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Rodger's Flower

Rodgersia spp.

A big plant for a big space, Rodger’s flower adds instant architecture to the garden. This moist-soil-loving plant grows well alongside streams, in bogs, and other areas that boast consistently damp soil. It’s massive palm-shape leaves are thick and have a coarsely-toothed edge. The plant’s clump of foliage stands about 3 feet tall and sturdy flower spikes extend to 1 to 2 feet above the mound. Count on the fragrant flower to debut in early summer and keep its good looks for several weeks.

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

3 to 8 feet

Width:

2-5 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Problem Solvers:

Special Features:

Zones:

5-8

Propagation

Shade Plants

Rodger's flower pairs well with many shade garden plants. Use its bold presence to anchor the back of a garden. Plant it near colorful astilbe, royal fern, rocket ligularia, hosta, or black snakeroot. When siting Rodger's flower in the garden, be sure to select a planting location that has space for this slow spreading perennial to expand. It will spread by rhizomes.

Need to fill those shady spots in your yard? Learn about the best perennials for shade.

Rodger's Flower Care

Consistently moist soil is essential for Rodger's flower. If the soil dries out, leaf margins may turn brown. Rodger's flower grows in part shade or full sun. If planted in full sun, wet soil is a must. Plant this long-lived, spreading perennial at the edge of ponds or streams. It also grows well in the moist basin of water gardens. Plant it in an area where it can spread over time.

Plant Rodger's flower in early spring. Dig a planting hole slightly larger than the container the plant is growing in. Place it so that the crown of the plant is even with the surrounding grade. Water well after planting and continue to water regularly during the first season to encourage a strong root system. Blanket the soil around Rodger's flower with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to prevent soil moisture loss. Rodger's flower rarely needs fertilization. Allow Rodger's flower foliage to remain in the garden over winter where it will provide shelter for insects and small animals. Rake and remove foliage in early spring.

Rodger's flower is easy to divide. In early spring as soon as foliage emerges, use a sharp spade to dig up a small section of the plant and replant it in a nearby location. Water divisions regularly during the first season after transplanting.

 

New Rodger's Flower Types

In recent years plant breeders have been working with Rodger's flower to develop new foliage colors, plant sizes, and unique flower colors and sizes. Visit your local garden center to learn about plants available in your area. Check online plant sources of additional cultivars.

Plant Rodger's Flower With:

Astilbe

Astilbe brings a graceful, feathering note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier sites, however, the leaves will scorch in full sun.Feathery plumes of white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rise above the finely divided foliage from early to late summer depending on the variety. It will spread slowly over time where well-situated. Most commercially available types are complex hybrids.

Iris

Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.

Meadow Rue

Like a scrim on a theatre stage, the elegant stems and fuzzy flowers of meadow rues create a delicate screen through which to view the rest of the garden. These often-towering plants are grown for their delicate leaves as well as their flower. They lack petals but have delicate and conspicuous stamens and, sometimes, persistent colored sepals that are attractive. Tall species are excellent in the back of a border or midborder in front of shorter but bolder plants, in wild gardens, or among shrubs. Put small species in rock gardens or troughs. Meadow rues prefer lightly shaded spots where soil is humus-rich.

Loosestrife

These vigorous growers are beautiful additions to the garden. They vary from tall, stately plants suitable for borders to others that can be planted as creeping groundcovers. Flowers, too, vary from tight spikes of 1/2 inch to 1-inch cups carried alone or in whorls. Humus-rich, moisture-retentive soil is recommended; some varieties enjoy wet soil and ample water. Several sorts may become invasive and need to be corralled.Note: These are not the invasive purple loosestrife, which has been banned in many parts of the United States.

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