Coastal North Carolina has unique challenges and requirements for landscapes, and there are some common but uncommon plants that thrive here. Here are some suggestions:
The beauty of the crepe myrtle tree does not end in the fall or winter, however. The graceful branches and exquisite bark make it a beautiful tree to admire throughout the year. It is drought-tolerant and disease-resistant, which makes it a versatile plant for a variety of conditions. It can thrive in most types of soil and can even grow in clay.
To maintain its beauty, you should prune your Crepe Myrtle in late winter or early spring. Make sure you avoid cutting it back to ugly stubs, as this will change the shape of your plant. Cutting off the twigs and suckers will result in whip-like branches that are too weak to support flowers. Instead, prune it back to its trunk or crotum to promote growth.
When selecting Crepe Myrtle, you should consider the height and the type of flower it produces. The Catawba Crape Myrtle is eight to 10 feet tall and has rich purple flowers in late summer. Its leaves are glossy and turn a rich orange or red color in the fall. The foliage of the Catawba is hardy, and it re-sprouts in the winter.
The Butterfly Weed plant is a popular choice for gardens and yards, as it is beautiful and beneficial to the environment. Its flowers attract butterflies and bees. After flowering, butterfly weed plants produce seed pods that burst when left on the stem. The seeds will eventually fall to the ground and establish themselves there the following year. If you don’t want to deal with the seed pods, you can remove them before they burst or plant them by hand.
Butterfly Weed is an easy-to-grow plant with almost two-toned leaves. The seeds are easily germinated by lightly scattering them on disturbed soil during Fall. You can also walk over the seedlings for a more thorough germination. The seeds should be lightly covered with soil and should be planted in morning or afternoon sun. It will not tolerate a heavy soil.
The beautiful flowers of the Butterfly Weed attract many types of pollinators. The plant is also ecologically significant, as it serves as a host plant for the endangered Monarch Butterfly. The Monarch Butterfly population has declined by eighty percent in the past twenty years, mostly due to habitat loss. While this is an important plant, it should not be overlooked. Just be sure to give it some space in your yard to bloom, and enjoy the beauty and the benefit of butterfly weed in your garden.
Native to the southeastern U.S., Heart-leaf ginger is a clump-forming evergreen perennial that prefers dappled shade. It also self-sows in the right conditions and has fragrant, jug-shaped flowers. The roots of this plant are aromatic and the plant’s leaves have a ginger-like flavor.
It has round, heart-shaped leaves that are flecked with silver. The plant is evergreen and grows in close clusters of 12-24 inches apart. Plants of this plant can form a carpet-like groundcover. They tolerate partial shade and dense shade, but their leaves will burn during hot summers. Heart-leaf ginger is best grown in moist soil that is a medium-level moisture content. It will tolerate clay-based soil and tolerate drought.
Canada Wild Ginger is an excellent ground cover plant for shady areas. It’s disease-free but can be susceptible to slugs, so watch for slugs and other pests. Wild ginger is native from Manitoba to North Carolina, but may vary slightly in height and bloom time in different climates. Asarum can be confused with Hexastylis, a species in the same family.
Growing a garden full of Joe-Pye weed is a great way to add color to your yard. This plant is hardy and tolerates a wide range of conditions, from acidic to neutral to alkaline. Once planted, this plant grows quickly, and should be planted after the last chance of frost has passed. It also needs a lot of space.
A generalist wetland plant, Joe-Pye weed is a stout, spotted weed. It grows in fields, swampy areas, and wet ditches. It is tolerant of heat and grows up to six feet tall. Its leaves are in whorls of three or four and have a matte finish. This plant grows best in moist areas, and it is deer-resistant.
If you’re considering growing a garden in your North Carolina backyard, it is time to start thinking about Joe-Pye weed. This plant features fragrant violet flowers that emerge from distinctive flower buds in midsummer. The flowers are highly edible, and the foliage is attractive enough to cut. Joe-Pye weed is a perennial herb and grows well in potted nursery plants. Its fast growth rate will give you beautiful flowers in your garden within a year or two.
The American Beautyberry is a medium-sized shrub native to central and southeast North America. The plant grows in open woodlands, thickets, and meadows and prefers full sun to partial shade. It is capable of growing between three and eight feet tall with an arching habit. This plant is well-suited to growing in any part of North Carolina, including the Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Mountains.
American Beautyberry can be propagated by dividing the stems from a mature plant. You can then dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone and plant them in small pots. Plants can be kept in a mini greenhouse under indirect light to avoid cold. The plant prefers a rich, organic soil, but it can tolerate less-delicious soil. Planting American Beautyberry in early spring will get the plants established before winter sets in.
The fruit of the American Beautyberry is edible and provides an excellent source of food for birds and small mammals. It is also beneficial for pollinators. In addition to being a great source of fruit for birds, the beautyberry also attracts pollinators and is used as a naturalized area plant. You can even grow an American Beautyberry hedge in your yard as part of a wildlife sanctuary.
The beauty of this deciduous plant lies in its cherry-red berries. Winterberries, also known as black alders, are a valuable resource for butterflies and birds. They thrive in dense shade and require less than two hours of sunlight per day, making them ideal for shade gardens. Although these plants are drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant, they can still be susceptible to disease, including powdery mildew.
This shrub is beneficial for wildlife, including black-throated blue warblers, which migrate through North Carolina in spring and fall. In addition, its foliage serves as a food source for woolly aphids, which are preyed on by the larvae of the Harvester butterfly. Because it is a bee-pollinated plant, it should be planted in clusters of four to five female plants.
In addition to its beautiful berries, Winterberry holly is also an excellent choice for landscapes. A deciduous shrub, it loses its leaves during the winter months, but it produces thousands of beautiful berries on its stems during the fall. A plant with a male and a female can service up to six females, but the flowering times are different. Different cultivars have different bloom times, making it necessary to select the correct one for your garden. Male Southern Gentleman and male Jim Dandy can both work well as a pairing with a female Winter Red. However, male Apollo will not work well with the female Red Sprite.
The Carolina Rose is a perennial that grows along the edges of forests in the eastern United States. It has short, straight prickles that are distinctly shaped. In addition, the plant forms a colony and produces rose hips later in its life. It is a member of the rose family, which also includes garden roses, peaches, blackberries, and strawberries. Most species of roses have three to nine leaflets, stems with prickles, and flowers with five to seven petals.
The Carolina rose can be grown in full sun or partial shade, depending on the conditions. It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight a day for optimal flowering and disease resistance. It thrives in medium-to-wet soils and tolerates some clay. It is native to the southeast and grows well in fencerows and thickets. If you are looking for a plant to add beauty and fragrance to your garden, try a Carolina Rose!
The Carolina rose does not require much maintenance, but will appreciate a little trimming. Dead wood should be pruned back to the base, and suckers can be planted in new locations. You should ensure the roots and soil are attached, and that the soil is moist. If you do choose to prune your Carolina rose, make sure to cut it back to the base, and remove all of the leaves.