The Southern Gardener's Favorite Heat-Tolerant Flower
It feels like the tropics out there, doesn't it? Your familiar plants think so, too, which is why so many are hanging on for dear life. Spice things up with tropical plants that love the heat and bloom despite it. One that does is princess flower (Tibouchina urvilleana). Clusters of large, royal purple blossoms adorn handsome, velvety, deeply veined leaves.
This evergreen shrub is winter-hardy only in USDA Zone 10, so most of you should grow it in a pot you can bring indoors for the winter and then take outside in spring. One of the best ways to be successful with indoor plants is to give them light conditions they prefer. Give the potted princess flower full-to-part sun, and prune it in spring. Move the princess flower back to its proper place outside in the garden in the spring after the last expected frost (when temperatures remain consistently higher). Although this plant isn't dormant during the winter, it does slow its growth and generally needs less water during the cold months, so plan accordingly. The princess flower, unlike its name suggests, isn't too fickle of a flower. You need not worry too hard about it—just enjoy the lovely color!
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During this warm late-summer month, keep in mind that there are certain things to remember when it comes to your garden. Along with planning which flowers you will bring indoors once the weather begins to turn, you should be harvesting all of the summer vegetables that you can (while they last!), ordering your spring bulbs for best quality and selection, and giving your last heavy pruning and trimming of any shrubs, hedges, or other plants. Do not transplant anything you have growing to the ground; it will likely face a hard time acclimating. With these tips and your beautiful princess flower on hand, you're sure to have a good go of it this season.