Western Mountains and High Plains

February, 2008
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Rose Mallow
Rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), with its classic hibiscus blooms, is a cold-hardy perennial that dies back in the winter, but will return every spring. Just be patient. It is slow to emerge and needs the soil temperature to stay consistently warm. The flowers are amazingly huge -- up to 12 inches across -- with five, distinctive, broad, silky petals and a bottlebrush center that hummingbirds love. Red and pink are striking in the summer garden and blooms continue until frost. Plant rose mallow in well-drained, compost-enriched soil in full sun for best growth.

Clever Gardening Technique

Watering Tube for Strawberry Pots
If you like to plant in large strawberry jars, the plants near the bottom are often difficult to water uniformly. To remedy this, cut a piece of 2-1/2-inch PVC pipe the same length as the depth of the jar. Cap the bottom and drill 3/4-inch holes at different intervals (3 to 4 inches apart) up and down the pipe. As you get ready to plant, position the PVC pipe in the center while you're filling the jar with moistened potting mixture. To keep the potting mixture uniformly moist, fill the watering tube with water as needed.

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