Best Perennials In Southern Living Pant Collection

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Co-owner of Wilson Bros. Nursery in Georgia, Brent Wilson, selects his favorite plants from the Southern Living Plant Collection
by Brett · All Zones · Shrubs · 0 Comments · February 04, 2012 · 53,155 views

Perennial Plant Pick's

Azure Skies™ Heliotrope - For years I've been familiar with the tender, annual varieties of heliotrope, which bloom their fragrant dark blue or purple flowers, live for only a season, prefer shade, and are typically grown in container gardens. So, when first planting Azure Skies Heliotrope two years ago in my landscape, I wasn't expecting it to be the hardy perennial it was being touted to be. It fooled me for sure. It's performance in the garden has done nothing less than blown me away. This is one tough perennial. It's low growing and spreading and produces lavender, verbena-like flowers all season long. Most gardeners, who are unfamiliar with this American native plant, would mistake it for verbena. It was listed as incredibly heat, drought, and deer tolerant, and has lived up to it in my garden. This is one plant I never have to water. Definitely suitable for Xeriscaping. It can be grown in container gardens as a filler and spiller, or in the landscape as a low border or groundcover. Just make sure to plant it in very well-drained soil, as it hates wet feet. When you see this plant at your local nursery and garden center, don't expect to be wowed. It just doesn't look like much when growing in small pots. But, take my word, when you transplant it to your garden soil, where the roots have unlimited room to grow, you'll be as happily surprised as I was with this plant. see photos and more details

Ragin’ Cajun™ Ruellia - This is another perennial from the Southern Plant Collection in which I was pleasantly surprised. Though it's of the genus, Ruellia, it looks nothing like others I was familiar with; the one's we often call "Mexican Petunias." Instead of growing more upright and erect like like the Ruellia tweedianas, Rajin' Cajun (Ruellia elegans) has a low growing, mounding form. The plant in my garden produces many very cute vivid red flowers, rising above the foliage on thin stems, from mid-spring all the way to frost. It's demonstrated itself to be a a tough little plant which has survived three years in my garden. It's very easy to grow and holds up well through heat and humidity here in mid-Georgia. I'm growing it both in the garden and in containers in well drained but moist soils. The red flowers attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. see photos and more details


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