I’m a horticulture nut.  I’ve been to public gardens, private gardens and nurseries all over the world from the United States to Canada some Caribbean Islands, Europe, even Australia.  While traveling to nurseries and gardens around the globe, I’m always looking for low maintenance, interesting plants that are critter resistant.  One plant I wasn’t acquainted with, that I saw quite a few years back, was Dictamus purpurea.  Once i got home, I located some puny little liners and put them in the ground.  The reason Dictamus purpurea or Gas Plants as they are commonly referred to, remain so underused is because they are extremely slow growing.  Because it is so slow growing, it is a hard plant to make money on so most growers pass it by.  In my opinion, that’s not a reason not to locate this plant and get it in your garden as soon as possible.  Notorious for its difficultly to move once established, I decided to study the effects of growing Gas Plants in Root Control bags at our New Milford nursery.  I was hoping to get the benefits of field growing with little root disturbance when it was time to move to a future home in someone else’s landscape, something Gas Plants dislike.  After putting some liners in the ground in 2008 it became a waiting game.  While most perennials can go from liner to a saleable one gallon container plant in 4-6 weeks, my Gas Plants slowly reached their full potential in a couple of years.  In fact, it took 3 years just to flower which is unheard of for a perennial.  Once mature, this plant has been great.  Nothing eats it and it flowers in our nursery for what seems like a month or more.  Its size is similar to a peony, a good plant for middle to back of the border in a landscape. Give it a try!  If you like this post, comment or visit www.designingeden.com to see some of our work.

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