13 July 2010

In the Spotlight - Bog Rosemary

 Blue Ice Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)

This is a wonderful little clumping plant that grows like a small bush and retains its leaves all year long in my zone 3 garden.  It flowers with small pink blooms in May and is otherwise a blue/green.  It loves a moist soil and even a wet soil will suit this easy going little shrub.  Bog Rosemary flourishes in peat bogs, thus its name. I've grown it for years in an area of the garden that tends to be more wet than others.  Facing east with no afternoon sun, though that is not necessary, I am always pleased with this little early bloomer.  No pests or disease problems.  Just don't let it dry out nor plant it in hot baking sun.
Sorry this picture is not the best.  It was taken shortly after it was planted a few years ago.  When planting, I amended the soil with wet peat moss to assist with friability, a breathable soil.  Wet clay does not breathe and since peat bogs are its natural habitat, it makes sense to simulate that environment.  I use the same fertilizer I use for my evergreens with a higher first (nitrogen) number.  This year the two I have put on an amazing show, amassed with pink blossoms in the spring.  Definitely a great plant for that wet spot in the garden.

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