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Improved Varieties of Old Favorites

These plants have all the charm with none of the headaches

Fine Gardening - Issue 142
Ever notice how often popular plants prove to be problem children? Almost every gardener I know grows at least one troublesome plant—like phlox, for example, even if it means a constant battle against powdery mildew, or forsythia, even if it’s a total snoozefest after its extravagant spring show. We return to these plants again and again because we love them. Luckily for us, the vast majority of troublesome popular plants have at least one cultivar that pooh-poohs pests, defies disease, or performs in more than one season. Here is a sampling of some of the best. Try this Lilac if yours is Plagued with Powdery Mildew The plant: Lilac (Syringa vulgaris cvs.) The problem: Prone to powdery mildew Beloved for its fragrance and flower, lilac is a stunning spring bloomer that doesn’t do much the rest of the growing season. The bigger problem comes later in the season, when the…

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