Don’t hesitate to bring home a fall petunia basket from your favorite garden or home center. If it’s planted with Proven Winners Supertunias and Calibrachoa, you’ll be in for weeks of flowery color. This blend of petunia-like blooms features a mix of Really Red Supertunia and Royal Velvet Supertunia (purple), accented with the smaller blossoms of Dreamsicle Orange calibrachoa. These petunias don’t need deadheading to look their best and deliver color through Thanksgiving in all but the coldest regions.
Meet a Japanese holly that sparkles in part shade or full sun. The gold-tone leaves won’t burn on this evergreen plant grows 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. Use it in containers, to edge paths or beds or as a colorful addition to rock gardens. Hardy in Zones 5-8. Botanical name: Ilex crenata
Dress up your spring landscape with the soft pink blooms of this pretty perennial. False indigo is a long-lived, drought tolerant plant, sinking deep roots that seek out moisture. It’s also deer resistant and low maintenance. A shorter height requires no staking; plants grow to 3 feet tall. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Baptisia ‘Pink Truffles’
Spicy-scented carnations, like ‘Cinnamon Red Hot’, are the birth flowers for January. Different colors convey different meanings. White carnations symbolize pure love, while yellow means “wish you were here” and pink says, “you’re unforgettable”. Snowdrops, which indicate hope and beauty, are also flowers for this month.
Summer-flowering larkspurs are lovely in dried arrangements. Cut the stems just before the blooms are completely open and strip away the leaves. Then tie the stems together and hang them upside down from a coat hanger, hook or clothesline to air-dry for a few weeks. Keep them out of the sun and make sure they have good air circulation. If there’s a lot of moisture in the room, you may need to use a dehumidifier to help prevent mold and mildew. Shown here: 'Guardian Lavender' (Delphinum elatum).
Mix organic matter and fertilizer into your soil when you plant annuals, or use a packaged potting mix that has fertilizer in it. Make sure to water thoroughly, so the plant roots don’t get burned. Most annuals bloom heavily for several weeks before they need feeding again; then you can add a slow-release fertilizer or use a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer about every two weeks. Shown here: Superbells® 'Strawberry Punch' Calibrachoa
A gray urn comes to life with an arrangement of red winterberries and assorted greenery. In the wild, winterberries can be found growing in moist wooded areas, swamps or along streams and ponds. In the garden or landscape, the plants grow slowly and need little maintenance.
This beauty takes rose mallow to new heights—short heights, that is. Growing to a tidy 3 feet tall, ‘Perfect Storm’ fits neatly into small gardens and perennial borders. White flowers with a bright red eye and pink edged petals open to a whopping 7 to 8 inches across. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Hibiscus ‘Perfect Storm’
Also known as a pansiola, Anytime® Viola 'Sugarplum' is a charmer. The trailing plants keep blooming in warm weather, after most violas stop, and add winter color to hardiness zones 5 to 10. Let them spill over the sides of containers, or mass them in the landscape for deep burgundy-purple color with hints of white, gold and lavender.
Practitioners of folk medicine make the flowers of bee balm (Monada didyma) into a poultice for bee stings. The leaves and flowers also make a tea that's thought to help sore throats and headaches. 'Pardon My Cerise', shown here, is an ornamental bee balm.
Bright red winterberries add cheerful color to swags of cut greenery. 'Berry Heavy' is a selection that bears a heavy crop of bright orange-red fruits. Choose 'Berry Nice' for lots of dark red, shiny berries.
If space is tight in your yard, you can still enjoy lush hydrangea blooms with this small shrub, which grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Flower color shifts from a deep violet-purple in acid soils to pink in basic soils. Use this reblooming hydrangea in containers, as a specimen plant, to edge planting beds or as an informal hedge. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Botanical name: Hydrangea macrophylla
Drought tolerant and low maintenance, Russian sage is a no-fuss perennial that brings on the color all season long. ‘Denim ‘n Lace’ tames the tall and floppy growth of traditional Russian sage with a compact 28- to 32-inch height. Plants resemble lavender when in full color. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Denim ‘n Lace’
Violet blue flowers with white and yellow accents make Anytime® Pansiola 'Iris' a bright choice for winter gardens. These Viola x wittrockiana plants often bloom into the winter in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 10. They have a mounding/trailing growth habit.
Hedera helix takes it common name, Duckfoot ivy, from the shape of its charming leaves. Hardy in zones 5 to 9, it's a nice spiller, or trailing plant, for containers, and spreads easily in sunny or shady landscapes. If your winter is very cold, dig some of this ivy to overwinter indoors; it's adaptable as a houseplant.
Shrubs can be fertilized in early spring and most can be fed again, more lightly, in autumn. But wait about a month after the first fall frost, so you don’t stimulate new growth that will be killed back in cold weather. Shown here: Rhododendron 'Amy Cotta'