The UCR Botanic Gardens is pleased to announce our Fall Online Plant Sale on October 24-25, 2020 (midnight-midnight), with in-person pickup at the Gardens entrance on November 5 and 6. For the first time, Friends of the UCRBG members will receive a 10% discount on all plant purchases. Join or renew your Friends membership before October 19, 2020 at gardens.ucr.edu/friends to receive your discount. The plant list will be available prior to the sale and will include hundreds of different species including house and patio plants, shrubs, herbaceous plants, trees, vines, cacti, succulents, and California native plants.
Now that the weather is cooling down you may want to spruce up your patio to enjoy the cooler weather outdoors this fall. With the exception of the autumn sage, which requires more light, here are some suggestions of plants that will transform any patio or semi-shady location.
Reed-stemmed epidendrum orchid, Epidendrum hybrid - These plants will add a tropical feel to your patio and are easy to grow. They have tall, reed-like stems lined with succulent leaves and in warm weather are topped with long-lived clusters of small, orchid flowers with fringed lips. The patio is the perfect place since they need protection from frost.
Fuchsia, Fuchsia sp. (Jack’s) – We call it Jack’s because a long-time volunteer named Jack Goertzen selected many hybrids that tolerate our inland heat. You may remember Jack years ago, selling his Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria) at the Plant Sales. This is one we especially liked so we have kept it going since Jack’s passing. Mine has been hanging in my patio for years. It will wilt when you forget to water it but mine has always revived and it blooms every year. You can cut it back to keep it tidy and full.
Gartenmeister fuchsia, Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ – This is another beautiful fuchsia selected for our inland gardens. This is an evergreen shrub for a container or for the landscape with shade. It has dark, reddish foliage and spikes of pendant, salmon-red flowers from spring through fall. Both of these fuchsias will attract hummingbirds.
Flowering maple, Abutilon pictum ‘Aureo- maculatum’ – This is an eye-catching, fast growing, evergreen shrub for a container or for the landscape in some shade. Mine is in dappled shade and is doing great. It has maple-like leaves with a patchwork of white, cream, and different shades of green. The flowers add even more interest as they are nodding, bell-shaped, soft-orange flowers with crimson veins from spring through summer.
Pink star clusters, Pentas lanceolata (pink) – We have this plant listed as a tender, shrubby perennial for a protected landscape or patio. Don't let the word "tender" deter you. At the Botanic Gardens we have them growing in full sun and they have survived many winters. It will need some protection from frost. It’s very showy with many terminal clusters of starry, pink flowers all summer long. It makes a good cut flower and container plant and will attract butterflies.
Pincushion flower, Scabiosa columbaria – This is another plant that will attract butterflies and we have two varieties available. It is a clumping herbaceous perennial with dissected leaves and long-stalked, lavender blue flower heads. ‘Butterfly Blue’ has deeper colored flowers. It also makes a good cut flower and can be a container plant.
Shrimp plant, Justicia brandegeeana – This is an interesting shrub native to Mexico for a container or the landscape. It will do best if protected from afternoon sun in the summer and from frost in the winter. It produces red-bracted, shrimp- shaped spikes of white tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds from spring through summer. It can get to four feet tall but can be pruned to promote bushiness. The flowers will be darker with some shade.
Ruttyruspolia, Ruttyruspolia 'Phyllis van Heerden' – This compact shrub from Africa will grow to about four feet. It has small, medium green leaves above and lighter below and clusters of long lasting, dusty-rose flowers at the branch tips from spring through fall. The flowers will attract butterflies and make a good cut flower. Give it some afternoon shade or use it as a patio plant in a container.
Autumn sage, Salvia x jamensis – Just in time for fall color! We have just about every color of these water-efficient, sun loving shrubs. Most of them have been developed by our past Director, Dr. Giles Waines. They are small shrubs to about 3 to 4 feet with tiny, aromatic leaves and abundant spikes of two-lipped flowers from spring through fall. The hummingbirds love them!