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Ornamental herbs are some of the hardiest plants you can choose for your garden. You might opt for ornamental grasses if you want beautiful plants for the middle layer of your garden, especially since they pair well with both larger shrubs and ground covers. Many herbs also produce stunning flowers and attract beneficial insects. Some herbs have medicinal properties.
Herb Plants die to the ground after flowering
Botanically speaking, herbs are plants that die down to the ground after flowering and which don’t produce woody stems. Herbaceous annuals die after flowering whereas herbaceous perennials enter a period of dormancy when they die back and then re-sprout again when the time is right for the particular species (usually in spring).
Ornamental herbs are herbs that are primarily grown for their visual appeal rather than to be harvested for eating. Culinary herbs, such as thyme, sage, and rosemary, are often not ‘botanical herbs.’
Herb Plants have numerous benefits
Benefits of growing ornamental herbs
Ornamental herbs make great plant choices because they’re generally:
suitable for a range of USDA hardiness zones
available in a variety of colors
attractive to bees and other beneficial insects
How to grow ornamental herbs
Ornamental herbs are natural to build. Follow these steps:
Choose a location that suits the species you’ve chosen (e.g., full sun, good drainage, neutral pH)
Soak your herb in a solution of dilute seaweed extract then transplant it according to our planting instructions
Water well every couple of weeks in the absence of rain during the colder months — you’ll likely need to increase your irrigation frequency to once a week during summer
Fertilize your herb with a balanced fertilizer at planting and again a few weeks before flowering — perennial (winter-dormant) herbs can be fertilized in early spring each year
Remove weeds as required
Remove dead foliage after the plant dies down (don’t be tempted to remove wilting or dying foliage before a perennial herb enters dormancy as this can rob the plant of its ability to produce and store energy for the following season — this is especially true of bulbs)
Enjoy your flowers!
Pair ornamental herbs with plants that will provide interest over winter. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a relatively dry patch of the garden while your grasses are dormant.
The Painted Trillium is a true masterpiece. It thrives in unique ways that make this vibrant flower stand out. This wildflower is usually spotted with stunning white petals that cover the whole leaflets. Towards the center where the leaves meet, just right about the center is a magenta ripple that goes across each booklet. It fades into the white ever so entirely. The tips of the Painted Trillium has a gentle ruffle. This gorgeous flower has only three petals and is framed by another three green pointy petals. This enchanting flower is typically found in the northern woods. During the middle of spring, these flowers will bloom until late spring. It is a great flower to have in your garden. The Painted Trillium will be a great addition to your beautiful garden. This plant does not need a lot of maintenance. As long as you keep these beauties hydrated and in the shade, it will be great. Not only will your garden glow, but the Painted Trillium also has many benefits. It repels deers and rabbits. Maybe you are growing food and want to keep them away from what you worked so hard for. This flower can grow as tall as 8 inches to a maximum height of 18 inches. It is known to be about 12 inches wide. Since this plant prefers the shade, the growth rate is slower. To speed up the process, the plant could have some sunlight during the day. Even though the Painted Trillium is eye-catching, eating the plant could contain some poison that could harm you. Eat at your own risk. Taking care of this plant is a little tricky in its way. It is a strict procedure and needs a lot of attention and encouragement. The flower could not grow ultimately if neglected, the plant’s soil isn’t acidic enough, or it is getting too much sunlight. This flower has a graceful appearance, and its shine captures many. It is prevalent in North American and has been seen in a few Asian countries such as Japan and Korea.
The Blood Root Plant
Sanguinaria, more commonly known as bloodroot, is a plant with many uses. Other names for the plant include blood wort, red root, and tette rwort. The plant has flowers with white petals and many tiny yellow bristles coming from the center of the bloom. Bloodroot can grow to be almost 20 inches long, and at the base of the plant, a bright red rhizome can be seen. The plant blooms from March to May.
The bloodroot is used in decoration for the most part, but it does serve one valuable purpose. It can be used as a natural red dye. For hundreds of years, bloodroot has been used as a dye, even being used by Native Americans to dye their baskets. A red sap from the root of the plant is used as the dye.
