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Epimedium 'Orange Queen'

Spreads slowly over time, a very long-lived and ultra-dependable perennial that even withstands dry shade!

Item # 48184

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Synonym: 'Orangekonigin.' We are delighted to bring this splendid Epimedium to Wayside gardeners this season, and we urge you to reserve your plants at once to avoid disappointment. 'Orange Queen' is a stellar cultivar, its lovely tricolored blooms making sense of the common name Fairy Wand, while its handsome foliage (changing colors every season) offers year-round appeal on an open, airy habit. If you have a patch of dry shade that you would like to plant rather than mulch, 'Orange Queen' is the perennial you must have!

This German introduction has so many merits, it's difficult to know where to begin. The flowers are the most attention-getting, so first to them: single and richly colored in orange, yellow, and red, they arise 5 to 9 on every flowering stem. The stems are 10 to 12 inches long, about the same height as the plant, so when the blooms begin opening in mid-spring, cut back any of last year's foliage that is still hanging about. (You won't want to touch the new leaves, however -- more about that in a minute!) They continue to arise through late spring, lovely for cutting yet irresistible in the garden as well, bobbing on the fresh spring breezes.

As lovely as the blooms are, the foliage rivals them for ornamental appeal. The new spring leaves open pale green with bold red edges (too pretty to be cut to make room for the flowers!), then turn mid-green for summer. In autumn they acquire warm tones again, this time flushes of bronze and deep red. They remain through winter in mild and warm climates, though you will want to trim them the following spring. Each heart-shaped leaf is 2 to 3 inches long and held out gracefully, for a very layered, airy look that keeps its grace and hold even in midsummer heat. Very ornamental!

'Orange Queen' reaches 8 to 10 inches high (out of bloom; the flowers may add another couple inches) and spreads about 12 to 18 inches wide within a few seasons. It's a very slow grower, which is why you may not notice for several years that it has made itself at home in your garden and is naturalizing magnificently. Very long-lived, it is a legacy planting, and one which you will admire more with every successive season. It's hard to explain why; Epimedium in general and 'Orange Queen' in particular have that effect on gardeners!

One reason may be this plant's willingness to establish in the dry shade beneath shrubs and large perennials, land scorned by the less-patient in the plant kingdom. Epimedium likes neutral to acidic soil, so consider sitting it in front of Rhododendron, Camellia, and among small to medium Hosta cultivars. The roots won't fight; they'll coexist, even as Epimedium begins its majestic journey beneath the soil to colonize new areas. Pamper it the first season, as you would any new plants, with moist, enriched, very well-drained soil, then let it go. It thrives in dry conditions, doesn't mind poorly fertile soils, and tolerates drought admirably once established!

'Orange Queen' is a cultivar of E. x warleyense.' This species is itself a hybrid of E. pinnatum ssp. colchicum and E. alpinum, named for Warley Place, the fabulous British gardens created by Miss Willmott, the tireless (and fabulously eccentric) Victorian plantswoman. Any plant that will give you an excuse to tell the story of Miss Willmott's approach to horticulture is worth adding to your garden, but 'Orange Queen' is truly exceptional, introduced by German nurseryman Ernst Pagels and beloved by gardeners far and wide. Do not hesitate to add it to your landscape; order it today. Zones 4-8.

  • 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.
Deer Resistant Trees

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 hungry animals.

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.

Electric Fences
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 Varieties

Herbs, 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 Family

Dogs Keep Deer Away Owning 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.

Shop All Deer-resistant Plants

A Tradition of Distinction

Wayside Difference Since its founding in 1920, Wayside Gardens has brought the rarest and highest-quality plants to the garden market. Wayside was founded in 1920 by two acclaimed growers who came together to pursue their shared vision of marketing all high-end plants for the serious garden enthusiast. Originally located in Mentor, Ohio, Wayside Gardens swiftly grew a reputation for the highest-quality plants and the most sophisticated clientele. In 1975, Wayside was purchased by the Park Seed Company, and moved to Hodges, SC.  The company has flourished since then, growing to become an undisputed leader in rare and unique plant growing.

