Monday, October 18, 2010


JUPITER'S BEARD, or Valerian (Centranthus Ruber), is a great plant to have in your garden!  It has rounded clusters of fragrant, funnel-shaped, pinkish-red, or white flowers.  It starts to flower in early summer, and will continue to frost time.  If you cut back the spent stems, you will get 2 additional blooms through the season.  I like the blue-green leaves, that stay through even in winter months if in a protected spot.  It's very easy to grow, and does great in poor soil to average soil.  It will also flourish in acidic soils.  I like to use Valerian in arrangements--they have a long vase life, and provide a good, colorful filler.  They can become floppy, especially in rich soil, but if they do, just cut them back by 1/2  after they have bloomed, and they'll bloom again.  One thing about them that can be good or bad is that they are prolific self-sowers--so much so that they can become invasive if left undisturbed.  But, they are very easy to transplant, and the little seedlings are easy to pull up so you can keep the plant manageable. In the collage, one of the photos shows the many little seedling plants from the seeds that germinated just this late summer!  I will be pulling them all up and discarding them, which will be very quick and easy to do.  If I wanted more plants, I'd let them grow, then move them to desired areas this spring.  Divide mature plants also in spring, and pull up any more  unwanted seedlings that may germinate and grow through the coming months and discard, share with a neighbor, or even move to pots set outdoors.  
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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