The official name of the plant - sanguinaria is telling to the nature of the plant. Sanguine means blood-red and more recently has been used to refer to vampires. The sanguinaria's sap is so red; it takes its name from one of the world's most bloodthirsty folktales.
Bloodroot is extremely toxic if eaten. It produces a toxin that also takes its name from the vampire. It is called sanguinarine. As a result of ingesting the plant's sap, a person will suffer from epidemic dropsy, a disease that is only caused by the toxin. The chemical is also toxic if touched, resulting in patches of dead skin where the compound made contact.
Bloodroot grows naturally in many parts of the United States and Canada. The plant can be found all over the East Coast, even stretching to as far as the Great Lakes and Michigan. The most common place to find bloodroot growing naturally is near streams of water on inclines. It is rare to find a bloodroot plant growing in a clearing or a plain.
Dandelion — Taraxacum officinale
Many people do not understand why anyone would want to grow dandelions on their property. Aren’t they weeds? These sunny yellow flowers may be so despised because they are so effortless to grow. A yard full of dandelions is beautiful and heartening. It’s too bad that so many people think it’s a sign of dereliction.
Not only is the plant beautiful, but every part of it can be eaten. It is also used medicinally.
A member of the sunflower family, the dandelion stalk grows from 2 to 18 inches high and bears a single yellow flower. When the stem is cut, it gives a milky liquid. Technically, the blossom is a flowerhead with many yellow ray flowers. The flowerheads are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and the ray flowers are strap-like with five tiny petals. Pointed bracts support the heads, and the outer points bend backward. Dandelions flower from March to September.
The flower grows out of a base of leaves that can be between 2 and 16 inches long. They are deeply toothed, which gives the plant its name. Dandelion is a corruption of the French words for “lion’s tooth.” The famous dandelion clock is made up of dry, one-seeded fruits. The fruits are attached to long, white bristles that make the clock silky and downy.
The dandelion seems to grow everywhere but is not common in the deep south. It grows wild in fields, roadsides, lawns and has even been known to grow up through cracks in the sidewalk. The dandelion is not fussy about soil and can tolerate drought and other adverse weather conditions. The yellow flowerheads close up when the sun’s not shining, then open up when it is. Dandelions that grow in the shade can grow very tall and may not flower. These plants can be collected, cooked, and eaten, though older plants can be a bit chewy.
Brown Eyed Susan - Rudbeckia triloba
The Brown Eyed Susan is a popular native wildflower that will add a touch of country chic to any late-summer garden or landscape. These low-maintenance perennials are easy to grow and thrive under almost any conditions, making them an excellent choice for novice gardeners. Individual plants will grow to a mature height of two to five feet through the spring and summer and will produce an abundance of one- to two-inch flowers from late summer until the first frost. Each flower will have six to twelve golden yellow petals surrounding a brown cone in a ray-like formation. Cones will appear brown from a distance, but each has a slight purple tint that adds to the visual interest. The Brown Eyed Susan has an expected spread of twelve to eighteen inches. Each plant will grow numerous stems with two- to four-inch deep green alternate leaves that give the mature plant a full and bushy appearance. Hardy from zones three to ten, the Brown Eyed Susan will thrive in both full sun and light shade. These plants appreciate average, moist, well-drained soil, but can tolerate drought and summer heat for extended periods once they are established. Gardeners prize the Brown Eyed Susan for its versatility. It makes an excellent choice for creating thick, perennial borders that attract bees and butterflies. The self-seeding Brown Eyed Susan will quickly spread if desired; creating sweeping banks of deer and pest-resistant blooms that can quickly naturalize open areas or bring a rustic look to cottage gardens. Snipping spent flowers will easily prevent any unwanted spread while encouraging more flowers to bloom. Cut flower enthusiasts appreciate the Brown Eyed Susan’s long-lasting and scent-free blooms. Growers can depend on their vibrant yellow color to bring natural beauty to homes, inside and out, throughout the growing season.