This was a fantastic week for gardening, particularly if you could get outside early. The humidity was lower and the temperatures were delightful. I got most of the pots on the deck finished—I am never truly finished
—there is always room for one more plant!
While I love tropical flowers and always have hibiscus
in my pots, I also like to try new things. This year I am trying Estrellita Little Star
– genus Brouvardia—common name Firecracker Bush. It is supposed to bloom all summer in full sun, and so far it hasn’t stopped. Hummingbirds seem to like the tubular reddish orange flowers, which fade to pink. It is supposedly hardy to zone 8, but in a pot, and dependent on winter weather, I will have to see if it returns next year. And speaking of hibiscus, I got two Hollywood hibiscus this season and the flowers are huge and so colorful! I especially love this Disco Diva
for the color and the name!
Another hummingbird favorite is Honeybells cuphea.
Cuphea is a genus of plants that has made some great strides since the old Mexican heather, which I was never a huge fan of.
While the plants took the heat, the small flowers of Mexican heather didn’t float my boat. Honeybells makes a great hanging basket or filler in a pot
and is another non-stop bloomer thriving in hot temperatures. I am also trialing two other new cupheas this summer. Cuphea Sweet Talk Deep Pink
which is doing amazing, with large hot pink blooms,
and Sweet Talk Red, which I let get a little too dry before I planted it, so I have cut it back and it is rebounding and about to begin to bloom.
Another new plant for me that I am loving so far is an ice plant – Delosperma Ocean Sunset, Orange Glow.
I usually kill ice plants, but this one is spreading rapidly and hasn’t stopped blooming. I have them all in pots, one under a mandevilla and the other I am trialing in in strawberry pot.
I have never used this pot before, so let’s see how it grows all summer.
Some other must haves for me in the garden are Dragonwing Begonia,
Sunpatiens and zinnias – I particularly like the Zahara zinnias but you can’t always find them.
While I also planted my favorite coleus – Wasabi, I am trialing another sun coleus – Coral Candy.
So far, so good. There are coleus varieties for sun and shade, and the new ones don’t require pinching to prevent flowering, so can give you a lot of color.
What are you trying new this year?