centranthus-closeupIf you like the look of flowering plants growing out of old walls or brickwork you will probably like Red Valerian. It is drought tolerant and a lime lover and so thrives in mortar and concrete. It has a relaxed growth habit and looks lovely cascading over a wall. It eagerly multiplies in a garden by self sowing and you may find it in places you never anticipated, but you will be pleased by its charm and old fashioned look.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Red or white flowers in late spring-summer.

Size: 24”-36” H x 24” x 36” W.

Light: Full sun to partial shad; resents heat and humidity and appreciates some shade in zones 7 and hotter.

Soil: Prefers average, limy, well-drained soil but tolerates less.

Fertilizer: Average soil will supply what is needed.

Hardiness: Zones 5-9.

Care: Remove flowers as soon as they finish flowering for rebloom.

Pests and Diseases: Can develop mildew if the leaves are wet at night so water in the morning to allow drying time.

Propagation: Readily self sows; basal cutting can be taken in spring.

Companion plants: Blue iris, catmints, salvias, and veronicas.

Outstanding Selections: Centranthus ruber var. albus (white), C. ruber var. coccineus (deep red) C. ruber var. roseus (rose).

Comments: Tolerates drought, and salt spray.

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By Karen