Plant of the Year in your garden?

(Zone 4b)

I noticed that The Perennial Plant Association membership declared the 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year to be Geranium x cantabrigiense "Biokovo". (And for 2014 it was Panicum virgatum "Northwind").

The list of these winners going back to 1990 can be found here:

http://www.perennialplant.org/index.php/education/past-winners

I am sure you have lots of opinions re these selections but in any event of the *exact* 26 listed how many have a place in your garden right *now*?

(I think I see we have 4 on our property ie "Jack Frost", "Rozanne", "Walker's Low" and "Becky").

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

An interesting question!

I thought we wouldn't have very many, but we have 8: Amsonia hubrichtii, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola', Geranium 'Rozanne', Helleborus xhybridus, Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum', Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm', Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus', Salvia 'Mainacht' (May Night)

Also, I had 6 more but removed them because they weren't right: Baptisia australis, Phlox 'David', Leucanthemum 'Becky, 'Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue', Perovskia atriplicifolia, Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'

Also, killed one: Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'. Too bad because it was great.

Natick, MA

Rouge, you always post interesting topics!

Didn't think I'd have many but have 4: Pendleton husker red, scabiosa blue butterfly, photos David, & Baptist australis :-)

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Looks like I have 12 or 13 here.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have a couple , my tastes still run to wild and too green ,, lol

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Geranium 'Biokovo'- flowers were muddy looking and did not really bloom all summer, for me there are much better Geraniums, but it was very hardy.
Brunnera 'Jack Frost'- slug bait, but 'Sea Heart' seems resistant.
Baptisia australis-lovely for a week each year, then at age 4 it just died.
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' needs too much water
Geranium 'Rozanne'- a winner
Dianthus 'Firewitch' was great in a planter, did not survive in ground
Hellebore x hybridus- very nice, but pick your plant in bloom lots are muddy.
Leucanthemum 'Becky' weird combo of not hardy but thousands of offspring
Calamagrostis 'Karl Forster' the stalks are not strong and they fall sideways yuck.
Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' not hardy, but 'Perfecta Blue' is.
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' stiff, but hardy and floriferous
Echinacea 'magnus' dull muddy flowers not very noticable, not very hardy.
Salvia 'May Night' nice on sand, not hardy on clay
Perovskia atriplicifolia flops, but 'Blue Spires' from High Country Gardens' much better
Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue' nice for a few weeks, then looks bad all summer
Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' does bloom all summer, but every dead flower remains and is hideous. must be cut off individually and then the plant looks like a bad haircut..
Phlox stolonifera not hardy in my acidic clayey soil wet winter dry summer.
Nepeta 'Walkers Low' not hardy in my clay.

It seems these are mostly for more 'normal' American climates. Locally the "Great Plant Picks" is attempting to make a list more suitable for our particular climate. Good plan!

Thumbnail by Pistil
Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I have about 8 of them. I like all 8. They perform very well.
I appreciate Pistil's input. I'd be interested in others' experiences.
I got Nepeta 'Walker's Low' last spring. It is really superb: beyond my expectations. No care.
I had to move Penstemon 'Husker's Red' it was getting crowded out by a Viburnum shrub. Now, it is with Peonies and has done very well. It produced a sport. I bent the stem down, roughed up the soil, and penned it down to the soil. It grew another beautiful plant: big and full. The burgundy red foliage is great.
Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' blooms all summer.
Baptisia australis blooms for a long time, is 5 feet tall and is loaded with blue flowers every spring. I have had it at least 6 years.
Echinacea magnus--just a winner. Reproduces, blooms all summer. No care.
Salvia 'May Night' - another outstanding performer. Mine gets 4 feet tall and covered with long lasting blooms.
None of the above plants get much attention from me and do very well. I enjoy having plants that don't have to be pampered.

(Zone 4b)

I do like reading all of your replies. Keep'em coming.

"Pistil", you wrote about 'Becky' that it was a "weird combo of not hardy but thousands of offspring".

I have 4 stands of 'Becky', each several years old and all are in different light aspects on our property and in our zone 5 they come back strong each year and I have yet to see spread beyond the initial clump (each one about 3.5 feet in diameter). It is interesting how we have so different experiences with this plant.

(Zone 4b)

Double post...apologies

This message was edited Feb 19, 2015 1:05 PM

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

I've had or have 14 of them.
Firewitch Dianthus needs good drainage or it rots. I have Shooting Star Dianthus and like it a lot better. The foliage stays tidier looking and it reblooms better than Firewitch. It's also less prone to rot.

