Wednesday, August 19

Garden Pic Wednesday: Mexican Heather!

Today was mowing and a light bit of edging in the front and north side yard, plus laying down weed & feed in the last front section.
One of my biggest lawn weed issues is Doveweed, a flowering ground cover weed that blends into the grass, then smothers it. I didn't use to have it, but my next door neighbor quit using weed products several years ago and his lawn got it thick. Then, naturally it spread to mine. It's a vining weed. I generally pull up any I spot--that's the best weed control really.

Today's Garden Pic is Mexican Heather!
This is a small, low-maintenance flowering shrub needs no pruning that I love to use in my landscape!
Here in the south, it's a perennial, but an annual in the north. 
It runs roughly 12 inches tall by 20 inches wide.
In my experience, since mine come back from the root every spring, as a perennial, Mexican Heather generally have a life span of approximately 3 to 7 years.(In contrast to my Gardenia, for example, which is 26.)
This one pictured below is one I grew from a seedling I found growing in our gravel pull-in a couple years ago.

 Another nice feature about Mexican Heather is it's a fantastic bee attracter! 
Bees of all kinds just love the tiny lavender flowers that cover it's branches from spring until frost!

Mexican Heather can readily re-seed, too! 
Though some tend to be more prolific then others. I have a Mexican Heather near my back patio that started as a pair of tiny random seedlings I planted together last spring that has proved exceptionally prolific this spring!
 I found tons of little seed-babies all around it. I've re-planted around a dozen of the biggest in various locations. The more, the merrier, I say.
In flower beds, Mexican Heather makes an excellent border plant. Being low in size, it needs to be located at the front of a bed. I prefers full sun to dappled shade and don't mind my terrible sandy soil. It can also be planted pots.
The only maintenance I have with them is, after they die back in winter, I like to trim off the dead branches before they sprout again in spring.

Facts About Mexican Heather:
It is not related to true heather. It can be sold under a variety of names: False Heather, Hawaiian Heather or Elfin Herb.
 Come back tomorrow for Mama Kat!

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