Friday, June 15, 2007

Same Time, Next Year?

I was poking around the nursery yesterday, when I noticed they were unloading a whole truckload of Purple Coneflowers in full bloom. In a natural setting, Coneflowers rarely bloom in my garden before August.

This is one of the clever tricks nurseries like to play on us.

We assume since it's blooming when we buy it that it will bloom at the same time next year. Not so - but that's as much our fault as theirs. We won't buy plants unless they're flowering and we hardly ever buy plants in August because we're worn out with gardening...

So nurseries time most everything to bloom in early summer. (Check the plastic plant i.d. tags* for natural flowering times.)

Having trouble growing coneflowers in your garden? Try being mean to them. They thrive in poor soil and dry conditions. Move them to a hot spot where they are forced to fend for themselves. Once established, cut out the fertilizer, amended soil and regular watering. You'll be surprised how long they bloom.

1 comment:

Nori (prof. gardener) said...

I first learned this plant as Lamiastrum, then later found the name Galeobdolon, or sometimes Lamium Galeobdolon, or Lamium aureum. Common name Yellow Archangel. A slow colonizer