Insects are a part of gardening. With a little training you can learn to identify the good guys and the bad guys, and increase your insect knowledge about how to manage the pests safely. This Vegetable IPM Web site from Texas Cooperative Extension is an encyclopedia of information on pests and beneficials, including photos, lists by garden crop, favorite prey of each beneficial, and least-toxic control options.
Favorite or New Plant
The fascinating blooms of passionflower (Passiflora sp.) are absolutely beautiful and are best viewed up close. Few flowers can match them for intricate beauty. Their vigorous vines grow to 20 feet or more, and are well suited to a fence or trellis where the blooms can be easily seen. Commonly available in blue- and purple-flowered forms, a red tropical form (Passiflora coccinea) also is available. Some are perennial while others are not dependably winter hardy.
Passionflowers bloom best in a sunny location although some afternoon shade is fine. Provide a soil with plenty of compost mixed in and moderate moisture levels. Fertilize periodically to maintain good vigor. Passionflower leaves are a food source for Gulf Fritillary caterpillars, making them a must for your southern butterfly garden.