Vitex agnus-castus aka Chaste Tree

Vitex a couple weeks after planting and a rainstorm
Vitex
Vitex
Vitex

Full Sun
Regular watering, well drained soil, drought tolerant once established
Tree/Shrub, mult trunk, purple flowers
Fast grower up to 25′ tall, more typically tops out at 15′ with a 15′ spread
Deciduous
Native to China, India, cultivated here since mid 1600s
Propagate from cuttings

Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

Used to be known as ‘Monks pepper’, potions from it were supposed to keep monks chaste

This is the first time I’ve grown Vitex and they’ll only been in the ground a week. Just in time for it to stop raining. Of all the plants I put in the last few weeks the Vitex are the only ones that haven’t shown any stress nor have they minded the lack of rain. I have them out in full exposed afternoon sun. Most everything there is wilting. These plants are quite content.

More info as I’ve had them longer

Hogwort, Woolly Croton, Texas Goatweed, Croton capitatus

I stumbled upon this odd looking plant while the hound and I were running at the edge of the woods near a bayou. They usually grow in recently disturbed ground. Someone had kindly mowed a path through the grass and these were about a foot in from the path

Attracts birds who find the seeds tasty. Can be toxic to cattle. Host plant for Goatweed Leafwing

Annual, Native
Male flowers near top, female flowers lower down
Blooms June-Oct
height 8″-36″, usually tops out about 18″
Prefers lots of sun, dry soil

May cause skin irritation

Knockout Roses

Double Pink Knockout Rose

I’ve seen lots of good press about Knockout Roses, but who pays attention to press releases?

I’ve a front bed that gets full, blazing afternoon sun. I put a few out there and despite general neglect over the summer they did quite well. ( anything that doesn’t die out there I consider a success )

So I bought a whole lot more and lined the front bed. It immediately stopped raining. I’ve been watering them heavily. I’ll start to taper that off this week. They are all alive, the ones in the sunniest locations have dropped some leaves.

More info and photos after I get to know them better

Mexican Abelia

Abelia
Abelia

Full to part sun
Height, width 4′-6′
Average watering, well drained soil
Propagate from soft to semi-hard cuttings

Attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

These photos don’t do the plant justice. More photos and information after it’s had time to settle in

Duranta erecta (Sapphire Showers Blue)

Shrub tree to 15′ tall
full to part sun
tolerates bad soil
flowers white, violet
Low water requirements, drought tolerant
Protect from freezing, will sometimes return from roots in sping — loves heat
Propagate from leaf or soft stem cuttings
Berries toxic to mammals

Native Mexico, South and Central America

Birds love the berries

I just planted this, more info to follow as I see how it does

Ophiopogon japonicus ‘nana’ aka Dwarf Mondo Grass

This makes a great grass replacement for part to full shade areas. I’ve had some growing on the driest parts of the garden, some even in full sun and it just slowly mounds into pom-pom like clumps.

Once a year on a rainy fall day I’ll divide it up and spread it a bit further. It’s great for edging or grass replacement.

One of the nicest things about it is that it is a slow growing plant. It’ll look like you just planted it a year later. If you’d like it to grow faster, just add water

Propagate by division
Prefers shade, will grow in sun
Drought tolerant, will grow if you add water
Slow grower – forms mounds 4″-6″ across, ~ 3″ tall

Ruellia Elegans

Ruella, I just put this in a few hours ago
Ruella, brand new plants
What I hope it looks like in the near future

There are many varieties of Ruellia, I have some that tops out at about 6″ tall, this one is about 4′

Perennial
Native to Brazil, Chile
Blooms late spring through fall
Height: 4′
Drought tolerant, prefers moist, well drained soil
Loves the heat, may be damaged in cold winters. Just remove damaged parts in spring
Propagate by division or seed

Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Excellent caterpillar food

It’s brand new, more information as I have some time to watch it