Tuesday, December 11, 2007



This deceptively dainty plant is quite tough, withstanding drought, poor soils, and sea spray with ease. It's also a long-blooming perennial. It forms low mounds of light-green, grassy, evergreen foliage from which 6- to 12-inch stalks arise
- topped with deep pink, white, crimson, or purple globe-shaped clusters of small flowers. The majority of blooms appear in late spring or early summer, but in mild-winter areas blooming often restarts in late fall and continues during winter. Thrift is a good ground cover, an edging plant in the front of a perennial garden, or a plant for rock or wall gardens. And as its name suggests, it's the ideal plant for seaside gardens, tolerating salty sea spray. It also attracts hummingbirds.Notable Varieties'Alba' bears white flowers on 6-inch stems.'Laucheana' has deep red flowers.'Pride of Dusseldorf' is a deep pink almost red variety.CareNeeds extremely well-drained, preferably sandy soil with just moderate moisture; drought-tolerant. Plant in full sun in soils with average fertility; rich soil produces loose, open plants that have trouble surviving the winter. Encourage lengthy bloom by removing flowers as they fade.PlantingPlant established plants 12 inches apart anytime. Divide clumps every several years in spring or fall to maintain vigorous growth.Pests and DiseasesMay die in center in damp soil or hot, humid climates. Cut back to ground to stimulate new growth if this occurs.

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