Category: Tropical Style

Companion Plants for Astilbes

Once a bridesmaid and now often a bride, astilbes (Astilbe spp.) Have become more and more prominent in shade gardens. The loyalty of George Arends along with other hybridizers have transformed these Asian natives bloomers from delicate Victorian woodland bloomers to sturdy manufacturers of rich, vibrant plumes. Enhance the color and texture that these hardy perennials bring about the summer garden using plants that share astilbe’s love of shade.

At the Astilbe Garden

With varieties suited to gardens from U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, astilbe has got its position in the summer shade bed. Provide well-draining, loamy soil rich in organic matter, similar to the forest floor. Astilbe does best with constant moisture, though it cannot tolerate water. Short periods of early morning or daylong dappled shade may intensify blossom colour. Expect three or more weeks of vibrant blooming. Arendsii Sensors (Astilbe x arendsii) blossom in May or June, though other varieties (Astilbe japonica, Astilbe chinensis) blossom mid- to late-summer, based on variety. Blossoms and leaf fade to tan after booming.

Woodland Friends

Because woodland natives, members of the rhododendron family (Rhododendron spp.) Share a tolerance for acid soil conditions with astilbe, in addition to the ability to blossom in dappled or partial shade. Astilbes develop in a variety of shapes, from 12- to 18-inch “Sprite” (Astilbe simlicifolia “Sprite”) and also 12-inch-tall “Punila” (Astilbe chinensis “Punila”) to “Superba” (Astilbe chinensis var. Taquetii “Superba”), which can grow to 4 to 5 feet tall, offering a variety of methods to mix astilbes using rhododendrons or azaleas, extending your season of color from late spring through mid-summer. The requirement to transplant astilbe every few years enhances your lodging of rhododendron or azalea growth to mature size. Many azaleas and rhododendrons grow in USDA zones 4 through 9, based on species and cultivar.

Hot Hostas

Take a new look in the traditional mixture of hostas (Hosta spp.) with astilbes. Generally based on their common shade conditions, the blend can be visually exciting for several other reasons. Hosta leaf is at its fullest in midsummer, when astilbe foliage fades and withers, making the blues, greens, golds and whites of hostas a specific advantage to a formerly vibrant bed. Hosta flowers also tend to look as astilbe stops blooming, including a new layer of floral spires into the bed. Blue hostas develop specific thickness of color in shade, whilst gold varieties may require some sun to flip leaves from chartreuse to gold. The flowers vary from dark to light lavender and white, some of them ornate and fragrant. Hostas generally grow in USDA zones 3 through 9.

Feathery Ferns

Several varieties of shade-loving fern additionally tackle the fading foliage and flower plumes left behind when astilbe finishes thriving. Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum “Rodfordianum”) needs that the constant moisture favored by astilbes and creates a profusion of dark green, glossy leaves in USDA zones 6 through 10. At two to three feet tall and 18 inches wide, holly fern functions as an excellent pre- and also post-bloom filler for astilbe. Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum “Pictum”) grows to 12 to 18 inches high and grows in USDA zones 4 through 9. Silver- or even red-tinged stems and silvery leaves create high interest whether the astilbes are thriving or not.

Ringing the Bells

A relative of astilble, coral bells (Heuchera spp.) Have benefited from whales’ attention as much as astilbe. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10, based on variety, most coral bows feature a 12-inch-high, 12- to 24-inch-wide rosette of ruffly leaves, topped with 2-foot spires of small flowers that appear in late spring and sporadically during the summer. Once available in green along with a brownish bronze, coral bell leaf can now be found in shades of purple, wine, red, orange, copper and yellow-greens. While sun can intensify foliage colours, coral bells need partial shade to avoid burning their leaves.

