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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Late September Blooms - A mix of Summer and Fall

September is a fantastic month for tropical gardening here in New York City, but undoubtedly a transitional month as well. It's hard to differentiate early September from Summer when it comes to the weather but now there is no doubt in everyones mind that Fall is here and in full swing with temperatures failing to reach 80F on most days and nights cooling into the 50s. Fortunately most of my plants still have a LOT of energy from all the summertime heat and despite the cooler weather and longer shadows even the most tender plants are doing great. 

Mandevillas need heat to create buds, but once flower buds are developed they will bloom even in cooler weather. I usually have blooms until frost.

Plumeria blooms start to change color and shape when the weather gets cooler. Usually heat brings out the best color in plumerias but I have noticed that some of my plumerias will color up in cooler weather.

My plumeria "Crazy" for example is nearly all yellow now instead of mostly white.

The biggest fragrance producer in my yard at any time of the year is Ginger. I absolutely love these plants.

The hibiscus flowers are stating to get a bit smaller, but both my hardy hibiscus and tropical hibiscus are filled with lots of blooms even as we head into October.

I could not resist some mums. Mums and croton make an awesome fall entryway.

My farfugium is so happy it is blooming! Fantastic growing season for this plant. It will be overwintering in my garage.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A few September Photos

This weekend has featured absolutely perfect weather! Lots of heat and humidity which is perfect for the tropicals and for a person like me who refuses to believe that fall weather is knocking on our door.
Here are some photos of everything near their prime.

Took my heliconia out of its shady spot to give it some time to breath in the sun now that the sun angle isn't quite as strong as it was during the summer. Love the foliage and the blooms!

Speaking of foliage does not get much better than this! If I lived in the south all of my trees would have plantings under them like this. Up here these are potted plants.

I am in love with my Mekong Giant Banana! Unlike my Basjoos which has sat around all season, this started off as nothing in June after such a rough winter and is now about 8 feet tall. Beautiful leaves and incredible growth rate. A great little corner in my yard. 

Pool area looking nice. Would have liked the bananas on the right side of the planting to have gotten bigger though!

Cordyline anchoring the left part of the scene. 

A different angle

View from above! 

Here are a few closeups. 


Queen palm

Ensete leaf

Pink Canna bloom

Cucuzza bloom

Mexican Sunflower bloom

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for looking! 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Plumerias Loving This Heat

Often by mid September the plumerias are starting to show some signs of cooler times ahead. The oldest leaves might drop off, the blooms might get smaller, or maybe they just aren't blooming as vigorously as during the summer. The past few Septembers have been really hot and muggy and so far this month has not been an exception. Dew points in the upper 70s with days in the 80s and 90s and nights near 80F is enough heat to keep plumerias in full color and bloom! 
The tropical palms love it too! 


Close up of some orchids and Staghorn fern relaxing under the shade of the plumerias.

Plumeria Melody in the background and Crazy in the foreground. Melody is a late season bloomer and Crazy really almost never stops blooming! I enjoy both quite a lot! 

Snuck a hibiscus shot in the foreground of this photo. Hibiscus and plumeria are such a perfect combo! 

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Butterfly Ginger Blooms

A little back story on my ginger that I like to share every time they are doing something interesting....

In 2010 I visited Hawaii and there they have tons of places you can buy "a piece of hawaii" in the form of very tiny tourist plants. One of the plants I got was two tiny butterfly ginger rhizome (it was only about half an inch wide and 4 inches long.

Now, 6 years alter  I have a few butterfly ginger clumps around the yard and a ton of blooms to enjoy from them. These plants are so easy to grow and really rewarding. I don't know why they aren't more common up here since they are also pretty hardy, about as hardy as cannas. I bring my bulbs in the garage in January before the ground freezes so I don't lose them but I think they would at least partially overwinter if I left them in the ground unprotected.

Anyway I really recommend these plants because the foliage is beautiful and the blooms are even more so. Best of all they are really fragrant! Only downside is they bloom in Fall so if you don't have  a long growing season you'll have to start them indoors early and cross your fingers for a late first frost!

Here are some pics!

Friday, September 2, 2016

A few September Blooms

While Meteorological Fall is here, my summer is still fully in summer mode. Here are some photos!

A rouge landscaper ripped out my awesome morning glory vines in the front yard just before they were getting ready to bloom. Fortunately I had a few in the backyard that, while a bit lankier, are finally blooming.

The yellow potted cannas have bloomed all summer long. They look great in the rain with the morning glories. 

These orchids have been blooming nearly non-stop since January. I'm really impressed with them! 

Plumeria "Divine" is a beautiful dwarf plumeria you'll never outgrow! 

My Plumeria Maya may not be a big bloomer (it's never bloomed in the 7 years I've had it), but it's got beautiful variegated foliage). 

Plumeria Melody is a fantastic bloomer. Unfortuantely the timing isn't great with it already being September.

Plumeria "Crazy" has bloomed non-stop all summer!

Brugmansia Ember Yellow is a favorite of mine. It's the only Brugmansia I've ever gotten to bloom. Even after dying to the roots last winter in the garage it has come back with lots of vigor! 

Hibiscus, Heliconia, and Cannas!

I really love heliconias. The blooms are beautiful! 

Brugmansia with a hyacinth bean vine. 

Purple Hearts have beautiful foliage and blooms. They are pretty hardy too! 

These fuzzy blue flowers look unbelievable close up. The butterflies love them! 

I never go a season without begonias. They are so easy to grow and never stop blooming from the day I plant them to frost. 

The vine underneath the begonias is "Creeping Jenny". It overwinters in the pot. Very invasive though so be careful planting them in the ground.

These hardy ice plants were supposed to only bloom in early summer but they've had blooms all season. I hope they survive their first winter in a planter! 

Thanks for looking! Hopefully Tropical Storm Hermine brings some needed rain!