the leading variety of dwarf Japanese sweet flag, lends a fine
textured grass-like element to beds and mixed containers.
Leave it to Ogon
to be the most thrilling plants in the foggy landscape. Ogon, which
means gold, is a great selection of Japanese sweet flag that seemed to
literally glow through recent fog and mist, and it can do the same for
your landscape. You no doubt have seen Ogon and probably thought it
terrific looking ornamental grass, which is precisely how we use it in
the landscape or mixed containers.
leading variety of Japanese sweet flag, is known botanically as Acorus
gramineus. Proven Winners has to be given the credit for its dramatic
rise in popularity when it was introduced into the Fall Magic line pf
plants a few years ago. Not only it bring us Ogon, or Golden Japanese
sweet flag, but also another called White Japanese sweet flag, Acorus
Prior to these
introductions, Acorus calamus was perhaps the best-known of the sweet
flags, with its larger leaves that give off an aromatic scent. The
foliage and rhizomes are used today to make the Oil of Calamus.
gramineus group is not nearly as aromatic, but they do give us some
great new grass-like choices for flower beds, borders, rock gardens
and mixed containers. Ogon is one of the more stunning selections
because of its bright golden color combined with green variegation.
They are cold-hardy from zones 5-9.
I love how the
dwarf sweet flags work tucked among rocks in creek beds, whether dry
or flowing with water. In fact, all water gardens need some at the
edge. They are choice plants for pocket planting in mixed containers
of flowers and greenery. The golden variegated leaves literally shine,
drawing your eye to gaze in its direction. They also look at home in
combination with bamboo, umbrella plants and Louisiana iris.
But this time of
the year, those of us in the South grow them in clusters as pansy
partners and the perfect complement to purple flowering kale and
sweet flag spreads from the tips of rhizomes, similar to the way an
iris spreads. They can reach about 10 inches tall and as wide. This
gives you the option of using it as a ground cover. Performance seems
best if they get a little filtered shade during the heat of the day.
Plant yours so
that the rhizome is showing slightly above the soil line, then water
thoroughly. Since it likes moist soil, be sure to apply a good layer
of mulch and water during droughty periods. The soil should be
fertile, organically rich or loamy, and retain moisture well. Tight
clay soils will not make you or the sweet flag contented.
liriope leaves need cutting back virtually every year, sweet flags
grown in good moist locations may keep the leaves attractive for more
than a year. From time to time, you will want to trim leaves or clumps
that have lost their effectiveness. On the other hand those that dry
out or get to much sun will scorch, requiring a little more leaf
forget about the super dwarf golden selection called Minimus aureus.
This one only gets about 3 inches tall and then curves slightly toward
the ground giving a gold carpet look. This one can look breathtaking
when grown in front of blue hydrangeas.
season will be here before you know it. Make plans to use dwarf sweet
flags as a fine-textured grassy element throughout your landscape and
as you design your mixed containers.