March 16, 2012

Purple Foliage Followup in and out of the Greenhouse

Purple Heart Setcreasea pallida. Syn:Setcreasea purpurea and Persian Shield Strobilanthes dyerianus are two of my favorite garden purples. Persian Shield will bloom in February and March in the greenhouse, never in the garden when days are longer and it can be planted in the open.

Persian Shield blooms are almost gone but you can see that it does put on a substantial bloom stalk. The blooms are blue, clashing beautifully as my mother would have said. The little blue cone-shaped blooms would be spectacular on a plain green plant, almost too much to compete, the purples and silvers of Strobilanthes. This plant is greener because it was in more sun in the greenhouse.

I put this Persian Shield outside beside the cycad pups whose new growth is visibly increasing from day to day. As soon as the fronds are fully matured they go out into the garden. They are heavy and unwieldy to manage but worth the effort.

Setcreasea is a more subdued color in shade, dark purple in sun. The pot on the left was shaded by plants above during the winter. When I moved the bromeliad that hid it, I was awed by its blue-green color. The plants on the right got a little more sun.

I moved some tropicals forward to take advantage of more moisture from the fogging apparatus. I should be out planting, not inside blogging.

Persian Shield shaded by Epiphyllum leaves that have rooted.

 Both Setcreasea and Strobilanthes die back with frost and return from the roots in my zone 8b garden. I take cuttings in the fall to enjoy the plants all winter, plant them out in spring and take more cuttings the next fall. Starting out new, you could buy one plant of each and take cuttings. I did that with Persian Shield. Purple Heart is a passalong that's frequently shared at plant swaps.

Foliage Followup is hosted by Pam Penick of Digging. Please go there to see other Spring foliage ideas from garden friends and while there, vote for Pam for Best Gardening Blog.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in warm, humid Southwest Georgia.


Ally said...

Persian Shield is one of my favorite plants. I took a lot of cuttings this year and have been surprised at how easy they are to propagate. Since I overwintered my mother plant in my greenhouse, I've been enjoying the flowers, and your Mom is right, they do clash beautifully.

Pam/Digging said...

I was raving about the foliage of castor bean on another blog, but oh yes, the leaves of Persian shield are even more gorgeous. Thanks for posting, and thanks too for your vote!

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