Monday, May 31, 2010

Hot Tropicals For The Summer

Hot Tropicals For The Summer

As the temperature slowly rises to the sizzling heat of summer I would like to recommend tropical plants that know how to beat the heat of summer and Bougainvilleawill bloom all summer long until the first frost of fall. Tropicals are the plants to purchase no matter how intensely hot the summers are in your area. These plants really know how to beat the heat of summer and can planted in either a container or your favorite flowerbed.

With tropicals you can reinvent your patio for summer fun and barbeques. To reinvent your patio or outdoor living space for the summer activities, you’re thinking where do I begin? To start, take an inventory of your patio or outdoor living space you would like to reinvent. Do you have any empty pots or containers that you would like to use or would you like to start with a fresh new look this summer for your patio or outdoor living space? Let me mention that I would recommend saving any empty pots or containers to be recycled and used with your current vision. After taking an inventory White Wing  Caladiumof containers or places to revitalize near your patio I would like to suggest the placement of containers and plants, which can be used.

When working with containers it is suggested to stay with the same shape container such as round, square, oval, etc. Personally, that is very boring to use the same shape container. My patio had all shapes and colors of containers and the design technique got rave Firebushreviews from my neighbors. With this in mind, I would suggest using any shape that you like and try to have a color scheme in mind, such as warm color or cool colors, or even neutral colors.

The placement of the containers should be taken into mind when setting up your patio for the summer season. Place the containers away from high traffic areas, but in an area where all can admire your prized plant. Grouping together the same shape containers, and having different container sizes of the same shape makes your patio more interesting, and gives an illusion of varying heights of Firecracker Plantplants.

These Hot Tropical Plants will beat the heat of summer. The plant list will include an array of plants that will be the heat of summer, but will also attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and deter mosquitoes from your outdoor living space for summer fun entertaining. I would Homestead Purple Verbenarecommend purchasing citronella candles to deter mosquitoes. Light the candles 30 minutes in advance before your outdoor fun begins. The plant heights and spacing mentioned in the article are for plants in the landscape, and container grown plants will grow considerably shorter than the same plant, which is planted in the landscape.

Bougainvillea: Bougainvillea spectabilis - Type: Vine. Height: Variable, depends on variety. Spacing: 5 – 7 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Can be grown in hanging baskets. Lantana

Fancy Leaved Caladium: Caladium X hortulanum ‘White Wing’ – Type: Tuberous annual. Height: 2 feet. Spacing: Tubers 6 – 12 inches apart, 1 – 1.5 inches deep with pointed side up. Caladium plants 15 – 24 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to shade. The Lance-Leaf cultivars will grow in full sun.

Firebush: Hamelia patens - Type: Shrub. Height: To 15’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly and Hummingbird attractant. There is a dwarf variety, which has become extremely popular.

Firecracker Plant: Russelia equisetiformis - Type: Perennial. Height: 36” – 48”. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly and Hummingbird attractant. Mandevilla Vine

Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 9. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, and heat tolerant. Click Here To Purchase.

Lemon GrassHomestead Purple Verbena: Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple' - Type: Perennial ground cover. Height: 6 – 10”. Spacing: 12 – 24” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat and drought tolerant.

Hybrid Ixora: Ixora 'Nora Grant' – Type: Shrub. Height: 3 – 4 feet. Spacing: 3 – 5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun.

Lantana: Lantana camara 'Miss Huff' - Type: Perennial. Height: 4 – 5’. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat, and drought tolerant. Mexican Marigold Mint

Lemon Grass: Cymbopogon citrates - Type: Perennial. Height: 2-3 feet. Spacing: 12” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Nectar plant for butterflies, Mosquito repellent plant, leaves are used in cooking, in potpourris, and sachets.

Mandevilla Vine: Mandevilla splendens – Type: Vine. Height: Variable, depends on the height of trellis. Spacing: 3 – 5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Drought tolerant and great to use in hanging baskets.

Mexican Marigold Mint: Tagetes lucida - Type: Perennial. Height: 24-30”. Spacing: 12-18” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly nectar and larval food plant, Mosquito repellent plant, fresh flowers are used in salads; leaves are used as a substitute for French tarragon.

PentasMoss Rose: Portulaca grandiflora – Type: Ground cover. Height: 5 – 6 inches. Spacing: 12 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Salt and drought tolerant. Great to use in hanging baskets.

Pentas: Pentas lanceolata - Type: Perennial. Height: To 3’, depends on variety. Spacing: 24 – 36” apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat and drought tolerant.

Periwinkle: Catharanthus roseus (Vinca rosea) – Type: Perennial in zones 10 and 11. Height: 10 – 12 inches. Spacing: 10 – 12 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Trailing LantanaAdditional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Great to use in hanging baskets.

Prostrate RosemaryPride-of-Barbados: Caesalpinia pulcherrima – Type: Shrub. Height: 12 – 15 feet. Spacing: 5 – 7 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Pride-of-Barbados: Caesalpinia pulcherrima var. flava - Type: Shrub. Height: 12 – 15 feet. Spacing: 5 – 7 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Heat, drought, and salt tolerant. Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Prostrate Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus' - Type: Perennial shrub or groundcover. Height: 12-18”. Spacing: 2 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in lamb and fish dishes, butterfly nectar plant, Mosquito repellent plant, and drought tolerant plant. Wax Begonia

Turk's CapPurslane: Portulaca umbraticola – Type: Ground cover. Height: 6 – 8 inches. Spacing: 8 – 12 inches apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: Can be planted in hanging baskets, a filler plant for containers, or a seasonal ground cover.

Rosemary: Rosmarinus officinalis - Type: Perennial shrub. Height: 4 feet. Spacing: 3-5 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: The leaves are used in lamb and fish dishes, drought tolerant plant, Mosquito repellent plant, and butterfly nectar plant.

Trailing Lantana: Lantana montevidensis - Type: Perennial, annual outside USDA zone 8. Height: 18 – 24”. Spacing: 3 – 4’ apart can spread to 5’. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, heat and drought tolerant.

Turk's Cap: Malvaviscus arboreus - Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 9. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, and heat tolerant. Allamanda

Wax Begonia: Begonia X semperflorens-cultorum - Type: Annual. Height: 6 – 12”. Spacing: 8 – 12” apart. Light Requirements: Partial shade to shade, the bronze-leaf varieties will tolerate more sun. Scarletta Begonia will take full sun even in the sizzling heat of Texas.

Yellow Allamanda: Allamanda cathartica 'Hendersonii' – Type: Shrub or vine. Height: Variable. Spacing: 2 – 3 feet apart. Light Requirements: Full sun. Additional Uses: None.

Yellow Elder: Tecoma stans (Stenolobium stans) - Type: Shrub, annual outside USDA zone 7. Height: To 12 – 15’, pruning can control height. Spacing: 3 – 5’ apart. Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. Additional Uses: Butterfly attractant, Hummingbird attractant, drought, and heat tolerant. There is an Apricot variety of this plant that will do exceptionally well in a container or planted in your flowerbeds.

Tecoma stansAll photographs and digital images are ©Cheryl Ann Meola. All Rights Reserved. All photographs and digital images displayed in this newsletter are for viewing purposes only and cannot be duplicated or copied. Scroll over the picture to view the plant name.

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