Want to attract butterflies? Award-winning Truffala Pink botanical blocks
Earning a perfect score award in a college plant trial is a huge honor and makes a real statement of performance – even more so when the same plant wins a perfect score in twelve states, spread across the country. Oklahoma State, University of Minnesota, Mississippi State, University of Tennessee and Iowa State are just a sampling. Add in the Dallas Arboretum’s FlameProof Plant Award, and you’ll realize we’re talking about a hardy plant. I don’t know how many plants can achieve such a record, but Truffula Pink gomphrena has withstood the tests.
Even with a trophy case representative of a summer fighter, you wonder how the Truffula Pink handled a summer as hot as 2023. The Garden Guy kicked off the calendar year by telling you that the Truffula Pink gomphrena was the winning national plant of the year. At that time, she had won more than 50 awards. This number reaches 81.
It has been a champion pollinator in my house for at least four years. However, the summer of 2023 will be a record year. This year has made me know without a doubt, that it is the most powerful flower you will ever grow, and if you do it right, it will be the most beautiful too.
Last week’s column: Plum Temple is the proverbial “tree of life” for pollinators
No clowning around: These heart-to-heart pitches are the stars of the summer
Polly people: A preserved message from a dear friend brings tears and smiles
By the time you read this, the commercial plots I’ve been watching will be 150 days past what I would call full bloom. I say commercial plots but what I am referring to are large, high traffic beds at the entrance of a shopping center or residential community.
Since 2023 has been hotter and drier than most of us have experienced, the Garden Guy has turned into a real whiner. But the Truffula Pink Gomphrena has outperformed any other commercial grower in the city, which lifts my spirits.
The beds’ design also confirmed what we knew all along, but didn’t talk about enough: If you get a complaint about Truffula Pink, it’s accommodation. This means that it falls. This is almost always related to one plant being the tallest in the bed or container. In other words, over time the sail becomes windier.
In all of these beds, they are mass planted together and surrounded by yellow gold/lantana. The Truffula Pink plants gave each other structural support as well as the extra strength provided by the lantana plants. The offer was another real shock.
The pink truffle flowers are borne on a translucent plant with fairly airy stems, and although the flower color is a hot, iridescent pink, one or two plants simply cannot impress enough for car occupants to take notice in a competitive traffic situation. However, a few dozen plants in full bloom, on a day with triple-digit scorching heat, will leave you looking in amazement and wishing for something similar in your home.
Since Truffula Pink is a butterfly magnet, a Garden Guy will always want to incorporate it into their garden and cottage designs. I would use taller plants like Rockin’ Playin’ the Blues Salvia, and Meant to Bee agastaches to not only serve as color partners but support each other through storms with rain and wind.
Truffula Pink gomphrena needs full sun and fertile, well-drained soil to truly perform its ability. Leaving these plants in wet, soggy soil would be a crime. Plan to space your plants about 12 inches apart and add a layer of mulch. You can expect them to reach 2 feet tall and bloom until frost. I have never felt the need to dead-end.
The Truffula Pink is an annual and is worth a pretty penny. I garden in zone 8 and most years I will see at least half of the plants return in the spring. It is considered a perennial in zone 9 and warmer. Those of you who love cut flowers for the vase will find Truffula Pink a perfect, long-lasting addition.
Follow Norman Winter on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy for more photos and garden inspiration. See more columns by Norman at SavannahNow.com/lifestyle/home-garden/.