Archive for the 'Princess Flower' Category

A Touch of Spring in September

Spring may be just a memory in mid-September, but a few of our flowering plants are bringing back a touch of spring in our yard. Our roses bloom sporadically throughout the summer, but never as dramatically as they do in April and May. We have about 2 dozen rose plants in our yard, but the rose that has been a stand out this summer is our Surprise floribunda rose. Although the plant itself is not very attractive, it has produced clusters of stunning flowers at intervals separated by a few weeks from late April until now. Here is picture of it that I took today.

Another flowering plant in our yard that is looking particularly attractive right now is our princess flower. After nearly dying to the ground in late December after nighttime freezes, it has grown so vigorously that it is now a large bush covered with violet flowers. See picture below. The cold weather wasn’t severe enough to freeze the root system. If that were to happen, I am pretty sure it would have killed the plant.

Brugmansia is another frost sensitive plant that we have in our backyard. It died to the ground last December during the same bout of freezing weather. It has also grown back vigorously since the spring. It is now over 6 feet tall and full of flowers again. It’s a Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia.

September 19 2010 | Brugmansia and Princess Flower and Roses | No Comments »

Princess Flowers

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Our princess flower bush defoliated and nearly died last January during a freeze when the temperature fell into the high 20s F. It has made a big comeback since then. It has grown quickly all spring and summer. It’s now full of purple flowers and looking great. Regular watering every other day is probably one of the reasons it has grown so fast. It is getting about 8 hours of sun a day, but I have not fertilized it. I pulled up a climbing rose that was crowding it before, and that seems to have helped also.

September 05 2009 | Princess Flower | No Comments »

Princess Flower

Princess flowers (also known as Tibouchina) are very attractive perennial shrubs. They produce beautiful purple flowers from late summer into autumn, and they have attractive fuzzy green leaves.  Princess flowers are an attractive front yard plant, because their flowers are so eye-catching.  

Unfortunately, princess flowers are also frost sensitive. I planted a few princess flowers a couple of years ago.  During a severe freeze 18 months ago when the temperature here fell into the mid-20s (F), they all died to the ground.  The plant in this picture is the only one I didn’t pull up after that.  It’s growing back now and blooming for the first time since the freeze.

I have noticed that a lot of people in the Bay Area have planted princess flowers next to their houses.  The ones planted next to buildings seem to have fared the freezing weather better.  Perhaps, warmth from a nearby building helped to keep the plants from freezing.

Princess flower seems relatively easy to grow otherwise.  It prefers regular watering, but it seems to be somewhat drought tolerant when established.  

I have read that princess flowers prefer full sun.  Although, I have seen them flourish in partly shady locations in other peoples’ yards.

Princess flower shrubs usually grow very quickly.  As they grow, their branches grow long, lose their leaves, and don’t produce any more flowers.  Over time princess flower shrubs can develop too many leafless and flowerless branches, making them look spindly and unattractive.  

They really need to be pruned often to keep them looking good. After pruning, the shrub develops new growth quickly at the cuts and starts to fill out again with green leaves and eventually flowers.

September 16 2008 | Princess Flower | 3 Comments »