Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Plant of the week - a Love/Hate relationship
My plant of the week for this week is...
Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow.'
I LOVE the way this plant looks right now. I LOVE the way it attracts pollinators, like native bees.
I don't mind that it attracts ants (ants are good for loosening up the soil).
I tolerate that it's an aggressive spreader (that's ONE plant in the picture).
I HATE that it will look like crap after it's done blooming. It gets infected with a fungus (can you say powdery mildew?) EVERY. FREAKING. YEAR.
I LOVE that I just have to cut it back to the ground and it recovers from the powdery mildew and comes back strong, blooming to beat the band the following spring. That's a good thing for the plant, too. If I have to treat a plant for a disease I'd rather pull it out and replace it with something else.
No chemicals that kill things for my garden, thank you. I have yet to find a plant that's worth poisoning my local ecosystem (and myself and my family).
Besides, a fungicide that kills powdery mildew will also affect the mycorrhizae in the soil [don't know what mycorrhizae are? They're soil fungi that are beneficial [and sometimes required] for plant health].
AND I'll stop now, before I get back on my we-all-live-in-the-same-environment soap box.