Re: [IGS] Flowering plants for Texas

What direction will your plants be facing, and will they be in the shade or
the sun?

I'm writing from San Diego, CA and am assuming that you will also have to
guard  your plants from excess heat and sun.  One of the most effective things
I have found is to double pot my plants.  If you put a white pot or windowbox
on the outside, and then place a smaller, dark pot or windowbox inside it, you
have just put an insulating layer of air between the outer surface and the
roots of your plant.  The white on the outer layer will reflect back some of
the sunlight and heat while the darker layer on the inside will keep the
sunlight from filtering through the plastic and adversely affecting the
rootsystem.  If you plant to use clay pots, be sure to put a plastic pot
inside them to help keep the water content up.  A general rule of thumb is
that if you water every day with a clay pot, you would only have to water
every second or third day with a plastic one.  If the container is going to
sit on concrete or up against a wall that the sun beats down on, put a layer
of wood between the container and the surface to prevent heat transfer.
Having the pot raised from the "floor" also means that the water can drain
freely from the pot as needed.  If you are putting in pelargoniums, don't put
a saucer under the pot.  They hate having their feet wet and will die on you
just to prove their point.

Did you have any certain color scheme or theme in mind?  Do you have a
preference between regals, zonals, scenteds, etc.?

Personally, I like to plant a variegated fancyleaf in the center of the pot
for height, tuck in a couple smaller apple-type scenteds, and then add some
ivies for a cascading effect.  I particularly enjoy the Nutmeg Lavender ivy
pelargonium because it does have nice large lavender flowers, but it also has
those sweet smelling leaves.  And it grows well for me without becoming lanky.

Anyway, please e-mail back to me some specifics as to what sort of light
exposure, temperature, and how much maintenance you want to put in, and some
preferences as to plant type, and we'll check out the catalogs and reference
books and get you some suggestions.

Cindi Lohry
San Diego, CA

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