The Heat is On

The rainy season officially started about a month ago here on the Treasure Coast in South Florida. It just didn’t start raining until the past week. Plants were getting crispy and I was having to provide supplemental water, even in the irrigated areas. My appreciation for the native plants has gone up. Here is the native shrub, Firebush, Hamelia patens, not missing a beat and attracting butterflies and a large selection of bees.

Firebush and Friend

Firebush and Friend

I have been waiting for precipitation to move plants around in the garden. Now the dilemma is the humidity – it has hit 100 percent several times already., not pleasant gardening weather. Some of the plants are enjoying the heat and humidity more than me. The Ixora burst forth as soon as the rain started, I take back all my grumbling about the special Ixora fertilizer I had been faithfully applying – it clearly works. I can’t recall having a shrub with more flowers, ever.

Dwarf Red Ixora

Dwarf Red Ixora

The Yellow Allamanda I trained to the fence liked the rain as well. Interestingly enough, the native version of this Allamanda was completely eaten by caterpillars! I think it hosts a good butterfly, so caterpillars were probably good.

Yellow Allamanda

Yellow Allamanda

The rainforest Bromeliads also enjoy the summer. This is a Miniata Aechmea, it reminds me of red hots and is painfully easy to grow.

Miniata Bromeliad

Miniata Bromeliad

My final happy plant is a container garden actually. I have had this Dragonwing Begonia around for a couple of years, it was getting puny so I cut it back, found some Boston Fern in the yard (another wonderful native plant, it just comes up!) and put it on my front porch in part shade.

Dragon Wing Begonia and  Boston Fern.

Dragon Wing Begonia and Boston Fern.

Dragon Wings are a long time favorite of mine and I am happy I can grow them here, where they are apparently a perennial. I rooted some cuttings and they are quite happy as well. Heat and humidity are good for something!

I just looked at the weather app on my phone, it said 88 degrees but it feels like 108! I am going to stay inside and perhaps join my dogs on the cool tile floor. Although there is a promising looking group of clouds forming to the south.

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10 comments on “The Heat is On

  1. mattb325 says:

    That is muggy weather! The ixora looks phenomenal – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that splendid. How long does allamanda bloom? It is a really pretty little climber

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  2. Your firebush looks great and they are easy to grow here too. Garden centers try to sell Ixora, but we get a few freezes it just can’t take. I call the weather this time of year 90/90. The temperature and humidity is both in the 90’s.

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  3. I was in Houson last week and surprised to see Firebush thriving there. Sometimes I really don’t appreciate garden center plant selections! Ixora is very common around here but difficult to keep green in sugar sand.

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  4. Chloris says:

    Wow! I love that Ixora. In fact I love all your exotic plants and what sort of butterfly is that?

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  5. That is a Zebra Longwing Butterfly, common around here. The caterpillars grow on Passionflowers which grow wild in back of my house.

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  6. The Ixora is a sight for sore eyes. Wow.

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