Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pods and Proliferations in Daylily Propagation

Daylilies are traditionally propagated in the garden by division of the plant fans. Planting seeds from pods that ripen on a daylily scape generally results in offspring with differences from the pod parent if fertilization resulted from pollen from another daylily cultivar.

Seed pod where dried bloom dropped off.

Dry seed pod and seeds.

Some daylilies develop new plants on the scape below where the blooms appeared. Those new plants are called proliferations. Roots will begin to form and the proliferation can be planted forming a new plant identical to the parent.

Proliferation on Salmon Sheen

Multiple prolifs on Salmon Sheen, each forms a clone of the plant.

All daylilies are not the same. Salmon Sheen is the only daylily that regularly has proliferations in my garden. This daylily was given to me as a handful of prolifs from Miss Billie's garden. I stuck them in the ground as she instructed and they grew.

I cut the scape above the forming prolif and leave it to grow as long as the scape below stays green. Even if roots fail to form, leaving a small piece of the scape to stick into the ground up to the base of the prolif usually results in rooting and growth when cut from the parent plant.

Instructions by a daylily expert on propagation by prolifs is on the web Here

Prolifs usually grow mid-scape after most of the blooms are spent.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fiesta Colors in a Hot Climate

Tecoma Stans and Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Both Texas Superstars.
Texas Superstar is a registered trademark owned by Texas AgriLife Research.

You might know it as Esperanza or Yellow Bells

You might know it as Pride of Barbados
or Mexican Bird of Paradise

 Caesalpinia and Tecoma stans return from
the roots every year when the weather warms.

Daylily that might be Stella, bought labeled as
a pink, I forget the name. Nice with Purple Heart.

Julia Child rose
Behind Julia Child are white Pentas

White Pentas

Grandma's Yellow Rose, another Texas Superstar.
You might know it as Nacogdoches.

Sunny Knockout
Roses kept deadheaded and watered  will
bloom all summer in waves of blossoms.

Crocosmia, a favorite thug.

 Zuchinni blossoms

Okra blooms


the obligatory 8 second Butterfly video:

Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies on Tithonia.
If you turn up the sound you can hear a
Bob White Quail in the middle.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Think Pentas and Magentas in the Butterfly Garden

Pentas lanceolata attract butterflies in the summer garden. They come in various shades of pink, in red and in white. The white is lovely as is the red. Butterflies seem to prefer the brightest pink. I like bold magenta shades, too.


Perennial Phlox. Salvia leucanthum, Strobilanthes and Crocosmia.
Salvia will bloom in the fall.
Crocosmia is coming into bloom with beautifully clashing orange.

An old gladiolus, name long lost.
Its companion is Crocosmia in bud.

A short video with a Butterfly and Pentas in the wind.
The noise is from the wind. We got wind, no rain.

A Gulf Fritillary also visited for a brief moment but did not hang around for photos.

Friday, June 24, 2011

In Praise of Purple, and Pipevines

Frances defended Yellow at Fairegarden and our new Blotanical member, Paul, wrote about his White Garden up in Alabama not far west of where my own Mama gardened in Georgia. I went out to look and photograph and decided to show you all some Purples, from pale lavender to brightest Magenta and on to richest Purple. When I reached the lavender Lantana montevidensis, there were Pipevine Swallowtails. I'd seen one now and then lately. The latest swarm is arriving daily now.

The noise you hear toward the end is an old truck going by. Most of the butterflies I am seeing now are Pipevine Swallowtails and Dogface Sulphurs and Skippers. They are particularly attracted to Lantana and Tithonia.

The three following pics are the flowers in the video:
Laura Bush Petunias are at the very front with
Melampodium -- more yellow! -- behind, then
Lantana montevidensis, Duranta and Tithonia.

Tithonia with Ratibida and Gulf Muhly grass down the side.

Dogface Sulphur on Lantana. They ignore the Mexican hats.

Now on to the Purples I started out to show.

Datura. I love the shiny black stems.
Oh, and more yellow!

Persian Shield and a Purple Pentas in the Upper Garden.

Purple Heart and Alternanthera.
I am very fond of chartreuse alternanthera but
it is extremely slow to grow.
Black eyed Susans lay down in the wind the other day.
It's about time to yank the Susans and let
Daturas and Periwinkles take the stage.

Alternanthera and 'Lilacina' Crape Myrtle. 
 Verbena on a stick appeared with the alternanthera.
Yellow (again) Lantana in the right background.

I mentioned Duranta. It finally has begun to bloom,
but is not enough to show just yet. I want you to
be able to see the wide open blooms.