Becky Shasta Daisy is a strong a stemmed Shasta that spreads to form a huge clump. It's been Hardy for me lasting for 5 years. Bananna Cream is a wonderful shorter Shasta Daisy, just for the record. I bought mine on clearance at Lowe's several years ago and divide it every Spring so I can have more of it. :-)

Palace Purple Coral Bells are old and a little tired. Lol That being said, I still have a few of them. I have found they hold up better in full sun than any of the other colored leaved coral bells. Silver Scrolls doesn't Me. Lol I've bought it 4 times and gave it a nice shady spot, it always dies over winter.
Butterfly Blue Scabiosa blooms all summer into Fall. It needs protection from hot afternoon sun here in Ohio to look it's best. Platycondon does better in all day full sun than Scabiosa.

Nepeta Walkers Low is a great all summer bloomer. I take a weed whacker to mine to deadhead it and 2 weeks later it's full of blooms again. I have Dropmore Blues also and love it as well. Their soft color helps blend other plants beautifully and gives a cool look to garden beds.

Baptisia Australis is wonderful, beautiful flowers then the seeds pods that follow are great. Mine has been doing great for 6 years. I'm trying to WS some seeds this year.

Coriopsis Moonbeam isn't my favorite. I like Zagreb better. Moonbeam was a little floppy in my garden. Zagreb never flops or disappoints.

Pennstemon Huskers Red didn't survive last winter here. My favorite Pennstemon is Calycosus. Pictured below. It's tough as nails and beautiful. It gets big, 3' tall and 4'wide, that is one plant at 3 years of age.

Salvia May Night is a great garden plant. I deadhead mine with a weed whacker. I've never found a Salvia I didn't like. ;-)

Veronica Sunny Border Blue is a awesome plant in my garden. They need moisture or their foliage will look a Hot Mess. Lol If you deadhead them they will bloom until they go dormant. I use the weed whacker on these too.

Echinacea Magnus isn't my favorite Echinacia really. I prefer Echinacea Pallidia or Paradoxa. I like the look of the double's but they aren't the best for butterfly food. Butterflies prefer single blooms over double blooms of any flower. All Echinacea's are great bird food.

Peroviska atriplicifolia is very floppy. It can be part of it's charm, if you plan for it's flop. I like plants that hang out with their neighbors and blend together.
Rudbeckia Goldstrum is cheerful and hardy.

Amsonia is beautiful when in bloom and the foliage looks great in Fall. If only Daylilies came in the same color blooms.
Phlox David hates my garden. Lol I can kill Phlox faster than anybody. I stopped torturing it several years ago. Sometimes you have to accept failure for the welfare of others. Lol

This is a interesting topic for a thread. Thanks Rouge21!

Thumbnail by taylordaylily
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Great topic! When I started gardening a few years ago, I didn't know how to choose a perennial for my yard, so I relied quite a bit on award winners. So now I have 16 (soon to be 17) of these PPOY winners!

Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'
-I just got it last year. Great winter color and a good bloomer. Did not do well in full shade; did much better in part sun/part light shade.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'
-It gets yucky by September, but gorgeous in the spring, especially with the blue flowers.

Polygonatum odoratum 'variegatum'
-I LOVE it! I don't have enough shade for it, though.

Amsonia hubrichtii
-Just got it last year. Great fall color.

Baptisia australis
-Mine didn't bloom last year. Wonder why?

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola'
-One of my favorite shade plants for brightening up a dark corner. I'm getting a bunch more this year.

Helleborus xhybridus
-Have a bunch.

Leucanthemum 'Becky'
-It doesn't look good unless deadheaded. I've given away most of mine.

Phlox 'David'
-Fantastic all-summer bloomer. But it gets a little too tall in my garden.

Calamagrostis xacutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
-Just got it last year. Nice medium height and doesn't flop for me, unlike miscanthus.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'
-My favorite late summer bloomer. Blooms pretty much nonstop until frost.

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'
-very floppy for me. I ripped it out last year but I see little babies popping up everywhere.

Salvia 'Mainacht' (May Night)
-Bloomed until frost, but really needs full sun. The ones is half day sun didn't look good at all.

Perovskia atriplicifolia
-I think you really need sandy soil for this. I have rich clay soil and Russian sage just looks sad and gangly.

Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'
-Blooms all summer. I think I may prefer it over Zagreb.

Phlox stolonifera
-Fantastic early spring bloomer.

