WRKF

flowers

Allen Owings / LSU AgCenter

Many plants grown for their flowers are cool season plants that thrive in South Louisiana from October through May. That makes right now an ideal time to harvest these edible flowers. Many of these plants began to bloom in late winter with their peak season right now.

Among the most popular edble flowers: chives, day lily, mint, panzees, rose, sage, marigold, and squash blossoms.

Allen Owings / LSU AgCenter

Every year, local gardeners see pansies, violas, dianthus, snapdragons, and other flowers whose peak blooming season is in March through May. Invariably, these gardeners then go out to nurseries in April, purchase these plants, and plant them, wishing to recreate this beauty in their own gardens. Unfortunately, they're disappointed when their plants never reach the spectacular results they saw.

There's a good reason. Most of the mid to late spring displays of cool season bedding plants were planted last fall, or at least by late winter or early spring. Early plantings allows bedding plants to develop into larger plants with robust root systems by the time April's crescendo of blooming season arrives.

LSU AgCenter

The 2019 All American Selection Winners for the 2019 growing season come from an independent non-profit organization that tests new, never before sold varieties available for the home gardener. After a full season of anonymous trialing by volunteer horticultural professionals, only the top garden performers are given the AAS Winner award designation for their performance.

LSU AgCenter

It could be argued that azaleas define the spring season in Louisiana. That's because for a long time the most commonly planted Azalea were the large growing Southern Indica types. They produce their flowers and short but incredible display all the way from mid-March through mid April.

But times are changing. With the introduction and more common usage of alternate season blooming azaleas, such as the popular Encore or Robin Hill groups of azaleas, it is not unusual to see azaleas blooming during the late summer fall and even into the winter months.

LSU AgCenter

September and October is an excellent time to plant the sunflower. You can plant them this time of year for a beautiful fall bouquet.

You might have noticed that sunflowers are not usually sold as transplants. This is because sunflowers are fairly difficult to transfer from pot to garden.

LSU AgCenter

In many ways, having a plant produce a flower is our trophy as gardeners for doing such a good job in the care and maintenance of our landscape plans. But there is much more to a flower than the symbolism of success. To understand flower biology, you must understand the parts of a flower.

The main components are the sepals, the leaf-like structures under the flower itself; the pedals, the colored part of the flower, which contain the perfume and nectar glands, and are the part to which we're more attracted; and, lastly, the male and female parts of the flower, which are responsible for production of the seed.

Allen Owings / LSU AgCenter

A new cleome, Seniorita Rosalita, is a radical departure from the cleomes we have grown in the past.

The cleome, or spider flower, is a traditional summer annual grown in the south for generations. They are tall robust plants growing three to five feet tall with a hand-shaped leaf and a large heads of delicate flowers.

Dan Gill / LSU AgCenter

If you're interested in planting wildflowers in your garden, one of the best plants to put in the garden this time of the year is the native Louisiana iris.

Hybrids of this native species bloom in a rainbow of color with large, showy flowers on their long stems. While their beauty and reliability in the garden have made Louisiana irises increasingly popular around the world, they still have some obscurity in their own native Louisiana.

Mark Claesgens / LSU AgCenter

It's time to wake up and plant the roses. Roses are one of the most common gardening shrubs used throughout the world.

The Chinese have been growing these and breeding them for over five thousand years. This breeding practice has led to many, many new cultivars, interesting colors, flower habits, and shrub sizes and forms.

Dan Gill/LSU AgCenter

The blooms of a Japanese Magnolia are one of the most uplifting sights to see in winter. A blooming Japanese Magnolia is a horticultural groundhog, indicating winter is just about done for the year.

More often than not, when Japanese Magnolias bloom around town, it's fairly safe to say we are well on our way to springtime.

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