Monday, 19 April 2010

Obedient Plant .. Not so obedient? ; )

Physostegia - False Dragon's Head - Obedient Plant
Some gardeners might read this post and choke at the prospect of allowing this specimen into their garden.
It does have a reputation of running rampant when it likes it's location.
I actually have a friend who never fails to mention the time I gave her a small clump from my garden, (along with a stern warning about it's encroaching habits, which were not heeded, incidently), and how it took over her garden.
Well, my friend was exaggerating, somewhat! But if you do plant Physostegia in your garden, be prepared. It is a member of the mint family, after all!
Well, admittedly, that trait is exactly why I want it in my garden! As you can see in the picture, it's growing in a fairly shady spot.
Those lovely white florets really show up nicely in that kind of location and look splendid amongst Hostas, Goat's beard and ferns.
Physostegia has a nice clumping form, attracts butterflies, and most importantly, has not ever been touched by the deer, (a real plus in my book).
I'm hoping over the course of the years that it does fill in the places I've planted it.
It makes a great and long lasting cut flower. I've had them in my kitchen, and in a vase for up to 2 weeks. If you have a cutting garden, then perhaps this would be a good choice for you! I'm thinking this lovely herbaceous perennial will be a welcome addition to my garden for many years to come!
Tips: For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge.
Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
~Happy Gardening~


Ginny said...

This is just the kind of plant I'm looking for for a new shady bed! And I'm in love with just about anything that attracts butterflies.

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

This is a very interesting post, I also posted once about it being not so obedient, but in my case, it was because I can hardly get it to grow and it rarely flowers. Just goes to show how invasiveness is strongly influenced by zone.

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

Ginny, that's great! I think it might be a great addition to your garden! Thanks for commenting : )

Rebecca, here I thought I'd come up with a great play on words that nobody else had thought of! I'm beginning to see that gardeners think alike. And yes, I suppose the zone and location would certainly influence the growing habits. Sorry to hear it didn't take in your garden. Thanks for visiting!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

It's a pretty plant! If we terminate all non-obidients plants, our gardens will lose a lot of attractive ones. You are right, such plants can be desirable for special areas. For example, I grow bishops' weeds where other plants won't grow.

Noelle said...

I think you make an excellent point. It does have a place as long as you give it room to grow :-)

Jim Groble said...

We planted one plant last year. A whole bunch came back. Just as I like it. jim