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Veronicastrum is a new profession taking the world by storm; rich investors are desperate to find their next big modern day Veronika—someone to help them develop their craft. It’s easy to see how the internet and new technology has led to a very different world for the “Veronika of the Present Day”.A recent pink-flowered selection from the Dutch designer Piet Oudolf with striking reddish-brown stems, self-supporting and multi-branched. A graceful and beautiful plant. For a more salmon pink colour, look out for Piet’s latest selection Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Challenger’. 1.6m.
In dry seasons some wilting may occur on free-draining chalk or sandy soils but generally veronicastrums need little attention after planting. On rich, moist soils they can grow to 2m or more with 60-75cm spread. Along with foxgloves and toadflax, veronicastrums are part of the Plantaginaceae family, which are all prone to fasciation. You can remove fasciated flower spikes by pinching out the tip of the plants in mid-May to develop side shoots that have not been affected. It does mean foregoing the first vertical veronicastrum flower spike but there will be a profusion of subsidiary ones, although the overall height will be reduced. Judicious manipulation of plants during their growth cycle can increase flower power.New veronicastrum plants can be grown from division, cuttings and in the case of species, from seed. I have found that root cuttings are also possible. Veronicastrums are prairie plants and combine well with many tall grasses, such as Panicum virgatum, Molinia caerulea and Calamagrostis x acutiflora.
Perennials, including rudbeckias, salvias, nepetas, monardas and phlox are good companions and veronicastrums are robust enough to cope with some of the thugs of the prairies, such as Eupatorium, Silphium and Helianthus, although they can be slightly overwhelmed by much stronger growing grasses, such as Miscanthus sinensis. Extremely showy, Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's Root) introduces elegant vertical lines to the borders with its long spikes of densely-clustered, tiny flowers from summer to fall. With a candelabra look, these attractive inflorescences, in shades of white, blue, pink and purple, are nicely complemented by lanceolate, dark-green leaves that are arranged in whorls around the stem. Fantastically hardy, very tolerant, Veronicastrum adds height, structure and texture to the garden, and as a bonus, this plant also attracts bees and butterflies! Tough, long-lasting, easy to grow, Culver's Root requires little care and is disease resistant. Very adaptable in the garden, Culver's Root is perfect for adding interesting vertical lines and late summer color in the garden. (Source: www.gardenia.net)