Ajuga, Heuchera, Hosta, Leptinella & Zantedeschia Update

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’-Bugleweed

Hello again! I am back with round two of the update. The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ has struggled through the winter and probably 80% of has died out. What is left is beginning to bud. Later on, I will have to replant what has died with new plants from what is left. They can spread pretty fast so that won’t be a problem. You have to be careful with Bugleweed as they have a tendency to become too thick which can lead to crown rot.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that only two of the Hosta I bought last year survived the winter. Well, I made a very good discovery Friday… I was looking for the new Hosta behind the tags and they were in front of them. SO, the only one that didn’t return is Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. The following are in the order the photos were taken.


Hosta ‘Empress Wu’

I am very glad the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ survived the winter. I planted this Hosta last spring by the porch on the north side of the house because I want something there that makes a statement. I have had this cultivar in mind for this spot for several years but I could only find them online. Last spring I found one at a garden center in Clinton but didn’t want to pay over $20.00 for a gallon size pot. Then I found the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ which I planted there but farther away from the wall because I knew it would get big. Then after that, I found a smaller Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ at a local greenhouse. Well, even though I had kind of used that spot for the Colocasia ‘Thailand Giant’, I still had to have the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. I planted it behind the Colocasia in the corner. In time, this Hosta will be very big as it is the largest Hosta cultivar available.


Hosta ‘Guacamole’

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ appears right on the heels of ‘H. ‘Potomac Pride’. I bought this award-winning Hosta from Lowe’s in the spring of 2014. The clump has spread nicely and it always makes a good show during the summer. It is always good to see it return in the spring.


Hosta ‘Red October’

The Hosta ‘Red October’ has been with me since 2009 I brought from Mississippi. Last year it showed some signs of needing help, so this spring I may need to give it some attention. I have lost two Hosta I brought with me and I don’t intend to lose a third which is why I moved H. ‘Krossa Regal’ last spring.


Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is another award-winning Hosta I bought in 2009 while living in Mississippi. This clump gets larger every year and the plant keeps getting more dramatic. It is a beautiful blue-green Hosta with AWESOME thick, puckered and corrugated leaves!


Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is always the first to appear in the spring so it is always the one I check first. I brought this cultivar with me from Mississippi, too. It keeps getting bigger every year and has never ceased to be AWESOME!


Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’

I bought this plant from an Ebay seller in 2009 while living at the mansion in Mississippi, too. I actually bought my first Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ after I moved to the farm when my grandpa passed away in 1981. I always liked its vase-shaped growth habit and leaf color, kind of a powdery blue-green. I had to relocate this clump last spring so I divided it while I was at it. I was a little worried at first this spring because it looked like most of it didn’t survive. Fortunately, it appears all the plants from the division have made it now.


Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’

Thank goodness the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ survived the winter. I bought this cultivar in the spring of 2014 but I thought it was a gonner in 2016. Fortunately, it came back again in 2017 so I moved it in front of where I moved the Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’. Hopefully, it will do better this year. Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ was the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year in 1991. It was also the number one selling Heuchera for 20 years straight.


Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ was new for me last spring and my first gold-leaved cultivar. It is certainly a show stopper with its bright leaves you can see from far away. I am anxious to see how well it does this year.


Iris fulva-Copper Iris

I brought this AWESOME iris from Mississippi where I found it growing in the backyard at the mansion. I couldn’t leave without bringing several tubers with me and they have spread nicely. This past winter proved they are hardy down to -10° F!


Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’

“HERE I AM!!!” I almost S–T!!! It isn’t every day your Hosta calls out to you like that. Just look how big it is already!!! I was looking behind the tag this whole time and it was in front of it instead covered with leaves. GEEZ! WOW, was I glad to see it!


Hosta Abique Drinking Gourd’

Since the Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was in front of its tag, I look in front of the lag for H. ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’. Sure enough, there it was, too! Very good! This cultivar was the 2014 American Hosta Growers Association Hosta of the Year. It has thick puckered leaves that are cup-shaped. I am looking forward to seeing what this plant can do as the years go by. It will be AWESOME!


Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is just sitting there looking like it has the last three times I have taken its photo. I am not complaining because at least it survived the winter and without much mulch a lot of the time. It is on the end and the wind seems to blow its cover off and on and it isn’t as deep as the others so some of its roots are exposed. I cover it up and it disappears. Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a MULTIPLE award winner and am glad I found it last spring at Lowe’s. This Hosta was introduced 18 years years ago and is still very popular.


Heuchera ‘Obsidian’

I wasn’t worried about the new Heuchera surviving the winter because there were visible signs of them the whole time and they all came through with flying colors. Heuchera is a Terra Nova introduction and is supposed to be the “blackest” Heuchera. It did very well last summer and I have no doubt it will be great in 2018 as well.


