Yesterday I was at a big box store desperately looking for a new coffee maker. We've had the worse luck with coffee makers...they seem to break after about 1 year...just after the warranty expires. Having done a lot of research on line and narrowing down my search I saw that one of the big box stores had a limited quantity. When I arrived at the store, they didn't have the coffee maker I wanted in stock (I guess that would be the limited quantity part). Utterly frustrated I decided to take a walk through the Lawn and Garden department thinking that would make me feel a little happier. Now, normally I don't purchase plants from big box stores because (1) historically I haven't had luck with the plants surviving (diseases or bug infected) and (2) I like to support my local growers & nurseries.
But, while I was walking around my eye was drawn to a rack of blue, no indigo, no cobalt blue colored plants. Whatever shade of blue, they were electrifying... (*note these photos look more violet/purple than blue. I couldn't get my photos to the true color)
They looked like something from the daisy family. The tag identified it is Senetti Pericalllis, commonly called Cineraria. Well, as I was standing there admiring them an employee came up and said that they were 50% off because they had come in too early; making them $6.00. Well, that certainly made them even more appealing.
So I started to justify and at the same time talk myself out of the purchase...Are they native?...No, they come from the Canary Islands. Are they drought tolerant?...No, they like consistently moist soil (don't let them dry out). Is it a perennial?...not sure in my zone (7b); probably more for pots. They can take light frosts and temperatures to 32F.
What a tough decision. It doesn't really fit the profile of the plants I choose for my garden. However, they were so stunning and for $6.00 hard to pass up. After all, blue is my favorite color, they add some much needed color at this time of year; even though I will have to keep them in the house for a few weeks before the danger of night frosts have past.
In the end I took the plunge and purchased one.When I got home I read that they can have as many as 200 blooms in a 10 to 12 inch pot. Wow!
The Senetti Pericallis was a nice surprise purchase which brightened my day even though, I am still searching for that coffee maker...