Monday, June 14, 2010

Texas Superstars in a Georgia Garden

The first on the Superstar list is Texas Bluebonnet. I didn't even try to grow them. They want alkaline soil. A dear lady I met soon after I moved to South Georgia was trying them. I think the Paintbrush survived, the bluebonnets did not.

Texas Superstars are proven to be super-performing plants under Texas growing conditions. During the field trials, plants receive minimal soil preparation, minimal water and no pesticides. Visit for additional details. 'Texas Superstars' is a registered trademark of Texas Agrilife research, TAMU.

Here is a list of Superstars that have proved themselves in my hot, humid climate in the acidic sandy loam of my Georgia garden.

  • Larkspur -- I'm collecting seeds now of the earliest to bloom. A few tiny spikes are still blooming here.
  • Laura Bush Petunias -- these reseed. Sometimes I pick off a few pods of the dust-like seeds and start some in a new place.

  • Vinca series Cora and Nirvana -- my periwinkles are reseeders, here so long I don't remember what the original cultivars were, unless they were 'Cooler' -- this pic is from last year. New seedlings are coming on fast now but I haven't seen a bloom.

  • New Gold Lantana -- I think mine might be the one from 1996 when the Olympics were in Atlanta.
  • Lantana montevidensis -- I bought a lavender one some time after I planted the Yellow Lantana. Cuttings have spread it all across the Front Garden. It thrives in  a little cooler weather than the Yellow does. Last year I added a white one, very strong grower.

  • Mexican Bush Sage, Salvia leucantha -- I first bought this in a pot labeled simply 'Salvia' and was fortunate that it was the solid purple kind. It lends a purple haze to the fall garden. Picture is from last fall. The plants are full and lush now but blossoms come later when the days are shorter.
  • Mystic Spires Salvia -- I'm growing Indigo Spires this summer for the first time, a slightly different cultivar. I have 'Victoria' Salvia farinacea from seed that have thrived here. I rooted two dozen cuttings of S. farinacea in early spring in hopes of a Lurie-type garden. I added Indigo Spires to this area.

  • Belinda's Dream Rose -- the prettiest pale pink rose that just blooms and blooms.
  • Knockout Rose -- I have both Knockout and my favorite, Double Knockout.
  • Grandma's Yellow Rose aka Nacogdoches aka the Chicken Rose -- I posted about yellow roses ahead of this post. When Nacogdoches became a superstar, they changed the name.

  • Vitex/Texas Lilac -- Vitex in my Garden, a recent post 
  • Duranta --first grown in my garden last summer. The original plant returned after dying to the ground this winter. I planted four new cuttings.

  • Caesalpinia  pulcherrima Pride of Barbados and Esperanza Gold Star Tecoma stans as they resprouted in 2009, and again this year. We are still a ways from this year's blossoms but the plants are large and healthy.Of the saved seed I planted in early spring, only one Caeslapinia sprouted, which will bring my count to three.
See the whole range of Texas Superstars here:

Janie has been my enabler in trialing Texas Superstars in Georgia. Janie is not only the Compulsive gardener, she heartily encourages the rest of us to Obsess about our gardens.

The superstars I've killed include Jatropha and Hamelia.
Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean at in the hot, humid depths of Southwest Georgia USA where carefully selected Texas Superstars make a wonderful show.


  1. Something new blooms in my garden every 2 weeks. I have few perennials. Too much labor & too much down-time. Flowering Shrubs, flowering groundcovers, flowering trees, flowering vines instead. Many chosen with fragrance.

    Self-seeding perennials, biennials & annuals are allowed.

    Will add the Laura Bush petunia to my roster. Thank you for the introduction !

    Off topic, about your previous post. My income is derived from landscape design, contracting, national speaking, & writing books. It is not an option (time limitations) to promote my garden design blog with consistency, by vocation or avocation, to Blotanical or other macro garden sites.

    Results? Exceeding expectations. Expectation was to use the blog as a resource for my clients. And that is happening.

    In addition I'm gaining new clients and speaking engagements with my blog. NEVER expected that to happen.

    You've been in my blogroll for a long time. You are wonderfully focused on plants. Fabulous, indeed.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. It is fascinating to see what folks are growing, in different parts of the US (and the world). Blogs are such a great insight into other peoples' lives and interests.

    Thanks for that!

  3. Thanks for introducing me to a whole new set of plants, especially that Dream Rose. I have quite a few Knockouts, including a yellow one, a pink, and several of the original reds. Several of the older ones (five years old, I think) are showing their age. I transplanted several of them after they exceeded my expectations for their growth, and they're growing in their new locations like they have a new lease on life. I wish it were as easy for me, the perennial transplant! Thanks also for the fave on Blotanical. I haven't done much with my plot there, and it really shows. I'm enjoying my initial visit here, and I'll be back for more.

  4. Thanks for the fave. Gosh, you do know your plant names. I know quite a few, but forget them too. It's quite a challenge to grow things in our soil, which is almost solid clay in places. You need a matock to dig it. The roses are doing much better this year. Last year was very wet and some of the roses were literally standing in water. Aquatic roses. They didn't like it one bit. I keep trying.... Good to meet you across the miles.

  5. Many of these varieties do well in the Florida garden, too, except for Larkspur (winter only). I've never tried Vitex nor have ever heard of it so I don't have any idea how it would do. You've got lots of beautiful blooms in your June garden.

  6. Sigh. Your garden is beautiful. You're not looking for a roommate, are you, by chance?


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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