March 05, 2013

When is Spring? My Plants Are Ready

We are expecting 33º tomorrow night. I hope that is the end of near-freezing temps. My plants are ready, starting to stretch.

I've never had too many Pentas: pink, rose, red, white, lavender.
Butterfly magnets, little care except deadheading.
'Ruby' is the Pentas I've planted longest. I start some Pentas
cuttings  in August. Just before Christmas I picked a bouquet
of red and white Pentas. Toward the end of February,
I cut off the ends of the stems and stuck them to root.
White Pentas in yellow pots, kind of scrawny next to
Brugmansia cuttings.
Yesterday I saw a very frost-bitten Persian Shield plant in the garden
that managed a puny bloom, first I've ever seen outside the greenhouse.
These Strobilanthes dyeranus cuttings are ready to go outside and
get some size on them, the blooms were just a winter bonus.
Leggy Salvia elegans and Fern ready to summer outside.
Lots of plans for Begonias in shade. On the end there's a Gerbera Daisy seedling with a bud anticipating growing in the ground. Tomatoes would prefer outside air as well.
Tomatoes in containers are possible all winter. I had to
prove that to myself.
Plants that sometimes don't make the winter outside: Pentas, Porterweed, Brugmansia, Esperanza and others fared very well this year. Tiny sprouts are emerging from roots at the base of many dead stems.
Two of my Durantas in the ground stayed green all winter. They did stop blooming after Christmas. The gingers, except for Curcuma, did not die all the way to the ground the way they usually do.
It will be another while before we know how Pride of Barbados fared. They usually wait until I've despaired of ever seeing a Caesalpinia again and then Surprise! We are not yet safe from a final killing frost, but things are looking up. How many days to Spring?

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