Friday, June 20, 2014

Planting: Annuals & Agaves

I typically plant several pots in my backyard with green-leafed, red-flowering Begonias.  But for some reason, this year, I had a very hard time finding that Begonia flavor.  So I eventually gave in and got a variety of different annuals potted.

White-flowering Begonias

 Polka-dot Plant

Coleus
(Solenostemon scutellarioides variety)

 Coleus 'Carefree Mix'

Coleus 'Dijon'
Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Dijon'
'
 

 And I finally got around to planting a couple of special Agaves.

 


Unfortunately, neither of these Agave varieties are completely cold-hardy here in Austin, so I'll likely need to protect or greenhouse them during the winter.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Succulent Pot Planting

I finally got around to planting some succulents that have been needing a home for several months.

The largest pot contains Gasteria 'Sakura Fuji' in the back left, Gasteria sp. (can anyone identify?) in the back right, Kraal Aloe (Aloe claviflora) in the center, Orthophytum sp. in the front left and Dyckia marnier-lapostollei x Brittle Star in the front right.

Resin Spurge (Euphorbia resinifera) got a small pot of its own.

As did Euphorbia ferox which should eventually spread out over the entire pot.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Planting Plants

It's been Agave planting time.  At the top of my backyard path, I placed a White Striped Century Plant (Agave americana var. medio-picta f. alba) into a pot to become the vocal point and add a splash of brightness there.

In the middle level of my Three Tiers Bed, I added three Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor' to repeat the colors found in the recently planted Yucca 'Color Guard' (Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard').  This combination replaces the Agaves and Dyckias I lost to last winter's late hard freeze.

On the lowest level of Three Tiers, I replaced another Agave freeze victim with Agave 'Cream Spike'.

I also added some more Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red' to the same bed as before - so that should complete the front of that bed.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Planting This & That

Over the last week, I finally got around to actually purchasing and plantings some plants.

The missus wanted some mint, so I got three varieties: Doublemint (Mentha 'Doublemint'), Kentucky Colonel (Mentha spicata 'Kentucky Colonel') and Red Stem Applemint (Mentha x gracilis ‘Madalene Hill’).

I finally found Salvia coccinea 'Summer Jewel Red' (I had been looking for it since early last year) and will likely return to get more.
Correction: On revisit to nursery, discovered that they were the more commonly available 'Lady in Red' variety (so it looks like I'll be going with that!)

I also decided to try Cobweb Spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana) in three places with different soil types and shade levels.  It'll be interesting to see to which it adapts to best.

I got the Yucca 'Color Guard' (Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard') to replace the Twin-flowered Agave that failed to survive the winter.

Some annuals finally made an appearance with Coleus 'Red Red Wine' getting a pot of it's own.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Flower Power: April 2014

 Sponsored by May Dream Gardens
Established Plants

Catlin's Giant Ajuga (Ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant')


Chocolate Chip Ajuga (Ajuga reptans 'Valfredda')

Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana)

Gulf Coast Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis)
 
Potted Plants

Formosa Red Azalea (Azalea indica 'Formosa Red')

Spider Aloe (Aloe x spinosissima)

Ox Tongue (Gasteria glomerata)

Ox Tongue (Gasteria liliputana)

Indoor Plants
Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis sp.)

Flower Wannabes

Dwarf Buford Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana')


Tardies

Rattlesnake Agave (Manfreda maculosa)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum sp.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Harsh Winter: Survivors & Losses

This past winter, I decided to let all of my in-ground plants (except my 20 year old Sagos) & most of my potted Agaves, Yuccas and Dyckias attempt survival without any assistance from me.  The winter had several cold fronts, often reaching the low 20s.  My plants had fared quite well up until the very last front (which happened to come after a strong warm-up, thus fooling many of the plants).  But that last one did the damage and weeded out the tough ones from those that were borderline.

I've been waiting to see if any resprouted or if they simply rotted. The results are in.

Variegated Thread Leaf Agave (Agave schidigera 'Shira Ito No Ohi') : Neither the in-ground or potted one survived.


The Red Billbergia (possibly Cryptbergia 'Red Burst) took severe damage, though one small sprig survives.

Aloe 'Hedgehog' (Aloe humilis 'Hedgehog'), as expected, got hammered.  No sprouts seen yet (and I'm not anticipating any).

Rattlesnake Agave (Manfreda maculosa) always dies back to the ground with any freeze and then returns.

The hanging basket of Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor' actually fared quite well.  There was some minor damage (already removed) but considering how exposed it was, I'm quite pleased.

Manfreda 'Macho Mocha' (Manfreda x Mangave 'Macho Mocha') took some definite damage (already removed) but will easily recover.

Pale-leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida) showed no ill effects at all.

Both the in-ground and potted Agave 'Blue Glow' suffered some damage (mainly to lower leaves), but both survived.

Dyckia brevifolia 'Moon Glow' got diminished, but still has some green growth.

The potted Dyckia 'Nickel Silver' suffered some minor damage, but appears to have pulled through.

Not surprised to see that the potted Red Yucca's (Hesperaloe parviflora) suffered no ill effects.

All of the potted and in-ground Soap Aloe (Aloe maculata), of which I have many, turned to mush.

I had hopes that perhaps the in-ground ones would return from sprouts, and I was pleased to discover that under all the rotting leaves, growth was returning.

Sometimes, even the center of the plant survived and was producing new growth.

Soft-leafed yucca (Yucca recurvifolia) did just fine.

The 'Cherry Coke' Dyckia produced mixed results.  The one planted in the backyard (with some tree cover) only had minor leaf damage.

But the two more-exposed, front yard specimens were severely burned, though small sprouts are visible on at least one of them.

I was surprised that the Twin-flowered Agave (Agave geminiflora) was killed by the low temperatures.

But was completely unsurprised that the Calamar Squid Agave (Agave bracteosa 'Calamar') were unscathed.