by Connie Oswald Stofko
Shady areas can be a challenge for gardeners, and if the shady area is dry, that’s even more difficult.
If you have an area like that, try planting lamium.
“It’s drought tolerant,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. “It grows in dry shade areas. That’s a hard thing to find.”
What’s even better is that you can buy it during the 69-cent Perennial Sale at Mischler’s, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. The plants are sold only in packs of four plants at $2.76 per pack. Get a flat for $33.12 (12 packs per flat). See the list of plants here.
The sale will take place from Friday, April 21 to Saturday, April 29, while supplies last. Sale hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
About 100 varieties of perennials will be offered in the sale. They include shade plants, deer-resistant plants and plants native to Western New York. See all the plants here.
Lamium maculatum is a great ground cover for shade, part shade and some sun–even in dry areas. It grows six to eight inches tall.
The foliage is attractive, plus it blooms during the summer. ‘Pink Pewter’ has pink blossoms, ‘White Nancy’ has white blossoms, and ‘Purple Dragon’ and ‘Beacon Silver’ have purple blossoms.
Lamium spreads, but you can easily control it, Yadon said.
Yadon noted that there’s more variety now in what Mischler’s can offer, especially in ground covers. In the past, they grew plants only from seed, but now use cuttings to propagate plants such as lamium that are difficult to start from seeds.
Plant names can be confusing. If you see two plants labeled as monarda, how can you tell which one is a native plant and which isn’t? Both of those monarda plants might be referred to as bee balm, so common names aren’t helpful. This is a case where it’s important to use the Latin names.
The native monarda is Monarda fistulosa. (Its common name is wild bergamot, but even that name might be used for monarda cultivars, so look for the Latin name.) The native monarda has flowers that are purplish pink.
If you are looking for monarda with flowers of other colors, you could choose Monarda didyma ‘Panorama Mix’, which is also offered in Mischler’s sale. That’s a lovely plant, but it isn’t a native.
The native monarda is good for native insects, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It’s been used medicinally and can be used in cooking. See more here.
Monarda needs full sun.
One thing about monarda is that they can get mildew, Yadon said, though the native monarda doesn’t get mildew as bad as the cultivars do.
Good air circulation is the key to preventing mildew, he said.
When you water, irrigate the soil and try not to get the leaves wet. Water early in the morning so if the leaves do get wet, they will have time to dry during the day.
If we get a lot of rain, monarda may get mildew, but Yadon doesn’t suggest treating the mildew, especially with the native monarda.
“You don’t want to spray,” he said. “I wouldn’t.”
For something different, try a variety of lavender with white flowers called Lavandula angustifolia ‘Ellagance Snow’. It grows about 12 to 16 inches tall.
Familiar purple lavender is available in the sale as well, with Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’. ‘Hidcote’ grows about 18 to 24 inches tall and ‘Munstead’ grows to about 12 to 20 inches tall.
Secret tip: There’s a lavender with pink flowers in the sale, too, but it’s not included on Mischler’s list. Go to the sale early and look for ‘Pink Perfume’.
Gardeners like lavender for so many reasons. Lavender adds fragrance to your garden, and you can bring that fragrance inside when you use it in a cut flower arrangement or sachet.
While many gardeners grow lavender in a clump, you can also place plants side by side to create a hedge, Yadon said. You can prune the lavender to shape it so it has a neater look.
Lavender needs full sun and soil that is well drained soil and not too wet.
6 Comments on “Plants for dry shade & more at Mischler’s 69-cent sale; starts April 21”
Hi Nancy, Mischler’s does carry a wide selection of plants, including native plants. Check out Mischler’s Plant Finder here. Contact Mischler’s directly for more information on what plants they have in stock.
Hi. I’m looking for native wildflower plants . I would like to create a meadow in my backyard with these type of plants . I’m looking for shade and sun plants . Do you have such a selection?
Mischlers Perennial Sale is an in person experience .
NO pre-orders. See you Friday April 21st.
Can you order ahead ?
Hi Richie, this article explains hardiness zones. I hope that helps.
Hi your list shows numbers that are lower than 5 and up to 6 do they all work here in Cheektowaga?