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Hell Strip Plants

May 27, 2020

Dr. Gary Bachman:

Today, I'd like to share a couple of plants I've had success with growing in the Hell Strip today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer:

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University extension service.

Dr. Gary Bachman:

Purslane is a succulent that thrives in high summer temperatures. Purslane has long been regarded by many as a garden weed and I have removed many of these from the garden and landscape. Purslane's summer loving qualities make the improved selections perfect for the landscape. Known botanically as portulaca oleracea, purslane is a larger and more robust version of it's relative, the popular bedding plant, moss rose. Regular pinching will keep purslanes dense and full. Purslane is a heavy feeder that requires adequate nutrition throughout the season for best flowering and growth. The flowers will close on cloudy days and when the plant is under stress and they have been observed to close in late afternoon and early evening as well.

The other plant that really surprised me last year was the annual gold dust mecardonia. I planted this in the spring intending to use as a ground cover until I found some other plant to plant. I never did. The mecardonia created a gorgeous mat from the perfusion of bright yellow flowers. That is until my drip irrigation had a problem and once the bed dried out, so did my mecardonia. So you can imagine my surprise that this spring when the mecardonia came back from seed. I have my drip irrigation fixed and I'm well on my way to having the bright yellow carpet again. Feeding weekly with a water soluble fertilizer will keep the continuous flowering going all summer long. I'm horticulturist, Gary Bachman, for Southern Gardening.

Announcer:

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University extension service.

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