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SunPatiens, sun coleus are summer winners
Even though we’re still early in spring, we need to get ready for the sweltering temperatures we know are on the way. This means we have to start planting two of my favorite summer plants that pack a powerful punch of summer color: SunPatiens and sun coleus.
SunPatiens love growing in full sun during the hottest parts of summer. SunPatiens are an improvement of New Guinea-type impatiens that can be grown in full sun. They have beautiful variegations and bloom from the time they are planted in late April or May through the fall.
Because of their superior landscape performance, they were chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2011. SunPatiens seem to flaunt their brilliant flower colors and heat tolerance. There are 15 SunPatiens selections available in three different growth categories: vigorous growing, compact growing and spreading.
My other summer color recommendation is sun coleus, which has moved from an obscure shade plant to a popular full sun plant that thrives in our Mississippi summers.
Through the efforts of plant breeders, sun coleus colors have become rich with highly variegated selections. With a growing season from spring to frost in the fall, coleus belong in every garden and landscape. With a kaleidoscope of color combinations, you will find they are foolproof landscape plants that provide vibrant color all season long.
Take a close look at Electric Lime coleus, a Mississippi Medallion winner from 2010. At 24 inches tall, the beautiful, lime-green foliage makes this an outstanding garden performer. Electric Lime coleus is a durable plant capable of pairing with spring flowers as well as mums in the fall. And don’t forget about the selection Henna, with its colorful foliage in stunning shades of gold and chartreuse brushed with burgundy. It was recently named a Louisiana super plant.
Big Red Judy is another of my favorite sun coleus. It has big color and is a real foliage stunner. Growing up to 3 feet tall and wide, the brilliant red foliage is vibrant in full sun. A big plus is that Big Red Judy is slow to flower, making it a great lower maintenance landscape plant.
It’s important to remember that SunPatiens and sun coleus require consistent moisture during the hot summer months. Using drip irrigation in the landscape bed will keep these plants happy during the hottest weather.
Plant your SunPatiens and sun coleus late in the spring for your region in Mississippi. This allows the root system to become established and increases the summer tolerances before high temperatures come rolling in.