Southern Gardening - Fend off spring fever with blooms, events | Home & Garden
By Gary R. Bachman
Coastal Research & Extension Center
Like every gardener in Mississippi, I get spring fever this time of year. Seed catalogs are piling up higher every day. When visiting garden centers, I’m tempted by the racks of vegetable transplants available. I’ve even seen tomatoes on a warmer weekend. What’s a gardener to do?
To help hold us over until spring really arrives, African daisies and Senetti pericallis are perfect additions for landscape color. Both like the cooler early spring temperatures and can be used exactly like the mums we used last fall.
African daisies have that familiar center disk and colorful petals ranging from white to yellow to bluish-purples. Selections with spoon-shaped petals add more visual interest. The color palette of the Senetti pericallis is more in the blue to purple range. Bicolor selections have attractive white centers.
Both of these plants work well as single container plants or as colorful additions to combination containers. The flower colors work very well when combined with golden yellow Lysimacchia, commonly called Creeping Jenny, spilling out over the container edge.
Water consistently to keep these plants healthy. Overwatering will lead to crown rot problems, especially in the cooler early spring. Use a water-soluble fertilizer to keep nutrient levels up. When the flowers start to fade, cut the plants back by about 50 percent to encourage a flowering encore.
There is good news for the gardeners who are still hunkering down until warmer weather arrives. In the next month, at least four gardening events are scheduled across Mississippi:
• Gulf Coast Garden and Patio Show, March 2-4 in Biloxi
• Jackson Garden and Patio Show, March 16-18 in Jackson
• Everything Garden Expo, March 24-25 in Starkville
• New Albany Home and Garden Show, March 30-31 in New Albany
These events are great opportunities for home gardeners to be inspired to add the newest trees, shrubs, and flowering annuals and perennials to the home landscape and garden. Local garden centers and landscape professionals will have vendor displays, many of which will include display gardens. Don’t miss the chance to see how these beautiful plants could look in your landscape.
All of these events will feature presentations by some of the Southeast’s leading horticulture and landscape professionals.