capture our attention
If you like big and bold, look no further than large-leafed plants. These beauties offer dramatic impact to containers or garden beds. While some have equally bold flowers, the sheer beauty of immense leaves captures our attention.
Cannas can reach their rich green or burgundy leaves 5 to 6 feet in the air. Any gardener can find room for one of the lower-growing varieties that mature at 3 feet or less. Native to the tropics, cannas perform best in full sun and benefit from division every two to three years. Set them about 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart in rich soil and stand back!
A favorite Southern shade plant, hostas offer mammoth leaves. While variegated forms, as well as the yellow varieties, will take more sun than solid green ones, these appreciate afternoon shade. Hostas need a deep mulch to keep their roots cool and moist. If slugs find your hostas too tasty, sprinkle around the plant with diatomaceous earth or use slug bait.
Go bananas for big impact. Surely nothing beats drama like a banana tree. The dwarf varieties can find a home in the smallest garden or even in a large container. Being tropical, bananas need full sun, with a little protection from the hot afternoon sun for some varieties. Definitely give your beautiful banana protection from the wind so its large leaves will not be shredded. Banana plants flourish best in loose soil with ample water and regular fertilizer applications.
So, whether or not you go bananas, “canna” you not at least plant a hosta?
Sarah Bell Harris, a Master Gardener, is a trained volunteer of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. For gardening questions, call the Hort Line at (662) 620-8280 in Lee County or (866) 920-4678 outside Lee County and leave a message.
Here’s the lowdown
on biodegradable bags
When it comes to plastic bags, biodegradable and compostable they not the same thing, says Dianna Kennedy with Eureka Recycling.
“Degradable” simply means that the product will break down into smaller plastic components that can get into water, plants, animals and eventually humans. Many of these items contain petroleum-based plastic along with plant-derived materials. The plant-derived molecules break down and release the petroleum-based component plastics into the environment.
Meanwhile, “compostable” bags aren’t compatible with plastic recycling programs, and some cannot be safely composted.
There are many bags on store shelves and covering some newspapers that are marked and marketed as “degradable” or “compost bag” that are not truly compostable.
Truly biodegradable or compostable bags are made entirely of plant material, not petroleum. When composted properly – at commercial-scale composting facility – they break down or biodegrade completely into components that can be “eaten” by micro-organisms to produce nutrient-rich compost.
The Biodegradable Products Institute certifies that products claiming to be compostable are actually compostable. Look for products with its logo. (A list is at www.bpiworld.org.)
Daily Journal wire report