So many plants, so little time.... what should I plant here or there. I've got shade, I've got sun. A wet area, a dry area. What blooms all year? These are just a few of the questions I get asked each day....
I thought I would break things down into groups to try and address these questions. Here are some plants for different situations.
1) Plants that bloom all year.
Weigelia- white/pink or red flowers. Green leaves, variegated leaves, burgundy leaves.
My Monet - my number one selling plant with variegated leaves. Grown 2' tall by 30" wide.
Midnight Wine - burgundy leaves-grows 12-18" tall by 2' wide pinkish red flowers
Spilled Wine - burgundy leaves- grows 2-3' tall by 3-4' wide. pinkish red flowers
Wine and Rose or Shining Sensation - burgundy leaves - grows 4-6'tall by 4-6' wide. pinkish red Flowers
Electric Love-New last year...Its the first dark leafed burgundy weigelia with deep red flowers-grows 1-2' tall by 2-3' wide
Bloomerang Lilac- purple flowers bloom 2-3 times a year. Available in bush or tree form grows 4-5' tall and wide
Potentilla-yellow, pink orangish. Flowers all summer long. Trim hard in spring to flush new growth for blooms. Grows 3 by 3'
Knockout roses- they just bloom and bloom and bloom all the way into December. Check out the new petite knock out rose growing only 18"x18" or the sunny knock out which smells like citrus!
Butterfly Bush-Once they start which is typically June, they bloom all season through fall.
Old favorites like royal red, have long flowers and can grow 8-10'
New varieties are always coming out. I love Miss Molly which is a unique raspberry red color.
A new Buzz series, from Ivory, to sky blue, magenta, or velvet are great color plants with midsize height of 4-6'
And the coolest plant is Santana, variegated green and yellow leaves with red flowers.
You will definitely want one when you see it!
2) Plants for shade.
Shade is tough for blooms and color. You basically are looking at different shades and textures of greens.
Taxus or Yews. An old time plant easily kept any size and will grow in sun or shade
Boxwood-sizes from 18" tall and wide (wee willie) to 4 by 4' (winter Gem or dwarf Korean)
Inkberry- green glossy evergreen, white small flowers followed by black berries 4'by4'
Canadian Hemlock- Add some height to your shade, tolerates dense shade
Mountain Laurel- unique pin wheel flowers grows 3-4' by 3-4'
Andromeda- lily of the valley like flowers in early spring. New growth can be red ( if enough sun) to light green changing to deep green
Leucothe- variegated leaves with white flowers. Grows 3 by 3'
Aucuba- almost tropical like looking plant with gold dusted leaves. Very hardy. Can grow 4-5' tall
- Add some hostas of blue or green and variegated forms. Some varieties can get 4-5' wide and tall. Many new varieties keep coming out with cool color combinations.
Sweet woodruff - is another great plant for shade as well. And if you have a little sun, coral bells come in yellow, green, almost black and variegated forms. Too many new ones to list.
3). Plants for moist areas.
If you have standing water, it is not wise to plant a tree in hopes it will dry the area up. I always recommend eliminating the problem by bringing in soil or adding some drain tile to correct the problem. The only tree to grow in standing water is the bald cypress.
A new variety called Peve Minaret only grows to 5-6' tall. It actually can be ground in a pond.. the regular bald cypress grows to 30-40' tall but will take its sweet time.
Willow trees in gold or green will tolerate wet areas. These large, fast growing trees really are beautiful when they mature. They can grow 50-60' tall.
As for bushes, summer sweet is a great plant for moist areas. Hummingbird is a dwarf variety that grows 4-5' tall and wide. Ruby spice is pink and will grow 6-7' tall. Both attract hummingbirds.
4). Trees that stay small.
Weeping Japanese Maples- green or red. Most grow 5 by5' after many years. Red dragon is the reddest of all. Crimson queen and Garnet are good looking plants also. Virdis is a green weeper which turns an awesome orange color in fall.
Upright varieties of Japanese maples- Shaina. Very slow grower to 5'
Pixie- relatively new variety which only grows to 6-7'
- Skeeter's Broom- slow grower which tops out at 6'. Great color
Weeping redbuds- white blooming Vanilla Twist, burgundy leaf Ruby Falls, or green leaf ones pink heatbreaker or lavender twist offer neon pink flowers in spring. These trees must be staked for height. Left alone, they will grow 6' tall.
Weeping Japanese Snowbell- white or pink. These June blooming beauties grow slow and only get 6' tall
Lilac trees grafted on standards- Take a bush and graft it on top a 4' high stem. You could call it a lollipop. These tree forms will grow 8-9' tall by 4-5' wide. They can be easily kept trimmed in a round ball any size. They come in purple, dwarf Korean or Miss kim (larger blooms) a repeat bloomer called Bloomerang and a pink flowering one called Tinkerbelle.
Hydrangea trees are popular too. Strawberry Vanilla variety with white flowers changing to pinks and reds as fall arrives, limelight which has a greenish cast to the flower and pinky winky or pink diamond which starts white and changes to pink as the summer and fall arrives. Or get quick fire which is the first to bloom way ahead of all the rest. It starts white and changes to pinkish red as fall arrives.
5.). Shade Trees
The saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next time is now.
Princeton Gold Norway Maple- yellow leaves slow grower. This tree glows with age in the spring of the year. It is definitely a head turner
Crimson Sunset Maple-a newer introduction with burgundy leaves. A strong grower that keeps good color all season till fall. Alternate these two trees and the contrast of colors are amazing. Both grow 40' tall and 30 wide.
Red Sunset or October Glory Maples- Grows 40-45' tall 35' wide. both have great rich deep green leaves and unveil the most beautiful orange/red fall color. Both are medium growers with great structure.
Sour Gum or Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)- Slow to get started these trees have an amazing orange red color in fall. Growing 35-40' tall by 25' wide, these plants will tolerate a more moist location and even grow in wet areas.
London Plane Tree- Sycamore are quick growing trees which have great winter interest in their bark as colors change from grey to almost white with a bit of peeling occurring. These trees grow 55x40' and can be a bit messy with twigs and fruit dropping so plant along the woods or in an area you won't mind the mess.
6). What about dry areas
Plants need to get established with a little help from you but after that, these plants can fend for themselves.
Yucca- this plant will NOT DIE. Blue spiny leaves or variegated forms are available. If you are lucky enough, white spike flowers will bloom in July for you.
Ice plant-all colors available and a great ground cover. These plant's leaves are tough and the blooms open as sunlight rises and then they close at night. Too many colors to list, awesome plants for dry areas.
Sedums-Creepers, uprights and more, sedums love the heat and look great creeping over rocks. Once established they like the dry.
I have given you a lot of options and homework this week. Look up some of the varieties you may be interested in and then stop out at the nursery. I honestly feel we have the best selection of plants in Northern Ohio! And I know we have the most AWESOME staff anywhere! These plant lovers will make sure you get the right plant for the right spot!!