Melinda's Moment: Beyond Marigolds


Beyond Marigolds: Lesser Used Flowers for Your Garden

Though we love our marigolds, zinnias and impatiens consider trying something new in your garden.

Strobilanthes also known as Persian Shield is often used in containers.  Take advantage of its colorful purple and silver foliage and grow it en masse in the garden.

Add fragrant heliotrope for its fragrance, beauty and butterfly appeal.

Heat and drought tolerant pentas are another butterfly magnet.

Diamond Frost euphorbia's light airy flowers last all season.  Use it in containers, to fill voids in the garden or as a companion for other flowers.

The colorful foliage of iresine and purpleheart can create ribbons of color in the landscape or provide unity in the garden.

And if you are not ready for a major change, consider placing a surprise in a mass of more common plants.  The foxtail fern adds a nice exclamation point in a sea of impatiens .

A bit more information:  Add a bit of pizzazz with new varieties of old favorites.  Dragon Wing Begonia is a bold addition to the flower bed or container garden and performs well in sun or shade.  Kong and other big leafed coleus pack a colorful punch sure to intrigue visitors. And the new bicolor flowers of the 2010 AAS winner Zahara Starlight Rose provide additional appeal to this traditional heat and drought tolerant favorite.

For more gardening tips, podcasts and more, visit

Current Conditions