Gardening is all about trying out the newest, the different and the unique. It’s about having plants in your garden you can’t buy at the grocery store. This month we’ll introduce you to 10 really cool plants worth trying in your garden. Some of these suffer from zone denial. In other words, they are tender and probably won’t survive our winter unless you bring them inside. Others are hardy and will come back year after year. Check them out and give these magnificent ten plants a try.
Spigelia is a neat, clump forming perennial with stiff stems clothed in glossy green, pointed leaves. In June, the stem tips produce cymes of bold, attractive flowers. Flowers are red and trumpet shaped opening to a yellow star. Best grown in shade to part shade. Keep moist if it is planted in a sunnier location. Prefers moist, organically rick, well drained soil. Grows 1-2ft in height with a similar spread. Hardy to zone 5.
St Elmos Fire Firecracker Plant
Russelia x ‘St Elmos Fire’
This stunning hybrid selection of the Firecracker Plant is larger than the common species with a more open, airy look and showier, deeper red flowers. Grass-like foliage is accented bright firecracker red flowers. This is an easy care perennial that blooms continuously from Spring to Fall with the occasional pruning of spent flowers. It’s perfect for tall borders or large containers. Will reach 4-6ft tall and 6-8ft wide. Prefers full or part sun. Hardy to zone 8 – will need winter protection or consider bringing it inside.
Pennisetum x advena ‘Fireworks’
Staying with the pyrotechnic theme is Fireworks Pennisetum. This spectacular warm season tender perennial grass has narrow, arching leaves that are a kalaedoscope of hot pink, green, white and dark burgundy. Fluffy bottlebrush flowers are a deep burgundy and sway in the wind. It is deer resistant and makes a nice cut flower too. Drought tolerant once established. As an annual, it will not survive our winters unless brought inside. Prefers full sun, moist, but well drained soil and grows 1-2ft high and wide. Hardy in zones 9-11
Mojito Elephant Ear
For the water gardeners out there, we’ve brought in a unique Colocasia called ‘Mojito’. This tropical plant is well suited for the pondside or patio water feature or tropical garden. Its speckled and mottled green heart-shaped foliage with darker splotches is uniquely attractive. Prefers the heat of the sun but will tolerate part shade. Grows 3-4ft tall and 2-3ft wide. It should be kept moist or planted near a water feature where it can grab its own moisture
Midknight Blue Agapanthus
Agapanthus x ‘Monmid’
Midknight Blue is a striking new variety of Agapanthus with deep, violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Lush, strap-like foliage is bright green. A great plant for a tropical border, poolside or a container. Will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Blooms mid to late spring. Prefers full sun. Needs regular watering when newly planted, but is water wise once established. Grows 3-4ft high. Will benefit from winter protection. Hardy to zone 7.
Golden Butterfly Weed / Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Gold’
If you want butterflies in your garden – plant one of these! The Golden Butterfly weed, or Asclepias is a summer flowering perennial (annual in our climate) that butterflies just love. Especially the Monarchs!. Clusters of attractive buds open to gold and yellow flowers. It is a well behaved plant that requires little attention once established. Prefers full sun. Grows 3-4ft tall and 2-3ft wide. Hardy to zone 8 – treat it like an annual or bring it inside for the winter.
Berry Canary Tender Hybrid Foxglove
Digiplexis Berry Canary
This outstanding hybrid is the result of breeding between Digitalis (Foxglove) and a Digitalis relative from the Canary Islands, Isoplexis. Masses of beautiful, hot pink, tubular flowers have creamy yellow throats with burgundy speckling. Very large flower spikes appear over a long period, May to Frost, on tall stems. Very vigorous and definitely worth growing. Prefers full sun and a rich, moist, but well drained soil. Water well until established. Grows 1-2ft tall and almost as wide. Hardy to Zone 8.
Aeonium arboretum ‘Zwartkop’
This tender succulent is grown for its dark burgundy-black flattened rosettes. Yellow flowers appear above the foliage. Adds great colour and texture to dry borders, rock gardens, succulent planters and containers. Prefers full sun. Will turn more green if it does not receive enough sunlight. Grow in well drained and fertile soil. Can grow 2-3ft tall and up to 2ft wide. Hardy to zone 9. Bring indoors in the winter.
Tequila Sunrise Mirror Plant
Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunrise’
Tequila Sunrise is an amazing cultivar of Coprosma that has jewel like foliage that is highly glossed and brightly coloured. In Spring, its new growth emerges emerald green with a gold margin, gradually becoming marbled with brilliant orange and gold hues. In the winter, the leaf colour intensifies to brilliant orange and red jewel tones. It is well suited for mild climates, we may be a little too cool for it as it is hardy to zone 8-9. Treat it as an annual or bring it inside for the winter. Tequila Sunrise Coprosma prefers full sun and looks best in group plantings and magnificent when combines with succulents. Has an upright pyramidal shape and can reach 5ft tall in the warmer climates.
Black Negligee Bugbane
Actaea simplex ‘Black Negligee’
Actaea used to be called Cimicifuga, and many gardeners still use the old name. This variety, ‘Black Negligee’ features lacy black foliage and lovely dark stems. Small white flowers on stems above the foliage have the scent of grape and jasmine. It’s a great accent plant for the mixed border or as a specimen on its own. When given lots of sun and water, it will keep its darkest colouration. Can grow up to 5-5ft tall and 1-2ft wide. Hardy to zone 6.
As always, please call Art’s Nursery in advance to confirm availability as our selection is always changing and these rare and unique plants may have limited availability.