Heuchera ‘Venus’

Heuchera ‘Venus’ sure looks different when it first starts growing in the spring compared to how it looks in the summer. The leaves will be a silvery-green with maroon veins. Well, that depends on the light and time of the year. Heuchera ‘Venus’ is part of the Planet Collection hybridized by Wijnhout from the Netherlands and introduced in 2003. I had several similar cultivars on my wishlist but I had not heard of this one until I found it at Lowe’s last spring. It was a very good performer last year and had the tallest flower stems.


Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’

The Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ is another Terra Nova introduction I found at Lowe’s last spring. Earlier during the winter, something dug a hole in front of this plant. I filled the hole in but whatever it was kept coming back. This plant is kind of on a slope which didn’t help either. Fortunately, it wasn’t affected by having its roots partially exposed off and on. The wind kept the leaf mulch blown off this plant, too. This cultivar is fun to watch during the summer as its leaves change color with age. It is a very nice Coral Bell for sure!


Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’-Brass Buttons

I was just thrilled and overjoyed that the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ survived the winter. It is without a doubt one of the most dainty plants I have ever grown and here it survived a very cold January, even down to -10° F temperatures on more than one occasion. 🙂


Zantedeschia elliottiana-Golden Calla Lily

A few weeks ago I noticed the Calla Lily sprouting where I had it stored in the basement. It was really nice last summer in the shade bed, but I will put it where it will get a little more sun this year. I guess I need to put it in a pot, huh? I had a pretty large clump in Mississippi from bulbs I found in a box of Suzanne’s but it turned out to be pink. I used to remove them and bring them inside for the winter as a houseplant until I found out it was pink. After I started leaving it outside, it spread like crazy! It was a different species because the leaves were solid green. The species name on the label from this one says Zantedeschia hybrida. GEEZ! It is without a question, a Zantedeschia aethiopica hybrid because it has spotted leaves. It also has very yellow flowers. 🙂 Ummm. I don’t have a page for the Calla yet…

So, the only Hosta that didn’t survive the winter was the Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. Maybe someday it will come up after all.

I think that is it for now. I went out earlier and took photos for the next post. It will be a tour of the yard (s) and where all the beds are. I know I get confused how to explain where the beds are and when I talk about “the other yard”. Maybe I will draw a map. 🙂

Until next time, be safe, stay well and positive. Oh yeah… GET DIRTY! 🙂


Monday’s Find :)

Well, I suppose I better fully admit that my addiction to plant collecting had once again emerged. I tried to hide it when I went to Lowe’s on Sunday but it was no use. Then when I went to Clinton on Monday I had to take a trip to the garden center downtown. Notice I said “I had to”. That was not a question. The first thing I saw was the herbs. I saw a few that I would have liked but I was saving them for last. I needed desperately to see what else was available. The next selection was the annuals. There were SO MANY Petunias that their fragrance filled the air. BUT, I hesitated because I really wasn’t in the mood for Petunias at the moment.

Then I walked to the back… OH YES!!!! SEDUM, HOSTA, VIOLAS, SALVIA… Then I saw their prices. HOLY CRAP!!!! Suddenly my wish list got smaller. I decided maybe I shouldn’t buy any. Then I started looking at the Sedum and they called out to me. OH, it was terrible! I had to tell so many they just couldn’t come home with me. Then with the Hosta. She even had a Hosta ‘Samurai’. I had one of those in the early 1980’s. SO AWESOME but she wanted $15.00! Then I spotted a Hosta ‘Empress Wu’! My mouth drooled but it was in a 1-gallon pot from Monrovia which meant it was over $20.00. SO, reluctantly, I passed up her Hosta and went back over to the Sedum. Then I noticed the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ like I had in 2014. WELL, I had to have one.

Well, one plant led to another then another… In alphabetical order:

Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’

‘Lunar Eclipse’ False Indigo’
Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’
Baptisia australis x Baptisia sphaerocarpa
bap-TIS-ee-uh aw-STRAL-is x sfay-ro-KAR-puh

Part of the Prarieblues Series. There are many cultivars of Baptisia I have wanted to try, but this only the second I have owned. A couple of years ago I bought B. ‘Carolina Moonlight’ from Brent and Becky’s but it had some issues. Baptisia haven’t been readily available locally so I was happy to see this one at the garden center in Clinton on Monday. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is one of several in the Prarieblues Series from the Chicagoland Grows program from the Chicago Botanic Gardens. This hybrid featured flowers that change color… They emerge light lemon-over-cream then turn to cream, pale lilac and shades of purple/blue. They grow to a height of 3-4 feet in a full to mostly sunny location. Baptisia attract a lot of butterflies.

