By Victor Flaherty
As the owner of Plants For all Seasons on Hwy. 249 I come across so many different varieties of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, tropicals, bulbs, succulents and cacti through the years. Like most landscape gardeners, not every plant strikes my fancy. I have my favorites and some that I have planted, I don’t particularly care for.
To really know a plant, you have to grow that plant. Given time, you learn its needs, realize its benefits and learn about its weaknesses.
There’s a plant I’d like to share with you that I have overlooked for many years. I’ve sold it for a long time at my store but really didn’t have full knowledge on how great a plant it was because I had never grown one.
This plant I have learned to appreciate is Galphimia glauca. Commonly known as Thryallis or Rain of Gold. I planted one in my backyard spring of 2019. It was blooming beautifully when I brought it home. It bloomed all the way into December before it quit blooming. Not many hardy shrubs are able to produce color 8-9 months a year in and around the Houston area.
Besides the fantastically long blooming period I have seen no insect or diseases whatsoever. I have read caterpillars can do some chewing and on stressed plants spider mites might be attracted to them. I have seen neither problems in the 14 months I have had one in my yard. Thryallis is a low water user once established. It grows to 6 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. With pruning you can keep it easily at 4 feet tall. It has a compact and rounded growth habit. Deer do not like to eat Thryallis! Thryallis is cold hardy and evergreen to 25 degrees. Below that it can freeze down and emerge from the root system next spring.
Thryallis can be used in many circumstances in your landscape. Mass plantings, hedges, in containers or as an accent plant anywhere in your yard.
Wjat about sun, soil and water requirements?
Fantastic plants for the Houston area. Bought 5 to use as hedges in front of house. Blooms long and beautiful. Actually they grow so vigorously that I trim two or three times a season to control and shape.
Around Valentine’s Day I cut back to about 1/3 of size. Everything thing comes off leaving a look like some bare sticks. Give it a couple of weeks, and new growth starts. I fertilize once in Spring and once in Fall. Moderate water seems to work well.
The sun-loving thryallis is also one of my favorites – the long-blooming, pretty flowers have a pleasant fragrance and the leaves get a red tinge to them during chilly weather!
Absolutely one of Houston’s most under utilized blooming shrubs. Everything Victor said about them is true. I’ve had them since they were first available in Houston. One thing he didn’t mention is that once established they are very drought tolerant. I guarantee you will never regret planting one.
I have two Thryallis in big pots at the front of my house. They get full sun most of the day. The pots are connected to my sprinkler system, but they let me know when they’re not getting enough water. I feed them in Spring and Fall and they are very cheery. I’ve never had to treat them for any type of insect or disease.