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Gardening in the Southeast

Firecracker Vine

Firecracker Vine
Photo: Missouri Botanical Garden

Alas, dear Southeast gardeners, the news is not good. Despite some mid-May rain, the word from Mississippi is that the humidity's already "so thick you can lick it," and Southern magnolias, stalwarts of southern summers, are now succumbing to heat and drought. But hey, ya'll, southern gardening's never been for sissies! Nothing you can't handle.

Hot Tip
When watering day comes, water each plant twice. Give 'em a good soak, then come back an hour later and soak again. This includes your pots, too, which should be mulched as deeply as your garden.

Talking Plants for the Southeast
Here are five plants hand-picked by the DoD and that infamous Southern gardener, Felder Rushing, author of Passalong Plants. "Don't go babying them," says Felder. In other words, get them in, give them the occassional double-soak, and watch 'em go:

Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Cosmopolitan')
Firecracker Vine (Manettia cordifolia)
China Rose (Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis')
Four-O-Clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
Lantana 'New Gold'

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