KTRH GardenLine Newsletter
November. 6, 2008 - Issue #91
Here's Randy's Weekly KTRH GardenLine Tip:
It's been a while since I've done a PLANT PROFILE(S) on these GardenLine email tips, but this weekend's appearance at Buds and Blossoms Nursery provides us the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Outside of flats of fall flowers, obtaining color-laden landscape plants or patio plants for the fall and winter is often hard to come by. That's why the Brazilian Red Cloak makes the perfect fall plant for this area. The Brazilian Red Cloak (Red Justicia; a.k.a. Megaskepasma Erythrochlamys) forms large red tropical flowers and blooms, starting in November, for several months. It prefers to grow in places where it will not be exposed to full sun. It can for instance be planted along house walls and will then grow into thick, ornamental hedges. While the Brazilian Red Cloak can reach a height of 15 feet, it normally grows to a size of 6 to 8 feet. If we get a hard enough freeze, you can and will lose a lot of leaves and blooms, but as long as it the temperature doesn't get into the 20s, you should be able to enjoy this plant from November to April.
Next is the Wax Rose (Pereskia bleo). This plant too, if you can keep it from freezing, will continually bloom for you. Although it has the name Rose, this is actually from the cactus/succulent family, which first means it needs to be handled with care because of its sharp edges. This plant will max out at 2-3 feet in height. But what really sets this plant apart is almost how fake/plastic it looks at time. People almost always say “those blooms are too bright for that plant to be real.” Despite its temperature sensitivity, it really is quite easy to grow and it grows very fast. A couple of important care tips too, since it is a cactus/succulent you should keep it on the drier side, and it should be grown in lots of light. But it's greatest claim to fame is probably that is produces a compound that inhibits the growth of certain breast cancer cells.
Finally, there's the Chenille Plant, also known as the Red Hot Cat Tail (Acalypha hispida). Which by the way, when I first saw the Chenille Plant some 13 years ago, I thought it was the coolest looking hanging basket plant ever. But it makes a great landscape plant as well. It is evergreen for the most part in SE Texas, and so easy to grow. The real attraction is the cool-looking fuzzy, soft, cuddly, bright red cat tails at the bloom. And the green foliage is so nice and plentiful it makes the perfect backdrop for the stunning cat tails. The larger varieties are for the landscape and there are dwarf varieties that are perfect for the hanging basket. They can take a lot of light/sun, but try to keep it from being pounded by the late afternoon sun.
So, how would you like a free 1 gallon specimen of the Chenille Plant? How about a deal you can't pass up on the Brazilian Red Cloak? How would you like to try the Wax Rose for under 5 bucks? How would you like a deal on flats of fall color that no one else is offering at this time of the year? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need to come to Buds and Blossoms this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Buds and Blossoms is located at 14120 Cypress North Houston, which is just west of Huffmeister. The easiest way to get there, is head up (or down) Hwy. 290 and exit Huffmeister. Head north on Huffmeister and when you get to the intersection of Cypress North Houston and Huffmeister, take a left. It will be just a couple of hundred yards down and on the right.
The first 50 people that come between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be getting a free Chenille Plant. The first 30 people willing to purchase a Brazilian Red Cloak for 19.99 are getting a whale of a deal. Then, they've got a hundred or so Wax Rose's that they are willing to sell for $4.99. Plus, the staff at Buds and Blossoms will be selling their famous Pansies for $11.99 a flat, but only during the hours of the GardenLine Appearance. These flats normally retail for upwards of 18 to 19 bucks and other retail garden centers. Yet, Buds and Blossoms sell their 18-count flats of color for $14.99. However, by showing up there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can get flats of pansies for $11.99, a Wax Rose for $4.99, get a free Chenille Plant and a Brazilian Red Cloak for only $19.99.
Do you need any other reason to come out? Well, we're cleaning out the prize closet at KTRH for this and next week's appearance, because they are the final two events of the fall gardening season. So, stop by and pick up a freebie or two as well.
Finally, we will be giving away four of the 15-gallon sized Sweet Almond Verbena (A plant I love dearly). I will be giving them away in a contest format to those who call in this Saturday during the show and talks about how much they love the GardenLine radio program and what it's done to improve their landscape. For years, we've affectionately referred to that as SHOW ME THE LOVE. These big old versions of the Sweet Almond Verbena usually retail for upwards of 69.95 (or more), so needless to say you've got to really wow us with your love. And you have to be able to show up between those hours of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. so we can check your identification. If you can't be there to claim the grand prize during those hours, you can still “show us the love” this weekend anyways.