Monday, December 27, 2010

My Top Ten Plant Picks For 2011 - A to Z

With the beginning of a new year, I love to turn over a new leaf and showcase some great flowers, shrubs and trees for 2011 that will do wonderfully here in Florida. I've found some new species and varieties of classics that will have heads turning to find out exactly what is that plant growing in your backyard. While most of these plants won't be cheap or found in your DIY nurseries, you will be able to find them online or at smart nurseries like Apenberry's Nursery in Orlando for a reasonable price. Ask your favorite nursery to order them for you. Click on the photos to view them closer.
  1. Sweet Almond Bush, Aloysia virgata. Zone 9 - 11. Very fragrant shrub or small understory tree that can reach 8' to 10' tall and 5' to 6' wide. Attractive to butterflies. Locate near walkways and patios to enjoy the almond scented bush. Grows fast, needs moist soils, full sun or partial sun, neutral pH. Hardy to low 20's.
  2. 'Cascade Falls' Bald Cypress, Taxodium distochum 'Cascade Falls'
    Zones 5 - 10. If you have lakefront shorelines but don't want to block the views, this dwarfed cypress tree has lovely cascading branches that will make a good groundcover or a small conifer pyramid for a horizontal effect. Stake the tree when it reaches the height you want and let branches weep. Reaching only 8' and 5' wide, this fast grower will be perfect in compacted soils, Japanese gardens, water gardens, ancient prehistoric themes, or give a Northwest look to your landscape. This cypress needs moist** to wet soils, even growing in water, 6.8 - 7.7 pH, and full or partial sun. Moderately salt tolerant. Soft foliage is beautiful in the fall and winter as it turns orange-brown. They have small cones. In wet conditions, 'Cascade Falls' will have cypress knees. Attracts butterflies and birds. Native.
  3. Dyckia 'Burgandy Ice,' Zone 9-11. This deep-red succulent species likes full sun and is one of the most cold-tolerant of the bromeliads. Genus was named for renowned Austrian botanist, Prince Josef Maria Franz Anton Hubert Ignatz (von Salm-Dyck), late 18th century succulent expert. Very low maintenance. Attracts hummingbirds. and butterflies. Hardy to 20 degrees. Grows to 12 inches wide, 12 inches tall. Full sun, handles any pH, but likes soils dry to moist. 'Burgandy Ice's spiny foliage makes a grand architectural statement in garden containers and along walkways. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
  4. Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' Zone 9 - 11. Bright chartreuse succulent that is a great groundcover. Perfect to add color and depth to a hanging basket or clay container. Sandy soil, any pH, full sun, minimum watering if no rainfall.
  5. Icee Blue® Yellow-Wood, Podacarpus elongatus 'Monmal.' I bought this beautiful blue podacarpus at Apenberry's after I saw it at Leu Gardens. A slow pyramidal grower that likes moist soils, full sun or partial shade, this tree if allowed to attain full height, will reach 15-25 ft. tall by 15-25 ft. wide. With occasional pruning, this evergreen (everblue?) is perfect for hedges, privacy screening for pools, or a specimen tree, yet grows slow enough to be the crowning touch for large containers. Pest-free. In the nine months that I've had mine, it hasn't needed any maintenance. This beautiful tree is available through Monrovia.
  6. Yellow Butterfly Pea Vine, Callaeum macropterus(formerly Mascagnia macroptera). Zones 8 - 10. Fast grower. Great for trellises, arbors, fences, and containers. Climbs to 12 feet tall with repeat blooms spring, summer, and fall. Yellow orchid-like flowers that have large green seed pods that look like butterflies. Full sun, dry to moist soil, any pH. Can be pruned in early spring to 2 feet tall to rejuvenate. Photo by Top Tropicals. Looks great as two columns on either side of fence gates.
  7. Marlberry 'Chirimen,' Ardisia japonica 'Chirimen.' This is a wonderful groundcover for shade that spreads very slowly. Moderate to fast grower, 5" to 6" tall spreading out to 5' wide. Small pinkish flowers that provide red berries in winter. Needs moist soils. Photo by Monrovia.
  8. Blueberries, Vaccinium spp. Zones 6 - 10. Blueberries are one of the featured edible plants at the ReVision House 2011. They need full sun, acidic soils, and depending on cultivar and maintenance can reach 4' to 6' high. The best time to plant blueberries is between December and late February. They make great hedges. Attracts birds. Vaccinium virgatum is a native Florida blueberry.
  9. Orange Scepter Butterfly Bush,Buddleia 'Orange Sceptre.' Zones 7 - 10. Beautiful orange flowers that bloom spring and summer. Reaches 8' tall by 5' wide. Deer resistant. Needs full sun, moist soils, not fussy about pH. Foliage is velvety and shrub gets woody without pruning. Photo by Plant Delights.
  10. Bangkok Yellow Rain Lily, Zephyranthes 'Bangkok Yellow'. Florida showers bring rain lily flowers. Zones 7 - 10. If you would like flowers that remind you of crocuses, rain lilies are it! These wonderful flowers make great groundcovers or add delight to your garden bed. Pest free, easily naturalizes, and blooms after late summer rain storms. All rain lilies are easy to grow and make great passalong plants! Photo by Plant Delights.
These are great plants that will add color, are easy to maintain, and will infuse your landscape with life. Check them out and see which one will look great in your backyard! I hope you have a healthy and Happy New Year!

** - Caveat: Watering requirements are after establishment.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:23 PM

    They look wonderful! I'm going to try the rain lilies.