Planting Liriope Ideal for the Southern Home

Planting Liriope Ideal for the Southern Home
by Kent Higgins

From the Atlantic seaboard to the Rio Grande, January is the time to now complete the planting of evergreens, shrubs, roses and trees. Often azaleas and camellias are not planted until they are in bloom, but these too profit from early planting, establishing themselves quickly and starting growth early the first year.

Material in containers, or balled and burlapped, can, of course, be planted right on through spring and into summer, but even this type of material will do better if planted when dormant.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

For the small property dwarf fruit trees are particularly well suited. In congenial climates they will not only add beauty but also produce good crops of fruit. Pear trees thrive in areas south to the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Apples do best in the higher altitudes of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, as well as in the-northern sections of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Liriope

For several years I have admired the beauty and drought resistance of the various forms of liriope, sometimes called lily turf. Though some species of liriope were once sold as mondo or ophiopogon, most nurseries now list all of them as liriope. With tufts of leaves from 6 to 12 inches or more high.

Plant Stuff

The various species of liriope make ideal permanent edgings for borders. The spikes of flowers, produced in late fall and lasting many weeks, come in shades of lilac. In our garden we have several hundred feet of liriope borders, and even though recent summers and falls have been exceptionally dry, the liriope hasn’t had to be watered. This plant will grow in full sun or deep shade, thriving in the South from Virginia to Texas. Liriope can be planted now.

Sweet Olive

If you live in any of the states where camellias can be grown you will also be able to grow sweet olive. Be sure your planting contains at least one; for no shrub, not even the popular camellia, is more reminiscent of the Deep South. The sweet olive is evergreen and grows into a shapely, attractive plant.

Little creamy-yellow flowers, unusually fragrant, are produced from late September through October; then in midwinter, with a few days of mild weather, there will be another great burst of bloom.

Winter Flowering Viburnum

The small clusters of white garden flowers which are produced in January and February make Viburnum Tinus a special favorite garden flower in the South. This valuable evergreen requires no special attention and will grow almost anywhere, in sun or shade.

Planting the Flower Border

Along the Rio Grande, around New Orleans and Mobile and eastward through Florida, planting of hardy annuals, acidantheras and gladiolus continues. English daisies, gerberas and pansies can also be set out. In the Deep South, where many of the perennials popular in colder areas will nor thrive, the beautiful and dependable gerberas are particularly valuable.

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