Plant Care and Garden Guide: From Baptisia to Buxus
PLANTING: Set out plants about 3 feet apart, in full sun and in a well-drained loamy soil. Choose your location carefully, as established plants put out extensive root systems and do not like to be moved.
MAINTENANCE: Keep plants well-watered until established, after which time they are quite drought resistant. To dry the seedpods, cut them early in the fall before they become weathered and wrinkled. Keep them right side up in a dry, airy location until ready to use. Zones 3-8.
BAPTISIA sphaerocarpa - Yellow Wild Indigo
PLANTING: Set plants 2 to 3 feet apart in full sun. They tolerate poor soils and thrive on clay hardpan, unlike most other perennials, so avoid overly rich conditions.
MAINTENANCE: No fertilizer is needed. Keep plants well-watered until established, after which they will be quite drought resistant. Established plants develop a deep root system and do not like to be moved. Zones 4-8.
BEGONIA capreolata - Crossvine, Trumpet Flower
PLANTING: This is an easy plant to grow, adaptable to just about any condition and soil type, although a moist, well drained soil is ideal. For best flowering, full sun is recommended although it will also grow in shade.
MAINTENANCE: Remove excess growth periodically to keep in bounds. Usually, this plant does not need fertilizing. However, if desired, an application in spring with a general purpose fertilizer should be adequate. Zones 6-10.
PLANTING: Space plants 12 to 15 inches apart in full or part shade. Soil should be rich and moist, but well drained.
MAINTENANCE: Store tubers over winter in a cool, frost free location. Zones 8-10.
BERBERIS species - Barberry
PLANTING: ‘Helmond Pillar’ grows 6 to 8 feet tall and only 1 to 2 feet wide. Space 1 to 2 feet apart for a solid hedge or 3 to 4 feet apart for a columnar effect. For hedge use, set plants in a single row, 15 to 18 inches apart (growth rate will be uniform), in full sun or part shade. Full sun will encourage best autumn color and a good display of fruit. Not fussy about soil, it will tolerate any type from sandy to loamy clay - but, for best results, add decomposed organic matter before planting.
MAINTENANCE: Mulch after planting and thereafter each spring for at least the first two years. During that time, while plants are becoming established, water thoroughly during periods of drought. Prune as needed to maintain desired size; this should be done immediately after flowering, otherwise, no pruning is necessary. Zones 4-8.
BERGENIA species and cultivars
PLANTING: Set plants 10 to 12 inches apart. Bergenia is tolerant of many soil types, succeeding in sun or shade, but will do best in a shady spot in a rich, cool, moisture-retentive soil. (Best winter foliage color, however, is achieved in a sunnier location.) When planting, set crown and their woody rhizomes only slightly below the soils surface.
MAINTENANCE: Bergenias require virtually no upkeep. They spread by thick stoloniferous roots, and are easily removed from places where they are not wanted. If slugs turn out to be a problem, use a slug bait. Zones 4-9.
BETULA species - Birch
PLANTING: Tolerant of many soil types but prefers a well drained soil with ample amounts of decomposed organic matter. The location chosen should have full sun for the northern range of planting with increasing amounts of shade in the southern portions of the range. These may be grown in areas that suffer occasional flooding but not in areas that remain submerged for extended periods of time.
MAINTENANCE: Mulch heavily after planting and each spring thereafter for at least 2 years. Fertilize in early spring by sprinkling a handful of 5-10-10 around the base and watering in well. Water freely during hot dry weather. Birches resent pruning, but, if necessary, prune in mid summer. If single leader is desired, clip side branches so that the leader can expand. Zone 5-9.
BLUEBERRY - See Vaccinium
BRUNNERA macrophylla - Perennial Forget-Me-Not
PLANTING: Set plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Choose a location in partial shade, although full sun will be tolerated in cooler northern zones. In warmer southern zones, plants perform well even in dense shade. The soil should be deep and moisture-retentive, but well-drained.
MAINTENANCE: Water plants during periods of drought. Plants may be divided, for rejuvenation, every 2 or 3 years. Zones 3-8.
BUDDLEIA alternifolia - Fountain Buddleia, Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac
PLANTING: Buddleia alternifolia is not specific as to soil type, but prepare soil thoroughly before planting — its most important requirement. If planting more than one, space 15 to 18 feet apart.
MAINTENANCE: Water during long, hot, dry spells to prolong the growing season. Unlike B. davidii, this plant does not die back to the roots each year; it flowers on year-old wood, so prune sparingly (thinning some of the older branches) after flowering has been completed. Zones 5-9.
BUDDLEIA davidii - Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac
PLANTING: B. davidii will adapt easily to almost any good garden soil, so long as they receive full sun.
MAINTENANCE: In the northern portion of the range, Buddleia tend to die back to or near to the ground over the winter. Even in areas where they do not die back, they should be cut back to the ground in the fall or early spring to encourage vigorous spring growth. They break dormancy late in the spring, but with the onset of warm weather will grow rapidly and without attention. Do not overfeed. Zones 5-9.
BUXUS species and hybrids - Boxwood
PLANTING: Set out plants upon arrival, in almost any ordinary garden soil, in a sunny or partly shady location. Until they are established, young Boxes should be protected from profound heat and winter wind. Space as desired, remembering it will grow approximately 3 feet high and 2 feet wide in 10 years, if left unpruned.
MAINTENANCE: We recommend mulching, as a cool root zone is ideal. Keep plants well-watered. Major pruning is best done in late winter or early spring. It may also be necessary in some instances to prune again in July if growth is extensive. Zones various.