Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Foolproof Flower Gardening ~ #2

Meet the red valerian, also know as Jupiter's beard. This useful, hardy flowering perennial has been called "rank, invasive and much maligned". Actually, it's a sturdy plant whose flowers make excellent, long lasting cut flowers for bouquets and its parachute-like seeds insure that you will have seedlings galore for transplanting. If you have a trouble spot in your garden, a hot spot where nothing much will grow, give valerian a try. It can grow quite unruly, but can be shaped by trimming and will tolerate a lot of neglect. Keeping spent flowers trimmed will promote more blooms. Poor soil? Irregular water? Despite both, red valerian will thrive.

As it's not a good choice for baskets or pots, maybe you can find a place in your flower bed for this hard working, long bloomer. Once valerian becomes established in your garden, it will self sow for years to come. And an added bonus - hummingbirds love it.

1 comment:

High Desert Diva said...

My mother had this planted in a bed by the garage in the house/yard where we grew up. I used it in our Silverton garden along our driveway....and the cut flowers always found their way into my mixed flower bouquets.