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Perennial Bachelor Button

June 21st, 2017

Moving to Maine provided a few new to me plants in the garden. Some I welcomed, others I compost. Centaurea montana (aka mountain bluet or perennial bachelor button) was one I welcomed, at least for now. Typically, when adding a new plant variety to the garden, I plant it in my nursery bed in the main vegetable garden. This gives me a place to watch the growth habitats, easily monitor spread, and watch bloom time, color, and a few other things. After have a few disastrous things become weedy, invasive, or just be the wrong size, I decided this was the best way to introduce new things into my gardens.

There were two of these growing in a weedy semi-garden area by the driveway. One was dug up and transplanted to the nursery bed last summer. It’s grown nicely, bloomed beautifully this spring, and so far has behaved well in terms of spread (no seeding prolifically or rampant spreading yet).The plant is a bit floppy in this photo, which was taken after a rain. The plant is about 24 inches high by about 24 inches wide. I’m guessing this plant is one of the ones that does better in a less than perfect soil. Sometimes our garden soil is too good for some plants, which causes them to get a little floppy.

I have noticed no seedlings around the plant, here or in other places. This plant is also spreading slowly, which is another thing I’m happy about. After getting rid of a few thuggish plants (and currently trying to get rid of a few in this garden), I’m happy when plants are well behaved. This plant is reported to spread quickly in rich soils, but so far it’s not being overaggressive (at least not compared to some plants I’ve dealt with in the past). It’s probably doubled in size in the past year. Overall, it’s proving to be a decent plant. I’ll watch it for another season or two just to make sure it continues to be well-behaved and may move the other one to a less fertile area to see how it does in that area.

What new plants have you discovered recently?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.