Muskogee area gardeners know it must be spring because Blossoms Garden Center is open for the season.
Owners Lora Durkee and Matthew Weatherbee said they have more plants than ever before.
We have the coolest coleus called Electric Lime, Matthew said. We have geraniums in red, pink, white and coral, Endless Summer and Blushing Bride Hydrangeas, six different lavender varieties, plus 20 colors of Million Bells.
Million Bells (Calibrachoa hybrid), members of the potato family that look like tiny petunias, bloom all summer. Blossoms has stocked an amazing array of colors in 4.5 inch pots including: Dark blue, tangerine, red, gold with red eye, dreamsicle, hot pink, apricot punch, etc.
Also, if you missed out last year, they have 100 cold hardy banana trees (Musa basjoo Japanese Fiber Banana). This plant takes Oklahoma winters in stride and returns the following summer in a larger clump that grows even taller than the year before. As it matures, it will top out at 15 feet tall. (It will die back to the ground if it is not protected.)
A small collection of hardy and tropical succulents is at the back of the main greenhouse. There are only six plants of each variety. Examples include: Hardy Duncecap (Orostachys iwarenge) with lavender gray rosettes will survive to 5 degrees below. Pumila Kalanchoe is frost sensitive and prefers part shade. Also called Flower Dust Plant, it has dusty rose flowers in the spring.
Not to be missed for this year’s salvia collection is Hot Lips (Salvia microphylla Hot Lips). Red flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds and it is drought tolerant after established. Grows 2.5 feet tall and up to 4-feet wide. It is supposed to be a perennial in our zone 7 but since it native to Mexico it may be an annual here.
Part shade is considered three to six hours of sunlight a day. For those areas around trees and buildings, consider planting perennials such as Heuchera with hostas, Jet Black Wonder elephant ears and ferns.
Also called Alum Root and Coral Bells, Heuchera is a very popular foliage plant with tall spires of small flowers.
Blossoms has six varieties this year. Palace Purple Heuchera (1991 Plant of the Year) has deep purple leaves that fade to bronze in the heat of the summer. Stormy Seas, considered the best variety for mass plantings, has ruffled maroon-purple leaves. Lemon Chiffon is new this year with yellow spring leaves, chartreuse leaves in summer, and small, light coral pink colored flowers.
Look for annual blanket flowers in the Torch series. Gaillardia pulchella Torch series was Flower of the Year in 2008. Deer do not like them. Pulchella has drought tolerance, mildew resistance and some cold hardiness. Make 2-foot-wide mounds. Annual blanket flowers like full sun, a little water and reward gardeners with butterflies and hummingbirds.
Our prices this year are the same as last year or lower, Lora said. The giant hanging ferns are less expensive. We over wintered 100 and that's all we will have this year in that size.
Every patio pot and hanging planter gets a scoop of slow release Osmocote fertilizer before it goes out the door. Customers can also purchase Miracle Grow and Osmocote at the store.
Potting soil is available in three sizes and three brands, including Miracle Grow.
They have flats of many of your favorites and can order what you need to fill beds with Osteospermum, Wave Petunias, Asters, Lobelia, Verbena and others.