Monday, April 2, 2012
Macleaya cordata (Plume Poppy)
Two years ago I found a few Macleaya plants at a local nursery. I'd wanted some for years, and had never actually seen them for sale before...so I grabbed them without a second thought. I love their big, powdery-blue leaves. Unfortunately, I didn't have anywhere to put them. Everything I'd read about them mentioned how the could spread aggressively, and were best planted within some sort of barrier.
I'll admit, I often ignore such warnings, but this time decided to heed the warnings. Also, it was fall, and I wasn't in the mood to dig up any more of the yard at that point. So...I decided to get a stock tank for the Macleaya, which seemed a great solution...it was large enough to give the Macleaya room to spread out, but could fit in our driveway and "hide" our garbage and recycling bins.
After it emerged last spring, I was expecting a huge amount of growth...after all it's not rare for them to be 8' tall. For some reason, they kind of struggled along last year, barely topping 3' tall by the end of summer.
Here they are this weekend, on the right side of the stock tank. This weekend, as I was cleaning out leaves from the tank, I found a surprise...
Just to the side of the original plant were a few new shoots! I was surprised...after their lackluster performance last year, I wasn't expecting them to have spread at all. I continued cleaning out the stock tank and guess what...
Clear on the other end of the tank were more Macleaya shoots! Strangely, they seem to have grown under the patch of Monarda in the middle of the tank and sprung up on the far side. As excited as I am at the prospect of a lush patch of these in the coming year, I'm certainly glad that for once I was actually smart enough to heed others' warnings and contain this plant!