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Old 05-02-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default ~Making a Balcony Jungle~

Last year some suggested I plant a trumpet vine. A month ago I took it out of the closet and put it on the balcony along with all the other dead looking stuff.

Finally! It's showing signs of life! In all my long terra cotta planters only the chives have come back, but Yea! I told Roger that this week we are going to get everything pulled out and the soil changed so I can go get some stuff!

Last May was so horrible, but this year I'm going to go ahead and plant!

I want birds, bugs, butterflies and hummers among the jungle! This is Buffalo so basically I need annuals, unless they will survive the winter in planters. I think Cosmos are perennial and I love them so I'll get them.

Last year Buffalo gardeners cried and nothing grew well. We had virtually no hot weather.

Trying to upload pix and got this again
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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Okay, I exited WG, reopening it and I'll try again to post last year's pix so you'll know what I'm dealing with~ I'm doing one pic at a time...and that taking way too long...

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1360809.jpg This is the type of planter, and I have 5 now and will get a 6th

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1360811.jpg I cram them and other years they get fantastic but 2009 was dismal

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1360812.jpg The poor trumpet vine - should I cut it back?

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1360822.jpg The nasturtiums did well and I love their brights colors. I add them to salads.

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1360824.jpg The balcony is small, about 13' long and very narrow.

I want tall stuff and low stuff. We put up matchstick rollups to cut the afternoon sun so we can sit out there so nothing near the railing can be too tall. The walls are brown brick, ceiling white. I hang three planters out beyond the blinds, the last couple years Million bells, but last year they died.

If things don't do better this year I'll give up. I've always been told I have a "green thumb" but last year was so discouraging...

So, "Live Vicariously" and "Plant a Balcony by Proxy"!
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:28 PM   #3
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Sage,

For years, until I had land of my own, I grew everything in containers--all natives. Most everything survived for me. Some finally got planted in the ground after 12 years in pots.

I still have a few of my trees in pots until I decide where I want them. That makes 14 years for some. With the trees, I trimmed the roots (and some of the top growth to balance it out) every couple of years. The wildflowers, I would divide and repot or give to friends. I'm sure you could have success even with cold winters--although mine were kept on the ground, not on a balcony.

Also, as far as I remember, Cosmos are annuals (and not native).
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #4
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dapjwy, I just googled cosmos and and they are perennial and native to the Americas and I just love them!
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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There are more than 20 different species of Cosmos. Two are native to North America while the rest are not. It is terribly confusing trying to determine native range using the word Cosmos when there are 26 different species of Cosmos plus many cultivars. The cosmos most frequently sold at nurseries are Cosmos bipinnatus and C. sulphureus. These cheery little plants are indigenous to South and Central America-
PLANTS Profile for Cosmos bipinnatus (garden cosmos) | USDA PLANTS
PLANTS Profile for Cosmos sulphureus (sulphur cosmos) | USDA PLANTS

Our native Cosmos are parviflorus and caudatus. They are indigenous to the southern states.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:46 PM   #6
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These are the cosmos I want ~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1070438ed.jpg
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:37 PM   #7
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The picture you have appears to be Cosmos bipinnatus. The common name for it is the Mexican Aster.

Here is a photo of a native Cosmos-
Wild Cosmos on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:14 AM   #8
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These are the cosmos I want Attachment 16357
Those were the Cosmos I was picturing (Thanks, Lorax for mentioning the two species native to the Southern states.). You are more than welcome to use them in your balcony garden...I meant to mention that you may want to save some of the seeds and plant them again the next year.

When posting to another native plant forum, we tended to make mention if something was not native to the area, so that others reading the post would not assume it was native just by being mentioned on that site.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:13 AM   #9
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It lived!!!! I'll be darned.... it made it!!! Congrats to you on the trumpet vine!!! I'd leave it alone. See how it goes and revisit pruning it later. Poor thing's had a rough winter with you abandoning it to "fly" south!!!
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
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Lib, here's a portrait of my survivor trumpet vine taken just today!

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1000833.jpg

~Making a Balcony Jungle~-p1000834.jpg and the only other survivor, which actually weathered the winter outside because we didn't put those planters in the storage closet. I have two clumps of chives!
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balcony, balcony jungle, balcony plaints, balcony plants, bipinnatus, caudatus, container gardening, container plants, containers, cosmos, cosmos caudatus, cosmos parviflorus, jungle, making, mexican aster, parviflorus, patio plants, plants in pots, potted flowers, potted plants, potted vines, small space gardening, sulphureus

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