Geranium 'Rozanne'
-getting delivered in April!

I have Veronica 'Royal Candles,' not 'Sunny Border Blue.' How do they compare?

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

Ssgardner, I have Royal Candles too. It's shorter than Sunny Border Blue and the blooms are more of a purple than Sunny Border Blue's flowers. I like both of them a lot. If you want a short Veronica Giles Van Hess is a great pink at only 6" tall. Pictured below.

Have you tried Creme Brûlée Coreopsis? It's a paler yellow than Moonshine. Me and the deer loved mine. Unfortunately the deer ate mine to death.

Thumbnail by taylordaylily
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, taylordaylily, I might try Sunny Border Blue this year.

I didn't get Creme Brulee Coreopsis after reading the Mt. Cuba trials. I have serious issue with powdery mildew in my garden, and Creme Brulee was particularly troubled by it in their trials.

http://www.mtcubacenter.org/plant-trials/detail/coreopsis-verticillata-creme-brulee/

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Creme Brulee is one I had. It did fairly well but I have not seen it reappear for awhile.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

ssgardener: Your soil may be too rich for Baptisia australis. It likes poor soil. Mine is in poor soil with good drainage. It blooms prolifically. They have a long tap root and hate to be moved.

Coreopsis 'Zagreb' is more formal, stiff and erect than C. 'Moonbeam'. I like both of the them. I think I may have lost some of my Zagreb. I have it in rather poor soil on a slope. Even though I watered them, I don't think the soil retained enough moisture for them. Anyone else have trouble with Zagreb?

Veronica 'Giles Van Hess' looks like a really nice plant. I like the idea it's so short. It's hard to find really short flowers.

Enjoying the critiques of everyone's flowers.

(Zone 4b)

I love Royal Candles. Here is a picture of one of our (too) many RC plants (taken a few summers ago).

I did try Veronica 'Giles Van Hess' but eventually removed them as they were so small and as I recall it took too long for them to come into bloom.

(Later last season I put in a Veronica 'Blue Bomb' as I had heard good things about it. Hopefully it will make it through this tough winter to be able to show its stuff this summer).

This message was edited Feb 20, 2015 11:21 AM

Thumbnail by rouge21
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow, very pretty blue color on your Royal Candles. Mine was planted last year and didn't do much. I'm hoping for a sea of blue this year.

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

Rouge, I like your kniphofia with Royal Candles. It's a pretty combo. Thanks for sharing.
My Giles Van Hess starts blooming in Spring with my Dianthus Firewithch and reblooms when deadheaded. It is short.
Will you keep us updated on Blue Bomb? I have been eyeing that one. Your a zone colder than me so if it makes it your garden this winter it should survive mine.

Cville, Rabitt's might have eaten your Creme Brûlée. They liked to nibble mine until the deer ate all of it. It seemed to be a tasty plant. Lol

Birder, My Zagreb is growing on a slope with Walkers Low and sedum. It spreads a little every year. If you need replacements let me know. I don't know why yours had trouble. I neglect mine honestly, poor soil with maple tree root compition and little water.

(Zone 4b)

Thanks 'ssg'.

Be sure to deadhead after that first and best flush of flowers as you will get an acceptable re-bloom.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

nice pictures !! Do you guys grow these varieties from seed or buy plants?

(Zone 4b)

Thanks for sure 'taylor'. That particular kniphofia is in plant heaven as it did not make it through the following winter :(. It is always hit and miss for me to get kniphofia to overwinter but I keep trying!

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

I have the same problem with kniphofia. I get to much moisture in winter and Spring and they rot.

Yadavgard, I buy mine as plants.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have a Kiniphofia that keeps mutating , It has bloomed everything from tri-color to a huge ice white bloom half as tall as the house windows , another year they were all yellow ,,
Grows in regular enhanced garden soil , it has been there since early 2000's , old it is also now ,, Every once in a while runners show up as new plants , might be why it is still there ,, Crazy hybridization effect though ..
Makes it interesting ,

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

Juhur, That is very interesting! Do the baby plants mutate like the mother plant?
You guys are making me want to give kniphofia another try. I need to go look at some. :-)

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

taylordaylily , From Runners yes they do , I have grown and lost a few from seed .. Trick is ,,

Mulch heavy for winter the first few years . plant has to have a good root system ,, and it may take a few seasons to do that unless the plant is large when planted ,

I have noticed one or two people have very large ones around town here ,, I saw a huge one this past summer that puts mine to shame ,, ( jealous type , you know) lol

Mine are not in an ideal location either though ,, wet heavy earth ,,spring muck , that sort of thing , Best are beside driveways , in high and dry placing , in sets made for them ,,
Mine died when I tried a few in the hot high and dry places though , of the few places I have like that

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

My Kniphofia is quite large in diameter. How does one divide this plant. It's starting to take over too much of the garden space I have it in?