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Fantastic Native Plant: Angelita Daisy

The sunny flowers of angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis)will brighten almost any landscape, but if you look past the pretty flowers of this Southwestern native, you will find that it packs a few surprises. Angelita daisies flourish in the hot temperatures of summer and manage the cold of USDA climate zone 5 as easily. If you need a colorful perennial along a pathway, by a pool or in a container, then angelita daisy can fill that desire. And as if which weren’t enough, this tough little perennial flowers year-round in zones 8 and over, making it a fantastic addition to every garden.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Botanical name:Tetraneuris acaulis (previously Hymenoxys acaulis)
Common name: Angelita daisy
Origin: Native to the American Southwest
USDA zones: 5 to 9 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Low
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 foot tall and broad
Tolerances: Drought tolerant but does best with weekly watering
Seasonal attention: Yellow daisy-like flowers appear throughout the year in zones 8 and over. In zones 5 to 7, it is going to go dormant in winter months.
When to plant: Plant from container plants in spring or autumn.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Distinguishing attributes. Yellow 1-inch daisies are borne over dark green, grass-like foliage, forming a tidy and compact perennial. This tough little plant is a workhorse in the backyard. Blooms appear throughout the year in low desert areas, with most flowers emerging in spring. In higher elevations angelita daisies will stop flowering in winter, but they will restart blooming once the weather warms in spring.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

The best way to use it. Angelita daisies are extremely versatile in the landscape and look best when planted together in masses of five or three. Dress up a lonely boulder by planting three angelita daisies toward the side, or plant collections along a winding pathway.

Because yellow-flowering plants help the other colours in your landscape pop, angelita daisy looks great paired with succulents like agave and purple prickly pear (Opuntia violaceae var santa-rita,zones 8 to 11). Other choices include planting it with firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatoni,zones 5 to 9)or in front of Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica,zones 9 to 11).

Need a yellow-flowering perennial for your container garden? Angelita daisies do good in pots and are equally at home by a swimming pool.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Planting notes. Angelita daisies are very low maintenance and have a few basic requirements to help them look their best: well-drained soil, full sun and extra water. Don’t be concerned about fertilizer; they do best without it.

This Southwest native looks best when the flowers are sheared back every month or two, which raises the amount of new flowers.

Angelita daisies can manage places with full, reflected sunlight. Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, they will make themselves at home in almost any landscape and include attractiveness throughout the year with very little fuss.

More guides to yellow flowers

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Fantastic Design Plant: Paperbark Maple

Suited to small gardens but both at home in bigger landscapes, the paperbark maple is guaranteed to be a favorite feature in your garden.

Le jardinet

Botanical name: Acer griseum
Common title: Paperbark maple
USDA zones: 4 to 2 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Water frequently until recognized
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 18 feet tall and 15 feet wide
Benefits and tolerances: Tolerates both clay and sandy land; no pruning is necessary
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Preferably in spring or autumn; I’ve successfully implanted this in August with daily irrigation.

Le jardinet

Distinguishing attributes.
Striking cinnamon-colored exfoliating barkBeautiful fall color

Le jardinet

How to use it. Play off the rich bark color by surrounding this maple with foliage and flowers in sunset colors of gold, orange and burgundy.

Orange montbretia (Crocosmia) seem beautiful exploding from the foundation — even their seed heads form an exciting venture, as seen here.

Avoid obscuring the shrub with evergreen plants. Its bark is one of the highlights of the winter landscape.

Le jardinet

Think about the backdrop where the tree is seen. In this picture the warm cedar shingles are a perfect foil for the autumn foliage and bark.

Planting notes.
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Amend the soil you have removed with about 20 percent well-rotted compost.Add some bonemeal into the planting hole and mix it this boosts root growth.Add the tree into the hole and backfill cautiously tamping down gently.Water thoroughly.If you are feeling staking is necessary, make sure to allow some motion — this really helps encourage more powerful roots.Keep the tree well watered for the first two decades; after that water during prolonged dry spells.

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Great Design Plant: Pansy

There are few flowers more charming than the pansy. Yes, it is one of these blooms that you used to see in your grandma’s garden, but there is a reason for its longstanding allure. Its sunny, cheerful face, combined with low maintenance and a vast range of colours, makes it a traditional choice for cooler-weather gardening. Even though pansies will grow in almost any zone, they are a great choice for gardeners in the South that wish to supply a drenched spectacle in their autumn and winter gardens.

