If you’ve been to the PHS Pop Up Garden at 313 South Broad Street, you know how beautifully the plants have been integrated into the space, creating a lush, somewhat tropical oasis. When you wander through the garden, you’ll notice that each plant variety has been tagged. So make a note of your favorites, read here for some growing tips, and make plans so that next year you can recreate some of the Pop Up in your garden.
Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’ Bolivian Begonia This is a straight species begonia from Bolivia and Argentina that has a regular bushy form, but also works well in containers where it can where it can form a pendulous habit. The laceolate leaves are quite attractive, and the flowers of this cultivar are highly ornamental and last throughout the growing season. Moist soil and partial sun are ideal conditions for growing this plant.
Bulbine frutescens ‘Hallmark’ Bulbine A succulent species from Africa that produces upright fleshy foliage and floriferous spikes of orange and yellow flowers. Flowers can reach well over two feet above the foliage, creating an airy appearance to the plant. The flowers bloom continuously from spring in the early fall. Like most succulents, this should be grown in well drained soils and given plenty of sunlight.
Cissus discolor Rex Begonia Vine This vine is actually not a begonia species, but has similar dramatic foliage. The leaves have a variegated pattern and a mahogany red underside. The stems and tendrils also have a striking tone, which can be viewed as it climbs up other plants. Plant it alongside other vertical plants for support or on the edge of a container or bed for a spilling effect.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Diamond Head’ Elephant Ears This popular tropical plant is very dramatic and easy to grow in moist, rich soil. It will grow rapidly once established and can reach a height of up to four feet. This selection is unique in its dark foliage and shiny leaf surface, making it a perfect backdrop for other annuals like Gomphrena ‘Fireworks.” Like most worthy elephant ears, it can be overwintered with a little preparation.
Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ Swedish Ivy This introduction from Africa is related to Swedish Ivy, but instead of being grown for foliage alone, it also has light lavender flowers. It is great plant for areas with partial shade and can even be grown as a house plant
Sanchezia speciosa Shrubby Whitevein This is an interesting foliage plant that has pronounced variegation. The leaves are dark green with very defined yellowish streaks along the margin and venation. Although the plant has the ability to flower in other climates, it is primarily grown for its foliage.
Selonstemone scutellaroides ‘Sedona’ Coleus There are countless Coleus selections, but this variety has a beautiful range of pink, orange, and red. Like most coleus, a hard pinch back can generate a thicker and more robust plant. It does well in partial shade with moist, well-drained soil.
Farfugium japonica ‘Giganteum’ Leopard Plant This handsome plant is perfect for any situation. It can can be used effectively in containers, window boxes, and in annual borders. The large, rounded leaves have an incredibly shiny surface. Its bold texture is easily integrated with other plants. Plant in partial sun to shade, and provide additional water with increasing sunlight. It is easy to overwinter as a house plant after reducing the foliage and placing in a southern window.
Senecio cylindricus ‘Kilamanjaro’ This succulent has a unique foliage habit with bluish green tones. Cylindrical leaves are held in bundles to create a unique texture. This is an excellent focal point or specimen plant. Like most succulents, it can handle draught, high heat, and is relatively maintenance free.
Gomphrena globosa ‘Fireworks’ Globe Amaranth This is a new twist on the classic globe amaranth, Gomphrena globosa. Fireworks grows to three to four feet and has a very airy appearance and is completely covered in magenta flowers. After planting and fertilizing, this annual will rarely need maintenance. It is heat tolerant and will rapidly rebound after stems are broken.
Impatiens repens Trailing Impatiens Flowering impatiens are a staple plant in the gardening world, but Impatiens walleriana has recently become highly susceptible to a new pathogen, downy mildew. New guinea impatiens are highly resistant but often perceived as conventional and common, This related species, Impatiens repens is drastically different and also unaffected by downy mildew. The entire plant is covered in tiny leaves, creating an unusual texture. The foliage is accented with a backdrop of red stems. This is an ideal plant to spill out over the edge of a container or can be used in the very front of a bed.
Salvia gauranitica ‘Black and Blue’ Anise Sage This genus encompasses more species than any other in the mint family (Lamiaceae), which includes many of classic perennials and many amazing annuals. This species can be grown as annual, and will flower continuously through the warm growing season. Once you situate this variety in a sunny location, the plant is relatively maintenance free and will continue to produce vivid blue flowers.