Little Lemon----NOT! Beware the plant exchange!

pieheart(6)June 26, 2010

A couple of years ago I got a tiny piece of what was labeled "Little Lemon Solidago" in a plant exchange. I looked it up, maximum height was 12", PERFECT!

And so it was for two years. This year however it has grown to more than 3 feet and it has barely budded. So now I have to rip it out because it is shading plants it should be shorter than. So frustrating!

Yes, the plant was free so I shouldn't complain. But I had hoped that these gardeners knew what they were growing. I don't think I'm going to try any more free new-to-me plants unless I have a way station to plant them before I find a permanent place.

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I think that your Little Lemon has given you 'babies'. My original Little Lemon is, after 4 years still 'little' but next to it is this 3 foot monster that appeared the spring following the year that I did not deadhead it. I like this offspring, but do control it's height somewhat by pinching it back. It blooms a little later than it's parent and looks pretty with the Echinacea in that bed.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:05AM
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If it's given me babies then it reproduced and died because that's all there is. I will be developing another garden in the next year or two so I need to find another spot for this plant until then. Or now you have me wondering, did my original plant not make the winter and what I have growing in the same area is the native goldenrod? We certainly have enough of that around here. I guess I won't know until it blooms.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:11AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I suspect that's what happened as gazania said. Many hybrid plants produce off-springs that revert to their species.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:29AM
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I once bought what was supposed to be Solidago "Fireworks" at a nursery. It turned out to be a much taller plant, and worse, an invasive spreader (I'm still dealing with eradicating its offspring spread through runners). I'm not sure how the nursery got its labeling mixed up.

Hybrid Solidagos (and a few species) make nice garden plants. However, beware the others. "Native" or not, they can start to take over your garden.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:43PM
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I love Little Lemon! If you cut it back it blooms again. Mine are blooming for their second time this year.

The Fireworks still haven't started though!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:00PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

'Little Lemon' is hybridized from Solidago canadensis, an aggressive spreader and seeder, and 'Fireworks' is a form or selection of Sol. rugosa, a somewhat rapid spreader. Unless you have a large native garden, you wouldn't want either of these two native species, and likely not even then. I grow both these hybrids as well as many other species goldenrods, but it is important to keep an eye on unlabelled seedlings or offspring and yank them out if necessary.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:27AM
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ontnative, thanks for the info about Little Lemon. I think I'm going to rip out whatever it is I have, I just eradicated Cherry Bells and am trying to do the same with umpteen Agastache seedlings, I don't need another aggressive plant.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:21PM
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I can attest to S. 'Fireworks' being a rampant seeder. I have the room, but they are everywhere. Wish I knew this before planting, and I do research first, but this one was a total surprise. (Along with 'Gateway' joe pye weed.)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:03AM
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Interesting how different plants behave in different parts of the country/world. In my garden, I have not seen a single seedling from S. 'Fireworks' or E. 'Gateway' in the 10+ years I've grown them. I am getting ready to plant S. 'Little Lemon' if the hot weather ever lets up, but I am not overly worried about it spreading invasively by seed.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:11AM
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If you deadhead these after the blooms dry, you don't have to worry about seeds.

I can 100% guarantee that "Little Lemon" will bloom again after you cut the old blooms off the plant. If you cut those off before they go to seed, you won't get seeds then either.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:18PM
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Solidago Fireworks has a running habit. But it was advertised as a clumper when I bought it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Try cutting it back in early summer to get blooms at shorter height.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 1:18PM
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