The Physostegia virginiana-Obedient Plant

Hello folks! I was mowing a few days ago and was happy to see the Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) with flowers. I almost ran into the side of the foundation as I was making the turn. I bought this plant in the spring of 2016 at one of the local garden club’s plant sales. One of the problems I have with this plant is that they won’t stand up. Supposedly, according to the internet, they will do this if the soil they are in is to rich or they have to much shade. Well, they are in full sun so the shade isn’t the issue. I certainly didn’t think the location where I planted it was “rich” either. Another problem I had earlier was the leaves on top of the plant were black, like they had been burned.

I am glad to see that it is starting to spread a little from the single stem I planted in 2016. Umm… The Obedient Plant is a well-known spreader which is why I planted it in a problem corner. This corner is along the old foundation in “the other yard” where in the early 1980’s I had dug up for a sun garden… It used to be nothing but Bermuda Grass that would send runners all the way up the downspouts and stick out the top. This area would be great for many sun/drought tolerant plants that like a more sandy soil. I had a prickly pear cactus and Achillea millefolium growing here many years ago.

The biggest problem with this area is the Bermuda Grass, which is always a battle. It serves a purpose and makes great lawn grass in some parts of the county, but certainly is not flower bed friendly. My front yard at the mansion was Bermuda Grass and I was glad there wasn’t any in the back yard.

Quiz for you… Do you know why the Physostegia virginiana is called the Obedient Plant?

I think this is the shortest post I ever wrote but I have more to come… Plus, this is my second post for the day! SO, for now, until next time, be happy, healthy, positive, prosperous and always GET DIRTY!

2 comments on “The Physostegia virginiana-Obedient Plant

  1. hairytoegardener says:

    I don’t know why it’s called “the Obedient Plant”, I need to look it up. I’ve been considering growing this plant (which I think is beautiful) for problem areas in my backyard, but I’m a bit afraid of it for its aggressive reputation. I’ve never grown it, but am on the fence now because honestly its just lovely.


    • Laura, it is called Obedient Plant because supposedly you can bent the flowers and they will stay in that position. I keep forgetting to try it and seem to always remember after it is dark or in bed. Maybe I should go out with the flashlight when I think about it. As far as being invasive goes, mine has barely done anything. Maybe in time it will show it’s true colors. There are several plants that would go well in problem areas which just depends on the problem. I have been wanting to try Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides). Actually, there is a massive group of wildflowers in a weird place in the back pasture that I haven’t researched yet. They could possibly be Loosestrife. I need to put something on the north side of the barn… Time to jump off of the fence and dive in and GET DIRTY! LOL Thanks for the comment as always.


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