Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Red, White and Blue Flowers


As we celebrate America’s birthday, we often stay busy with cookouts, summer activities and fireworks. But don’t forget your landscape! There are many options for adding patriotic colors to your gardens and planters. Consider the following flowers as you incorporate red, white and blue into your yard:

· Red mandevilla plants are tropical vines with large, showy blooms. A mandevilla is low maintenance — just provide regular water and lots of sun! Plant this flower in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Provide a trellis or arbor to encourage your mandevilla to climb.

· White vincas are heat-tolerant annuals. They prefer full sun and may become leggy if planted in an area of too much shade. Vincas should be watered only when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. Plan to water moderately once a week but not in periods of heavy rain.

· Blue salvia can be planted in beds or planters, used as borders and look great in arrangements! Look for areas of full sun when incorporating blue salvia into your landscape. Water regularly at the base of the plants to keep the soil moist but the leaves dry, and deadhead to remove old blooms as needed. These flowers attract pollinators such as bees, birds, and butterflies.

· Red petunias are a great companion plant to blue salvia because they both prefer full sun and moist soil. If you must choose a location with partial shade, select an area of morning sun but afternoon shade to protect these plants from the hottest sun of the day. Petunia flowers will attract hummingbirds and pollinating insects to your landscape.

· White impatiens are traditionally planted during the spring months for continuous color throughout the summer. They are a great choice for beds or planters in shady areas. Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Impatiens can be pruned if they grow leggy in the late summer heat.

· Blue plumbago features five-petal flowers that bloom during the spring, summer and fall. Plumbago grows quickly and tends to be deer-resistant! These plants prefer areas of full sun or partial afternoon shade. They are useful as foundational plants or for privacy screens. Prune plumbago occasionally to keep the plants full but be careful not to reduce flowering by cutting too much.

· Red pentas are low-maintenance plants that grow and bloom well in the heat! Be sure they get plenty of water and enjoy the colorful flowers throughout the summer. In our area, Pentas may die off during the winter months, but they often regrow as the weather warms up in the spring. These flowers are wonderful for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds!

· White begonias produce beautiful, dainty flowers but also feature unique leaves that add interest and texture to gardens or containers. Look for areas of shade or indirect sunlight and well-drained soil when planning for begonias. Although they are easy to grow, be sure to deadhead begonias to clear away old flowers and encourage blooming.

· Blue daze is a perennial in our area that produces delicate blue flowers off and on throughout the year. This continuous blooming makes these plants well suited for borders in garden beds or supplemental flowers in planters. Blue daze is ideal for Florida landscapes as it is drought- and salt-tolerant and enjoys growing in full sun or partial shade.

Happy planting!

Flower of the Week: Plumbago

Please email Kathy at for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information and ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.