Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

October, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Butterfly Pea
Blue is a color that is rather hard to find in our southern summer and fall landscapes. Butterfly pea, also known as Blue pea vine (Clitoria ternatea), is an annual vine in the Lower South. I like the fact that, unlike some vines which have aspirations to take over the world, butterfly pea is a mannerly climber well-suited to a post or railing and reaching only about 5-10 feet tall, depending on growing conditions. The deep blue color is gorgeous, and because it is dark is best viewed up close. The vines bear a covering of single, pea-like blooms about 2 inches in size from summer through fall. There is also a double form available, as well as a form with white flowers.

Clever Gardening Technique

Start Your Own Pineapple Plant
You can start a pineapple plant from the top you cut off of a store-bought fruit. Remove all the fleshy material from around the base and a few of the small lower leaves. Plant it in a well-drained potting mix up to the base of the lowest leaves remaining on the plant. Place in an area with morning sun, and after roots form, move to more sun. Water weekly by adding water to the top of the plant and allowing it to slowly trickle down to the base. Take care not to keep the soil too wet. Fertilize monthly with a dilute fertilizer at the label rate.


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