Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

July, 2001
Regional Report

Web Finds

Food and Nutrition Sites
Need a fast resource for information on home food preservation? Well this is it. The Food and Nutrition Publications on the Missouri Extension Service Web site is a superb one-stop-shopping location offering a wide variety of food preservation publications. Learn how to properly can tomatoes, freeze veggies, or turn those extra fruits into a jam or marmalade. There's also information on drying foods, making relishes, and the basics of pickling vegetables.

They also offer answers to many production questions such as how many frozen pints will a bushel of snap beans produce and how many pounds of fresh tomatoes do you need per pint of juice or per pint of spaghetti sauce? It's all here for you.

Favorite or New Plant

Red Bird of Paradise
When summer temperatures heat up, there are a few plants that don't seem to notice at all. The bird of paradise (Caesalpinia) loves our hot weather and can take periodic droughts too. The showiest of this species is the Red Bird of Paradise or Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). It features bright red-orange blooms, nicely cut green foliage. It make a stunning specimen plant in the landscape with its tropical flair. It's especially nice planted near a pool or outdoor patio where it can be appreciated up close.

A closely related species is Caesalpinia gilliesii produces finely cut foliage and yellow blooms adorned with long red stamens. While less showy, it's a bit hardier and attracts hummingbirds.

Bird of paradise are generally hardy to USDA zone 10. It will survive in warmer parts of USDA zone 9 by dying to the ground during a cold winter and regrowing from the roots if mulched in fall. These plants grow best in a sunny location with good drainage. A little water periodically is all they need to thrive and bring a splash of color to your summer landscape.


Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Salvia regla 'Royal'"