Helpful tips and ideas for new additions to your garden:
Phlomis have been proven to be a delight in summer gardens, with the strong, square stems topped with a two-tone cream and pale yellow flowers adding structure and form.
There are about 100 species of Phlomis. Shrubbier forms are found in countries bordering the Mediterranean, where hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters prevail. These Mediterranean species normally get badly battered during British winters, but in Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire gardens they have shown they will survive if planted in a well-drained, sunny position in the garden.
The shrubbier forms of the plant that are well known in Crewe and Stafford gardens are the delicate lilac-pink Phlomis italica with its white, woolly leaves, growing to around 3 feet high. Also popular is the green-leaved P. longifolium, which has black netted heads of bright yellow flowers growing to between 2 and 3 feet high.
The most stylish Phlomis is the May-flowering P. tuberose, which has pinky-purple flowers. ‘Edward Bowles’ and P. fruticosa are both small shrubs that are ideal in a warm, sunny position. They can also both make good feature plants in a sunny border with other Mediterranean silver-leaved subshrubs with contrasting flowers.
Gardener’s growing tips:
1. Take care when dividing this plant because the tubers are brittle.
2. Resist the urge to cut back weather affected shoots until at least early May.
3. Keep the seed heads on as long as possible and then trim them off in early April when it is possible to see the flowers forming.
4. Take 4-inch cuttings of the shrubby phlomis in June, July or August. Select new growth that has begun to harden and remove all flower buds. Then trim below the node and place in a 50% mixture of grit and compost, or 50% sand and compost. Keep the cuttings damp by covering them with polythene.
5. Perennial phlomis can be divided in early autumn or from mid-spring.
How to cut back perennials:
1. Hardy geraniums look ragged in late summer so cut back any that are suffering to allow for new growth, followed by autumn flowers.
2. Other hardy geraniums brown and set seedlings. Cut these back to prevent unwanted seedlings, although you should save some seeds for February/March for sowing.
- 3. The one plant you must never cut back is the lupin, despite the foliage nearly always looking shabby by July. This would decimate next year’s flowers.
- If you have any other inquiries about growing Phlomis then please contact us and we will happily answer your questions: –