Liatris companion planting

missminni(6B)October 9, 2011

I have a container garden on a roof top. NYC.

I have a row of about 30 planters 15"wide by 8" deep

(4.44 gallons)all with liatris growing in them.

They're on a ledge and create a stunning purple row when in bloom.

However when they die back in august they are not so stunning and by Sept they look awful. I wanted to companion

plant with something that would bloom as they were dying.

I was thinking Montauk Daisy or Sedum Autumn Joy but was wondering if they would be compatible in the same planter.

Any ideas?


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Montauk daisy might work but it gets BIG unless you prune it twice a year. I'm guessing the size containers you describe wouldn't be large enough for it. Also, in my experience the lower leaves get ratty looking. Sedum Autumn Joy flops even in full sun for me so I generally use a peony ring to keep it looking tidy.

Another option might be Adenophora pereskiifolia/ladybells; it gets tall (28-42") and blooms off and on right through the season if deadheaded. Mine are sending out fresh blooms now for the third time this year. The stems are strong and don't need staking; the flowers are bell-shaped and lavender. It has a smaller footprint than the others and from what I've observed, is just as drought tolerant and worry-free. It's easily grown from seed.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 6:39PM
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The sedum autumn joy I have doesn't flop over at all. It's stands up straight. I can see the montauk daisy not working because it tends to spread out more than up but this sedum grows very vertical. Do you think the roots of one would hinder the other?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 9:24PM
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My experience with Montauk Daisy is that I can keep it in bounds pretty well by pinching it back in mid June, but that delays the bloom by a couple weeks. Mine has not reached full bloom to this date. It will be another week or so till it does.

Sedum, I think would work much better. Bloom can be delayed a bit with them by pinching back also. That method also will keep them from the tendency to flop. There are so many sedums to choose from now. You should be able to find one that you will love.

Don't forget the Rudbeckias. They would put on a good show of color on your roof top. It would be a longer and brighter show than sedums.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:06PM
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I love them but they do tend to mildew, even when I spray,they end up looking so raggedy I have to pull them out by August.
That's why I love the low maintenance and it's beautiful whether in or out of bloom. Clean too.
Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Sedum Matrona is my favorite. It was a beauty this year.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 12:39AM
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Just took a look at sedum matrona. Very nice.
Do you have an opinion on the best time to plant sedum? Is fall better than spring?
I'd like to order now but was concerned that it might be better to wait until spring.
I have a container garden on a roof, and it gets very cold in the winter. I wasn't sure if new plantings could handle it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 5:53AM
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Something yellow would be nice like rudbeckia or coreposis. I also like the idea of Jupiter beard.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 10:24AM
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I love coreposis and rucbeckia but they both tend to mildew...especially in my garden.

I decided to order Sedum 'Autumn Fire'. I thought it would be a nice compliment to the liatris and low maintenance too. I found it on sale for half price.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 5:51PM
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If your coreposis and rudbeckia are mildewing, is it sort of damp in your planter? One of the few thing that can kill sedium is poorly drained and wet soil.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 9:24PM
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dandy_line(3B (Brainerd, Mn))

The annual type Rudbeckia seems to be very susceptible to mildew, much more so than the perennial types. Have you tried the perennials?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 7:37PM
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