Gulf Coast Gardening
Gulf Coast Gardening shares a wealth of information about …well…gardening. Here, you’ll find articles on vegetable gardens, landscaping, native plants, pests and beneficial insects. You’ll find DYI guides on planting times, when and how to fertilize, and tools you may need. You’ll also discover interesting new discoveries in gardening and soil management techniques. I hope you will benefit from these blogs and keep coming back to Gulf Coast Gardening.
Gulf Coast Gardening
At Gulf Coast Gardening our desire is to provide information about gardening…not only for us green-thumb (and some of us “black thumb”) veterans but also for all our beginning gardeners.
There are about 16 million people living along the Gulf Coast in Zones 8 and 9. About 25% are home gardeners, which means that home gardeners along the Gulf coast from Corpus Christi to Tampa number about 4 million. That’s a lot of gardeners.
Some of us grow vegetables and fruit, some grow ornamentals, some grow indoor plants, and many of us do all these things. A third of us are over 35, while the number of those under 35 is increasing day by day.
I am interested in your feedback, questions, suggestions, and observations. You can contact me.
BLUE MIST FLOWER – SUMMER AND FALL BLOOMS AND SOME STRANGE CONNECTIONS
The Blue mist flower (Conoclinum coelestinum) is a stunning native of the Eastern U.S. And, believe it or not, it has a relationship to some healing practices. One is Hoodoo.
HOODOO? ISN’T THAT WHAT DR. JOHN CALLED VOODOO? (HOODOO? YOU DO).
Nope. Voodoo is a religion, while hoodoo is an African-American spirituality and healing practice. The blue mist flower holds a high place in its healing properties among Native Americans and Wiccans. Wait! Don’t freak out yet. There’s more!
Naturopathic practitioners (those who use natural remedies to help the body heal itself) also promote blue mist extract to treat respiratory problems, menstrual cramps, boosting the immune system, alleviating anxiety and stress. Naturopaths indicate that the plant has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-anxiety symptoms, as well as other ailments.
Native Americans used it to heal a number of ailments and Wiccans use it in their rituals. Now, several medical studies have found that blue mist plant is filled with highly effective antioxidants, which support disease prevention, eye health, brain functions reduce inflammation.
WAIT! BEFORE YOU START EATING BLUE MIST FLOWERS AND LEAVES...
Be aware of other properties. All parts of the blue mist are toxic. There are ways to get rid of the toxins, but you can get directions from somewhere else. Extracts are available on the internet. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it. Please don’t construe that I’m recommending this plant as a cure for any illness, discomfort, or spiritual awakening.
SOME REALLY GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE BLUE MIST PLANT
- Butterflies and more butterflies. It provides nectar for monarchs, soldiers, swallowtails, queens, pearly crescents, little yellows and many other butterflies.
- Native bees find the plant irresistible. So do honey bees. And skippers—like the little metalmark, Duke’s skipper and salt marsh skippers.
- It is host plant for 13 species of moths. Two of these are the Ruby Tiger Moth and the Three-lined Flower Moth.
BLUE MIST IS EASY TO PROPAGATE AND GROW
Like most wildflowers, blue mist flower seeds need to be sown outside in the fall or spring.
If you decide to plant outside in the fall, it’s easy and quick. First, make sure the soil is bare. If there is debris or mulch, rake it away. Lightly rake the soil (I use a leaf rake just to disturb the soil). Spread your seeds out on the bare spot. Then simply step on all the seeds so that they’re in good contact with the soil.
If you’d rather wait until spring, you can plant the seeds then, following the same routine above.
You can also cold-stratify the seeds. It’s rather complicated, but follow the link and you’ll get some explicit instructions.
Blue mist is aggressive, multiplying either by root or seed, so you need to keep it in check. It’s an herbaceous perennial and dies back in the winter. Just cut it back to the ground in early spring.
The plant needs very little water once it’s established, making it drought-tolerant. It does well in any type soil, as long as the pH is neutral (6.5-7.5).
Blue mist does well in full sun or partial shade. However, since we have such hot summers here, I would site your plant in a partial shaded area. The east side of a structure is best, so the plant won’t get afternoon sun.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
The Blue mist flower (Conoclinum coelestinum) is a stunning native of the Eastern U.S. And, believe it or not, it has a relationship to some
My Upcoming Gardening Book
Gardening is a form of communication all its own – shortcut to the language of the heart, not the mind. Raising tomatoes, beans, roses or even native plants is a means of positive communication between all folks, young and old, physically able and physically and intellectually challenged, between all ranges of political, social, and philosophical differences.
I hope you find this book helpful and resourcesful.