Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 145: Great Plants for Grouping

Isn’t every plant great in a group? Well, the answer is no. Some plants are too vigorous in their growth habits to share the stage, while others are better if put on a pedestal all their own (i.e., the focal-point plants of the landscape). In today’s episode we talk about plants that are great in masses—that is to say, in groups of three or more. We have options for shade, choices for sun, and selections for those in-between exposure situations. We also feature some great plants that we’ve seen grouped to perfection in gardens featured in Fine Gardening. And you don’t have to be a millionaire to group plants. Many of our suggestions are easily divided after just a year or two, providing multiple plants for the price of just one.

Expert guest: Daniel Robarts is a horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.

Danielle’s Plants

'Kitten Around' catmint
‘Kitten Around’ catmint

‘Kitten Around’ catmint (Nepeta faassenii ‘Kitten Around’, Zones 3–8)

‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass
‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass

‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’, Zones 5–9)

'Kobold' liatris
‘Kobold’ liatris

‘Kobold’ liatris (Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’, Zones 3–8)

Smooth hydrangea
Smooth hydrangea

Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens and cvs., Zones 3–9)


Carol’s Plants

‘Galaxy Blue’ agapanthus
‘Galaxy Blue’ agapanthus

‘Galaxy Blue’ agapanthus (Agapanthus ‘Galaxy Blue’, Zones 6–10)

Feather Falls™ sedge
Feather Falls™ sedge

Feather Falls™ sedge (Carex ‘ET CRX01’, Zones 5–9)

Firefinch™ coneflower
Firefinch™ coneflower
Firefinch™ coneflower in a colorful combo
Firefinch™ coneflower in a colorful combo

Firefinch™ coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘G0052Y’, Zones 4–8)

Flowering tobacco

Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris, Zones 10–11)


Expert’s Plants

‘Millenium’ allium (Credit: Walters Gardens, Inc.)
‘Millenium’ allium. Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.

‘Millenium’ allium (Allium ‘Millenium’, Zones 5–8)

'Brunette' bugbane

‘Brunette’ bugbane (Actaea simplex ‘Brunette’, Zones 3–8)

'Starry Starry Night' hibiscus (Credit: Walters Gardens, Inc.)
‘Starry Starry Night’ hibiscus. Photo: Walters Gardens, Inc.

‘Starry Starry Night’ hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Starry Starry Night’, Zones 4–9)


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