I consider myself a local kid... Went to school here from 2nd grade all the way through college. Before that I lived in a desert, and after that for a time, I lived north of here in Georgia. Having that varied background gives me appreciation for what we have here in Louisiana... Yes I do miss the varied seasons I experienced in Atlanta, but I also miss the dry heat of the desert. What I do enjoy and love about the Louisiana growing climate is the vast options for blooming tropical plants from the hibiscus flowers, mandevilla vines, bougainvillea, and many others. Sometimes these plants will even overwinter (when we don't have winter). The blooming power of these plants outshine any of the annuals we sell.
We define Blooming Tropicals as woody stem shrubs and vines that perform at their peak when it's hot and humid. There are lots of plants that fit this description; by far the three at the top of the list are hibiscus, bougainvillea and mandevilla. These beauties come in an array of exotic colored flowers. They bloom either perpetually or in cycles from at least May through September.
Unlike most other plants, the heat actually makes these plants actively grow, so you can plant them well into the summer and have them thrive! Here are some tips to growing:
Treating for disease and/or insects:
These lush actively growing plants tend to attract bugs and diseases from time to time. During periods of rain, look for spotting on the leaves, as this is a sign of fungus. During dryer spells, look for slight discoloring on the leaves, as if the life is being sucked out of the plant. This mottled leaf appearance can mean insect problems. These are easily treated if spotted before the plant is totally covered.
Since these plants grow and bloom in the hottest time of the year, proper fertilization with a slow release granule fertilizer like Gardener's Special by Fertilome is important for optimum plant health and performance.
Just because they like the heat, doesn’t mean they don’t want water. When it is time, water them thoroughly. Don’t keep them that way, but give it to them when they are in need! Especially when in a container.
Experience the power of blooming tropicals, they are part of what makes gardens in Louisiana unique!