Q: On my last visit to Sarasota, I remember seeing a beautiful, upright plant with leaves the color of eggplant (they were almost black). We’re moving here and I’d like to plant a few. A friend said it was a tie-something but I can’t find it anywhere on the Internet. Help!
A: Ah, spelling can sometimes get in the way, can’t it? Your friend is talking about the Black Magic Ti plant, a striking specimen known for its tall, dark foliage. It doesn’t flower, but its dark purple color makes up for that big time. It can grow up to 4 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Keep it in the shade if you want really dark leaves; leaves will get lighter in the sun. Ti plants stand up well to strong winds and provide a great background for bright blooms. One thing to watch for is frost; you’ll want to cover it up if low temps are in the forecast. Like all Ti varieties, it roots easily from tip cuttings or from any wood stem about four inches long.
Glad you dropped us a line or you might have ended up in a men’s clothing store! And welcome to Sarasota.