Gardening with Georgia

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If you're going to be red, be red

Mon, May 09, 2011 at 01:08:36 PM


With blood red bracts and red-throated white flowers, a Mussaenda eythrophylla planted along the allee leading to the overlook is in glorious form. It was so startlingly bright that as I was hurrying along the allee on my way to an appointment I came to a screeching halt and went over to find out what was bleating at me with such vital color. 

Not a shy bloomer.

In the coffee family, Mussaenda is particularly cold tender and several in my neighborhood have been killed over the last two winters. But this one, planted among taller trees, is in the correct location so that wind and cold are deflected. And its strong color, I think, is more appealing than the pink cultivars that have found their way into many gardens. Aside from being vulnerable to cold, the plants take average water and fertilizer, and can be cut back at the end of winter to have a rounded shape.



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