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Late Season Color

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October 21, 2018
Today Southern Gardening is at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona taking a look at a planting that has really stood up to the heat of our summer. One of my first favorite flowers for the landscape were the narrow leaf, also called thread leaf zinnia, known botanically as Zinnia angustifolia. These are the forbearers of the newer Profusion and Zahara zinnias. I think the compact, and mounding growth habit is perfect for any landscape combination planting. These plants’ white and orange flowers are produced in profuse numbers and brighten the garden. Purslanes are low-growing and spreading flowering annual plants. Some of the better-flowering purslanes, and are many to choose from, include the colors rose, scarlet, orange, and yellow. The flowers have a tropical look and put on a show with flowers up to 1 inch wide. The flowers also will close in the afternoon or on cloudy days. The bright yellow stamens are fairly long and will move with the gentlest touch, adding more interest. The stems are purplish-green, and the leaves are bright green. They will grow up to 8 inches tall and spread to 18 inches; these were spaced about 12-15 inches apart when planted in the spring. Other plants that look good mixed throughout the planting bed include this nice dark scarlet petunia, purple Angelonia and white vinca. Choosing the right flowering annuals will pay off all the way through the fall season. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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