Category Archives: Zone 9a

22 Aug

Fast Growing Ornamental Groundcover: Duchesnea Indica

Duchesnea Indica is a quick growing, ornamental plant that spreads quickly to serve as a good groundcover. Popularly known as Indian Strawberry or Mock Strawberry, Duchesnea Indica bears ornamental foliage and fruit – both resemble the foliage and fruit of real strawberry plants, however the fruit of Mock Strawberry is quite tasteless.

Duchesnea Indica grows natively in south Asia and parts of eastern Asia as a low growing perennial. The plant has been acclimatized in many parts of the worlds where it is grown as ornamental houseplant. Suitable as groundcover, for container gardening and window gardens, these low growing plants do not require special care. In fact, they can withstand neglect.

Duchesnea Indica, Mock Strawberry, Indian Strawberry

Duchesnea Indica, Image by Shihmei Barger

How to Grow Duchesnea Indica

Mock Strawberry can be grown easily from divisions or seeds as evergreen groundcover. It requires full to partial sun and tolerates drought and frost – a good choice for xeriscaping. Duchesnea Indica self-seeds in favorable conditions and becoming quite invasive.

19 Aug

Evergreen, Flowering Shrub for Tropical Gardens: Tecoma

Tecoma is a small genus of sun loving shrubs and small trees from Central and South America. Grown as popular houseplants, Tecoma produces clusters of trumpet shaped yellow and orange flowers. Evergreen in warm climates and deciduous in colder climate, Tecoma is easy to grow and attract many pollinating bees, butterflies and birds when in full bloom – adding charm to the garden.

Tecoma Capensis, Flowering Shrub

Tecoma Capensis, Image from wikipedia

How to Grow Tecoma

Most species of Tecoma can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. The best media to grow these prolific bloomers is a well-drained soil watered moderately. Provide them a sunny spot to grow and prune back after flowering season which is usually in summer.

Popular Species of Tecoma

Tecoma Alata: Evergreen shrub that tends to form a small tree. Bears showy yellow flowers in summer.

Tecoma Grandiflora: A vigorous climber and produces orange or scarlet flowers during all months of the year.

Tecoma Radicans: A perfect flowering shrub for covering walls or old trees because of its climbing habit. Bears scarlet, tubular flowers.

Tecoma Jasminoides: Evergreen climber with shiny, dark green foliage and wide open trumpet flowers of white or pink colors.

17 Aug

Lovely Flowering Plant for Rock Gardens: Gaura Lindheimeri

Gaura commonly known as Beeblossom is a genus of annuals and perennials from North America where it grows natively as summer bloomer. These hardy and drought tolerant plants produce long and delicate spikes of conspicuous flowers. The most popular species of the genus is Gaura Lindheimeri which is grown commercially as popular garden plant. Suitable for borders or as background filler in landscape, Gaura Lindheimeri grows into dense clusters and bears ornamental flowers from midsummer till early fall. Flowers are white with a touch of pink and appear in frequent sprays.

Gaura Lindheimeri is a good choice for xeriscaping or rock gardens because of its capacity to withstand drought.

Gaura Lindheimeri, Beeblossom

Gaura Lindheimeri, Image by Søren Holt

How to Grow Gaura Lindheimeri

Gaura Lindheimeri performs good at both sunny or partial shady garden locations. Being a hardy plant, it requires moderate watering but protection from strong winds. Propagation is easy from divisions.

15 Aug

Easy to Grow Foliage Plant: Kochia Scoparia (Summer Cypress)

Kochia Scoparia or Summer Cypress is a hardy and drought-tolerant foliage plant grown as ornamental as well as forage plant. It is a quick growing plant that tends to form rounded or pyramid body of dense leaves and branches. Young plants of Kochia are bright green and color but turn red in colder climate as they mature. Thin and finely cut leaves of Kochia add to its ornamental value. It is useful as accent plant in landscapes and grows in almost any soil ((rich, sandy, alkaline, poor etc.) except very acidic conditions. For this reason, Kochia is sometimes grown at mass level to control soil erosion, and for reclamation or re-vegetation of land.

Kochia Scoparia contains higher levels of protein and oxalate than most grasses and fodder plants, thus it also serves as a good forage crop for livestock. When grown as ornamental plant, Kochia is a good choice as evergreen foliage plant for landscapes.

Kochia Scoparia, Summer Cypress Plant

Kochia Scoparia, Image by Shin Kusano

How to Grow Kochia

Kochia is fairly easy to grow and does not have any special requirements. Propagated from seeds, Kochia requires bright sunlight and moderate water.

12 Aug

Lovely Flowering Plants for Garden Landscapes: Crocosmia

Crocosmia is a small genus of exotic summer bloomers that produce sprays of star-shaped red flowers. The Iris-like flowers are quite showy and make an excellent show in fresh floral arrangements. Crocosmia have both evergreen and deciduous species that tend to form large clumps, and bear long and thin leaves. Orange-red flowers are borne on long stalks that last several days and attract bees, butterflies and humming birds.

Crocosmia is an excellent choice for landscapes and rock gardens where they can be grown to fill empty spaces with their foliage and flowers. The delicate and bright flowers of Crocosmia can be easily distinguished from other plants because of their orange-red flowers that appear on long, delicate racemes.

Crocosmia Flowers

Crocosmia Flowers, Image by Heidi (flickr)

How to Grow Crocosmia

Crocosmia is quite easy to propagate from small corms. These beautiful flowering plants prefer partial sunlight (away from scorching summer sun), moderate watering and a well-drained soil, rich soil. Popular species of Crocosmia include: Crocosmia Masonorum (Golden Swan) and Crocosmia Aurea (Falling Stars)