Gaura

03/11/2009

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If anyone out there has "dirt" instead of "soil," then Guara is for you.  Let me introduce you to this little wonder: Guara lindheimeri is a perennial that will grow in every state, hot or cold.  Typically two to four feet tall and wide and never needs dividing.  It can take drought or wet condition provided it is planted in well draining soil; here in Oklahoma, we add a lot of composted pine bark mulch to acheive that.  You can expect blooms all season, spring to fall.  Deadheading is not necessary but will encourage faster rebloom and discourage self seeding.  All varieties have floweres in the pinke to red family but they will provide different effects.


Siskiyou Pink, (my favorite) has dark buds that bloom much lighter giving a two tone effect.




Whirling Butterflies, Pinkish white flowers that are the largest of all varieties. 


     -PHOTO: Peoria Gardens






Corrie's Gold, Gold tinged leaves





Dauphin, 5-7 feet tall and pink flowers that fade to white


While many more varieties exist, we are at the mercy of the market.  Not being the most popular plant, most nurseries only carry one or two varieties.  If you do find one, you will be happy as long as you plant is in site with poor soil.  Rich soil and fertilization will decrease bloom and inspire legginess.  They are, however, perfect for container culture!

 
 

Sedum is, by far, one of the most varied genus of plants.  Over 400 species grace this line of plants and within that there are numerous more varieties.  I will focus on a few in the hopes that this will spark you to ask questions and do your own research on these marvelous plants.     Basically, sedum is a succulent, most are trailing but some are upright, colors ranges from gold to blue to red and all are very hardy.  Several are cold hardy others are tropical and make good house plants.

PHOTO: Tri-Color Sedum, from: www.plantsafari.com


I will start with my favorite, Angelina Sedum, one of the Spruce Leaved Sedum, S. reflexum.  A ground cover, it has a goregus golden color and after frost it devlops a burgundy tinge that keeps things interesting during the winter.  It is VERY drought tolerant, a broken stem will sit for weeks with no change.  However if taken care of, it will grow quickly.  Give it space and be amazed.  If leaves start dropping, the plant is receiving too much water.


Another popular species in the "Two-Row Sedum," S. Spurium.  The most common varietes being Dragon's Blood and John Creech.  Another groundcover, but these stay much lower.  Perfect for rock gardens.  Best if planted and left alone.


There are also bushy varieties of Sedum, most belonging to S. Spectabile.  These Showy Sedums are tall, 1.5 feet or more, and have large, long lasting flower head that appear in late summer and fall.  Not usually evergreen.  Full sun and average water will keep these happy for years.  Here in Oklahoma, we really only need to water in August and ever then, not much.


A long time favorite as a house plant in the Burro Tail, S. morganianum.  Best in bright light or part shade if outside, however, it is not cold hardy.  Allow to dry completely, then soak with water or half strength liquid fertilizer.