Sherri Fitzgerald – Ultimate Decor

Botanical name: Viola
Common title: Pansy
USDA zones: 7 to 11 throughout the winter; 6 and lower throughout the summer (find your zone); could overwinter in colder climates after well established.
Water necessity: Consistently moist soil
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: Up to 9 inches tall and wide
advantages and tolerances: Nonstop blooming and strong colour in the garden
Seasonal attention:Dependably blooms throughout two seasons
When to plant: Fall for southern climates, spring for northern climates.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Distinguishing traits. Pansies have one of three basic colour patterns — one solid, clear colour; a solid colour with black “pen” markings radiating in the centre; or solid colour with a dark centre. Colors include purple, yellow, lavender, russet, orange, white, red and even black. Some varieties, particularly the blue and yellow ones, possess a subtle scent that is quite noticeable in the early morning or at dusk.

J. Peterson Garden Design

How to utilize it. Pansies are unstoppable bloomers in front of a mixed-perennial or annual bed, as well as features in container plantings.

Use one colour or variety for the maximum impact, or choose two different colours and plant in masses or cubes. Employing a high number of different colours will water down the overall impact. Both the leaves and flowers of pansies are edible, perfect for garnishes or for making syrups, flavored salads or honey.

Pair pansies with dusty miller (Senecio cineraria), viola (Viola), English dais (Bellis perennis), sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus).

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Planting notes. Plant pansies in a sunny place — they will tolerate some light shade but may become leggy and unattractive if they’re grown in darker colour. Ensure that your soil is loose and well drained, and simmer monthly with a nitrate-based plant food to get larger and more profuse blooms. Maintain your pansies consistently moist for optimal health and best results.

Bright Plants for Flower Beds That Wow

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Southeast Gardener's September Checklist

With atmosphere, creating a feeling of excitement and a scent, September opens with the dog days of summer . The source of this excitement might be no other reason than the weather being bearable enough to spend some time outdoors once more.

Reds dominate. Yellows generate. Purples empower. Grasses sway, with flowers. Themselves steady because they feed on seeds. Box turtles mosey around the tomatoes, eating what the birds or deer knocked to the ground. Life abounds. September was made for sitting on the terrace.

Gardening with Confidence®

Strawberry wants. If you did not fertilize your berries in August, do this in September. For plants that were planted this past spring, apply 4 to 6 oz of ammonium nitrate (33 percent nitrogen) or 12 to 18 ounces of 10-10-10 for each 25 feet of a row.

For plants in their next year of expansion, increase the application rate to 6 to 8 oz of ammonium nitrate or 18 to 24 ounces of 10-10-10 for each 25 feet of row.

Spread the fertilizer uniformly at a band over the row, about 14 inches wide. Apply when the foliage is dry. Brush the fertilizer off the leaves to avoid leaf burn.

In cases like mine, where the berries are not planted in rows but rather as a backyard boundary, just estimate the square footage and apply the equivalent quantity of fertilizer. My strawberry border is 2 1/2 feet wide by 10 feet long, which is equivalent to 25 feet of rows.

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September (and August) is when the cell size of next spring’s strawberry buds is determined. The more positive the growing conditions that your berries receive the bigger the berries will be next year.

Ensure your berries have 1 inch of water each week. If nature doesn’t provide this, then plan to supplement with water from the spigot, rain or well harvester.

Gardening with Confidence®

Wait to prune shrubs. Fight the urge to prune shrubs that seem overgrown after a lengthy summer revealing. It is best to wait until late spring to prune, before the next growing season starts.

Pruning today could spark new growth that could be too tender to endure an early deep freeze. You could also be cutting off following spring’s blooms, like azaleas and camellias.

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Prune roses. Fear of trimming the next year’s bloom is not a worry with roses, but it’s still best to wait until March.

Knock Out roses can be pruned any time, however, particularly once you want to shape the shrub. All sorts of roses benefit from elimination of diseased canes and leaves in almost any season.

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Fall planting. October is a great time to plant or go a tree or shrub. To search for one that will do well in your area, visit the local garden centre this month while the choice is at its peak.

Remember to dig a planting hole no deeper than the root ball height, and excavate the hole two to three times the width of the root ball diameter.

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Lawns. The first two weeks in September are the best times to reseed cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue or even Turf-Type Fescue. Additionally our gardens will profit from a core aeration.

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Feed hummingbirds. Hummingbird feeders are not necessary if you have enough plants to nourish these people, but they are a great way to ensure you get a consistent food supply for the hummers. It’s possible to place the feeder at a place that is easy to view from your favourite seat, indoors or out.

