Southern Gardening Mailbag
December 25, 2016
It’s time again to open up the mail bag and answer a couple of questions from the fans of Southern Gardening. First up is George from Biloxi. “Hey Doc, every year in the late summer and fall I see these purplish blue flowers popping up everywhere that really look like azaleas. What are these plants?” George, thanks for the question. The plant is called Mexican petunia and the flowers are trumpet shaped and do look a bit like azaleas. These plants also produce lots of seed and results in finding these plants in random places. This is a perennial that forms 3 foot tall colonies with strong stems and a distinctly vertical aspect wherever it’s grown. There are dwarf varieties like Katie Dwarf that look great in containers. For our next question let’s go to Lana in Madison, MS. “Gary, my butterfly weed is beautiful and still blooming like crazy, but I want to tidy the garden up. Can I prune the plants back now?” Lana, I’m so glad you’re growing this important forage plant for our butterfly garden visitors. But as far as pruning is concerned, leave the plants since there are still plenty of butterflies fluttering around. Wait for a nice day in January or February to prune the plants when you’re looking for a little garden project. So if you’ve got a question about your landscape or garden send it to me and I’ll feature yours on a future segment. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.