- UNC-TV Series
- UNC-TV Specials
- Programs A-Z
- UNC-TV Science
Plant of the Week: Season 6
Episode 601:Blue Chip Butterfly Bush
Common Name: Blue Chip Butterfly Bush
Scientific Name: Buddleia davidii ‘Blue Chip’
Dr. Dennis Werner, director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University and a plant breeder in the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, developed the new butterfly bush, or buddleia.
continuous bloomer, no need to deadhead
dense and compact
2-3ft. in height and width
full sun, well-drained soil
'Blue Chip' is the first of what Werner anticipates will be a number of butterfly bushes developed as part of a trademarked series of plants called Lo and Behold. All the Lo and Behold buddleia will be low, compact plants that produce few seeds. They should be available to gardeners over the next several years.
Episode 602: Black-eyed Susan
Common Name: Black-eyed Susan
Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta ‘Indian Summer’
mid summer to first frost
yellow with deep brown center
4 to 6 inches in width
no flopping or staking
1 to 3ft. tall
deadhead spent flowers to encourage new flowers
use in mixed border, perennial borders
Episode 603: Stokes Aster
Common Name: Stokes Aster
Scientific Name: Stokesia laevis
herbaceous perennial, native to SE region
late May through end of summer
can flop, may need to support
well drained soil
use in mixed borders, perennial borders
Episode 604: Peregrina
Common Name: Peregrina
Scientific Name: Jatropha integerrima
tropical evergreen shrub, native to Cuba
The leaves are extremely variable; they may be entire and elliptic or oval, or they may be fiddle shaped, or they may have three sharp pointed lobes.
Zone 10, will not grow as a perennial in NC, must be
brought in and grown as a houseplant during Winter
full sun, but will tolerate some shade
use in mixed borders
Episode 605: Alice Du Pont Mandevilla
Common Name: Alice Du Pont Mandevilla
Scientific Name: Mandevilla splendens ‘Alice Du Pont’
large, pink flowers
thick, green leaves
full sun (at least 6 hours a day for best flower)
fertilize every two weeks
great in a container with a trellis for support
provides good color for an arbor
named after the wife of Pierre DuPont, creator of the celebrated Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Episode 606: Bangkok Rose
Common Name: Bangkok Rose
Scientific Name: Mussaenda erythrophylla
coral (often mistaken for the flower)
3-7ft, as an annual in NC
can grow as tall as 8ft. in its native region
full sun, well-drained soil
use in mixed border or container
Episode 607: Japanese Aster
Common Name: Double/False Japanese Aster
Scientific Name: Kalimeris pinnatifida
small white double flower
Mid to late May until frost
small, feather-like leaves
2-3 ft. tall
full sun, but does tolerate part shade
no deadheading required
tough plant, great performer in the garden
Episode 608: Hosta
Common Name: Hosta
Scientific Name: Hosta sp.
Type: herbaceous perennial
Most species of Hosta are grown for their large, striking foliage rather than their flowers, but Hosta plantaginea has large, white very fragrant flowers in late summer. Blue leaved forms require shade, while green leaved types can take more sun.
Leaves come in a wide range of shapes, colors, sizes, and textures and may be solid in color or variegated in different combinations of blue, green, white, and gold.
partial shade to shade
The plants are low maintenance and are widely available in nurseries and garden centers.
Many catalogs also offer a large selection of hosta plants, with more than 2,500 different cultivars on the market.
Size depends on the cultivar.
Episode 609: Elephant Ear
Common Name: Elephant Ear
Scientific Name: Colocasia sp./ Alocasia sp.
Elephant ear is the common name for Alocasia, and Colocasia is commonly known as Taro. Since alocasias and colocasias look alike, one is often mistaken for the other. But alocasias have thicker leaves that are often held upright, with petioles attached at the leaf margins. They like to be kept dry and usually need some shade. Colocasias have thinner, papery leaves that are held perpendicular, with petioles attached in the middle of the leaf. (The botanical term is "peltate.") They like to be kept wet and prefer full sunlight.
Both groups are evergreen perennial plants found in tropical forests in sunny open places or shaded, usually damp sites. Both belong to the Araceae family, originating from South and Southeast Asia.
A growing variety of species and cultivars are being offered. New breeding and selection efforts have brought small and giant habits, spotted and cup-shaped leaves and pink, red, purple and black petioles, stems and blooms.
The leaves of both groups are medium to large and arrow-shaped, with strong veins and fleshy petioles.
Many species are root-hardy to Zone 8 and some even to Zone 7. For the rest, you can dig up the rhizomes after the first light frost and store them in a dry, dark place that's cool but above 45 degrees (a crawl space or garage). Both plant groups grow in a wide range of soil and moisture conditions.
They grow mainly from rhizomes, or horizontal, underground stems that often send out roots and shoots from their nodes. Some grow from tuberous roots. They're all easily propagated by dividing the root ball, rhizomes or tubers. They're resistant to deer, too.
Episode 610: Dwarf Pomegranate
Common Name: Dwarf Pomegranate
Scientific Name: Punica granatum ‘Nana’
orange-red flowers, late summer- fall
small pomegranate fruit
small green leaves
4ft. tall, 4ft. wide
full sun, but will tolerate part shade
hardy Winston-Salem and east in NC
Episode 611: Hot Lips Salvia
Hot Lips Salvia
Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’
white with red margins (hence the name “hot lips”)
either solid red or solid white
fine-textured small green leaves
full sun, but will tolerate part shade
attracts butterflies and hummingbirds
use in mixed borders or containers
Episode 612: Variegated Japanese Pieris
Common Name: Variegated Japanese Pieris
Scientific Name: Pieris japonica ‘Variegata’
Common Name: Dwarf Lily of the Valley Shrub
Scientific Name: Pieris japonica ‘Prelude’
arching racemes of white, bell-shaped flowers in Spring
dwarf selection flowers later than other varieties
‘Prelude' has pink leaves in spring that turn to dark green
varies depending on the cultivar, but slow-growing
part shade to part sun
well-drained, but slightly moisture retentive, soil
Japanese pieris makes a good specimen shrub for the light shade under large oaks or pines.
The smaller cultivars are suitable for container growth, and the smallest ones are used for bonsai.
Episode 613: Dwarf Fothergilla
Common Name: Dwarf Fothergilla
Scientific Name: Fothergilla gardenii
deciduous shrub, native to the southeast
white flowers in spring
great fall color: leaves are red, burgundy, orange, yellow
green in spring
related to witch hazel
use in a mixed border or as a foundation plant