Lithodora, Grace Ward
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
- Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
- After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- Cut back to refresh plants after blooming.
- Divide as needed in spring or fall.
- Plants benefit from winter protection in zone 5. Mulch after the ground freezes. Remove mulch in spring before new growth appears.
Lithospermum Grace Ward
A hardy ground covering or matt forming plant with deep green foliage all year round. Exquisite bright blue starry flowers appear from spring and continue through the summer months. For best results grow in full sun in free draining soil. Its low trailing habit makes it an ideal plant for rockeries, wall and banks, cottage gardens or a general ground cover plant. This plant is approximately eighteen months old when it reaches the garden centre and over the next three years it will triple in size growing to a height of 0.3 metres by 1 metre if desired.
Plant Of The Month – The Press – October 2007
Graceful Spread Of Blue
The coolest colour in the summertime garden is blue – thus this month’s selection. Lithopsermum Grace Ward (aka Lithodora Grace Ward) is one of the most popular groundcovers around and prized for the exquisite, cobalt blue, small funnel-shaped flowers that smother it all summer through. It also gets top marks for its perpetual coating of dark-green foliage, for its hardiness and for its mat-forming habits.
It is great as a rockery plant, on walls and banks or as a general groundcover plant.
It goes well with the lime green flowers of Euphorbia Kea or the swordlike silver leaves of Astelia Silver Spears.
It loves full sun to partial sun and moderate watering.
It grows to a height of 30cm and a width of 1m – if desired.
Available from most garden centres.