February 2013 • Annual color – Adding Colorful Plants when and where you need them

By Paul Sanders • February, 2013

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Many people living here in Puerto Vallarta use macetas (flower pots) as their landscaping base, since most condos do not have yards or lawns (hooray). Many Vallartans live here only part time and rent their homes out when they are not here. Pots of greens and foliage can make a statement against stark balconies and patios. Why not add some color for accent?

Palms, ferns, and many other green plants are easy to care for and very practical for “part timers” and the very busy. Colorful annuals can become your artist’s palette in your garden.

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Buy these plants when you need them, and choose from what is available at that time. This is a one time thing, so splurge; don’t even think of keeping them until next year. Most are very inexpensive and easy to care for. Annual’s colors bring life to your home, and create a positive image.

By adding color in a mixture in a single pot, or just adding a few colorful plants to your existing greens, you can make a big difference.

If you are here for summer’s hot rainy season, choose flowers that will hold up under these conditions. It is easy; your vivero or nursery will have just what you need for that time of year. The same goes for our cooler months; the nursery only carries what is doing well and blooming at that time of year.

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Palms look great with a ring of colorful petunias around them. If they are in the shade, try impatiens or coleus. Ferns are a problem, as they grow so lush here in this bay that they completely cover anything planted around them. In this case use an appropriate sized flower pot, trim the fern in the center and place the pot in the center of the fern. The fern will soon cover the pot. Plant this pot with anything colorful, depending on its location. When you are finished with the color and ready to move on, just remove the empty pot until you return.

The colors you choose are completely up to you. Some are very sensitive to color combinations. I for one have always felt that all of nature is compatible. A single color at the base of a green plant is beautiful, but a riot of all colors makes an entirely different statement. You can use this annual color inside as well, if you have a place for another set of colorful plants outside. Leave them in the pots and switch the outside and inside pots each time you water. When you are through with them, discard them or give them away and start fresh on your next visit.

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Puerto Vallarta Gardening

Color can bring a positive image to your home that shows your attention to detail. It is also refreshing and soothing.

If you have not seen the new petunias that are available here, you are missing out. The triples and quadruples are a feast for the eyes, and there are many new colors.

Impatiens for the shade in singles, doubles, and triples are perfect for accent color. Some plants, like coleus and kale, will give you color and texture without flowers.

Vincas have dramatically changed in the last few years. No longer tall and stringy, they now come in compact, short plats in a riot of colors. They can take from full sun to partial shade, and are ideal around taller plants for that perfect accent.

The new geraniums are a sight to behold. Shorter, more compact, and so many new colors. Foliage can be solid green or variegated. Easy to care for and love the sun.

Kalanchoes have also changed. They now come in ruffled, variegated, and many new colors. The flowers are larger and the plants more compact.

In the holiday season, Poinsettias are perfect. They come in all sizes from tiny to huge. They are available in many colors from traditional red to pink, white, yellow and variegated.

Adding color to your part time home will give it a feeling of permanence. Nothing warms a greeting more than a background of color.

Paul Sanders
E-mail: jesusdeavila@ymail.com

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