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

Juhur, I have plenty of hot and dry spots. You have talked me into trying them again. I found a great resource for identifying wildflower seedlings. Here is the link if your interested.
http://www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com/wildflower-seedlings.html

Birder, I have no idea. Maybe, Juhur can help. Does yours mutate?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

birder17 It has Runner connections , Push a shovel through it like most large plants ,, Spring is preferable ,, Don't let the moved plant bloom , or divide after bloom if you have a long summer fall season , (kind of like you might divide a Daylily , Kniphofia are thinner rooted usually ..
That is the way I have done mine , either worked , Only little ones I lose ,. I have two I believe now , both large ..
You are in a warmer zone though , you might look up some nearer information ,

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I have a theory on overwintering kniphofia based on growing only one measly mail order plant. Maybe someone can comment. When I cut down the only flower stalk it had in the fall, I noticed the stalk was hollow. So, it filled with water and froze the crown during winter. In spring when the plant thawed, it was mush and dead. That's when I decided I would never cut back kniphofia until the spring but I never got to test that theory.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Sounds to me like you keep getting the wrong kniphofia , Some are Hardy to zone 4 or 5 .Other only to 7 really ,,
Those sound like they are blooming to late , Mine bloom with the Echinacea , Roughly June July .. No Bloom stalks when summer is over ,,

Setting a bag of mulch on a small plant , Covering with a Bucket full of leaves or whatever ,
Pant needs a large deep tap root developed well or they will not live , no matter what you do ,
I drill and fill a hole for a tap root to run ,, I got three of five plants to live ,
The first winter they had a large garbage bag of leaves placed over them . Plant has to have special care until it is established ,,

I am still looking for my pics ,, there here someplace ,

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

Loretta, I had the same experience as you. I'm going to do like Juhur said and cover them with a bag of leaves.

Juhur, Thank You for your advice on growing kniphofia.You have inspired me to try once more.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Well mine was Cool Knip from Seneca Hill so it was a late bloomer but it was hardy enough to live through a couple of winters. I never had luck covering anything with an object. I know others have but anything I treated that way has died. Anyway, the bloom was too short lived for me and I didn't like how it aged so I never tried another until this year - I have ember glow coming from a coop.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Some have said and history was ,, Short lived 3 to 5 , yrs ,, average 5 to 7 yrs ,, But I have seen a picture in a Botanical garden of a Kniphofia 27 yrs old I believe it said ,,
I think it is a matter of some have luck with them some do not ,,

I have a terrible time growing them from seeds ,, it is a luck thing as said ,, or maybe the old saying of "you who have granny's Green Thumb "
For now I am wishing it would stay above 20 degrees and all this snow would go away ..
Snow gardening at zero degrees I have never found to be much fun ,, not my thing ,,

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

I have no luck period. I guess, mine will be doomed. i'm looking at Lemon Popsicle and Orange Vanilla Popsicle.
I have never tried covering up anything before. I'll find out next year how it works for me.

Lol Juhur, snow gardening in these temps is not for me either.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

My Kniphofia seems like one big bulky plant that keeps growing in a circle. I looked at it last season trying to figure out how I was going to divide it. It seemed to me like it will be tough to get a shovel into--like Siberian Iris.
Mine does not mutate. It puts up lots of blooms that hang around for 4 weeks.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Four weeks is good! What kind is it?

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I've had or have the following:

Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ – Love it. It has been slow to increase but was doing well. However, I lost a lot of it last winter for the first time.

Jack Frost – A favorite. I prefer to spend money on a spring bloomer like this with beautiful leaves than buy bulbs.

Amsonia hubrichtii – It's nice, not a favorite. I like amsonia tabernaemontana blue ice better but I guess it depends on their placement.

Baptisia – grow Carolina Moonlight. The flowering period is too short but I like the foliage. I need to move it it has a deep tap root. I have thought about removing it.

Hakonechoa Aureola – One of my favorite plants.

Geranium Rozanne and Geranium Biokova – Can’t keep low growing geraniums going strong in my yard except for Sambor or tall weedy looking types like Brookside or Johnson Blue.

