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New/Featured for 2019

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Full Sun

Partial Shade
Partial Shade

Shade Lover
Full Shade

Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

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Picture Available

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Hardiness Zone Map


Lobelia

Lobelia

Cardinal Flower

In the dog days of August, just when the border is not looking so lively, this genus of colorful, stately selections rejuvenates the garden with spectacular leafy flowering spires, attracting crowds of eager hummingbirds. Perfect in meadow plantings, these sturdy herbaceous perennials appreciate a well drained site, a light winter mulching, rich, moist soils and partial shade in warm climates, except for Lobelia tupa and Lobelia laxiflora, which like it hot and on the dry side.

<i>Lobelia</i> ‘Grape Knee-Hi’

Have you grown weary of Lobelias, whose lovely blooms reside above a rather untidy base? If so, you may be interested in Dan Heim’s brilliant solution to this age-old challenge—a small-statured L. cardinalis and L. syphilitic backcross, known as ‘Grape Knee-Hi’. Painted with vibrant deep purple hues, the long lasting and freely flowering, tightset spikes crown upright stalks and good-looking compact foliage that stands on its own all season long.

Blooms July-August

Size: 2' 0" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Lobelia</i> ‘La Fresco’

We have Thurman Maness to thank for this lovely cultivar, another cross between Lobelia cardinalis and Lobelia siphilitica. A dense tower of dusky plum flowers creates a pleasing blend of muted purples when planted with Verbena hastata and Astrantia ‘Lars’.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Lobelia laxiflora</i>

A lush-looking, bushy perennial capable of enduring considerable neglect, this impressive Lobelia plays host to festive bicolored blooms. Spreading by underground rhizomes, a close thicket of slender, yet sturdy, red-tinted stems strikingly set off narrow and lustrous, pointed green leaves that extend 2 to 4 in. Slim, 2 in. long red tubes are loosely clustered at shoot tips, while each bright-hued flower flares to reveal a sunny yellow throat.

Hailing from Arizona and Mexico, the Mexican Lobelia entices gardeners and hummingbirds alike with nectar-rich blossoms, can tolerate some shade, but looks its best in sunny, dry sites and has been reputed to possess anti-inflammatory alkaloids.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Dressed in a crisp snowy white, the profusely flowered tapers of this Lobelia stand in sharp relief to its dark green foliage. A newly selected form of our U.S. native, ‘White Candles’s small, compact stature keeps its lift all season, lending a clean and classic look, especially when partnered with Geranium ‘Orion’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 18" – 20" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Lobelia tupa
 Full Sun  Partial Shade
<i>Lobelia tupa</i> <i>Lobelia tupa</i>

The lush tropical color scheme of this somewhat tender Chilean native is alluring. Cloaked in broad and pointed, pale green, felted foliage, each soaring, purple-tinged stem is crowned with a large, tapering raceme of warm brick-red blossoms. From the swollen base of each flower, a claw-like lower lip curls under and a tuft of gray stamens extends upward. A perennial of nearly monumental stature that likes it hot and on the dry side, Lobelia tupa can be associated with Melianthus, Muhlenbergia and Morina longifolia for a dynamic mélange of color and shape in the border.

Blooms July|#8211;October

Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Honey Angels’

Colorful Crocosmias, Be Awed by your August garden, Saturday Strolls!

Click here to view our Late August 2019 Newsletter!

Colorful Crocosmias!

Crocosmias pack a punch of late summer color as our gardens transition into autumn. Their clustered tubular flowers populate the ends of gracefully arching spikes, which emerge from handsome sword-like foliage. Ranging from yellow, peach and orange to fiery red, their prismatic shades look exceptional with white flowering perennials such as Phlox ‘David’, Selinum wallichianum and Aster ‘Bridal Veil’, as well as the blue blossoms of Aconitum, Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’ or Aster ‘Twilight’. For fun you could create a hot border, blending them with Kniphofia, Helenium, Salvia and even other Crocosmia, plus be sure to include some in your next bouquet. Commonly referred to as Montbretia and hardy to Zone 6, they appreciate, good drainage, adequate water and some shade in scorching summer sun. Please feel free to check out our extensive collection of Crocosmia cultivars in the perennial section of our online catalog.

YES, it’s possible to be in awe of your late August garden….

At this point in the season, some areas in our gardens may appear a tad worn or lackluster. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to cut back a few tired looking perennials, such as the Nepetas or Geraniums, so you can enjoy a fresh flourish of growth plus more blooms. Adequate moisture and an additional application of compost will also ensure late summer vigor. Incorporating plants that provide a bounty of flowers and alluring leaves in August and September helps buoy our spirits, and hopefully even inspire a little awe as we approach fall. Though the plants featured in this newsletter either promote a bold statement or possess more refined aspects, they equally caught my eye and made me pause to take a closer look. Perhaps they’ll spark a wondrous moment for you as well. All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging!

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