PLANT OF THE MONTH

  • DECEMBER 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    DECEMBER 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    BOTANICAL NAME  Lobelia cardinalis

    COMMON NAME  Cardinal flower

    DESCRIPTION  Cardinal flower is a Minnesota native perennial which typically grows in moist locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps and in low wooded areas. clump-forming perennial which features erect, terminal spikes of large, cardinal red flowers rising to a height of 2-3′

    FAMILY  Campanulaceae

    HEIGHT  3 feet

    WIDTH  2 feet

    HABIT  Upright

    ZONES  3 to 9

    EXPOSURE  Full Sun to partial shade

    FLOWER COLOR  Red

    BLOOM SEASON  Late Summer

    COMPANION PLANTS Caltha, Iris,

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Plant in rich soil to wet soils, needs constant moisture..  

    NOTES  Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, Native gardens

  • JULY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    JULY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    BOTANICAL NAME  Cornus alternifolia ‘Wstackman’

    COMMON NAME  Golden Showers Dogwood

    DESCRIPTION  Small tree with unique horizontal branching.  Leaves have a golden-yellow margin.  White flowers bloom in spring followed by bluish-black fruit that is attractive to birds.

    HABIT:  Tree

    FAMILY  Rosaceae

    HEIGHT  20  feet

    WIDTH  20 feet

    HABIT  Upright

    ZONES  4 to 7

    EXPOSURE  Full Sun to Partial Shade

    FLOWER COLOR  White

    BLOOM SEASON  May and June

    COMPANION PLANTS  Heuchera, Salvia, Euphorbia, Geramium, Hosta, Astilbe

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Well-drained, moist, acidic soil.  Prune to accentuate horizontal branching.

    NOTES  Accent in shade garden.  Discovered as a sport in Chicago. 

  • MAY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    MAY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    BOTANICAL NAME  Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow’

    COMMON NAME  Wildberry Purple Coneflower

    DESCRIPTION  ECHINACEA purpurea PowWow Wild Berry is a new seed variety of Coneflower that is a 2010 AAS Flower Award winner.  Bright pink and more compact then other purple coneflowers.

    FAMILY Asteraceae

    HEIGHT  18 inches

    WIDTH   20 inches

    HABIT  Upright

    ZONES  3 to 9

    EXPOSURE  Full Sun

    FLOWER COLOR  Pink

    BLOOM SEASON  Summer

    COMPANION PLANTS Roses, peonies, Iris, Perovskia, Veronica

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Drought tolerant low maintenance perennial.  Keep soil evenly moist and plant in full sun for best results.  Leave flowers up for winter interest.  Cut back in spring.

    NOTES  Pow Wow Wild Berry a variety released by breeder Jian Ping Ren, Phd a PanAmerican breeder.  Attracts butterfly and song birds (seeds in winter)

  • APRIL 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    APRIL 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    Not all spring color originates from flowers, other aspects of plants provide just as much color and interest.  Picea abies ‘Acrocana Pusch’ is a dwarf spruce that produces bright red cones in spring against lime-green new growth.  The combination makes for a striking display that few spring flowers can compete with.

    BOTANICAL NAME  Picea abies ‘Acrocana Pusch’

    COMMON NAME  Dwarf Norway Spruce

    DESCRIPTION  Dwarf Norway spruce with a low spreading habit that reaches only 2-feet tall and 3-feet wide.  Bright red cones on the tip of the branches occur in spring.

    FAMILY Pinaceae

    HEIGHT  2 feet

    WIDTH  3 feet

    HABIT  Mound

    ZONES  3 to 8

    EXPOSURE  Full Sun

    FLOWER COLOR  N/A

    BLOOM SEASON  N/A

    COMPANION PLANTS Echinacea,Phlox, Perovskia, Heuchera, Wiegela, Physocarpus, Sedum

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Plant in well-drained soil with good light.  No pruning required since plant has compact habit

    NOTES  Discovered by Jan Zu of Germany.  Garden accent, winter interest.  Cover for foraging birds like Wrens.  Seeds for other birds.

  • MARCH 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    MARCH 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    After a long winter here in Minnesota we look forward to the first signs of spring.  A family tradition has been to attend the pancake breakfast at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  While walking through the tapped maple trees the first Snowdrops of spring can always be found with their nodding white flowers emerging from the leaf litter.  Some years they will even be blooming through the snow.  Snowdrops signal the beginning of spring in Minnesota.

    BOTANICAL NAME  Galanthus nivalis

    COMMON NAME  Snowdrop

    DESCRIPTION  Snowdrop is a true harbinger of spring, being one of the earliest blooming plants in the Twin Cities area.  Will often poke its head up through snow cover if present.  Each bulb produces 2-3 narrow, linear, basal leaves and a leafless flower scape  which is topped with a single, nodding, white, waxy, bell-shaped flower with green tips or dots on a few petals.

    FAMILY  Amaryllidaceae

    HEIGHT  6 inches

    WIDTH   6 inches

    HABIT  Upright

    ZONES  3 to 8

    EXPOSURE  Full Sun to Part Shade

    FLOWER COLOR  White

    BLOOM SEASON  Spring

    COMPANION PLANTS  Later blooming plants like Dicentra, Athyrium, Polmonaria

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Easily grown in average well-drained soils.  Grows best under deciduous trees to get protect from sun later in the season.  Plant bulbs 2-3” down and apart.  Allow foliage to yellow before removing to allow plant to store energy for next year’s bloom.  Spreads by self-seeding and offsets.

    NOTES  The common name refers to the supposed resemblance of the flowers to drops of snow.  Tolerates black walnuts, clay soil, and deer.

  • FEBRUARY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    FEBRUARY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    BOTANICAL NAME  Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

    COMMON NAME  Siberian bugloss, Brunnera

    DESCRIPTION  ‘Jack Frost’ leaves a distinctively silver with green veins and a thin green border on the margins.  Tiny light blue flowers emerge in spring 

    FAMILY  Boraginaceae

    HEIGHT  18 inches

    WIDTH  18 inches

    HABIT  Mound

    ZONES  3 to 8

    EXPOSURE  Full Shade to Partial Shade

    FLOWER COLOR  Blue

    BLOOM SEASON  Spring

    COMPANION PLANTS  Astilbe ‘Montgomery’,Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’, Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’, Hosta

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Remove dried winter leaves in spring as new growth emerges.  Cut off spent flower stalks once bloom is over.  Average to moist organic soils in shady areas.  Spreads by rhizomes.

    NOTES  Shade garden, woodland garden or specimen.

  • JANUARY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    JANUARY 2014 KNOW WHAT YOU GROW PLANT OF THE MONTH

    BOTANICAL NAME  Abies koreana

    COMMON NAME  Korean Fir

    DESCRIPTION  Compact pyramidal evergreen native to the mountains of South Korea.  Needles are green below and whitish below.  Ornamental violet-purple cones (3” long) held on top of stems.

    FAMILY  Pinaceae

    HEIGHT  15 feet

    WIDTH  6-10 feet

    HABIT  Upright

    ZONES  4 to 7

    EXPOSURE  Full Shade to partial shade

    FLOWER COLOR  N/A

    BLOOM SEASON  N/A

    COMPANION PLANTS  Sporobolus, Geranium, Sporobolus heterolepsis

    GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Follow regular watering schedule during first year to get established.

    NOTES  Specimen.