Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Strawberry Drop Kickstarts the Late Summer Garden

Solenostemon 'Strawberry Drop'
I made a quick trip through the backyard gardens tonight before dinner to do some deadheading and check the soil moisture in the containers. I gave the containers and bedding annuals a good shot of liquid fertilizer a week or so ago, and one plant in particular has responded with a beautiful show -- 'Strawberry Drop' coleus. It has grown vigorously all summer, but I think the extreme heat we've had washed the color out. Since fertlizing, the deep purple veins and splash of bright magenta (the strawberry drop) have returned.



I planted a great deal of 'Strawberry Drop' this year. Along with 'Alligator Tears', it was one of the few coleus that I grew during the winter that wasn't decimated by mealy bugs in early spring. When it came time to plant outside, I must have had 75 to 100 starts. In the backyard, it spills over the edge of retaining walls, mixes beautifully with Lantana and Phlox, and looks right at home alongside ornamental grasses.

Lantana 'Radiation'

Phlox paniculata 'Thai Pink Jade'

Lantana 'Landmark Sunrise Rose'

Solenostemon 'Strawberry Drop'  in the Patio Garden

Solenostemon 'Strawberry Drop' and ornamental grasses

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