I told you to let deadnettle liven up your mixed
containers you might think that it is an oxymoron or
perhaps I was just a moron, as dead and nettle sound
none too lovely in the landscape. As they say in France,
au contraire, deadnettle is the common name for a
terrific perennial or annual if you choose by the name
speaking the plant is known as Lamium maculatum and is
native to southern Europe and northern Africa. It is
cold hardy from zones 4 through 8 meaning a large area
of the country can enjoy it in some sort or fashion.
There are now close to 30 varieties being sold in the
United States. I regularly see Orchid Frost, Beacon
Silver, Pink Chablis, a white flowered version called
White Nancy and one with chartreuse margins called Anne
Greenaway. Pink Chablis won awards in trials at the
Dallas Arboretum, University of Georgia and J. C.
Raulston Arboretum in North Carolina.
always loved it for the texture provided by its
variegated foliage that looks silver and green then
considered the lavender pink blooms that developed an
added bonus. I find that this plant is often
misunderstood or underappreciated by gardeners to say
the least. If gardeners consider its Mediterranean
climate-like heritage it really helps. By that I mean
fertile soil and explicit drainage.
stands to reason as the most riveting places Iíve
watched them grow are in mixed containers with light
fluffy soil that drains freely. In the landscape Iíve
seen the captivating combinations with perennial salvias
and shadier locations with ferns, hostas, ajuga and
Chinese foxglove that all likewise require good internal
Lamium maculatum varieties may be evergreen,
semi-evergreen and deciduous depending on how mild your
climate is. Your Internet search will show whatever you
are hoping for with regard to the amount of sunlight
they can take. My recommendation is morning sun and
afternoon shade, or filtered shade. Never underestimate
the ability of the silver foliage to add interest or
brighten a shady location.
the cooler the climate, the more sun they can take,
hence I love them as a component plant in cool season
mixed containers with pansies, snapdragons, dianthus,
and other foliage. Lamiums offer an 8- to 12-inch tall
plant with a spreading habit up to 24-inches, which is
just perfect as a spiller plant.
have some other terrific attributes. They are
self-cleaning, which means no crawling into a big bed of
groundcover to deadhead old flowers. About the only
maintenance youíll be doing is a shearing back in
early spring before growth resumes. One of the most
loved traits however is that they are resistant to
rabbits and deer.
is a month typically in a self-induced holding pattern
when it comes to gardening. If you find that you failed
to get cool season containers planted then take
advantage of fresh shipments of pansies, violas,
petunias, dianthus and all the other components plants
like lamiums as they arrive at your garden center. If
you act now you will still be able to have several
months of colorful bliss on your porch patio or deck.
Follow me on twitter @CGBGgardenguru.