August, 2020: ‘The Rocket’ Ragwort
Longmont Colorado area landscapes – plant of the month
‘The Rocket’ Ragwort, or Ligularia stenocephala is a large specimen perennials with elephant ear jagged leaves that thrives in moist environments from zone 3-9. It has majestic yellow spiked flowers that tower above the main plant and can grow to 5’ tall and spread to 4’ wide. It loves partial sun to partial shade and can handle more deep shade so it is a great plant to fill in under canopy trees and shrubs. It needs a lot of water! So, for the xeric Longmont Colorado landscape gardener, this is not a plant for a hot and sunny rock garden, but one that might do well in a naturally boggy area of the property or at the end of a gutter downspout that doesn’t drain away too well, leaving a soggy area in need of plant material.
Ragwort is a deer resistant plant, and is likely therefore resistant to rabbits. Planting Ragwort at the back of a pond, stream, or other water feature in the landscape can add height and structure and the plant can take advantage of any over splash from the water feature. It can be divided in the spring easily, once established, if desired. It prefers rich, loamy soil, but can tolerate a range of pH levels in the soil. Mulch heavily in winter to protect the roots and maintain moisture. Winter watering is helpful. Plant 3 in the wet area of the landscape and watch them thrive!
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