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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Austin Tropicalesque

Sometimes my attempts at tropical flowers don’t work – my Brugmansia/Angel Trumpet still looks like a big weed, unwilling to bloom the way Hanna’s did on July 8th. Other exotic flowers are happy in my garden. Here are a pale yellow Plumeria flower , a rose-red Plumeria flower, a Hawaiian white ginger/Hedychium coronarium bloom and a Loquat tree/Eriobotrya japonica. The Plumeria flowers are also called frangipani and both colors smell wonderful. The white ginger smells wonderful. When they bloom in winter, the flowers of the Loquat smell wonderful. They all have big, tropical leaves, and make sitting on the patio seem like a vacation.

When the temperatures approach freezing, the Plumerias leave the patio, moving to their winter quarters in the garage, fasting and abstaining from fluids until spring. The ginger will usually die down to the ground, and sleep until April, protected by mulch, but the Loquat tree can take cold weather to 10º F. We’ve been lucky enough to get flowers every winter, but getting fruit is very chancy – just one dip into the mid-20’s can be the end of that year’s loquat crop. It would be cool to get the fruit, but we like the tree whether we get any loquats or not.


  1. Annie: would I treat a poinsettia the same way you do your Plumerias? Letting them "rest" during the winter? ML/fullfathomfive

  2. What kind of sun do you have all of them in?
    I thought Loquat's only liked full sun,
    but I have my butterfly ginger in pretty heavy shade.
    I'm getting worried that mine might not bloom.

  3. I have the unfortunate distinction of being the only person, ever, to kill a loquat tree. I see them all over my neighborhood, thriving, mocking me.

  4. Your Plumerias looked much healthier compare to those around our neigborhood...what kind of fertilizer do you use?

  5. ML, I don't think pointsettias go dormant & they need specific hours of daylength to rebloom.

    Amy, the Loquat is in part sun, planted in the ground. I have clumps of ginger in a few places, but the one in the photo is in a large permanent container on the patio, partly shaded by the Loquat. The plumerias are also in patio containers, and I kind of move them around, trying to balance enough sun to for bloomset without frying the flowers.

    R, the Loquat is my baby! It was given to me in fall 1999, as an unnamed seedling with 4 leaves. After years of living in ever-larger pots, it was finally planted it in early 2005. They need pretty good drainage.

    Nutbuk, I use Medina Hast-grow, an organic liquid. It might be available only in TX. You can put it on the soil, or as a spray on the leaves for foliar feeding.

  6. My mum had a yellow frangipani in Australia. I love it! What a fragrance...mmmmm! The rose-red one is gorgeous. How wonderful to be able to grow tropical plants!
    Those sunflowers are spectacular. Don't you love 'volunteers'?

  7. Divas of the Dirt -- what a wonderful idea! I would be happy to find just one gardening friend here in La Ceiba, Honduras.

    Thank you for turning me on to the blogs of Nutbuk in the Philippines and Christopher in Hawaii. I have been searching for other tropical gardening blogs without much luck up to now.

    Your photos are beautiful. Sorry this comment doesn't really relate to this article -- just your whole blog in general. Very nice.


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