This year I tried some new plants in the pots on my deck. As usual, enthusiasm and chance played a big part in what ended up in my pots and not everything worked as well as I had hoped.
Overall, I’m pleased. The pot above is in a troublesome spot on the deck that gets deep shade most of the day and burning sun in late afternoon. I bought Fuchsia “Gartenmeister” on a whim at a school plant sale, and decided to combine it with yellow potato vine and a new (at least to me) Dracaena called “Limelight.” The folks at the nursery where I bought “Limelight” warned me that the plant would lose its color if it didn’t get enough light, but while it hasn’t grown much it has done well. All the plants seem happy in that pot, and I’ve been surprised that although fuchsia generally prefer cooler temperatures, “Gartenmeister” has bloomed its head off right through our hot summer. I’ll buy this plant again.
I still rely on sun coleus for many of my deck pots, and they never disappoint. This year I had leftover Wave petunias and stuck them in a pot with coleus. They haven’t run wild, but the pink is a nice accent with the red. The pot on the rail includes a small green-and-white Tradescantia (common name Wandering Jew) that contrasted nicely with the tumbling grass and big-leaved coleus in the pot.
I am absolutely hooked on this purple Wandering Jew, which seems to form a purple skirt around the pot. Unfortunately I didn’t know how vigorous the green and white coleus on the right is. This is the good view of this pot -- on the ohter side, the coleus has choked out everything else that was planted. I’m giving it a brutal haircut this week and will try to avoid this particular variety next year.
I hesitated when I saw the price of Pennisetum “Fireworks” this spring and then bought two of them. The plants were small and I wondered if “Fireworks” would grow as big as annual purple fountain grass I’ve been growing for years. I’m thrilled with both of my plants. This one is about two-and-a-half feet high now and is an eye-catcher with the striped pink and red leaves. I will try this plant again next year.
Did you try new plants this year? What were your hits, and what were your misses?