Unparalleled Selection

Wayside's horticulturists travel the world in search of new and unusual plant cultivars and proudly offer the garden industry’s most sophisticated selection of high quality and rare perennial plants, bulbs, trees, shrubs, roses, vines, and indoor plants. Beginning with ties to the Dutch family bulb business in Holland, our horticulturists have developed close relationships with perennial and bulb growers throughout the United States and Europe, providing access to many rare and unique garden treasures. Throughout our history we have had the pleasure of introducing numerous exotic foreign and domestic plant cultivars to the American garden market. The Wayside collection of new and exclusive plant products is so preeminent that the catalog has long been lauded in the industry and is even used as a reference work in horticultural schools.

Impeccable Quality and Value – We Guarantee It!

At Wayside Gardens, “pedigreed plants” and “root strength” have always been watchwords. The Wayside Gardens impeccable plant quality begins with selecting only the finest new product offerings with improved plant features and numerous advantages for our gardening customers. These improved plant selections are then grown to our exacting quality standards by garden industry professionals. This produces superior plants with well developed root systems and healthy, vigorous plant growth habits. That is why we proudly guarantee all Wayside Gardens' products to perform as advertised, being of superior quality, true to type, and shipped properly.

Larger Containers & Well Established Root Systems

We use larger containers and grow bigger plants than other nurseries, leading to greater root strength. Where appropriate, Wayside Gardens propagates our plants vegetatively rather than from seed, to ensure the plants possess the correct form and are true to variety, like a true double form, as opposed to the single or semi-double forms that may result from seed propagation. Because we employ only the finest and most technologically advanced plant growing methods, you can be confident in receiving healthy plants ready to burst forth in glorious growth in your garden.

Superlative Service

  • Unique, well-established and vigorous growing plants offer greater value for your money than other nurseries.
  • Dedicated to providing detailed plant care instruction and informative plant information to make your product selection and planting truly enjoyable.
  • Trained horticulturists are on-call to offer you any help or advice you need on how to care for your plants.
  • All Wayside plants are carefully packaged to ensure a safe arrival.
  • Your plants will be shipped to you at the proper time for planting.
  • Honored to be your first choice in horticulture.
  • If your item has received our recommended care and still doesn't perform to your satisfaction, we will replace it free of charge or credit you the item’s cost.
  • Wayside Gardens is committed to helping you make your gardening an exquisite experience.

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.

The dry, sparse appearance of bareroot perennials can be alarming to the novice gardener, but in reality ordering bare root is often the smarter choice. Foliage and blooms can be seductive, but the health and long-term potential of a plant truly lies in its roots. Bareroot plants have several advantages over plants in containers—bare roots are less likely to be harmed in the shipping process, their timing is easier to control, and they are field-grown for larger, healthier root systems. This why Wayside Gardens has had great success with bare root plants, and you can too!

It is safer to ship plants in bareroot form because there is no risk in harming new growth, and therefore the plant actually has a better chance of making it safely into the customer’s garden.

And thanks to refrigerated storage, the timing of bareroot perennials can be precisely controlled. "(Bareroot perennials) are dormant," explains JPPA Lead Horticulturist Benjamin Chester, "But as soon as they leave the refrigerated storage they'll begin breaking dormancy." And once the plant 'wakes up', it is ready to begin the growing season in earnest, which means it will quickly catch up to the level of container plants.

The most important benefit of bareroot perennials is that they can be field grown rather than confined to containers. The bareroot Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus pictured hereperfectly illustrates the difference between a field-grown perennial and a containerized one. Wayside Gardens used to offer this variety in a quart container, like the Monarda next to it. But the Hibiscus was simply too cramped in that space, so Wayside switched to growing it in the earth and selling it bare root. The result is a thick, fibrous mass of roots that used to fill up several cubic feet of soil and which, even in its bare, pruned form would be too large to fit back into the 1 Quart container. What a difference a little space makes! While small and slow-growing cultivars can start well in containers, large and vigorous cultivars need more room to stretch out and develop a solid root system.