MADE IN THE SHADE

Tape from show on July 27, 2017 – the FlowerCoach on the Parker and Davis Show (7:45 Thursday mornings on the Pledge, 96.5)

ligularia britt marie crawford  ajuga choc chip foliage

One of my Favorite combinations for (moist) shade, Ligularia and Ajuga reptans  

Ligularia; large dark green leaves w/ purple undersides… late summer yellow daisy like blooms!  Ligularia plants will attract butterflies, but are known to be DEER RESISTANT!

Ligularia (Ligularia stenocephala ‘The Rocket’)ligularia_the_rocket_lg_0
lig-yew-LAR-ee-ah sten-oh-SEF-ah-lah
Genus: Ligularia
The aptly named ‘The Rocket’ is virtually indestructible if sited in damp shade. In spring, toothed green foliage unfurls to form an attractive mound. Flowering begins in midsummer when stalks packed with little buds rise up to 4 feet tall. Little golden daisies, opening from bottom to top, shoot upward like rockets to the sky.
Noteworthy Characteristics: Grows very slowly. Has large leaves.
Care: Ligularias like partial shade and deep, fertile, damp soil. Don’t let them dry out between waterings.
Propagation: Divide clumps in spring or after flowering.
Problems:  Slugs and snails.

Overview

Height 3 ft. to 6 ft. x Spread 3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit -Clumps; Slow Grower
Full Sun to Part Shade
Medium Moisture–don’t let them dry out.
Showy Flowers, Showy Foliage
Bloom Time Early Fall, Early Summer, Fall, Late Summer, Summer
Flower Color, Primrose Yellow
 In terms of soil conditions, working some humus into the soil will help them. They are good wet area plants; in fact, many growers state that these shade perennials get pretty thirsty..(this only happens to mine during times of extreme heat and drought.)

To propagate you can divide in early spring.

Other Types of Ligularia:

Ligularia dentata is sometimes referred to as the “bigleaf ligularia,” because this type has relatively big leaves.

Ligularia dentata Britt marie crawfard  Britt Marie Crawford

But so does another type, Ligularia macrophylla;Ligularia macrophylla big leaf in fact, the specific epithet for the latter translates literally as “bigleaf.”

King Kong: Leaves are 16 inches across and start dark purple-black and transition to burgundy as the plant’s yellow-orange flowers appear. Quite large! Height is 3 to 4 feet and a spacing of 36 to 42 inches is recommended.

King-Kong ligularia

AJUGA— many varieties!  They vary in leaf color, size, flower color and size!

ajuga_reptans_black_scallop_lg Black Scallop

ajugaburgundyglow_1 Burgundy Glow

ajuga chocolate chip
Ajuga Chocolate Chip

ajuga choc chip foliageAjuga Chocolate Chip

ajuga blueberry muffin  Blueberry Muffin

Catlin's Gian Ajuga reptans Catlin’s giant–bigger leaf, taller and bigger flower!

It is suggested that you contain Ajuga by using a shovel or spade to edge the borders of the territory boundary allocated to it twice annually, once in spring and again around the middle of summer.

There is no need for alarm as this plant does not spread rapidly; rather it will spread at a slow and steady rate.

Be warned that you must not plant this next to a lawn as grass cannot compete with this plant for and will be quickly overrun, leaving you with an Ajuga lawn instead of a grass lawn.

Ajuga plants need plenty of water if you want them to flower, even when growing in the shade. Note that if trees are nearby, because these plants like shade, the tree roots will leach the water that this plant requires and so stunt its growth. However once this plant is properly established it rarely has problems. Other than this Ajuga require little care. Just plant Ajuga seeds, care for the plants for a few weeks until they are established, and they will maintain themselves.

It is important to note that while Ajuga provides ground cover it cannot and must not be walked on. This is especially important as there are actually companies that claim that the Ajuga seeds that they sell grow into beds that can be walked on. This is highly unlikely. Ajuga might survive being walked over very occasionally, but regular foot traffic will definitely damage the beds, kill the plants, or at the very least make them look very unattractive.

The flowers are usually dark blue in color, and have a dense blooming time in early spring. They also bloom occasionally all through the warmer months.

Ajuga is best propagated in spring but can be propagated by division any time during the growing season. The plant must be divided and then replanted at once. If this gardening shade flower becomes too dense with little air circulation there is a danger of crown rot resulting in bare patches. Division will keep this to a minimum.

One benefit to the density is that it blocks out weeds.

A humus rich, moist soil is best, good air circulation is a must, and don’t let the roots stand in water.