Trying Something New

“Trying Something New”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

We all like to try something new; maybe something that pushes the limits.  Well, I have decided to try out two new things this year to see how well they will do in the garden or even if they will survive.

The first one is Supertunia mini silver.  Here, in the Gulf South, we plant petunias in the fall and pull them up in April or May depending on the heat.  Even the wave petunias can’t last here with our heat.  I have been seeing Proven Winners supertunias, and since the millionbells have survived, I thought I would try and see if these could make it, too.  I love the color of the mini silver.  It is white with a tinge of a very, very pale pink.

 

supertunia-mini-silver-redu

 

I only bought one plant and put it in a container which is placed in a wire bicycle.  I didn’t want to invest in too many of these plants in case they do not last.  I would be happy if they could at least last through July.  That way if they are planted in February, that would mean six months of enjoyment and worth the time and money to buy more.  So far, they are still looking good while the other petunias are slowly starting to succumb to our heat.  They say next week we will be flirting with 90 degrees, so it won’t be long before I will see if they will withstand our heat or not.

 

mini-silver-redu

 

Since this is supposed to grow in full sun or partial shade according to the plant label, I think I will try growing it where it will get morning sun and protection from afternoon sun.  That may help it do better this far south.

With the next plant I am trying out for the first time, it is not the heat, but the cold that I will have to watch out for.  I first saw oyster plant (Tradescantia spathacea) on a television gardening show and then later at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens.  It is such a lovely, multicolored plant and will grow in some shade.

 

oyster-plant-redu

 

Every thing I have read has said this is definitely a tropical plant, but that it can take a light freeze is well protected.  This plant is supposed to be hardy only to zone 9. I figured if wax begonias can survive the winter here in zone 8b, than this plant surely could.  Because of its cold tenderness, I will probably try and place it in a sheltered location to up the chances of its surviving our occasional freezes.  Maybe global warming will help them make it through the winter.

 

oyster-plant-2-redu

 

So, it looks like this year I will be trying out these two plants to see if they will preform well in the garden, thereby earning a permanent place in my little plant world.  I sure hope they make it and do well.

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6 Comments

  1. April 25, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Well, the Supertunia name sounds supercool! :D And so does the flower. Hope it thrives your climate, as they’re too good.

  2. Janet said,

    April 25, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Sure like the two plants. Think the second one is commonly called Moses in the Cradle. It is sure colorful. I still find it hard to imagine that petunias don’t last through the summer heat. They do well here in southern Virginia..while we are only 7b the temps are over 90 quite a bit.

  3. Jan said,

    April 25, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Chandramouli, thanks for the encouragement.

    Janet, it is not so much our hot days that do in plants but our hot nights. In the summer, our night time temperatures are not lower than 80 degrees, often staying in the high 80’s and even low 90’s in the heat of summer. Combine this with our high humidity and the poor plants never get a rest. Your cooler nights is what allows your area to have petunias last through the summer because at night their respiration can slow down.
    Moses in the Cradle is also the common name of the second plant.

  4. Anna said,

    April 25, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Must be difficult for both humans and plants with such warm nights :)

  5. Brenda Kula said,

    April 25, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I would bet this plant also looks quite lovely in the moonlight. Love white and silverish plants in the moonlight.
    Brenda

  6. Jan said,

    April 26, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Anna, it is hard to wake up early in the morning, and it is already 87 degrees and 100 per cent humidity. That’s why in the summer I bless the person who invented the air conditioner.

    Brenda, I’ll have to check out this plant next time there is a full moon. I bet you are right it would be very lovely then.


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