Advertisement

The Best Plant You’ve Never Heard Of


Ask many skilled gardeners to name their favorite plant, and what do they reply? “The one that’s in bloom right now.”

Not what the interviewer wanted to hear, probably, but true nonetheless.

That comment came to mind this morning as I was rummaging about in my garden, pulling out the inch-long blades of crabgrass that are starting to raise their annoying heads. And the plant that caught my attention and filled me with admiration? Mazus reptans, a quarter-inch high ground cover that’s one of the plants in the Steppables line. It makes a solid mat of little green leaves, blooms with tiny purple-blue flowers that suggest miniature orchids, and it looks really great next to a cluster of lime green lemon thyme at the front of my border. It would grow nicely between stepping stones as well.

Photo courtesy of Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

I bought my plant at Anton’s Greenhouse in Evanston last year and was impressed with how it took off after it went in the ground. Not invasive but sturdy growth. It overwintered just fine and now it’s in its second season. The Missouri Botanic Garden, which reports no serious insect or disease problems, says it can grow 2 inches high, but I have yet to see that.

This is a terrific little plant and well worth seeking out. Looking for something new to grow? This is it.

categories

Lincoln Park Zoo Advertisement

popular

Article Thumbnail
Blog
A Plant for Neatniks

You know who you are. You’re the gardeners who keep your lawn perfectly edged and weed-free, the ones who maintain an ...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Mike’s “Bargain Basement”  Holiday Hort Sing Along

People ask me why, year after inexplicable year, I continue to crank out these bizarre little lyrics for the holidays.


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Wouldn’t life be just about perfect if roses could grow in shade? It so happens that once in a while you come across one ...


Article Thumbnail
Departments
From the Editor - JanFeb 2016

This is the time when the world waxes eloquent (or some semblance thereof) about “new beginnings.” Really? Is there such a thing


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Naming Rights

Brace yourself. I’m going to smack you across the kisser with a cold, wet herring of truth: Gardening ain’t easy.


questions

The foliage on our cucumber plants is starting to wither and turn yellow. They get plenty of water and I feed them regularly. What could be wrong?

I recently moved to Chicago from Houston and I miss fresh picked figs. Is there any way to grow figs in Chicago short of installing a greenhouse? Will sunny windows do? I’m desperate.

Which flowers can we plant that the bunnies won’t eat? My pansies and marigolds are all eaten.

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement