Flowers at Last

lantanaI finally got the pots out front planted. Being a bit of a rebel I refuse to put Petunias out there. As pretty as they can be, they are water hogs and by the end of the season they tend to look a bit ratty and tired. So, I went a bit different route.

The Lantana I brought back from Texas was sulking a bit here in the colder Ohio Spring weather we were having. For those not familiar with this plant.. it is a power house all summer long. Living in Texas a gardener needs to think about water. I like lots of flowers but I hate watering. So I like drought tolerant plants and Lantana is one of the best. Hard to find here in Ohio it is well worth looking for. Bright little flower clusters adorn the plant all summer until killed by frost. Down South this plant is perennial.. but up here it will be an annual. A unique benefit is the plant roots release something into the soil that keeps seeds from germinating. Nice if you don’t like weeds. Most Lantanas also have a cascading habit and are a refreshing replacement for the petunias.

To add some height with the Lantana I added a really dark Coleus. Almost black in color it wll look nice against the reddish brick of my building and the bright yellow oranges of the Lantana. Also easy to take care of and a bit forgiving with watering. This combination I put in the two larger pots at the corners of my shop.

caladiumwhitechristmasBy the front door I put some white Caladiums. I added some English Ivy that has a yellow edge and some orange Impatiens for color. Being on the West side I get morning sun from the East. The brick absorbs a lot of sun and creates a nice warm micro-climate.. it also tends to really dry out the pots. So, in addition to my regular dose of Osmocote fertilizer, I added some water crystals. These crystals absorb water and then release it back into the soil as it dries out.. giving you additional time between waterings. Since we have to carry buckets of water from the back of the shop every other day.. I’ll take all the help I can get with watering.

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Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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