Gardening with Confidence®

Make your own hummingbird nectar. Making sugar water nectar to fill your feeder is easy to do and takes less than a minute. Boil four parts water with one part sugar. Decrease the heat as soon as the sugar dissolves.

Allow the sugar-water mixture cool, fill out the feeder. Store any remaining nectar in the refrigerator for up to a week. When temperatures are hot, greater than 86º F, then alter the nectar water daily.

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Weeds. There never seems to be only 1 bud; they arrive in multiples and just like to hang gangs. You will find the sedges, the spurges, the grasses and the oxalis. There are too just many to mention and still hope for a happy day.

Stay ahead of your weeds. If you have a issue with poa annua, annual blue grass, like I do in my Raleigh backyard, today (early September) is the opportunity to utilize a pre-emergent like corn gluten.

Watch more ways to combat weeds

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Pests. Should you discover fall webworms in your own trees — hickory, walnut, birch, cherry and crabapple, to mention a few — pull them out and dump the caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water. This is a control measure for those planters within reach.

For those nests that are not within reach, you might need to resort to spraying. Control webworms with BTK (Bacillus thuringiensis). Apply just to the affected branches; utilizing BTK as a wide spray will hurt beneficial insects as well.

Planting guides for your Southeast backyard
Browse flowers, plants and garden design ideas

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Amazingly Low-Maintenance Picks for Outdoor Planters

Between the scorching summer sun and extended holidays, it is probably no surprise as soon as your outdoor plants begin looking like they want a little love. Rather than paying the neighbor children to keep your vegetation hydrated every time you reach the shore, rethink your landscape strategy to need less maintenance and be sun tolerant and much more in accordance with your carefree summer attitude.

The ideal plant picks can endure extended sunlight and a tiny neglect. You can save your plant guilt to get ice cream!

Debora carl landscape layout

For extra-hot outdoor conditions, extended holidays or people who just can’t appear to keep a plant alive, succulents really are a wonderful option. Most survive very well in sunlight and need at least one to two hours per day of sunlight. For larger planters or spaces that call to get a taller plant, then consider using American aloe or Parry’s Agave.

Susan Cohan

Aloe, scilla, gasteria and haworthia are a few examples of succulents that flourish in the hot, bright summer sun. If you’re looking to increase the beauty of your outdoor scape, consider planting flowering Fall Joy — that not only is pretty in its own right but also attracts butterflies.

Kate Michels Landscape Design

Succulents tend to require less water than other plants. But be wary when using terra-cotta baskets — they tend to dry out quickly. To see whether your plants need to be straightened, put your finger a centimeter or two below the ground. If it’s moist, no water is necessary.

More fuss-free ways to garden

Sandy Koepke

Bear in mind, lots of succulents thrive on neglect. Always err on the side of underwatering, not overwatering. If they look a little limp, then it is time to water.

Notice: Some succulents are frost tender and may require a cover in chilly weather.

If you’re really concerned about your outdoor plants, then a crate like that one does double duty. It looks good hanging on your walls, and you can always pull it down and take it with you. For succulents who do double duty, consider planting edible succulents. Yuccas, aloe vera, prickly pear and night-blooming cereus are yummy varieties.

If succulents aren’t something, many green shrubs result in clean, easy-to-maintain exterior planters. Boxwoods, by way of example, demand afternoon shade and need to be pruned but need watering only every seven to 10 days — more frequently if you’re using a scorcher.

Exteriorscapes llc

Ornamental grasses are another fantastic low-maintenance alternative for exterior planters. They need to be cut back only once per year in the spring and, following the first year of expansion, need very little water. They tend to flourish in regions of total sunlight.


An outdoor scape like this one, where plants are divided into separate baskets, is not difficult to maintain. When one plant begins to look a little wilty or needing replacing, it is no problem to just remove one without bothering others.

Max Crosby Construction

Topiaries are a very simple method to keep your outdoor planters looking refreshing. For a burst of electricity through celebrations or special events, a brightly colored perennial around the foundation adds pizazz.


Driftwood Succulent Garden Basket – $89

Create your succulent scheme even easier by ordering a prefilled planter.

Amazing Succulents for Your Garden

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