Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Alternanthera in Winter

Every summer, the Athens-Clarke County Master Gardeners hold a plant sale when the trial gardens of the University of Georgia have an 'Open House' ('Open Garden'? Actually, visits are possible any time). One year, 2006 I think, an Alternanthera 'Gail's Choice' was among my purchases and I have been lucky enough to have it in my garden every year since then.
It's important to keep an eye on the thermometer in October, because this plant will be dead at the first frost. So, the idea is to take cuttings before that happens, keep them in water until they root and then put them in soil in pots, where they can be kept indoors till the following spring. In North Georgia, the last frost day is usually some time in April (I think April 26 holds the record), but one might just as well wait till May and soil temperatures that approach 55F, because this is not a plant that likes the cold at all (I empathize!). During the summer, it grows rapidly and is a splendid edition to a Southern garden. My summer 2010 crop is coming along nicely!


Karen Platt said...

Isn't that Alternanthera really gorgeous. I didn't know you could root them in water just like Coleus. You learn something every day! Thanks Lya.

Lya Sorano said...

"Trial and Error" :-)