Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Helichrysum petiolare minus 'Silver Mist'

Silver Mist Licorice Plant, Helichrysum petiolare minus

If you want a vigorous silver foliaged ground cover plant to hide the ugly lower branches of rose bushes this is one plant you could use. Here it is with a tiny Queen Elizabeth rose bud peeping out amongst its own pastel pink flowers. Most rose growers go for the "scorched earth policy" and hate to have anything growing underneath them so this suggestion may well fall on deaf ears. The problem with Silver Mist is that it grows so damn fast over summer you almost need to cut it back weekly and it will quickly smother its neighbours if you are not careful. Frost knocks it back over winter and thus it is often grown as an annual or hanging basket specimen in other countries. It recovers quickly from frost damage once the weather warms up but you have to live with a fairly unattractive plant of blackened stems in the meantime. Propagation is fairly easy at this time of year, as the weather cools down, but less so in the middle of summer when woolly silver leafed plants tend to damp off in high humidity. All in all this is an easy plant to grow requiring no special growing conditions other than well drained soil.
2017 update: I no longer grow this.

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