Vitex has mostly turned to 'Monks' Pepper'
but new blooms have started since the rain.

Butterflies seek out magenta Zinnias.

Another Pipevine vine growing over some old
peach tree sprouts. Pipevine has buds.

For the record, I cut 8 pods of okra in my patch on Thursday.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Boxwood Propagation: Seeds?

I've written before about boxwood blooming. The blooms smell of grape Kool-aid. Tiny, cloverlike blossoms. They bloom in late winter or early spring.

Sometimes I don't pay attention. I noticed today that the Boxwoods looked 'funny.' Could they be dying from the drought? Did they have some kind of growth? A closer look revealed open seed pods everywhere.

Many pods had dropped their seeds. Some were not yet mature.

Looking straight on an almost mature pod, I noticed seeds inside.

Shiny black seeds of Buxus microphylla japonica

When I showed them to DH, he suggested that I plant a few to see if they would grow. I suspect that they will. Guess who prunes the boxwood here? The plants that were pruned in spring have few seed pods. Seed propagation is likely slow. Rooted cuttings take a few years before they take off and get taller than the gardener.

My late MIL rooted most of the boxwoods here. I rooted some. She advocated June as a good month for  cuttings. I've rooted layered cuttings as well, sometimes finding self-rooted limbs.

We had a discussion about pulling up 40 year old foundation planted boxwoods. My vote is to continue to leave them where they are, pruning from the back to keep them away from the house. Some of my pruning gets really creative sometimes. We have free-form, meatballs, square hedges and some topiary shapes. I love them all.

Mid March in the Upper Garden

Japanese boxwood, Buxus microphylla is hardy to USDA Zone 5. It has been grown in the United States since about 1890 and is the most adaptable of all boxwoods. Leaves are glossy, 1/2 inch wide by 1 inch long, have medium green color when grown in shade. It is an open, quick-growing shrub which can reach 8 ft tall. Plant width is often difficult to determine because of naturally occurring layering. Japanese boxwood is heat tolerant. Pruning can be done to shape plants and increase density any time of the year except six weeks before the average date of the first frost in the fall.

You can see more of my boxwoods in other seasons in this post:


Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Hot Is It? The Cat Knows

You know it is hot when the cat drinks from a birdbath while
birds play in the sprinkler over in the azalea bushes.

Daturas are opening quickly in the heat.
Purple Datura below in bud.

Hoses are in every picture.
Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus

Hot Tropicals: Pride of Barbados and Esperanza.

'Watermelon Pink' Crape Myrtle,
tall as the security light in the back yard.
Crape Myrtles are a sure sign of real summertime in the South.

When the afternoon temps reached triple digits we let the cat come inside.
(He enjoys his own electric fan outside.
He has food and fresh water available at all times.)
I heard crunching. He was eating the dog's dry food.
Drinks from the birdbath, eats dogfood. I think the heat has affected his thinking.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Which Gardener Are You?

Fearless gardeners
never let a plant grow to huge proportions before deciding that it may NOT be 'something.' They know whether they planted 'something' and do not expect a rare native to wander into their garden by sheer luck. Photograph gardens of others.

Neat gardeners
have plants lined up; if not in straight lines in swooping curves with never a missing plant that died or an off color blossom that dared show up. Paths are edged and no weeds are visible. Photograph entire beds at height of season.

Cutting edge gardener
has the latest cultivars on order before the rest of us know there is a new cultivar. Species plants have no business in their gardens. Their color schemes are exacting: nothing ever clashes. Labels photographs with botanical and cultivar names.

Specialty plant gardeners
have plants all of a single family. Their plants are in pots or beds with dozens of 'mouse graveyard' markers so that each and every plant is easily identified, never guessed. Photograph single blooms or individual plants..

Garden centers' best friend
visits nurseries frequently and are open to anything that jumps into the cart. Easily distracted by bright blossoms and glaucous leaves. Can make room for another plant or six somewhere. Photographs newest acquisitions and plants that died.

Scientific gardeners
know and use Latin names for everything they grow. Keep up with latest research and sneer at those of us who 'stick-it-in-the-ground-it-will-grow.' Photograph stamens and pistils.

Pedantic Expert blogger
begins sentences with 'you should' and 'here's how to' ending with no specific examples. Makes statements like 'Hybrid tea roses are disease-proof.' Quotes no authorities. Borrows pictures from the web.

Experienced gardeners
do what works. Break rules. Love color. Enjoy life. Photograph everything.

Any resemblance to actual persons is coincidental.