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Leopard's Bane

Doronicum orientale

One of the first perennials to bloom in spring, leopard’s bane is valued for the cheerful yellow daisylike flowers it produces even in shady areas. Plant this shade-loving, easy-to-grow perennial in part shade or shade and enjoy the blossoms for several weeks in late spring. After springtime flowering and the onset of summer heat, most varieties of leopard’s bane recede into the soil and go dormant until the following spring.

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Light:

Part Sun, Shade

Type:

Height:

From 1 to 8 feet

Width:

12-15 inches wide

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Special Features:

Zones:

4-7

Propagation

Planting Partners

Spring-blooming bulbous plants—from late-season tulips and daffodils to leucojum—make perfect planting partners for leopard's bane. So do many shade-garden plants, including astilbe, lady's mantle Alchemilla mollis, lungwort Pulmonaria officinalis, Solomon's seal Polygonatum, and Jacob's ladder Polemonium spp., which start emerging from the soil just when leopard's bane is beginning to bloom. 

Solve your perennial problems with these tips.

Leopard's Bane Care Must-Knows

Leopard's bane grows best in part shade and moist, well-drained soil. It can tolerate full shade, although flowering will decrease with limited sun exposure. Leopard's bane will grow in full sun in regions with cool summer temperatures but needs afternoon shade when growing in hot, humid southern climates.

Transplant nursery-grown plants in spring. Regular moisture is a must; this plant does not tolerate drought. Give the new plants a thorough soaking once a week when rainfall is less than 1 inch a week. Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch around plants to prevent soil-moisture loss and to keep its shallow roots cool. Wait until early spring after the first growing season to feed leopard's bane with a light, even coverage of a granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10.

After blossoms fade in early summer, leopard's bane withers and goes dormant. This is a good time to divide the clump if needed. After digging it up, use a sharp spade to divide it into several large sections—each with ample roots and foliage. Replant divisions and water well.

More Varieties of Leopard's Bane

'Little Leo' leopard's bane

Doronicum orientale 'Little Leo' grows only 10-14 inches tall and has semidouble yellow daisies in spring.

Plant Leopard's Bane With:

Hosta
This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.
Impatiens
What would we do without impatiens? It's the old reliable for shade gardens when you want eye-popping color all season long. The plants bloom in just about every color except true blue and are well suited to growing in containers or in the ground. If you have a bright spot indoors, you may be able to grow impatiens all year as an indoor plant.
Daffodil, double hybrids
Double daffodils are the show-offs of the daffodil world. Not content with a single row of petals, they have multiple rings of petals or tufted cups full of frills. Flower colors may be yellow, white, peach, pink, bicolor, or mixed. Many are so packed with petals that they almost look like miniature peonies.As with single daffodils, the plants are deer and rabbit resistant and easy to grow. Double varieties do have a drawback, however: The flowers are sometimes so heavy that the stems have difficulty holding the blooms upright. You may need to stake individual stems or harvest fallen flowers for bouquets.
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