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Licorice Plant

Helichrysum

The wonderfully soft colors and textures of the licorice plant act as a great backdrop to bright-color blooms. They also pair well with other soft-color plants to make a delightfully understated palette. These plants are much tougher than they look—the fuzzy leaves protect the plant from pests!

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

1-2 feet wide

Flower Color:

Zones:

9-11

Propagation

Colorful Combinations

Licorice plant comes in a variety of subtle colors that work well with many color palettes. Most commonly, these plants are silver or white; although there are several variations of soft greens, golds, and variegated foliage. Licorice plants get their coloring from dense hairs covering the plant. These hairs are white and make the plants look as though they have been felted. It also makes them soft and a great plant for curious kids to touch.

Licorice Plant Care Must-Knows

Though commonly grown as an annual, licorice plant is actually a woody, tropical perennial. It is a fast-growing plant that thrives in the sun. In part shade, plants can become long and need to be pruned more often. In the heat of the summer, the leaves may occasionally exude the smell of licorice, hence its common name. Licorice plants are perfect for planting a beautiful window box in the sun.

When looking for a home for your licorice plant, make sure it has well-drained soil to live in. Once plants are established, they are drought tolerant, but do appreciate regular watering. Licorice plants will rot if drowned.

Because this plant is actually a perennial, you won't see it bloom unless you live in a tropical environment and keep the plants outdoors all year. If they do bloom, flowers are small, white, and fairly insignificant.

Cascading growth makes them ideal to use in containers (like this dramatic foliage container garden) and hanging baskets. Some varieties have a more upright habit; double-check the characteristics of yours. Licorice plant likes a good prune; give trailing varieties a pinch early in their growth to encourage good branching. See some easy, all-foliage container recipes.

More Varieties of Licorice Plant

'Icicles' Licorice Vine

Helichrysum 'Icicles' bears threadlike silvery foliage on upright 2-foot-tall plants. Zones 9-11

'Lemon Licorice' Licorice Vine

Helichrysum 'Lemon Licorice' bears silvery-chartreuse foliage and can grow to 2 feet wide in containers. Zones 9-11

'Petite Licorice' Licorice Vine

Helichrysum 'Petite Licorice' is a dwarf form with smaller leaves and grows only about 1 foot wide. Zones 9-11

'Silver Mist' Licorice Vine

Helichrysum 'Silver Mist' bears small leaves on wiry stems and has a more upright, mounding habit. Zones 9-11

Plant Licorice Plant With:

Angelonia
Angelonia is also called summer snapdragon, and once you get a good look at it, you'll know why. It has salvia-like flower spires that reach a foot or 2 high, but they're studded with fascinating snapdragon-like flowers with beautiful colorations in purple, white, or pink. It's the perfect plant for adding bright color to hot, sunny spaces. This tough plant blooms all summer long with spirelike spikes of blooms. While all varieties are beautiful, keep an eye out for the sweetly scented selections. While most gardeners treat angelonia as an annual, it is a tough perennial in Zones 9-10. Or, if you have a bright, sunny spot indoors, you can even keep it flowering all winter.
Gerbera daisy
Gerbera daisies are so perfect they hardly look real. They bloom in nearly every color (except true blues and purples) and produce fantastically large flowers on long, thick, sturdy stems. They last for a week or more in the vase, making them a favorite of flower arrangers.This tender perennial will last the winter in only the warmest parts of the country, Zones 9-11. In the rest of the country, it is grown as an annual. It does well in average soil; it likes soil kept evenly moist but not overly wet. Fertilize lightly.
Ornamental Pepper
Heat up your garden with ornamental peppers! Much like hot peppers you would grow in the veggie garden, ornamental peppers produce colorful little fruits that are round or pointed. But these are so attractive in their own right that they can be grown just for show -- not eating. The peppers are indeed edible, but usually their flavor is lacking compared to peppers grown for the table.Depending on the variety, the peppers appear in shades of white, purple, red, orange, and yellow -- often with multiple colors on the same plant. They like rich, well-drained soil that is evenly moist.Shown above: Calico pepper

How to Design a Container Garden

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