Viewing comments posted by krancmm

9 found:

[ Burgundy Heirloom Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum 'Burgundy') | Posted on May 21, 2012 ]

A beautiful ornamental cotton developed by Texas A&M years ago. The common name in Texas is Aggie Cotton (Texas A&M's school colors are maroon and white) and the deep purple leaves with the pristine white open bolls is stunning.

This is a regular production cotton cultivar. As such, it is prone to all the insects and diseases that affect cotton - and there are plenty. However, a few plants for ornamental purposes won't attract the pests that field-grown cotton does.

Requires a long, hot growing season unless started very early. Cotton is typically treated as an annual, but it will overwinter in mild years (little to no frost).

Be a good neighbor: DO NOT plant this cotton if you live in close proximity to cotton growers..

Monica, TX Gulf Coast, Zone 9B

[ Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) | Posted on May 21, 2012 ]

In the warmest zones, 9b-11, plant can reach 6'x4' and remains evergreen. In Dec 2011-Jan 2012 there were 75-100 monarch cats at different instars feasting on a huge plant in my yard - Texas Gulf Coast.

[ Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Little Orange Tex') | Posted on May 18, 2012 ]

Often in the top 10 popularity poll of AHS Region 6 (Texas and New Mexico) since its introduction in 1985, 'Little Orange Tex' is a wonderful evergreen landscape daylily. Although the flowers are small at 3-1/2", high bud count, multple branching, sun/wind/rain proof flowers, and rust resistance contribute to its appeal. Rebloom scapes are typically single branched and usually appear 2 months after the main flower period given adequate fertilzation and moisture.

[ Eggplant (Solanum melongena 'Fairy Tale') | Posted on May 18, 2012 ]

This charming compact plant is suitable for containers. The fruit is striped purple and white and tends to form in clusters. Fruit is small, 2"-4" long, with few seeds. Could be sold as a gourmet "baby" vegetable. Disease and insect resistant (so far) in Zone 9b in a container planting. The seed company recommends low nitrogen (for all eggplants) for maximum fruiting.

[ Firecracker Plant (Crossandra infundibuliformis 'Orange Marmalade') | Posted on May 17, 2012 ]

Bred by Sakata Ornamentals, 'Orange Marmalade' is a more compact plant than the species. Tolerates high heat and humidity very well. Is root hardy in Zone 9b at least. In my garden, the plant hasn't set seed in 5 years, so don't know if this is a sterile cultivar or not.

[ Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens 'Dancing Flames') | Posted on May 16, 2012 ]

'Van Houttei' is itself a cultivar of Salvia splendens even though it looks quite different than the stubby cultivars. It may be closer to the native Brazilian species. Neither ITIS nor The Plant List even have it as a synonym.

In 9B, during a ghastly freeze (for us) in 2011, "Dancing Flame' killed to the ground, but remained root hardy. It wasn't as fast to return as other tropical type plants. Then last summer it suffered through the worst drought recorded in my area. However, with this last very mild winter and adequate rain, it's already 4' x 4'. Last year I gave one away that had outgrown it's space - 5'H x 6+'W.

Hishtil, the Israeli grower who developed the plant, suggests that it would be hardy in US Zones 8-10. However, if it killed to the ground with 4 nights between 25-27 degrees (day temps in 40s-50s), I question whether it's going to be even root hardy in Zone 8. Even in 9B I took cuttings last fall just in case. BTW, cuttings root very easily.

Also reckon that in the warmest, most humid climates, it may get up to about 6'. Concur about sun and drainage requirements - a.m. or filtered in the hottest climate and decent drainage, but it's definitely not drought tolerant. It wants that typical "moist, but well drained."


[ Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans Gold Star) | Posted on May 15, 2012 ]

Tecoma stans Gold Star was selected by noted Texas horticulturist, Greg Grant, from a garden in San Antonio, TX. It's intermediate between the west Texas Tecoma stans angustata and the tropical Tecoma stans stans. Unlike either of its parents or other Tecoma stans subspecies, Gold Star blooms when very young and never stops until cold weather hits. Sun-poof golden yellow flower clusters are so plentiful that they often weigh down branchlets. The sweet fragrance, while not perfuming a whole neighborhood, is strong enough to be noticeable when walking past.

It makes a fine container annual in the north given sun and heat, and becomes a 15' tall multi-stemmed tree where temperatures don't drop much below freezing. A few nights of 25° knocked a 12+' tree right to the roots, but by the following May it was 4' tall and pumping out blooms.

Requirements are few: sun, heat, well-drained soil in the neutral to alkaline range. It's pest resistant too. Best and longest flowering occurs if the prolific seed pods are removed (bees are wild about this plant). Some gardeners report self-seeding; others have never seen a seedling. As this is a hybrid, the seeds would not come true.

All in all, an almost perfect plant.

[ Argentine Rain Lily (Habranthus robustus) | Posted on May 15, 2012 ]

One of the largest-flowered and robust rainlilies, the aptly named Habranthus robustus hails from Argentina and Brazil. Unlike rainlilies in the Zephyranthes genus, its flowers face at an angle to the stem giving them the look of a multi-flowered miniature amaryllis. Each trumpet flower is 3"-4" long and as wide at the flared petal tips. It's common for the Argentine Rainlily to repeat bloom throughout the warm season. In warm climates, the nicely arching flat leaves remain evergreen. It's a fast multiplier by both fresh seeds and bulb off-sets. Although it can survive some drought, it performs best with adequate, even substantial, rain throughout its growing season and revels in the steamy heat of a Deep South summer.

A limiting factor to cold hardiness is that the bulbs lie very close to the soil surface, often having parts of the bulbs above the soil lne. Some gardeners have reported success north of zone 8a by heavily mulching the bulbs for winter. Typically a pass-along plant in areas where it grows, it's also available through good on-line vendors.

[ Texas wild olive (Cordia boissieri) | Posted on May 12, 2012 ]

Typically a 2‘-3‘ tall scrub shrub in the the most arid portions of the lower Rio Grande Valley and adjacent Mexico, but a little TLC makes a rapidly growing handsome small tree (or large shrub) with clusters of 2"-3" long trumpet-shaped flowers that flush repeatedly with adequate moisture and warmth. There‘s no waiting for flowers either -- flowering begins when the plant is only 2‘ tall.

The evergreen leaves are gray-ish green and rough with a lighter underside. Temps around 30° cause partial leaf loss; complete defoliation accurs at about 27° with twig and branch die-back in the mid-20°s. Plants quickly recover from occasional freezes, but this is a plant suited only for warm-winter areas.

Texas Wild Olive really, really wants to be a multi-stemmed shrub. In higher rainfall areas than its native ecosystem extensive pruning is required to keep it to a single trunk with a strong, shapely canopy. However the very lovely shaggy bark is a bonus to pruning up the plant.

Texas Wild Olive requires well-drained soil and neutral to alkaline pH. It is drought-tolerant but only after it's well-established.

In addition to its landscape appeal, the flowers bring bees, butterfies and hummers and the fruit attracts mammals and birds. For gardeners who don't want to devote time to pruning, Anacahuita makes excellent cattle and deer browse.

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