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What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Posted by red_bird 7 (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 21, 12 at 12:47

Have you ever purchased a plant that you didn't have experience with, and liked more than you even thought you would? I'll throw out a couple...

The first is vitex (chase tree). I'd seen it featured in a couple of reference books for the southeast. I am pruning it as a tree. It has beautiful purple blooms (a true lilac color) from May to September. I think the bark and leaves are quite attractive as well. It also seems to tolerate drought quite well.

My second is Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) 'Valerie Finnis' that I planted in a small rock garden by my front door. I love the flowers, but what I love even more is the foliage. It is a lovely dark green that is strapping and almost fountain like -- quite graceful. The foliage just appeared a few weeks ago.(I thought the bulbs had gotten confused and sent up the foliage at the wrong time, but I checked the nursery catalog where I got them and sure enough, they send up foliage in the fall.)

Please share your experiences with "better than expected" plants.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Lots actually...Japanese Lily Grass (Liriope muscari), rosemary, coreopsis, Black-eyed Susan's (Rudbeckias), Japanese tassel fern, Eucalyptus globulus, hardy ice plants, dwarf pomegranate.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

red bird, Ditto on the vitex. Mine was a rooted cutting given two+ years ago, now about 10' h x 7'wide. I love this! Agree the bark is wonderful to look at also. I'm pruning but only side growth, leaving quite a few branches growing from the base.

Rosie


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

My new loves are acanthus, talinum and coleus...not new to me, just really appreciated them this year when most things cooked and they stayed fresh and lush; and an annual called Emelia "Scarlet Tassles"...adorable! (new grandaughter is named Emelia, so HAD to plant it) It is bright orange-red, but dainty like baby's breath. Always glad to see Arum Italicum making an appearance this time of year...and Chinese Ginger!


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

I also love acanthus,coreopsis and Grape Hyacinth.
Flowers really looks great.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Thanks for all of the responses. It is so interesting to read. Do others have thoughts to share/plants to mention?


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

bumping

Do hope others will continue to contribute to this. Often, what we see in nurseries in 4" pots give only a hint of what's to come.

The link below will be a great read for all of you.

Here is a link that might be useful: UGA Trial Gardens report


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Thanks for the link to the trial gardens at UGA. University trials are almost always really interesting and helpful to us home gardeners. I am absolutely going to locate some of those varieties for next year.

One of my all time favorite performers is Angelonia. This is a nonstop bloomer that scoffs at the summer heat, doesn't need a lot of watering once established, no dead heading, and loves the blazing hot sun. We've been growing it in Alabama red clay!

Something I discovered this summer is that it makes a wonderful cut flower! Not only does it last for a long time in a vase, but the foliage has a delicious scent. I can't quite describe it.

Anyway, my flower gardens and containers will never be without some Angelonia. Pronounced: an jel O nia.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

rhizo, second you on your admiration for Angelonia. Watching mine now, hoping to find some seeds. The seeds I've found online frightfully expensive, $1/seed. If I could count on 100% germination rate, might consider. Linking to an article from Texas about them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Angelonias said to be deer resistant!


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Confederate roses. After being in the south for a few years, I really started to want some and have started a couple little plants by borrowing from my Mom's giants. The first one I cut has made a 3rd flower. I thought it was too small for this year, but it's doing what it can. I've decided to make a new bed in the front yard with a few more of these next summer.

Amaryllis that I moved. Don't know if the house was built over it or a critter moved it at some point, but after watching this stick out from under the edge of the house and bloom for a few years, I realized I wanted to give it a better spot, for being a healthy plant and for being seen. It had 2 pups, so may eventually form a patch if I did the right thing by it.

Wax Begonias never used to do much for me but I've developed a deep respect for these xeric little perennials that are so easy to multiply. To me, they always look like they are full of good cheer about life, disappearing for a short time while they're unable to fake a smile for us.

Datura/Brugmansia, even though they're usually peach colored. I'm more of a pink/red/purple person. These are taking my breath away at every turn this week. The ones I've bought just won't grow like the ones I see, so I buy more. Trying to be patient but how long does it take? There's 3 now, one in the ground from last year and 2 still in pots. If it's the last thing I do, I will get a huge, ruffly, dangling bloom! Going to put the new ones right in the middle of the yard in the new bed mentioned above. Probably should be getting them in soon, even if I don't get the bed started yet. Worth working around.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Rosie, where do you buy your seed? Park and Swallowtail both sell them for around $4.00 for a pkt. of ten seeds.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Hey rhizo, I haven't bought, have gotten nursery grown plants the last two years. Didn't do a long search online, so glad to know I can buy them for a MUCH better price. Meanwhile, waiting for mine to have seeds develop. Cost: zero. Even better.

Rosie


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Purple Porterweed, Glorybower, and Cape Honeysuckle. Absolute favorites!


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Cat's whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus) - I bought one, on impulse, when a local nursery went out of business this summer, and it was beautiful until frost. I doubt the original plant will come back this spring, but the cuttings I took are doing well.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Snow Princess Alyssum, bloomed and bloomed from spring to frost. Didn't get any water for two weeks in the middle of summer and looked dead. Whacked it back for the third time, watered and it started blooming again. That one was in a pot, the one in the ground didn't do as well.

Lo and Behold Butterfly bush. Was covered with blooms all summer and did nothing to it.

Trumpet Honeysuckle. It has had at least a handful of blooms in between the big flushes continuously all year long for 3 years now. And the hummingbirds LOVE it.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

I purchased a plant on a whim once called Lemon Sugar Marguerite. It was so sweet and pretty, well-behaved, bloomed it's little head off with the prettiest little pale yellow flowers. It did not come back after winter and I have never been able to find it since. I still miss you, little flower.


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

Lol Sqeakmommy. Hope you find it!


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

I am late to this thread but a few plants I love even more than I thought are bronze fennel in my butterfly garden which usually always have at least one swallowtail caterpillar on it during the summer and a pink mum I was given by a friend (not sure of the name) that is a profusion of blooms in my buterfly garden in late summer and into fall.

bronzefennel

swallowtailcat

Swaths of Pink

Soft Pink Petals


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

ala8south would love to see pictures of your lo & behold butterly bush! I am dying for one, but I live in a small town and our nurseries don't carry much "new" stuff. Takes a few years for them to get it! lol I'll send postage for cuttings!! (unrooted) Troubledog I love catwhiskers! Mine got huge and was beautiful!


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RE: What plant do you like even more that you expected to?

I'm in zone 9.

Serena Angelonia was amazing last year and survived the winter! it's very robust and laughs at Louisiana heat and humidity.
http://www.lsuagcenter.com/news_archive/2011/april/get_it_growing/SuperPlantSerenaangeloniaisdroughttolerant.htm

I LOVE my duranta bush. i think it's prettier than my vitex and attracts just as many hummingbirds and butterflies
http://www.horticulture.lsu.edu/plantmaterials/lists/list_wk06.htm

crossandra was an orange sherbert beauty and is coming back now that the temps warm
http://www.mgonlinestore.com/Crossandra/

bandana lantana (not you usual lantana)
http://www.lsuagcenter.com/news_archive/2013/april/get_it_growing/Bandana-lantanas-are-Louisiana-Super-Plants-.htm


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