Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Killer lives here! PLANTS need to beware!

I am a Killer and a FAKE.  Yes I know  hard to believe, right?  Who in their right mind, blogs about gardening that does not really garden?  the answer is ME.  Now don't get me all wrong, I have a few things planted in my yard, like Plumbago and Butterfly Bush, Fire Bush, Ruella, Porter Weed (this one I thought I killed a long time ago BUT I found some being sneeky and coming  back to life after I totally neglected it, so I have another wack at killing it.)  I try to explain this to any unsuspecting plants that I buy or I am given "Hey.....  I will plant you in the ground.......  water you at the time you are planted BUT after that YOU are soooooo on your own.  Do they try to escape.... NO, they just look all happy to go home with someone not knowing what awaits them. 

The plants I have planted have survived droughts, massive rains, hurricanes and ME, I guess I would recommend them for other people like me that want flowers but just have NO time or no steminia to be out in 100 + degrees to work in the flower beds.

PLANTS in my yard

FIREBUSH:    Firebush is native to central and southern Florida.  It does best in full sun but it also does well in partial shade, but it becomes leggy in shade.   Firebush does not have a dormant period; it grows continuously, and also flowers almost continuously.  In South Florida it is often planted in wildlife gardens with other native shrubs such as American beautyberry, coral bean and wild coffee. Firebush is salt tolerant and will grow in any kind of soil as long as it is well drained.

PLUMBADO:  Plumbago is an evergreen shrub with whip-like semiwoody stems that form a loose, rounded mound 3-10 ft  high with a similar spread. Plumbago can be pruned to grow like a vine and scramble over supports, or pruned into a more compact mounded shrub, or left to sprawl with its long, gracefully arching branches.  The sky blue flowers are 1 in long tubes expanding into 5 petals spreading about 1 in across. The flowers are borne in rounded terminal clusters 6 in across and look quite a bit like phlox flowers. Plumbago blooms all year long except for the coldest winter months. A white flowered variety (P. auriculata var. alba) is available. The cultivar, 'Royal Cape' has intense cobalt blue flowers.   Plumbago does best in light, sandy soils with good drainage.

BUDDLEIA:  With a name like butterfly bush, you might expect a plant to be attractive to butterflies. In fact, it's more than attractive; it's a magnet for all the butterflies who pass through your garden seeking nectar. Many butterfly gardeners plan their garden around Buddleia (pronounced BUD-lee-ah), a genus that includes over 100 species and cultivars. Also called summer lilac, the medium- to large-sized shrubs can anchor a perennial bed or form a hedge.

You'll be happier with Buddleia if you accept its growth habit, which is not neat and tidy. Its narrow branches support lilac-like clusters of blossoms a foot or two in length, with side branches and blossoms. After a rainfall, the flower-laden branches of some species can droop all over your flower bed. You'll want to allow at least six feet between bushes to keep some semblance of neatness.

But wait till you see the bush covered with fritillaries and tortoiseshells! Even a large swallowtail can land on the cluster, to sip from the many individual blooms.   Butterflies and bees will flock to the honey-scented blossoms, whose dilute nectar is sweetest in midday sun. Near a path or patio, the shrub provides delightful fragrance for you, too.

My all time favorite is Black Knight which is a dark purple and the lilac color one called Twilight.  the White Profusion did very well but the blooms were not as big BUT the Yellow Sungold one just up and died before I could even get my neglect going.  What is up with THAT.  I should at least have time to try and kill it, don't ya think?

RUELLA:  These are fast growing plants that bloom in a profusion of purple flowers when the weather starts to warm. Very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds! Plants reach 3’ high and 2’ wide.  These are easily rooted from brown (woody) stem cuttings.  Sun to part shade. The quantity of blossoms is related to the amount of light the plant receives. The more direct sunlight the more flowers with fewer flowers appearing
in overcast conditions or when grown in shadier conditions. Each flower only lasts one day, but there are always more waiting to open each morning. 


  1. Can you make some cuttings for me the next time we see each other?

  2. How nice to see our South African Plumbago flourishing in your garden. And mine, thriving on neglect ;>)

  3. CAROL: Which do you want? I will read up and see how to root cuttings.

    BUDDLEIA..... no go I have tried many MANY times to start and they do not take.

    FIREBUSH..... Mine gets HUGE. I have trimed it into a small tree about 7 ft tall. I have chopped it back almost to the ground and it grows back right away.

    PLUMBAGO..... Mine gets tall and I have to trim it back or it tends to flop. It makes a great focal or hedge. Mine blooms most of the year. The colors ranges from pale blue to a bright blue depending on the time of year. I am telling you I do not do anything to this baby and it just keeps growing.

    RUELLA....... This get tall also about 2 ft to 2 1/2 ft. It will get leggy so trim it back. I have it planted right in with the Plumbago and the Purple and Blue looks awesome together.

    PORTER WEED..... I also have this plants which I bought from the Butterfly Garden in Boca many years ago. I thought I killed all of it BUT I just noticed that some has come back to life so I get another chance to kill it. It is also called RAT'S TAIL and it is Purple. I also had the Salmon color but I did not see any of that one. PORTER WEED get pretty tall but you can just keep trimming it back. The flowers bloom on the tail at the end of each branch.

    I will read up on how to start the cutting, so let me know which or all you want.

  4. ELEPHANT'S EYE I totally neglect mine. Planted it and then have not done anything to it but trim it back in the 8 years it have been growing. It must self sow because it keeps getting fuller.