Daylilies come in
thousands of varieties!
If you have a brown thumb, you are growing the wrong plants
January 26, 7:44 AM
by Dena Bolton, Nashville Gardening Examiner
I cannot begin to tell you how many people have told me that they cannot grow anything. I firmly believe they are just trying to grow the wrong plants. For example, that ‘Queen Elizabeth’ rose might look gorgeous in full bloom on the tag; but, I promise you, she will require a lot more attention than I bet you are willing to give. Here are some easy-to-grow, easy-care perennials – they will come back year after year – which those of you with brown – or even black – thumbs can plant and learn that you are perhaps not the plant-killer you thought you were.
If a daylily can grow and flourish in a ditch on the side of a road, it can grow in your garden. Daylilies are drought-tolerant, which is a good thing since most brown-thumbed gardeners do not usually water regularly. There are also literally thousands of varieties in various sizes – from minis to large doubles – and a rainbow of colors. The commonly-sold variety is the low-growing golden ‘Stella d’Oro,’ but I recommend that you look for some other varieties and play with the colors – reds and burgundies, pinks and lilacs, creams with different colors on the tips of their petals and in their throats.
• Sedum (also called “stonecrop”).
The most common sedum is ‘Autumn Joy’ (also known as ‘Herbstfreude’), but there are plenty of other varieties that are just as easy to grow. ‘Angelina’ is one of my favorites to use as groundcover. While it may appear delicate – some of the succulent leaves will actually fall off as you plant it – it is actually quite hardy. (Just cover the parts that fall off with dirt. They will take root.) ‘Angelina’ also stays green year-round, which is really nice.
• Perennial herbs.
Herbs are so easy to grow, especially the perennials. They are beautiful plants in their own right, so they work well in the landscape – plus you can cook with them. Try oregano and thyme as groundcovers. (Note: Different flavors have leaves of different colors.) Rosemary can grow into quite a pretty – and fragrant – little bush. If you have a sunny spot that could use a nice clump of green, plant some French sorrel, which tastes like lemon. Mint is a great option for containers on your deck and porch. Try different flavors, especially since each has a different look and different flowers. Chocolate mint is my favorite, and children just love it. Cut your mints back completely at the end of the season, and then watch them re-emerge in their containers the next year.
All plants require at least some care, but these I have listed are more forgiving and will handle neglect better. In the summer, water them well – for me – at least once a week. You might soon discover that your brown thumb is not so brown after all.
Tip of the day:
Smooth-leaved mints (as opposed to fuzzy leaves) are often easier to grow and spread quicker.
Did you know:
Mint comes in a variety of flavors, such as: peppermint, spearmint, apple, pineapple, tangerine, lemon, lime, ginger, and even grapefruit.