Monday, April 14, 2014

One man's house plant

... is another man's outdoor plant.

Two very common house plants when I was growing up in Ireland were Bizzy Lizzy also known as Impatiens, and Yucca.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that both of these plants grow outdoors in Texas. In fact Yucca grows wild across the state, but even more surprising to me was the fact that it produces flowers, and really beautiful ones at that.

flowering yucca
potted yucca

I have often seen Yucca plants in a pot indoors in Ireland, I had never seen one produce flowers.

When we bought our current home, the previous owners had left a plant holder in the front yard, it had some very sad looking pansies in, this is the only photo I have of what it looked like back then. I liked the plant holder, and while I like pansies, I also know that they tend to throw their seed all over the place and soon become as difficult to control as weeds.

Last year I planted impatiens (bizzy lizzy) in the pots. In fact I use the term planted very loosely. I actually bought four pots of impatiens, multiple colors in each pot, and the pots were a perfect fit for the planter, so I planted each pot in the plant holder. They flourished all summer and into the fall, but this past severe winter did away with them.

I waited until the middle of March before considering exposing new plants to the cold spring we were having, and then waiting a further month while I searched for the same pots of impatiens but couldn't find them. As I do enjoy pottering in the garden and impatiens are very plentiful at every garden center, I decided to buy the smaller plants in multiple colors and reuse last years pots, with fresh potting compose make my own mixture. While shopping for the plants we came across these beautiful versions and bought 3 in large pots, 2 in smaller pots and then a tray of small impatiens.

It took less than an hour to clean out the old pots and plant these beautiful flowers. We have a lot of trees on our lot, so we have to pay attention to buying plants that will do well in the shade, these flowers are perfect. They now sit between a number of oak trees in the bed in front of the house, and so long as I remember to give them a little water during dry periods, they will give us a great display of color right into the early winter.

As the smaller plants grow and fill out with various colored blossoms they will be as spectacular as they were last year, if not even better with the larger New Guinea Impatiens in the center.

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