Smith County Master Gardener
Stachytarpheta (what a name for a weed!) better known as Porterweed has been a staple in our gardens for years. We have the beautiful deep purple and the salmon ones in the Rainbow Border (IDEA Garden) as well as the Heritage Garden.
They grow huge, to 6 feet and are always covered with butterflies and hummingbirds. This little red one, though, only gets to about two feet tall and wide. I have one in a pot on my deck where we watch the hummers fight over it.
Porterweeds are easy to grow if you have a spot that gets sun all day. Our gardens have good rich soil and stay fairly moist; however I expect Porterweeds would grow as well on the dry side. I say that because my pot has dried out several times with no dire consequences.
The fun thing about these flowers is that they seem to be in constant motion with all the butterfly and hummingbird activity plus they are very bright and cheerful.
I suggest you try some of these pretty little weeds in your garden next year. You will fall in love with them.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants in the Tyler Rose Garden.