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For The Garden

Red-Flowering Plants

Author: Nancy Erdmann
Issue: December, 2010, Page 102
BAJA FAIRY DUSTER
(Calliandra californica)


BAJA FAIRY DUSTER
(Calliandra californica)


Best traits—This semi-evergreen shrub features lacy foliage and flower clusters with red stamens that look like little feather dusters. Peak bloom is February to April, and hummingbirds are drawn to its bright blossoms. Very little water is required once established.

Growing tips—This is an ideal accent plant for locations with full sun or reflected heat and well-draining soil. Supplemental water in summer helps keep plants blooming through the heat. Fairy duster will flower more prolifically with minimal pruning. No fertilizer is required.




'President' Canna photo by Forest & Kim Starr

‘PRESIDENT’ CANNA
(Canna x generalis ‘President’)
‘PRESIDENT’ CANNA
(Canna x generalis ‘President’)


Best traits—Ruby-red flowers contrast against the green banana-like leaves of this tall-growing tropical perennial. Canna is heat-tolerant, easy to grow, and its blossoms are long-lasting. Butterflies and hummingbirds are drawn to its showy blooms, which appear spring to fall and sometimes longer. If you want tropical ambience, this is an excellent choice.
 
Growing tips—Plant bulbs or transplants in full to partial sun and in loose, well-draining soil. Keep soil moist and do not let it dry out between waterings. Cut spent flowers to encourage bloom.






Photo courtesy of monrovia.com

‘CENTENNIAL SPIRIT’ CRAPE MYRTLE
(Lagerstroemia indica ‘Centennial Spirit’)
‘CENTENNIAL SPIRIT’ CRAPE MYRTLE
(Lagerstroemia indica ‘Centennial Spirit’)


Best traits—In late spring to mid-summer, this prolific bloomer puts out hundreds of long-lasting wine-red flowers. A deciduous shrub or tree, it is drought- and heat-tolerant and resistant to powdery mildew. In summer its bark is cream-color. In fall its leaves turn a reddish-orange. It is a good option for firewise landscapes and privacy screening.

Growing tips—Plant in fertile, well-draining soil in full sun. Be careful not to over-water. Prune dead blossoms to encourage a second round of blooms. Can be used as an ornamental plant or grouped in masses.





Photo courtesy of American Meadows

RED FLAX
(Linum grandiflorum)
RED FLAX
(Linum grandiflorum)


Best traits—Also known as scarlet flax, this easy-to-grow annual is found in many wildflower mixes. It produces an abundance of small velvety-red flowers, sometimes edged in black. This quick-grower needs only moderate watering and occasionally reseeds itself. It makes a vibrant backdrop for such flowering perennials as penstemon and salvia.

Growing tips—Best grown from seed sown in fast-draining soil in full sun. Plant in fall for spring bloom. Fertilizing is not necessary.


Other favorites:  ‘American Red’ lantana, bottlebrush, dwarf oleander, hibiscus, red yucca, roses, scarlet sage
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