossoms that bloom all season. Rex Begonias are sensitive plants that need bright indirect sunlight, high humidity, regular fertilization, and average soil moisture. It also does best in a limited temperature range between about 60 and 75 degrees F. Because of these needs, Rex Begonias may be best grown indoors as container plants.

[ Begonia (Begonia x hiemalis 'Eva') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Begonia (Begonia x hiemalis) 'Eva' is a hybrid of wax and tuberous begonias. It is a sensitive plant, requiring bright indirect light and preferring air temperatures that do not get either below 60 or above 75. Because of this, it is often grown as an indoor container plant only. 'Eva' produces extremely pretty yellow to bronze colored blossoms.

[ Persian Violet (Exacum affine) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

In 2013, Persian Violet (Exacum affine) produced a continuous profusion of beautiful violet blossoms for me in my hot and humid zone 7a garden for virtually the entire growing season. It did well in medium to moist soil in morning sun. At the end of the season, this short-lived perennial declined and eventually died. It is a pretty plant that does not attract pollinators in Maryland.

[ Dwarf Hummingbird Mint (Agastache Kudos™ Ambrosia) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Dwarf Hummingbird Mint (Agastache) 'Kudos™ Ambrosia' is a lovely Agastache cultivar with salmon-pink blossoms. I got it from a local nursery in 2013, captivated by its unique color. Unfortunately, it never did well in my garden, despite being planted in a sunny spot with medium to dry soil. The foliage and blossoms declined shortly after I got it, and the pollinators did not visit it. This past spring, it did not emerge from the winter.

[ Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Wild Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) produces unique lavender blossoms in midsummer to early fall. Native to eastern North America, it is the exclusive larval host plant for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, and is a nonexclusive host plant for the Variegated Fritillary. Passiflora incarnata also attracts bees, and its edible fruit (maypops) attract birds. It also has been used in traditional herbal medicine, with continued interest in the anti-anxiety properties of its methanol extract.

[ Double Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Fiesta™ Apple Blossom) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Double Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) 'Fiesta™ Apple Blossom' produces a profusion of beautiful pale pink blossoms that look almost like small roses. It has a long bloom period, from spring to early fall, and enjoys medium to moist soil in part shade. Blossoming stops and the plant declines in too much direct sun. Does not need deadheading.

[ Coral Bells (Heuchera Kira™ Green Tea) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Coral Bells (Heuchera) 'Kira Green Tea' is an uncommon but beautiful Heuchera cultivar. It has chartreuse leaves and produces long stalks of pink blossoms that are so thick they look almost like astilbe. The blooms last from late spring well into summer. The color of the 'Kira Green Tea' foliage does not decline and degrade like those of most Heucheras, but tends to stay an attractive lime green the entire growing season. 'Kira Green Tea' does well in morning sun in medium to moist soil.

[ Silvermound Artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana) 'Silver Mound' is a beautiful groundcover plant with silvery green, soft, feathery foliage. It does well in medium to dry soil in full sun, with some afternoon shade in hot, humid summer climates. It doesn't flower, but it does spread slowly. It's a gorgeous accent plant, providing excellent color and textural contrast for the garden bed.

[ Floss Flower (Ageratum houstonianum) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Floss Flower (Ageratum houstonianum) is an attractive annual with fluffy blue flowers that bloom from late spring to frost. A native to Central America and Mexico, it has become invasive in some areas. Does well in full sun with some afternoon shade in hot summer climates and likes organically rich soil. Deadheading is not necessary.

[ Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Japanese Sunrise') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) 'Japanese Sunrise' is a beautiful cultivar with multiseason interest. 'Japanese Sunrise' has a small, barely noticeable but attractive fringe-like red flower in the spring time, and delicate tapered leaves that turn gold in the fall. The branches and stems are coral and provide winter interest. A sport of 'Sango kaku,' it does best in part shade, as the leaves will scorch with too much direct sunlight.

[ Spider Flower (Tarenaya hassleriana) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Spider Flower (Tarenaya hassleriana) grew in my garden two years ago as a volunteer. The profuse blooms were very attractive, and the two volunteer plants grew to over 5 feet high. Unfortunately, the taller and wider around they got, the more difficult it became to remove their many, constantly multiplying seed pods. Each flower head would sprout a dozen or so seed pods, and each pod contained about a zillion seeds. Removing the pods was complicated by the fact that Cleome (at least the Cleome that volunteered in my garden) can be quite thorny. The wider the two plants got, the harder it was to reach into the foliage to get all the seed pods without getting stuck in the arms and chest by thorns. At the end of the season, I donned gloves and took my loppers, chopped both the plants down at their trunk-like bases, and dragged them to the trash on plastic. Last year I found a couple more growing as volunteers, and I removed them while they were still babies, fearing the thorns. This year, however, I let one of the volunteers grow and it has pleasantly surprised me by being considerably less thorny. In its less thorny state, I have been enjoying it.

[ Pocketbook Plant (Calceolaria herbeohybrida) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Pocketbook Plant (Calceolaria herbeohybrida) is an interesting annual with unique, puffy blossoms. My 12-year-old daughter fell in love with it early one spring at a nursery, so it came home with us. It bloomed through the spring and well into summer in a shady spot protected from direct sun. The Pocketbook Plant is native to Central and South America.

