“One Tough Plant”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
Silver or gray colored leaf plants are always a great addition to the garden. Plants like lamb’s ears, dusty miller, artemisia, etc. are wonderful plants, but, unfortunately, here in the hot, humid South, they often do not do well and can die pretty quickly if we have a lot of rain and heat. In the summer of 2008, I found a silver-leafed plant that did very well in the garden. It was curry plant (helichrysum italicum). I only bought one to see how it would do, and, if it survived, I would try more. It did survive the summer and winter of 2008-09. It did so well, that in the spring of 2009 I bought six more to plant in the same garden bed with the original one. Only five were needed in the bed with the original, and so the extra one went in another area that was not quite as sunny.
Unfortunately, the June of 2009 was one of the hottest and driest Junes we have ever had, and the curry plants planted in the sunny bed ended up being toast. The lone survivor ended up being the extra plant that was in a less sunny area.
Fast forward to this winter, one of the coldest and wettest we have had in almost twenty years. How did the little curry plant do? Just fine. When other plants that have never frozen back before got nipped back badly, this plant which wasn’t even mulched very much came through just fine.
Now, it is a little worse the wear for having had a tough winter, but going on past experience, it should be putting out new growth as soon as the temps warm up a bit more and look even better in a short while. The next photo shows this same plant last summer, and I would expect it to do even better this summer.
I think I have found the secret to this plant. Here, in the Deep South, it probably cannot take full sun but needs a little shade. I will be buying more of this plant to add some of this lovely, silver color in the garden. Just goes to show that gardening consists of a lot of trial and error.