Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Christmas in July (or June)

This is an amaranthus tricolor called Joseph's Coat and sometimes referred to as a summer poinsettia. I grew it in a pot last year at the nursery and it got a lot of attention. This year I was able to get it in again in 4" pots a few weeks ago and they all sold really fast, but now it is no longer available. Luckily I had potted one up again in a pot with some strawflowers and red nemesia and they all compliment each other very nicely. I was able to get a few pictures of it today showing off its beautiful foliage. This is an awesome plant! It can get 4-5 feet tall and loves the sun. It is a summer annual here in zone 9, but can tolerate heat, drought and poor soil.

Another interesting plant I found that can tolerate heat and drought is talinum 'limon' also known as Jewels of Opar. It is about 2 feet tall with lots of whispy little hot pink flowers coming from little tiny jewel like balls. The foliage is lime green and it is quite stunning. It compliments anything that you use with it. This will be another great summer plant to use in a flower bed or large pot.

We have been getting in a lot of beautiful fushcias lately so I got a little information from the grower on how to keep them looking good through the heat waves that we keep having. Water them early in the morning so that the leaves will have enough moisture in them to make it through the heat of the day. If you get the soil wet then it heats up it will cook the roots and this is easy to do when you have things in pots. He says that if the plant is stressed in the heat of the day you should water the ground around or near the potted plant to create some humidity instead of adding more water to the pot. They also need to be fertilized often, but you should use a water soluable fertilizer and cut the measurement by half and use often. All of this information pertains more to plants in pots than in the ground. One of my favorite fushcia varieties this year is one called 'Blackie' and the flowers petals on the bottom half of the flower are very dark, almost black. It is beautiful and seems to be very hardy. We just came out of a heat wave and all the 'Blackies' have come out looking fresh as a daisy!

Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers or at least admire them!

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