Plants that thrive in Cobb County
This is Orange Rocket Barberry, which produces all these colors after a period of rain. It’s deciduous, but oh so beautiful April through December. It grows 4-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide in ten years. Prefers full sun.
Kaleidoscope Abelia is a terrific evergreen plant with multi-colored leaves. It doesn’t get too big – just about 18” tall and 3 feet wide. It does benefit from a slow-release fertilizer, and appreciates water from time to time. It’s a full sun plant, too. You can prune it back down to 6 inches if necessary but I only do this every few years to rejuvenate it.
I LOVE my Summer Wine Ninebark. Just look at all the colors! It tolerates dry soil, it grows 4-6 feet tall and wide, and gets lovely white flowers in spring. Yes, it loses its leaves in winter, but for 8 months of the year, it is just beautiful. Full sun, or partial shade.
Amsonia Hubrichtii is a great contrast plant for Knockout roses. You actually can see lots and lots of them at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. Both Knockouts and Amsonia Hubrichtii don’t need a lot of water to flourish. The Amsonia Hubrichtii also has the advantage of producing beautiful blue flowers in spring and turns gold in fall. It gets 2-3 feet tall and wide when fully grown and can grow in full sun or part shade.
Tri-color St. John’s Wort – for the life of me I don’t know why there isn’t one of these in every garden. Pike’s sells them for $5 in spring; the leaves are ivory, green and pink, with some shoots of dark green which provide great contrast to the colored shoots. It doesn’t need any fussing. It only gets 2 feet tall and wide. It grows in full sun or part shade. It doesn’t need a lot of water. You can cut it back to six inches in early spring and it comes right back. But it does benefit from a slow release fertilizer in early spring.
Snow ‘n’ Summer Asiatic Jasmine – yes, it really is this beautiful. Pike’s sells these for about $10 every fall. I have eight. After 2-3 years, they get about 2 feet around and 6 inches tall at the most. They grow in part shade (best not in full sun). They don’t need a lot of water. They benefit from slow release fertilizer. You cut them back in winter when they look ratty, and they don’t come back until mid-summer. But from June through November they are stunning.
Ruby Loropetalum has pinkish purple leaves and green leaves growing right next to each other. AND produces flowers in spring on top of it. AND it’s evergreen! AND it doesn’t get too big – just about 3 feet tall and wide. The perfect plant, if you ask me. Doesn’t need too much water. Likes sun but can handle afternoon shade. I don’t prune mine but I’m sure you can if you need to. Benefits from a slow-release fertilizer in early spring.
Rose Glow Barberry is such a pretty plant. It grows quite big – 4-7 feet around – but it’s 4-7 feet of the most beautiful colors – burgundy, orange, green, ivory, mint, dark pink and light pink. It’s deciduous, but all during spring, summer and fall, it is just gorgeous. Thrives in part sun to full sun. Can tolerate dryness once it is established and must be in well-drained soil. Benefits from slow-release fertilizer in spring. Can be pruned occasionally. Doesn’t transplant very well, so once it’s grown, don’t move it.
The trick to Powis Castle Artemisia is to plant it where it gets excellent drainage, and don’t ever water it! That’s right – don’t be tempted to water it unless we’re in severe drought. The feathery grey foliage looks good next to ANYTHING else because it’s so different! It does get pretty big – 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide, so leave space for it to expand. In November, cut it back to 6 inches and it will reappear the following spring just fine.
For dramatic foliage, I just don’t see how you can beat Nandinas. There are several different kinds in the nurseries, so do some research before you buy. Some get redder than others, and they come in varying sizes. They look good all year round. But put them in the right place so they stand out. Believe it or not, both these photos are of the same plant.
I don’t see how any garden is complete without a Burning Bush. You can see dozens of these on I-75 southbound near Windy Hill and I hope and pray they don’t remove them all for the HOV lanes they are building. In mid-October, they are a feast for the eyes! I planted two right where I can see them from my living room while I’m reading a book with the door open. Make sure you get a dwarf variety, which still gets big but can easily be kept at 3 feet around with pruning. They don’t need any extra watering or fertilizer.
Years ago, I picked up this Pixie Japanese Maple at Pike’s and I’m so glad I did, because it has stayed 6 feet tall and gets beautiful new red leaves in spring while the azaleas are in bloom. As summer comes along, the leaves turn green, but when it rains, new leaves form and they are bright red!
Pixie Japanese Maple in April.
Pixie Japanese Maple in early August
Jerry French Landscaping – serving Cobb County since 1994