Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Orange for Halloween

I love orange and am constantly perplexed why so many people don't enjoy this wonderful color! In our harsh sunny climate orange is bright and showy. Here is an orange Kalanchoe. They also come in red, pink and white. Kalanchoe is pronounced CAL-an-KO-E and is a succulent plant that blooms for us in cool weather. It grows about 12" tall and takes part shade to sun. The more fun, the redder the foliage. Yay for orange! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yellow Shrimp

I know that I say this a lot. But I love this plant! Pachystachys lutea or Yellow Shrimp plant is tropical and native to Peru. In SoCal it grows to about 3 feet. I am on my 3rd try as it's frost tender. It blooms most of the year here. Those yellow parts are bracts with the white part being the actual flower, like Pointsettias and Bougainvilleas. I haven't tried propagation from cuttings yet but read that it's fairly east to root. Grow in part shade and protect from frost. Yellow is a rare color for shade, not seen in Azaleas, Camellias nor Hydrangeas. Yay for yellow!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Super Easy Daisy

Euryops daisy is one of the easiest plants to grow. I don't really know a common name for them. Everyone just calls them Euryops, pronounced  YER-E-ops.  The latin name is Euryops pectinatus, from the Greek "eurys" = large and "ops" = eye referring to the showy flowers.  Pectinatus = from the Latin meaning pectinate (i.e. with narrow divisions like a comb referring to the divided leaves).  Thank you internet!  So, I guess it means big eye with comb like leaves :-)  And of course they hail from South Africa where our climate is similar and from where all the cool plants originate.

I have seen them on an east side with only morning sun and in the south and west where they get full afternoon sun.  They bloom wherever but really prefer full sun! There is this green leaved version plus a gray leaved version.  I prefer the green over the gray(and I usually love leaves that are other than green)  because often they revert to green anyway.  The plant grows pretty fast; about 3 feet in one year and up to about 5 feet.  They bloom when you wouldn't think a daisy shouldn't; Autumn through Spring here in SoCal. 

What is great about Euryops is that if it gets too big, just whack it back!  It takes to cutting down to bare stems.  Try that on a Marguerite and you'll be sorry, it'll be dead(I know from experience).   Sometimes the young plants can get rangy.  Just  cut each stem and 2 stems will come out making the plant bushier.

Enjoy the sunny daisy flowers of Euryops!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sun Fuchsia

They call this a Sun Fuchsia but it's name is Fuchsia Gartenmeister. I love that coral orange color. It takes sun to part shade. It has small long tubular flowers. Like other Fuchsias it is prone to that Fuchsia mite that contorts the new growth and aphids too. But if you can keep them away this is a fabulous plant that is showy and only grows to about 3-4 ft.