Plant for team color

November 17, 2012

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By November, football is in mid-season and teams are either faring well or struggling and in serious need of fan loyalty.

While it may be too late to display your team colors in this year’s garden, you can plan your show of support for the years ahead.

BLUE

Ageratum (floss flower) provides the oft sought-after blue in gardens. Dense clusters of fuzzy flowers cover this low growing annual spring to fall. Agapanthus (lily of the Nile) is grown as a tender bulbous plant in North Texas. It has deep green, strap-shaped foliage and large clusters of trumpet-shaped blue flowers on towering stalks. Blue plumbago, a tender perennial, sports dark green spreading foliage and clusters of small bright blue blooms. Other plants with blue flowers include Texas bluebell, lobelia, scabiosa (pincushion flower), Texas bluebonnet and iris, spirea and salvia cultivars.

PURPLE

If you are a Pirate, Lumberjack or Horned Frog fan, you will be delighted with the purple selections for the garden. Vitex is a big, sprawling shrub that covers itself in long purple flower spikes beginning in late spring. Perennial butterfly bush has several lavender-to-purple selections. It has long arching stems that end in attractive flower spikes. Liatris (gayfeather), a Texas native, yields tall, stiff stems that are topped with fluffy, purple flowers.

Old-fashioned French hollyhocks sprout from seed in spring, quickly producing small purple flowers. A shrubby perennial, Mexican oregano sports aromatic leaves and lovely tubular lavender-pink blooms all summer. Fall performer Mexican bush sage has gray-green foliage and long, purple flower spikes. Additional purple performers include ice plant, purple fountaingrass, liriope, grape hyacinth, Russian sage, aster, ruellia and iris, verbena, phlox, petunia, monarda, pansy and coneflower cultivars.

RED

Roses are always top-of-mind when using the color red in gardens. Another popular choice is red geraniums. These annuals produce large, showy flower clusters. Perennial autumn sage is a reliable warm weather choice. It sports red flower spikes until frost. Annual Mexican firebush thrives in the heat. Its tubular flowers add a splash of orange-red to gardens. Select Texas star hibiscus for the intensity of its bright red blooms. This perennial grows from the ground to 5-6 ft. tall in one season.

Texas native perennial Turk’s cap grows to a 3-5 ft. shrub each season. It boasts unusual heart-shaped leaves and red flowers that remain unfurled. This tough plant is drought tolerant and blooms until the first freeze. Other plants with showy red flowers or foliage include Japanese grass, day lily, Texas betony, lantana, gomphrena and amaryllis. Also consider plants with red fruit or red fall foliage.

YELLOW OR GOLD

Flower choices in shades of yellow to gold are abundant from spring through fall. Early season favorites include perennials such as daffodils, Texas Gold columbine, calylophus, iris and coreopsis. Calylophus is a Texas native that grows with little water. This tough plant has soft yellow spring flowers that flutter above its compact foliage. Yellow evening primrose is a low grower that performs best in spring and fall and thrives in poor soils. It sports clear yellow blooms. Four-nerve daisy is a small plant with bright yellow daisy-like flowers that persist for weeks.

Day lilies in every shade of yellow dominate gardens in early summer. By midsummer, striking canna cultivars bloom in shades of yellow or gold. From summer through fall, New Gold lantana covers its spreading, mounding foliage in golden yellow blooms. Other yellow or gold stars include black-eyed Susan, chrysanthemum, Mexican mint marigold, yarrow, ice plant, purslane, portulaca and cosmos.

WHITE

Early spring offers the white blooms of Shasta and oxeye daisy. Iris, rose and daffodil selections also sport mostly white blooms. Rose of Sharon, a large shrub, has a white flowering cultivar named “Alba.” Snowflake is an early flowering bulb that produces small drooping, tulip-like white blooms.

ORANGE

Common orange day lilies are some of the best-known orange flowered plants. Other orange flowers cosmos, canna and butterfly weed, which is a showy wildflower with bright orange blooms in mid-to-late summer. Tall growing tiger lily has orange flowers with black spots. Exotic red-hot poker has an orange variety. Common orange lantana, which has naturalized over most of Texas, blooms summer to frost.

SILVER

Select artemisia, lamb’s ears, Russian sage, eleagnus or cenezio.

MAROON

Choose Aggie bluebonnets or day lily, hollyhock or cosmos cultivars.

BLACK

Try “Blackie” sweet potato vine to obtain this hard-to-find garden color.

GREEN

Add ornamental grasses, ferns, succulents or other foliage plants that boast interesting texture while using primarily green landscape plants.

For answers to horticulture questions, call 817-579-3280.

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Category: Horticulture Archived