Obedient Flower OR''

Obedient Flower OR''

Obedient Flower

After being sown in late fall before any snow is on the ground, obedient plant flowers begin to open in late summer, slowly blooming from the bottom of the flower stalk upward. They should remain in bloom well into fall. The long, ovate, serrated leaves are fairly nondescript during the non-flowering part of the season. Some varieties turn red in the fall. The white, pink, and lavender flowers form along spikes, in four neat vertical rows, and begin opening from the bottom up. Pollinators like bees and hummingbirds are attracted to the obedient plant, which is easy to grow from seeds and has a germination rate of nearly 100 percent.


Obedient plants can be started from seed, about two months before planting out or divide existing clumps in the spring. Cuttings taken from young, tender shoots also root well. If planting from seeds outdoors, plant the seeds just below the surface of the soil in groups of about two to three seeds spaced about 18 to 24 inches apart. If you're sowing the seeds in containers indoors, the planting depth will be the same. It will take about a week for seeds to germinate. Once the plants are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted to your garden a few weeks after the last frost.Conditions Comments: Obedient plant receives its name from the characteristic fact that if you manipulate an individual flower back and forth on its axis, it will stay in position you place it. It is wonderfully adaptable, tolerating both drought and poor drainage. Spreads aggressively by stolons, but is easy to pull out and keep in check. Obedient plant is a good nectar source for butterflies. This perennial is easy to establish and maintain. It can become aggressive but the shallow roots are easy to pull out.

Obedient Plant thrives in wetter soils. The common name of this species has everything to do with its flowers and nothing to do with its behavior in the garden. It is a rhizomatous plant so its root system will spread fairly quickly underground. Anyone who has played around with its flower spikes will notice the curious fact that individual flower stems will remain in whichever direction you point them in. This is a wonderful species if you need a plant to fill in large spots around your yard. Like all members of the mint family, it produces copious amounts of nectar. Blooming late summer and well into fall, Obedient Plant provides a much-needed boost of energy for pollinators facing the coming winter. The Narrow-leaved Obedient Plant has lighter pink flowers and blooms earlier, making it a nice companion plant.This plant is often grown in flower gardens, and some populations may represent escaped plants from cultivation. Usually, the horticultural forms are more rosy pink or purple in appearance than native wild populations, which are usually white with light pink or purple tints. Because the individual flowers stay in place when moved, one common name is 'Obedient Plant,' as used here. Another name is 'False Dragonhead' on account of the fancied resemblance to a European plant by that name. While this is a pretty plant, its ecological value to birds, mammals, and insects is fairly low. (Source:www.illinoiswildflowers.info)



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