Plants that underperform

Campanula Blue-eyed Blonde

Over the last decade there has been a flood of new plants — and a rush to get them to market. This has resulted in many poorly performing plants. Larry Davidson cites the example of Campanula persicifolia ‘Kelly’s Gold’, a yellow-leaved selection that was a sickly grower. C. ‘Blue-eyed Blonde’ is a much better plant, he says. Victoria Lister Carley suggests that you wait three years after a plant introduction before trying it. (It’ll be less expensive then too!) Here are some plants to use with caution.

Black mondo grass Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (unless used as an annual): great plant, but not winter hardy in our area.

‘Bradford’ ornamental pear Pyrus calleryana: grows scruffy and unkempt and splits around the 10-year mark.

Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica : invasive

‘Citronelle’ coralbells Heuchera ‘Citronelle’: doesn’t thrive

Jacob’s ladder hybrids Polemonium caeruleum: many are a disappointment — either they were sickly or didn’t overwinter

‘Ice Dance’ sedge Carex ‘Ice Dance’: doesn’t thrive

Orange-yellow coneflowers Echinacea cvs.: all but a few have reverted to Echinacea purpurea

Origami columbine Aquilegia Origami Series: doesn’t thrive

Midnight Wine weigela Weigela ‘Elvera’: leafs out late in the spring and requires a lot of attention — a bit of a diva.


Photo: Terra Nova Nurseries