Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 77: Year in Review

Find out which plants lived up to our expectations and which ones let us down

Video by Danielle Sherry and Steve Aitken. Edited by Kara Demos.

What can we say about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? With all the bad that occurred, one positive for the staffers at FG was more time spent in our gardens. This enabled us to truly monitor what plants did well and which ones did not—sometimes by no fault of their own. We are ending the year by taking stock of our plant successes and failures. There were some surprises from little-known native plants that appeared to enjoy the drought this summer, while other plants that we had coveted, struggled. Steve even talks about plants that made it through an entire year (or three) in a pot, on the side of his driveway. If those selections can survive those conditions, just think how well they’d do in your garden with a little more attention! We asked associate editor Carol Collins to join in the reminiscing, and she shares an amusing story about growing an annual she longed for, only to have uninvited garden guests spoil everything.




Field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta, Zones 3–8)

‘Summer Crush’ betony (Stachys ‘Summer Crush’, Zones 4–9)


‘Petit Henri’ ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘Petit Henri’, Zones 5–7)




‘October Skies’ aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’, Zones 3–8)

‘Halifax’ Eastern star sedge  (Carex radiata ‘Halifax’, Zones 4–8)



‘Yokoi’s Gold’ Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Yokoi’s Gold’, Zones 5–8)




Old field goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis, Zones 3–9)

‘Powis Castle’ artemisia (Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Zones 6–9)



‘Elena’s Rojo’ and ‘Juana’s Orange’ amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus ‘Elena’s Rojo’ and ‘Juana’s Orange’)


SUCCESS: Field pussytoes

Field pussytoes plant

SUCCESS: ‘Summer Crush’ betony

'Summer Crush' betony

FAILURE: ‘Petit Henri’ ragged robin

'Petit Henri' ragged robin
Ph0t0: Rozanne and Friends®

SUCCESS: Old field goldenrod

Old field goldenrod

SUCCESS: ‘Powis Castle’ artemisia

‘Powis Castle’ Artemisia

FAILURE: ‘Elena’s Rojo’ amaranth

‘Elena’s Rojo’ amaranth
FAILURE: ‘Juana’s Orange’ amaranth

‘Juana’s Orange’ amaranth

SUCCESS: ‘October Skies’ aster

‘October Skies’ aster

SUCCESS: ‘Halifax’ Eastern star sedge

‘Halifax’ Eastern star sedge

FAILURE: ‘Yokoi’s Gold’ Japanese kerria

'Yokoi's Gold' Japanese kerria


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