Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Native Fave of Mine and Hummers

This is Justicia palmeri--a native shrub which, left on its own, blooms in summer and fall with the rains. In my garden it likes semi-shade, though I have seen it on rocky exposed slopes where cows love to munch on it. It might bloom year round with extra water. It benefits from native brutality (hacking it back to stubs once a year). It will grow to 4-5 feet without brutality. It is transplantable--I cut the tops off and keep as much soil with the roots as possible. You can also propagate it by layering. That means bending a branch to the ground, putting some soil over the branch and putting a rock on top to keep it all submerged. If it gets some water, rootlets will sprout within a month and you can eventually separate it from the parent plant. Now, I can recognize seedlings so I just transplant them. Understandably, the hummers love this plant as much as I do.