[ Garden Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus 'Jewel Mix') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Dwarf Nasturtium (Tropaeolum minus) 'Jewel Mix' is an attractive annual herb easily grown from seed, blooming in a variety of bright colors all summer long. Tropaeolum minus is a larval host plant for the Cabbage White butterfly. It is also a useful companion plant that helps to repel wooly aphids, squash bugs, striped pumpkin beetle, whitefly, cabbage loopers, and carrot flies. It does best in full sun.

[ Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis) is a beautiful native plant that offers many benefits to the butterfly and bee gardener. It is a larval host plant for the Wild Indigo Duskywing, Columbine Duskywing, Persius Duskywing, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Silvery Blue, Frosted Elfin, Gray Hairstreak, Painted Lady, American Lady, Orange Sulphur, and Clouded Sulphur Butterflies. It has special value to native bees, especially mining, small carpenter, and mason bees, as well as bumblebees. It supports conservation biological control by attracting numerous beneficial insects, including ladybugs, soldier beetles, cuckoo bees, paper wasps, and thread-waisted wasps.

Lupine has declined considerably, and its loss is one of the major reasons that the Karner Blue Butterfly is now endangered. Unfortunately, Lupinus perennis is extremely difficult to grow even as an annual in my hot and humid zone 7a Maryland climate. Several of us in the Maryland/Virginia area split a couple of flats of Lupinus perennis, and none of us were able to keep it alive in our gardens. The Missouri Botanical Gardens has this to say of the commercially popular lupine hybrids: "Plants grow well in the cool summers of the West coast, Pacific Northwest, northern U.S., southern Canada and New England. Plants dislike the heat and humidity in USDA Zones 7-9 in the deep South."

[ Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Feuerhexe') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) 'Firewitch' is a delightful dianthus cultivar. The foliage is a grass-like silvery green, and the magenta blossoms bloom profusely from late spring to late summer. Unfortunately, I included too much rich organic material in the soil, and I over-mulched, and it ended up with root rot midway through its second season. I really liked this Dianthus cultivar, though, and may get it again someday.

[ Slow Bolt Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum 'Santo') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Slow Bolt Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 'Santo' is an attractive, lacy-leaved, long-stemmed aromatic herb that produces small white flowers in late spring and early summer. The flowers give way to coriander seeds. The plant dies back after dropping its seeds, around midsummer. Cilantro is a useful companion plant for the garden, attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic mini-wasps, and hoverflies. Cilantro also helps to repel aphids.

[ Hootenanny (Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

I thought Houttuynia (Houttuynia cordata) 'Chameleon' was so pretty in the nursery with its multicolored leaves. Fortunately, the nursery employee warned me that it was very aggressive and suggested I plant it in a container. I did so, thankfully (I'm in zone 7a). Then I noticed the roots pushing forcefully through the bottom of the container, and lo and behold: Flower stalks appeared with a zillion seeds each. I began removing the flower stalks as soon as I saw them, but they kept coming. Finally, I decided it wasn't worth the risk and removed the plant. After reading the many horror stories about this plant, I am still grateful to the nursery employee who gently warned me about it.

[ Blanket Flower (Gaillardia Gallo® Red) | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) 'Gallo® Red' is a beautiful, rich red cultivar of Gaillardia. A short-lived perennial, it bloomed profusely in my zone 7a garden from late spring to frost, but unfortunately did not return the following season. Gaillardia x grandiflora is the result of a cross between the perennial G. aristata and the annual G. pulchella. Gaillardia attracts butterflies and has special value to native bees.

[ Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia hirta) 'Denver Daisy' is an extremely attractive Rudbeckia cultivar with a generous mahogany brown center and bright yellow rays. I learned a valuable lesson this season in what is meant by a 'self-seeding short-lived perennial or biennial' when what appeared to be my 'Denver Daisy' cultivar reseeded instead as 'Prairie Sun'! It turns out that 'Prairie Sun' is one of 'Denver Daisy's' parents. If it had reseeded as 'Denver Daisy,' I might never have known that it wasn't the exact same plant re-emerging.

Rudbeckia hirta is a larval host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot and Gorgone Checkerspot Butterflies. It is a very good source of nectar for butterflies and is a Monarch Way Station plant. Rudbeckia hirta attracts a variety of native bees, including longhorned, leafcutter, cuckoo, bumble, sweat, green sweat, and small carpenter species. It also attracts a variety of beneficial insects to the garden, including bee wolves, soldier beetles, bee flies, and syrphid flies.

[ Common Basil (Ocimum africanum 'Pesto Perpetuo') | Posted on August 27, 2014 ]

Common Basil (Ocimum x citriodorum) 'Pesto Perpetuo' is an exceptionally pretty basil cultivar, with green and white variegated leaves. 'Pesto Perpetuo' can be used as basil seasoning in cooking, as an attractive garnish, or in potpourris. This cultivar does not bloom and does not set seed. It reaches 2 feet in height when grown in full sun.

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