Sunday, January 27, 2008
A "Must Plant" Plant
I was reading about how inaccurate garden books can be when it comes to “bloom periods” - so much depends on our region and the microclimates in our gardens. It brought to mind the Thyrallis (Galphimia glauca) in different parts of my yard. Yesterday, I was admiring the Thyrallis planted against the house (and facing the south); it is fresh and full of blooms – what a pleasant surprise after the cold weather we’ve been having. As I continued strolling around the yard, I came upon another couple of Thyrallis bushes planted in an island bed – and exposed to the north wind. They were completely devoid of blooms and looking dormant and extremely stressed.
I bought my first Thyrallis in the early 80s from “The Flower Pot” (I loved that nursery!) I always called it yellow plumbago – but I’m not sure where that name came from – the nursery or me? Anyhow, this plant has survived freezes, droughts, and general abuse in my yard. It has never been bothered by either insect or disease. I think Thyrallis is a great plant for the Rio Grande Valley. It will grow to 5 feet by 5 feet. I did make the mistake of planting some under windows and had to trim them monthly in the summer to keep them below the windowsill. To keep them from getting leggy, I cut mine back to about one foot every couple of years.