Spotlight on Plants for November and December

Seasonal decorating can be fun and rewarding! Consider growing some of these plants for roping, planters and table decorations.

Hydrangea paniculata, “Limelight” – shrub -zone 4-9, full sun to part shade.

This shrub is always in the spotlight! It recently received rave reviews in Fine Gardening Magazine and seems to fly out of the nurseries! Limelight Hydrangea is a hardy panicle hydrangea which grows 8-10 feet tall by 6-8 feet wide. It produces large limey colored blossoms that age to pink. It blooms reliably and profusely. This shrub is a showstopper in the fall garden.

What a gardener should know:

Prune back in early spring to encourage blooms on new wood. Blossoms make terrific dried flowers but can be left on the plant for winter interest. Hydrangeas are easy to propagate by layering. Some hydrangeas can be affected by powdery mildew and leaf spot.

Of note:

This plant was given high ratings for panicle hydrangeas in Fine Gardening’s September/October Issue.

Aster Tataricus, Tatarian Aster – perennial- zone 3- 9, full sun.

This aster is impressive. It can grow to 6-8 feet with pale purple flowers that are just beginning to boom in the middle of September. It will flower well into October and even November. It is hardy, durable, and drought tolerant. If that isn’t enough, it is also a major draw for migrating monarchs!

What a gardener should know:

This plant needs some room to grow. It expands by runners. Annual removal of portions of the plant can easily keep it in check. If it is planted in a dry area Tatarian Aster will grow more slowly. Like all asters, it can be affected by wilt and fungus.

Of note:

The Tatarian Aster was used to cover an embankment at Hortulus Farm and Nursery in Pennsylvania where it acted as a tall divider between nursery beds and pathways. It was an unusual and interesting use of the plant.