Complimentary colour companions

2016-03-16 06:00
 Verbenas are prolific bloomers, hardy, heat-tolerant and low maintenance.

Verbenas are prolific bloomers, hardy, heat-tolerant and low maintenance.

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VERBENAS and lobelias are both prolific bloomers, providing a wonderful array of colours in what could otherwise be a dull spot in your garden.
Picture bursts of colour in among a rock garden or rows of blooms edging your pathways. As companions, they work very well in pots or hanging baskets, especially the trailing varieties, particularly striking along patios or entrance-ways.
The verbenas bloom in vibrant shades of pink, purple, mauve or red, and some hybrids are even bi-coloured, tempered by the lovely lobelias’ more pastel hues of blues, pinks and lilacs.

Verbenas are prolific bloomers, hardy, heat-tolerant and are low maintenance.

Find a sunny spot in the garden with well-draining soil, ideally one that gets about eight hours of direct sunlight every day. This combination will prevent any disease possibilities associated with verbena, such as powdery mildew.

After the initial care and watering needed to establish your plants, only water them every so often – once the top centimetre of soil has dried out.

Plant seedlings in a well-composted bed and water regularly until they have established themselves.
Once they’ve reached about 15cm tall, fertilise them once more with a balanced, slow release fertiliser; then it’s time to take a step back and enjoy the perks of their low maintenance nature. It is recommended that you deadhead the spent blooms.

Like verbena, lobelia sometimes pretends to be a perennial but is actually an annual as it only flowers until the first frosts.
They are herbaceous, maturing at about 15 – 20cm in height. It thrives in full morning sun, with some afternoon shade. It is important to add compost to the soil before planting, as lobelia prefers soil rich in organic matter. Soil should be moist but not sodden.

For more information, go to www.lifeisagarden.co.za
- The Bedding Plant Growers Association.

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