Hellebore – Slow to get going but love them. Some of the flowers are boring but they are nice even when they aren't in flower.

Athynum niponicum ‘Pictum’ – increases in size, tolerates dry soil – love it.

Leucanthemum ‘Becky’ – Daisies only stay for a few years and then fade away. They have one or two real prime years but the earwigs make a mess of the flowers.

Phlox David – I have mine in the wrong place. It stays small. It flowers but not for long. I need to move it. I’ve been more impressed by other varieties I’ve had over the years.

Scabiosa stays for two seasons more like a biennial. Quit growing them

Rudbeckia Goldsturm – was doing well for a few years but got some kind of foliage disease the last couple of years. I’ve been pulling them out. I have other yellow daisy flowers like ligularia which has beautiful foliage and helianthus. Don’t need Goldsturm too.

Salvia May Night – Looks good early in the season but splits into a circle at some point. Pulled all those salvia nemorosa’s out. I’ve seen them look beautiful in other yards.

Penstemon Husker’s Red – I use to have some really nice full plants but they thinned out and now it seeds around here and there. I like them. They need full sun or they flop.

Russian Sage – I’ve seen impressive patches but they are floppy and spindly here. They never take off for me but they live on and on even if it is just a sprig.

Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’ and any veronica like it will winter over one year, flower beautifully and disappear. I do better with types like Waterperry and Georgia Blue

Heuchera Palace Purple – Have it for years and love it. And it stays unlike many other heuchera. It has crossed with Autumn Bride and reseeds. Great for dry shade. I am trying to get a patch of them going under an oak tree.

Phlox stolonfera – I had it at another house (clay) and it was beautiful in and out of bloom. They have never done well where I live now (sandy).

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

What zone are you in Loretta?
I don't know what the name of my Kniphofia is. I got it the first few years we were here and at that time, I didn't pay any attention to names.
It's a nice one. New stalks and blooms keep coming up. I have a fairly good picture on my camera, but I was using my camera to photgraph some bluebirds on my deck. Now, I've misplalced the camera. Plus, I've been out of the house a lot so haven't had time to look for the camera.

I've been looking at Geranium Sambor. I like the color. I have Geranium 'Brookside'. I really like it. It blooms for gosh, at least six weeks. Stands up even in my shaded area and when the sun hits it, the blue is outstanding. I have it with Aquilegia 'Swallowtail' (yellow with the longest spurs I've ever seen).

If Salvia 'May Night' is splitting in a circle, I think it's telling you it eeds to be divided.

Heuchera 'Purple Palace' died for me over the winter. H. 'Miracle' has done better for me. I put in Heuchera 'Georgia Peach' this fall. I bought them in the Spring but they were plugs in a big pot. I waited until they got a little bigger. We'll see if they make it through this rediculous frigid winter.
Phlox stononifera grows very well for me.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I'm zone 6b but July and August can be really hot, humid and dry and many plants that look good otherwise whither away. Plus I have an Asiatic Garden Beetle problem. They eat almost everything and I imagine their grubs do too.
Geranium Sambor blooms very early and for a long time. When it gets too leggy, it comes back with a good haircut. It reseeds and takes drought. The flowers are small compared to Rozanne but plentiful and they keep coming.
Even new Salvia's do that for me. Maybe I'll try again at some point. I think it could be the Asiatic Garden Beetles which LOVE salvia even more than my roses.
My Palace Purple is 10 years old or more and it isn't the same plant that I bought but it's seedling. The plant I bought only lasted one season.
If you ever find your camera, we would love to see your kniphofia. No rush.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Lets see where this link takes us ,, I am showing past pics of Kniphofia here in the threads
2yrs ago ? this link , if it works .

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/fp.php?pid=9871964

I was hoping to find it blooming as a huge white ice , the pics are around here someplace ,,
but , for now ,, this started as the same plant ,, not not much in the bloom factor with this particular pic , that changes from time to time ,,
However tri color forward and to the left the lemon blooms ,, these are now two , that started as the same plant ,,
The white one is in there now also ,, all the same plant ,,

What do you all say ? ""Little Ju's Species Variant"" ? if it lives on ,lol or perhaps ""Ju's Mutant ""?

Well third times a charm huh ? this happens .. like the post said .it is a seed dropper when I let it ,, ? is ..
Moral of the story ,, hybrid Uvaria ? you know now , what I know ,, Uvaria ,, all of them from species ,, Do not all Breed True ,, Hybrid or not ,, How about that

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