I wish I could remember exactly when it was that I discovered Rodgersias...all I know is that it was love at first sight. There is just something about those big, bold foliage that leaves me a little weak in the knees. You know me, I like foliage that is big without looking too tropical, and these fit the bill...I can just imagine them growing in a cool, misty valley on the banks of a slow-moving stream.
When they first emerge, as above in the north border against the house, they look completely prehistoric, like wicked claws pushing their way out of the soil.
As the stems lenghten, and the leaves spay outward, however, they take on a more graceful habit. As you may remember, I used to have these in a spot where they got about a half day of sun, but they scorched badly once summer's heat and wind set in. So, last fall, I moved them all closer to the house, an area that is pretty much full shade. When the leaves first unfurled in this new spot, they definitely didn't have the rich bronze coloring that they had always shown in full sun.
After a few days, however, they actually started to color up a bit...
...and right now they look as good as they ever did in sun! I'm not sure how well the color will hold up in the shade, but if I can at least avoid the scorching, I'll be happier (and so with they)!
|Rodgersia clump||Rodgersia bloom stalk|
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, weather can wreak havoc with big, thing leaves like these. Last week we actually got a short-lived hailstorm. Even those the hailstones were no bigger than peppercorns, they left their marks on any plant with leaves of substance. Sadly, I'll be looking at swiss-cheese Rodgersias this year.
The first year I had these in the ground, each Rodgersia produced a single stem...which made me a little impatient for them to ever clump up. I'm please to say that this year, they are pushing up many more new shoots per plant...looks like I won't have to wait as long as I thought after all :-)
While most of the Rodgersias I planted are 'Rotlaub', I've also added a few others over the years. This one, 'Chocolate Wings' has wonderfully dark foliage when it emerges, which was a huge relief, as it was totally green by the time I bought it last spring...and I was a little dubious that it was, in fact, 'Chocolate Wings'. As usual, I worried for nothing!
|Rodgersia podophylla 'Rotlaub'||Rodgersia 'Chocolate Wings'|
Another type, Rodgersia aesculifolia,named for its resemblance to the leaves of the Horse Chestnut
I got this Rodgersia on sale for $5 at a local nursery...and unfortunately, it wasn't labeled...I'm guessing Rodgersia pinnata...and look, another bloom stalk!
And just to prove that no matter how much we gardeners think WE decide what happens in our garden, look at this. Apparently, I left a little bit of root in the location I moved the Rodgersias from last fall and it has sprouted...gotta love that!
What plant are you loving at the moment...or do you have a plant you can't help but baby along, constantly fretting about it's well-being?