In Wisconsin, we love to have a taste of the tropics in summer, planting annuals and tropicals in pots or filling spaces in gardens. Many people are familiar with the stand-bys, such as petunias, marigolds, or impatiens. However, there are other plants that should earn a place in your gardens too, whether it’s foliar interest or different flowers.
One great trailing plant for a sun container is lantana. (pictured at left) It blooms most of the summer in shades of pink, yellow or orange, and branches horizontally as well as downward. It looks great when paired with another trailing annual called verbena. This full sun plant has every flower shade except green and blue, whether bold reds, maroons or bright pink is what you prefer, or more pastel colors like pink, lavender or creamy peach. When deadheaded, it blooms long into the summer months.
If blue tickles your fancy, lobelia is something worth checking out. (pictured at right) A trailing plant for sun to part sun, the small blue flowers bloom in spring and fall during cooler months. It can be paired with yellow and white blooming plants for an eye-catching container or hanging basket.
If you have a shadier spot you want to add a pop of color to, consider fuschia. (pictured above) There are many different varieties with varying flowers, and even some with yellow-orange foliage. Hummingbirds love to taste the nectar in the flowers, and you can often find a couple of them trying to fight for ownership of the area where fuschia plants are located.
Rex Begonias are another great shade loving plant. They have silver foliage with maroon markings on them, and can be brought inside in the fall and winter to be used as houseplants. The very bold foliage can be used with more delicate plants, such as ferns, to create a contrast.
If tropical plants are more your preference, but you already have a hibiscus plant, consider a mandevilla vine. (pictured at left) They are very easy to care for and require full to part sun to bloom prolifically for you all summer. The red, pink and white blooms attract hummingbirds. In fall, bring the vine into your sun room or well-lit window and use it as a houseplant.
Passion vines are another option for a unique flower and bold texture. The white flowers open to a very odd looking, almost extra-terrestrial looking bloom. These will continue into the fall months as it climbs up structures all season. It can also be brought inside during the winter months, as long as it’s a well lit window.
If designing and potting up containers isn’t something you’re interested in, let the experts in the garden center do it for you! Our greenhouse is stocked with annuals, hanging baskets, and tropical plants for you to pick out, or just tell us what color scheme you’re looking for and let us pick the plants for you. You can even buy containers in our garden center for us to pot up. Stop by to get on our schedule today!