Lavandula dentata

French Lavender, Fringed Lavender
Lavandula dentata
lav-AN-dew-lah den-TAY-tuh

Lavandula dentata L. was named and first documented by Carl Von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Now, folks, I don’t know much about Lavender. I just know it smells girly and has many different leaf and flower types. I have always particularly favored the French Lavender because the flowers look like they have wings on top. A couple of years ago I bought a Lavandula angustifolia ‘Platinum Blonde’. It was taken over by the HUGE Coleus growing next to it and died… I had too many other distractions that year and completely neglected my plants. Lowe’s had Lavender plants when I was there on Sunday but they were the English species so I didn’t buy any. When I saw the garden center in Clinton had a few of the French, I had to have one.

When I add this plant to the pages to the right I will have more information about Lavender.

Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’

New Zealand Brass Buttons ‘Platt’s Black’
Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’
lep-tin-EL-luh SKWA-lee-duh

I bought one of these at Lowe’s in 2014 and it was really neat! Well, it did very well in the pot but went downhill after I put in the bed. It did flower then died cold turkey. SO, I found another one at the garden center today, which was a surprise, so I had to bring one home. Yes, I HAD TO! It was fate that brought me to the garden center and possibly because they had this particular plant. OK, well, maybe that is a complete exaggeration.

According to information on the internet, these plants are supposed to like full sun to part shade and can spread indefinitely. OH, that would be AWESOME!!! It says in large planting, spent flowers can be clipped off with a lawn mower and can even stand foot traffic. Well, I don’t think I will be walking on mine for a while, or even be using a lawn mower on them. They grow a max of 2” tall and the leaves grow 2” long x 1/2” wide. Info says they like full sun to part shade but last time I tried them in full sun so this time I will try part shade. It also says they don’t like their soil to dry out.

They are considered a herbaceous perennial in USDA Zones 4-10 and are even evergreen in zones 9 and 10.

Leptinella squalida are native to New Zealand but the ‘Platt’s Black” cultivar is from a sport discovered in the garden of Jane Platt of Portland, Oregon. According to some, the original is much better and more bushy and healthier looking.

OH, I almost forgot… Leptinella squalida Hook.f. is the correct and accepted scientific name of this plant. BUT that’s all I could find… Publication details weren’t available on Tropicos.

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

Caucasian Stonecrop, Two-Row Stonecrop
Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’
SEE-dum SPUR-ee-um

Sedum spurium M. Bieb. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Sedum. It was first described as such by Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein in Flora Taurico-Caucasica in 1808. You can take a deep breath after that.

Well, I love Sedum so I had to have this one, and many more to come. We all pretty much know the characteristics and growing conditions of the “ground cover” type Sedums. BUT you have to realize that many Sedums have had or now have different genus names. In fact, many Crassulaceae experts who have written many publications use the genus name “Phedimus” due to the leaf shape (and other characteristics I am sure). While The Plant List says this species is Sedum spurium, they say Phedimus spurius. I am certainly not going to argue either way because I am just a gardener.  The taller species, like the ever popular “Autumn Joy” isn’t even a Sedum anymore. They are in the genus HylotelephiumSedum is MUCH easier to pronounce! Many retailers and growers are still using the Sedum name, though.

You have to admit the list of 421 ACCEPTED species names is STILL pretty long… Not to mention there are STILL 429 names that are unresolved. That is because in the world of succulents and cactus there are so many that are the same.

Sempervivum x ‘Killer

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’

This Sempervivum cultivar was hybridized and registered by Volkmar Schara of Germany in 2004. According to one website, they are also sold under the name of Chick Charms® ‘Cranberry Cocktail’. That name led me to the Chick Charms® Collectable Hens & Chicks website.

Chick Charms® are selected by Chris Hansen who is also the breeder of SunSparkler® Sedums. He has a collection of over 485 named varieties.

You know, there are over 4,000 named varieties of Sempervivums and SO MANY of them look exactly alike and no doubt many are the same. The result of the same crosses or sports. Just like in this case… They were hybridized AND registered under the name ‘Killer’ and they are also sold under the Chick Charms® name ‘Cranberry Cocktail’.

I had a few really nice Sempervivum that did very well until they met their end in 2014. This one caught my eye at the garden center because they have longer leaves and the rosettes reach 8” across and they grow up to 3” tall.

Well, that’s it for my second trip of plant buying. The next post will be about my new bed. SO, until then, take care, enjoy life and GET DIRTY!!!