Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Plant of the Month-September 08
September is an excellent month for plants. I had a hard choice between: turtlehead, hardy cyclamen, Japanese anemones and the toad lilies for September's Plant of the Month. I have chosen toad lilies, aka Tricyrtis hirta. And let me tell you why.
The toad lilies are not only beautiful, but hardy, easy to grow, unique, and bloom for a very long time. I have grown toad lilies for five years now. They have never ever failed me, not even last year after the long drought. I have never watered my toad lilies and I can tell you they are planted within 10 feet of an Eastern Red Cedar; which sucks all moisture from the soil as any gardener knows.
I decided to split the clump last fall when I planted a new bed out front under a pine tree and a few oaks. The result is pictured above. This plant has been blooming a few weeks now and shows no sign of letting up. Just look at all the buds. I am not sure of the cultivar I am growing, but I can tell you I mail ordered mine and have had no trouble from them at all. Some people think they look like orchids.
One year the voles decided these toad lilies tasted real good. They decimated the roots so that by the time I realized there was a problem all the lilies were laying on the ground. No problem for the lilies! I just stamped the ground down and watched them closely. They all recovered. Amazing. Let me tell you roses would never recover from such an insult as having their roots eaten! They can suffer severely from squirrels eating them up though, as Dan discovered in his garden so keep a lookout.
Grow toad lilies in shade to part shade, never full sun. A nice woodland garden works well and I have not found them to be picky about moisture; whether too dry or too wet. Mine grow to about 24" wide and tall with no extra amendments.
Frances, you might want to try some. Racquel just did a post on these plants too, and I think you can take it from her and I, these are great plants.
in the garden....