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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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garden plans for Leopard's bane
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.
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.