Lower South

September, 2004
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Coral Vine or Queen's Wreath
A drought-tolerant native of Mexico, the coral vine or queen's wreath (Antigonon leptopus) is a dependable perennial vine with heart-shaped leaves and a vigorous growth habit. In late summer and fall it produces striking clusters of vivid pink blooms that hang down like delicate chains. It has no significant pest or disease problems, but it does like well-drained soils and full sun to part shade. Give it plenty of room. Coral vine blooms are a welcome nectar source for important pollinator insects like bumble bees. A white-blooming form also is available.

Tool or Gardening Product

Lightweight Row Cover Fabric
Spunbound polyester row cover fabrics are one of the best things to happen to gardeners. These lightweight fabrics are light enough to lay over young plants without crushing them. Weighing in at about one-half ounce per square yard, they are lighter and allow more light to pass through than their heavier cousins -- the frost blankets. They block out insects if you cover the edges with soil or boards. Even though they are very light, they still offer a few degrees of protection from frosts, which is all we generally need to help new, cool-season vegetable seedlings or transplants through the first few frosts. Row cover fabrics are widely available at local garden centers and from mail-order gardening supply companies.

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