Plant Care and Garden Guide: From Lamium to Lysimachia
LAMIUM species and cultivars - Dead Nettle
PLANTING: Set 8 to 12 inches apart in shade or partial shade. While lamium will attain optimum growth in areas of even moisture, it will grow satisfactorily even in dry shade, where few other plants will succeed. A summer mulch, applied after planting, will facilitate strong, early growth. This mulch is not necessary for established plants. For container or hanging basket culture: Fill the container to about 2 inches of the rim with weed-free potting soil or growing medium. For quick coverage, plant about 6inches apart or use 3 plants for a 10-inch basket. Grow as you would in the garden, but bear in mind that plants in a container or basket tend to dry out more quickly and will need more frequent watering.
MAINTENANCE: Once established, lamium requires little care, and can easily be increased by planting any of the numerous runners that will form. Can easily be cut back to restrain unwanted growth. Zones 4-8.
LARIX decidua ‘Pendula’
PLANTING: Choose a location that offers full sun (though it will tolerate some shade for part of the day in its southern range) and a soil that is well drained, with plenty of organic matter. Since damage can occur if soil is allowed to dry out, follow a watering schedule if natural rainfall does not keep the soil moist year around.
MAINTENANCE: Water during extended periods of drought and stake weeping forms during their early years. Pruning can be done at any time of the year except late summer (late summer pruning induces new growth that will not have the opportunity to harden before winter). Zones 2-7.
LAURUS nobilis - Sweet Bay
PLANTING: Set out in a sunny, protected location in the garden or in a container, planting so that the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. A well-drained soil is best.
MAINTENANCE: Water as necessary to prevent drying out. You will need to water more frequently if you plant Laurus in a container. Laurus can be pruned to almost any desired shape or grow to a standard (single trunk), if desired. It is frost sensitive and container plants should be moved inside and protected over winter. Zones 8-11.
LAVANDULA - Lavender
PLANTING: Set plants in a dry, warm soil, spaced 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on the ultimate spread of the species you’ve chosen. Ample humus content and rather low fertility are best; choose a soil with excellent drainage as well.
MAINTENANCE: Clip or prune in spring, before the new growth starts, to promote bushiness and maintain desired height and form. Trim off flower stems after bloom in late summer. This is also a good time to trim back the foliage again, if desired, to develop a more compact bush. Zones 5-9.
LEUCANTHEMUM - See Chrysanthemum maximum
LEUCOTHOE species - Dog Hobble
PLANTING: Set out upon arrival in a moisture retentive soil of acid reaction, well enriched with organic matter. Avoid lime rich soils. A shady situation is preferable.
MAINTENANCE: Water liberally during periods of dry, hot weather. Prune to remove dead twigs in the spring and after flowering to restrain height. Zones various.
LIATRIS species and cultivars - Gayfeather, Blazing Star
PLANTING: Set plants in sun, spacing 18 to 24 inches apart; for best effect, plant in masses. Light, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil of moderate fertility is preferred.
MAINTENANCE: Keep soil moist during flowering period. Stake taller plants as needed. Remove faded flower spikes to encourage a second flowering. Zones 3-10.
LIGULARIA species and cultivars - Senecio
PLANTING: Set out plants 2 feet apart in a constantly moist soil, well enriched with organic matter. Even a boggy soil will produce good results; waterside locations are excellent. Ligularia will succeed in partial shade or full sun in northern areas, so long as they’re amply moist at all times.
MAINTENANCE: Remove spent flowers. Take care to keep well watered during periods of drought. Divide as needed, every 4 to 5 years. We advise a winter mulch in the northern portion of their range. Zones 4-7.
LILIUM species and hybrids - Lily
PLANTING: Set out bulbs to a depth of 6 inches or more - the rule of thumb is to plant to a depth of 3 times their height. (An exception is L. candidum, which is planted in late summer/early fall, 2 inches deep.) Lilies require excellent drainage. Choose a light, porous, sandy soil, enriched with well-decomposed compost or humus. The ideal situation is one where the plants will receive full sun at the tops but shade at soil level to keep the ground moist; to this end, surround bulbs with a low-growing ground cover or companion plants. Plant 6 to 8 inches apart.
MAINTENANCE: Remove spent flowers before seed can be set. When cutting for indoor displays, take care not to remove more than half the length of the stems, as this will weaken the plant and discourage future flowering. Fertilize lightly every year either after flowering or when growth appears in the spring. Trumpets and Orientals, Zones 4-8; Asiatics, Zones 3-8.
LIRIOPE muscari - Lily Tur
PLANTING: Set out plants in spring or fall, spacing 8 to 12 inches apart. Choose a location in sun or light shade, bearing in mind that farther south, plants will be happier with more shade. Any good, well-drained soil is fine.
MAINTENANCE: Keep soil moist, particularly when plants are situated in full sun; a moisture-conserving summer mulch is helpful to this end. To maintain plants’ health and beauty, cut back old foliage in the spring before new growth emerges. Zones 6-9.
LOBELIA species and cultivars
PLANTING: Set plants 12 inches or so apart. Choose a location in shade or partial shade; the soil should be moisture-retentive and high in organic content. Lobelias show to best effect when planted in large colonies.
MAINTENANCE: Once established, lobelias will prosper and naturalize. Deadheading will encourage lateral blooming. A moisture-conserving summer mulch is valuable, as is a protective mulch in winter. Zones various.
LONICERA species and cultivars - Honeysuckle
PLANTING: Space plants with regard to ultimate spread of the species or cultivar you’ve chosen. Honeysuckle is widely tolerant of soil types and locations, but prefers a well-drained loam. Flower production will be most profuse in full sun.
MAINTENANCE: Easy to grow, honeysuckle requires little attention except to restrain spread of some vining types which can be too aggressive. Prune shrubby varieties hard after flowering, removing a third of wood to ground level each year. A light application of a balanced fertilizer each spring is beneficial. Zones various.
LYSIMACHIA nummularia - Creeping Jenny
PLANTING: Set 10 to 18 inches apart in full sun to partial shade. For best growth and optimum flowering, a moisture retentive to wet soil is preferred.
MAINTENANCE: Keep soil continually moist. Zones 3-9.