The Persian Shield solution

rusty_blackhaw(6a)July 14, 2012

I grew this plant (Strobilanthes dyerianus) in a tropical/subtropical-themed bed several years ago, and had so-so performance.

This year I did an impulse buy and instead of placing the plants in partial shade (as is the usual advice from deep South gardening gurus) I planted them in full sun, and the results have been great despite our drought and recent 100F+ heat wave:

Moral of the story - this ornamental can take a lot more sun than advertised.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That depends on where you are, latitude and altitude. I've grown PS for many years in OH and AL. In OH, I was used to putting them in a lot of sun but when I moved here, I had to stick with partial sun at the most for the leaves to stay purple. The sun is a lot stronger here and PS will burn all summer, no matter how moist the roots may be. The new leaves can't adjust like some sunburned plants can do.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:38AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

It was a given when I lived in the Houston area that Persian shield was susceptible to sunburn and needed filtered shade for best performance, which is why I gave it partial shade here on the first go-round.

This experience highlights the need for region-specific advice when growing tropicals/subtropicals.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Totally agreed! The color on them is truly perfect. I hope others up north will benefit from your excellent suggestion.

I can hardly forgive myself for not saying before how much I like your planting. It's really very pretty, especially love the huge patch of PS! Don't recall seeing it used that way before, smashing!!!

May I ask, what is the tallest red-flowered plant at the back, left? The dark-leaf Cannas, nice - really love those.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 4:58PM
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kayjones(Mo6b)

Here in NW Florida, this plant is grown in full sun, usually as a border around Palm trees - very beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I'd like to see a picture of that.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:50AM
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tropicbreezent

My Persian Shield grows in shade.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:40PM
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irisnquilt(Zn 5)

Does this plant produce seeds? I'm in zone 5 and would like to obtain this beautiful plant. Your picture is awesome and I'm sure it doesn't do the plant justice!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

They do make a little flower sometimes in winter or early spring when inside but I've never seen any seeds. But that wouldn't usually happen on an indoor flower regardless of whether or not the seeds are common on outside plants in frost-free places (where insects and/or bees would have access to pollinate them.) They propagate as easily as Coleus but the roots are slower to form. An excellent plant, very fast-growing in the summer.

I saved one potted plant from last year:

These are some cuttings saved from plants that were in the ground last year:

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:55PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

The cannas are "Australia".

The red-flowered plant to the left of the cannas is Celosia "Indiana Giant". The giant cockscombs are mostly in the early stages of formation.

I've tried doing cuttings of Persian shield to hold indoors under lights over the winter, but they didn't do all that well, certainly less vigorous than coleus under similar conditions. Maybe I'll give it another shot this winter.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 3:38PM
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grullablue(5)

I LOVE persian shield! I have grown it the past two years....although in planters, not the ground. I'm sure they would spread like wildfire if I planted them in the ground! They are one of my favorite plants.....and they do well for me in full sun!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I didn't know Celosia came in such a big version. Cool!

Eric, if you have windowsills, try cuttings in water in the windowsill. Potted plants brought indoors will drop most or even all of their leaves but should stay alive if not over/under watered. They don't mind going dormant (and all of my ground plants survived last winter though they died back to the ground) so I wouldn't bother with lights, just put near any window but north.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:57AM
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