SunSparkler™ Cherry Tart Stonecrop
It's another winner for Chris Hansen's stunning SunSparkler™ series of drought-resistant, quick-spreading, ultra-colorful Sedum cultivars! 'Cherry Tart' regales you with bold cherry-red foliage over 3 seasons, gilding the lily with big rosy-pink flower clusters in late summer and early fall. For quick, weed-choking, tough-as-nails coverage of hot dry garden spots, you can do no better!
'Cherry Tart' is just 6 inches high, but quickly fills in up to 18 inches wide. The foliage is small and rounded, suffused with cerise-red tones that stand out from way down the street. Deer tend to leave this plant alone, but once the deep pink blooms appear in late summer (opening in clusters 5 inches wide!), the butterflies pay close attention. You will enjoy these flowers, but it's hard to miss them when they pass in mid-fall and the red foliage is revealed again in all its glory!
Like all the SunSparklers™, 'Cherry Tart' stands up to cold as well as heat, and once established it doesn't mind poor soil fertility and long periods of drought. It's ideal for containers that don't get watered as often as you'd like, and there's no better solution for hard-to-plant banks, slopes, and dusty garden spots receiving full sunshine. Given good drainage and some pampering the first season to get established, there's no stopping the SunSparklers™! Take a look at the others in this series: long-blooming 'Dazzleberry' and variegated 'Lime Zinger.' Zones 4-9.
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- Tips to Attract Butterflies
- Deer-resistant Tips
- How to Grow
- Heat Tolerant
- Butterflies like a lot of sunlight, so locate your garden in a sunny area.
- If you live in a windy location, plant your butterfly-attracting plants near a building, fence, or hedge to protect them.
- Plant a variety of nectar-rich plants, as well as shrubs and evergreens for shelter.
- Since many butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved, try to put in some that are native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center provides lists of plants native to states and regions.
- Certain colors are particularly attracting to butterflies – red, yellow, pink, purple, or orange blooms that are clustered or flat-topped, with a short flower tubes are especially attractive to adult butterflies.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially around nectar-producing plants.
- Provide a shallow source of water – try a birdbath with pebbles lining the bowl.
- Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.
- Create a "puddling area" by digging a shallow hole filled with compost or manure where rainwater will collect and release essential salts and minerals.
- If you want butterflies to breed in your garden, put in some caterpillar food plants, such as parsley, milkweeds, asters, thistles, violets, clover, grasses, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
- Since butterflies need nectar throughout the entire adult phase of their lives, try to create a design that will allow for a continuous bloom – when one stops blooming, another starts.
As the deer population has boomed and
food has become scarcer, they have become more aggressive. In some areas deer will
strip your garden bare, leaving nothing green or flowery behind. While there is no such thing as a completely deer-proof garden, there
are some effective things you can do to protect your garden from these
Use physical barriers
A High Fence
Deer can jump pretty high, but a fence higher than eight feet (higher on an up-slope) and flush with the ground will keep any deer out.
They are a much easier and less expensive solution. Deer generally will not try to jump electric fences, but will rather try to climb through the wires, receiving a deterring shock.
An even less extreme physical option is to put bird netting over your larger and more susceptible plants.
Plant Deer-resistant VarietiesHerbs, some conifers, and many flowers are some of the best deer-resistant plants. More fragrant plants will often deter predation. Planting just a few deer-resistant plants will limit grazing of your other plants. Remember, "deer-resistant" does not mean deer-proof. A hungry animal will eat just about anything.
Having a dog In the FamilyOwning a dog, especially a big dog will almost always keep deer from approaching your home. Just the scent of the dog will keep most deer away, and if your dog lives outside you will probably never see any deer.
For most gardeners, it is a combination of different solutions that works best. Every gardener has to find the solution that works best in their garden.
Set plants 15 to 18 inches apart. Any soil well-drained will do, even poor, gravelly infertile soil, but, of course, good fertile garden soil is best. The location should be in full or very light shade.
Water plants in periods of drought. Otherwise, Sedum requires little in the way of special care. If plants become crowded after 4 or 5 years, they may be divided in the spring. Dried flower heads may be left through the winter to give interest in the garden along with the grasses.
Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates:
1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".
2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.
3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.
4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.