Lables Are Important

“Labels Are Important”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

My memory is going. Case in point. A few years back, I either rooted or had a seed for a garden plant that I placed in a small four inch pot. I placed it in a small portable green house where it slowly grew. About two years ago, after I had forgotten what it was that I was trying to start a new plant of, I planted it in the garden. At first I thought it was Jewels of Opar, a plant from a favorite great aunt that I received via my mother. I swear the leaves looked just like that plant, but last year, the plant grew too big to be a Jewels of Opar. Then this year came about, and I thought the leaves looked a little like a hydrangea. Could this be a peegee hydrangea cutting I got some where? At this point I was berating myself for not labeling the cutting/seed. (I used to remember every little detail about gardening a few years ago.) It was driving me crazy trying to figure out what this plant was. I didn’t know if I should rip it out (maybe it was a weed that just grew in that pot) or keep it to see if anyone knew what it was.

Well, last weekend, I noticed flower buds. Aha! I was sure I would finally find out what this plant was. Then came the rains which prevented me from checking on the flower buds when I came home from work last week. Well, finally, yesterday I was able to get out in the garden and was shocked when I saw a flower opened.



Yes, it was a Blue Butterfly bush (Clerodendrun ugandense). I was so excited since my original plant did not return this spring. In fact, when I had a chance to replace my dead one earlier in the spring, I passed on it because I surmised that this was not hardy enough for our climate. In the past, it has died to the ground and was rather slow to return. I felt it was just not worth it.

This plant is root hardy to zone 8, but this little one never died completely back. It must be in a better location for survival than my other one. I love this plant for its lovely blue color but also for its flower shape. Those little blue butterflies all over the plant are so striking and, frankly, adorable. I lost a few plants to last winters unusual cold weather, but I am so fortunate to still have my blue butterfly bush.

Lesson learned – Label plant cuttings!


  1. Maryse said,

    August 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I found your story rather intriguing! I’m new to gardening, to me, everything is a mystery… yes, it is!!! Your Blue Butterfly is exquisite… It seems indeed to like its new home!!!

  2. August 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Oh my gosh, Jan, that IS adorable! And such a lovely color!

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