If you enjoy the antics of hummingbirds, be sure to include a few Baja red fairy dusters in your garden. Their bright red, tufted flowers provide year around color and nectar, although the showiest displays are from spring through fall. Baja red fairy duster has ferny green foliage, and an open irregular form that lends itself well to natural landscapes. Mature plants might reach a size of 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. Baja red fairy duster can be used in full sun or part shade, and is tolerant of most soil types. Temperatures below 20° F can cause some twig damage. Any shaping or pruning should be done in the late spring,but be careful not to overdue it, as heavy pruning will inhibit flower production!
Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica) is a must have for the desert garden. There is so much to love about this shrub.
Welcome to Ramblings From a Desert Garden…
Calliandra californica (Baja fairy duster), is an evergreen, woody shrub which is native to Baja California, Mexico. In Spanish, the plant is also known vernacularly as tabardillo, zapotillo or chuparosa. The flowers, which appear in early summer, have clusters of red stamens. The shrub is usually between 0.6 and 1.8 metres in height and has bipinnate leaves. The leaves have been described as “fern-like.” Leaves close at night time.
C. californica is cold tolerant to temperatures of 22 degrees Fahrenheit, though its roots will tolerate temperatures as low as five degrees Fahrenheit. It grows best in full sun. C. californica is very drought tolerant, needing only 10 inches of water every year. However, additional watering will encourage C. californica to bloom through summer and again in the fall.
Propagation of C. californica is done through “acid scarification” or vegetative cutting. Seed pods from this plant look like “snow peas” and when ripe, they explode. The pods are flat and about 2 inches long. After ejecting seeds, the curled open pods remain attached to the plant for some time.
C. californica attracts both bees and hummingbirds.
Along with many other legumes and leadworts (Plumbago), it is a host plant for the Marine Blue caterpillar (Leptotes marina).
In landscaping, it is suggested that C. californica is used in borders or foreground plantings, as an island accent or even in containers.
As a member of the pea family, Baja fairy duster fertilizes itself, so no fertilizer or soil amendments are needed for this relatively fuss-free shrub.
(sorry took so long to get plant care guide up, became little ill yesterday … )
By Becca Badgett
When you learn how to grow weigela, you’ll know how to grow a shrub valued for use as a specimen or border plant. This old-fashioned beauty blooms profusely in spring and sporadically through the summer. Care of weigela is low maintenance. A tough and hardy shrub, Weigela care involves planting the growing weigela in the right area and watering it in. This may lead you to wonder where to plant weigela.
How To Grow Weigela
As with any shrub planting, learn the mature size of the bush and allow room in the landscape for its full growth. Roots need room to grow and only so much pruning for size is effective. Weigela Florida grows to 10 feet in height and 10 feet across and around, so leave that much room when planting the small shrub from a two gallon pot.
Plant Weigela in a full sun area for the greatest show of springtime blooms from the growing Weigela. Weigela may also be planted in light shade, flowering will not be as abundant, but blooms will appear.
When considering where to plant Weigela, choose an area with moist, well-draining soil. Most cultivars of growing Weigela are most beneficial when flowering; include them in mixed borders with other shrubs that provide different seasonal interest.
Weigela care includes pruning for shape. Mature bushes benefit from the removal of older interior branches in late winter to improve the shrub’s vigor and bloom the next year. Light pruning for shape can be included in care of weigela following the spring bloom.
Growing Weigela should be fertilized once a year as a part of weigela care. A regular, balanced plant food in late winter can promote more springtime blooms.
Dwarf cultivars are available of various weigela. Care of smaller plants involves less pruning and less room necessary for their growth.
Dwarf varieties of weigela grow well in containers and may decorate your full sun area with attractive blooms. Dwarf weigela care is similar to that of the regular specimen. Both ground and containers planted specimens need regular watering as part of weigela care. Growing weigela provides long time blooms in your landscape.
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