Polemonium vs. Pulmonaria

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I'm looking at Polemonium caeruleum 'Snow and Sapphires and Pulmonaria saccharaata 'Mrs. Moon'
I think they are both:
1. Pretty
2. Both bloom in April or May
3. Need part shade to full shade
4. Need medium moisture
5. Both have nice foliage which is part of the reason I want to try to grow one of these.

Differences:

1. Polemonium c. 'Snow and Sapphires' is fragrant, flowers are blue.
2. Pulmonaria s. 'Mrs. Moon' flowers bloom pink then to blue.
3. Polemonium s. 'Mrs. Moon' leaves offer much more texture.
4. Pulmonaria s. "Mrs. Moon' spreads slowly by roots.

Those of you with experience growing these flowers: which is easier to grow? I'm in zone 6b with hot humid summers.

Edited to add:
Any experience growing either from seed?

This message was edited Dec 30, 2014 11:38 AM

Hobart, IN

Don't know about anybody else but some of my Pulmonarias tend to "melt" in hot, humid summers. 'Mrs. Moon' is the only one I've killed but I guess that doesn't say much for my plant care.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Pulmonaria 'Mrs. Moon' was planted in my garden by my landscaper, and wow, was that an unhappy plant! It hated the heat and humidity, and it was one of the first things I lost. It took less than a month.

Polemonium, on the other hand (which I grew from seed in both white and blue) was, and is a happy camper. If you leave some to seed it spreads nicely. And I love the fact that, when not in bloom, it looks like a fern.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

"Mrs Moon is one of the particularly recommended Pulmonaria cultivars for Seattle, which of course is cool and dry in the summer. It is common here and does very well (except for the slug issue). So I would guess it likes cool and dry summers. I don't know anything about the other one.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Sounds like 3 strikes for Mrs. Moon! Thanks everyone.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Look at this Pulmonaria called 'High Contrast', it sounds perfect for you all in the hot-humid regions!

http://www.lazyssfarm.com/Plants/Perennials/P-Q_files/P-Q.htm

Hobart, IN

Thanks for linking that!

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

Pulmonaria , V. Mrs Moon is very easy to grow and spread once established, Other pulmonarias are not as easy to grow. On the contrary polemeium I have trouble keeping alive, maybe because it is a different area with less moisture. in the soil. arfitz

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I will say that the Polemonium has not returned for me and the one I planted this past season died after it was done blooming. I just started growing Pulmonaria last season but I like what I've seen so far. The one I had planted in full bright shade at the trunk of a thirsty Dawn Redwood and it grew and grew all summer with no issues. Why don't you just plant both? If you can just pick one, I'd say Pulmonaria hands down.

Pittsburgh, PA

I have grown both and the polemonium is long gone, it seems to hate my semi-shady garden site, as well as the many other spots I have tried to grow it in. The pulmonaria (8 years old) of which I have three, are still here and although they are not huge plants, they do come back every spring and bloom well.

I noticed at a few nurseries, that the polemonium grows better in a pot,when It gets more sun than shade, here in the Pittsburgh region.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks to all for the very good information and experiences about the two plants. I am not going to plant either one. From everyone's comments, it sounds like it would not be happy in my hot, humid summers. I want easy plants - not ones that have to be coddled. I think it would need extra care and attention in my garden. It wouldn't get it!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

We have hot humid summers, same as you and the pulmonaria does fine, in case you change your mind.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Sequoia
Do you happen to remember which pulmonaria you grew? I see you are in zone 6b. I will check into this plant a little bit more.
I am looking for plants that will grow in shade. Unfortunately, some of my shade gardens are dry shade. That seems to eliminate some plants. On the other hand, I don't want to get some thug that grows sun, shade, dry soil, moist soil. Those kind I am afraid might have taking ways.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Not sure which I have since I got it from a regional plant swap last spring but I would assume all would have similar characteristics. They are definitely not thuggish. A lot of people have dry shade and it can be a tough area to cover. One plant that's been very successful in a dry shade area for me has been Lamium. Now some would say it can be a. Thug but it definitely earns it's spot as it blooms almost constantly. Ours is a pinky purple and it had flowers way into December this year.

Hobart, IN

When anyone mentions dry shade, I automatically think of Epimediums. They need a little TLC the first year with regular watering but then they can slowly spread in some pretty dry soil.

Pittsburgh, PA



Great site I found, Garden Vision Epimediums:

http://www.epimediums.com


Nice site to peruse. I like the collections.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Garden Vision is nice. They have quite the selection. I checked them out but I'm getting a few this season from Lazy S&S instead.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Move quickly! I have just learned Lazy Susan is being sold, and generally that is not good in terms of plants or service when the new entity takes over.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Donna, they've been trying to sell that for a long while now. At least since a year ago. They specifically say on their website that they are looking for the right people to take over the business. See the link:

http://www.lazyssfarm.com/Plants/nursery_for_sale_and_our_customers.htm

If they did sell it, it will probably be run very similarly. I'm not worried.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I clicked through and am so happy to hear that!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the tip about epimediums and the link. It's late tonight, but I will be checking out the site.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Garden Vision is the nursery originally owned by Darrell Probst, reputedly the most renowned epimedium specialist on the planet. He sold it to Karen Perkins who worked with him for many years. I've ordered from them for a long time. Unfortunately they don't have on-line ordering, which I find increasingly annoying in this day & age. And their plants are on the small side, though always healthy. But if you're interested in unusual species, you can't beat the selection. And I like supporting small specialty nurseries. She does all the propagating herself - doesn't buy any stock from other nurseries. Quite remarkable.

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