I'm in Zone 7, Washington DC metro area, and nearly all my perennials have
begun sprouting up or leafing out except the Whirling Butterflies I planted
last year. Can anyone tell me when I should expect to see green on them?
We had quite a bit of snow and ice this year and January was reeeally cold,
so I'm hoping they're not dead! Any feedback would be most appredciated.
I also meant to ask those who grow Gaura if you stake them. When I first
planted Gauras I had them in a container and they trailed very nicely over
the sides, but now that I have them in the ground, when the flowering stems
grow they basically flop over onto the ground. How do you all handle that?
well, Gaura's are just now starting to break dormancy. I have two kinds. In
black nursery pots. I noticed the return of the burgandy leafed variety,
but the varigated ones don't seem to be showing yet. But the black nursery
pots are warming quicker, like raised beds. Which I also have. But I'd say
they'll appear if they made it thru winter. They like well drained, full sun
exposure. As for the flowers flopping over onto the side, your soil might
be too rich in the container. Mine has leeched the richness thru the rains
and such. I also gave them a mulch of pea gravel to wick the moisture away
from the crowns of the plants in that pot. If you have to stake them, buy a
cheap round tomato cage (98c at any Wally world or Lowes, or Despot) and
with wire cutters, cut the lowest circle away from the other two tiers.
(these tomato cages are three high and average around 4-5 foot) That leaves
the two circles with long stems to put into the ground to support something
Now you have a small circular support ring that is galvenized, and will
support the flowering stems. If your plant is wider, use the next ring size,
cutting it from the last ring. I use tomato circles all the time to stake
and support perennials. Cheaper than buying those green coated overpriced
supports. The only coated ones I buy are the grid supports that plants can
grow thru. If I had a small welder, I'd make my own out of tomato circles
and clothes hangers <g> I also purchase those bent coated lily rods that
hold a stem better. But I usually get the largest ones because they're
thicker metal. The small ones are pretty useless with my large floppers like
the tall sedum I have and my trumpet lilies.
Hope this helps Rhonda.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler where the fairies need all
the help they can get right now with their flower endeavors, overlooking
English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36