Thursday, October 17, 2019

Yellow Brazilian Plume Flower

Most people know the pink Justicia carnea or the Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana.  There are so many different kinds of Justicias.   They all grow well for me in my garden.  I've seen J. carnea(the pink one) in many gardens.   I first saw this yellow version, Justicia aurea at The Huntington Botanical Gardens and have never seen it available at a nursery. Then I was lucky to see it in a friend of a friends garden and I got 3 cuttings from him about 4 years ago.   All 3 rooted. Today one of them is blooming gloriously! 

Justicia aurea is native to Brazil(San Marcos Growers says Mexico). It likes partial shade and is said to grow to 8' tall! Mine have only grown about 4' tall on the east side of the house. So, they do get morning sun. It does well in frost free areas. We do get some frost in SoCal. But my 3 plants have not been affected. As said above, it is easily propagated from cuttings. So why is it not more widely grown? 

Do you grow Justicias? I also grow the common pink J. carnea and several other completely different Justicias.  In my research for this post, I just found out about a beautiful one called Justicia americana that is new to me.  Now I'm on the hunt for it!  

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Gourds vs. Sweet Peas

I planted Birdhouse gourd seeds this year back in May. They grew up and over the arch and had about 4 pieces of fruit growing through the heat of the summer. I read that you're supposed to pick the gourds when the leaves start to turn brown and wither.  It is now October and time to plant Sweet Pea seeds. I want to rip out the gourds. But NOW they're making more flowers AND more baby gourds! They must be liking the cooler autumn weather.    Ugh! What to do?

Some of the leaves are turning brown. 

New babies! Ugh! 
Now is not a good time! 
And more?  No! 

What would you do?  Should I wait until November to rip them out and plant Sweet Peas?  No! I ordered a bunch of Sweet Pea seeds in August in anticipation of Sept planting.  But then we were getting ready for a trip and I didn't want to burden my friend Joe with watering them every day while we were gone.    These Sweet Pea seeds are burning a hole in my pocket!!!!  

Happy Autumn!