En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Dividing obedient plant in New Waterford OH

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - September 19, 2009

From: New Waterford, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation
Title: Dividing obedient plant in New Waterford OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in northeast Ohio, and have an obedient plant, which has spread, (a little) since last year when I bought it. I really do like the plant, and wanted to put it in several more areas in the garden. What would be the best time to do this, and what would I have the most luck in doing? Should I dig up some of the shoots that are on the outside of the circular growth, and just replant them elsewhere? From what Ive read, it should spread easily. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks, Laura

ANSWER:

There are four members of the physostegia genus native to North America, and three native to Ohio: Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant), Physostegia virginiana ssp. praemorsa (obedient plant) and Physostegia virginiana ssp. virginiana (obedient plant). Since the same care requirements would apply to all of them, we'll use Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant) as our example. 

From our Native Plant Database, here are the Growing Conditons for the obedient plant:

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, humus-rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Obedient plant receives its name from the characteristic fact that if you manipulate an individual flower back and forth on its axis, it will stay in position you place it. It is wonderfully adaptable, tolerating both drought and poor drainage. Spreads aggressively by stolons, but is easy to pull out and keep in check. Obedient plant is a good nectar source for butterflies. This perennial is easy to establish and maintain. It can become aggressive but the shallow roots are easy to pull out. 

Also from the Native Plant Database, here are Propagation Instructions:

Description: Propagate by division of roots or by seed. Plant seeds in fall or in spring after damp stratification. Clumps that form from spreading stolons can be divided in early spring or late fall.
Seed Collection: Seeds are 1/8, dull-brown nutlets.
Seed Treatment: Damp stratify 3 months at 40 degrees. 

It looks like division of the existing plants will be the easiest, fastest way to propagate your obedient plants. From Fine Gardening, here is an article on 10 Tips on Dividing Perennial Plants.

From our Native Plant Database:


Physostegia virginiana

Physostegia virginiana

Physostegia virginiana

Physostegia virginiana

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Obtaining seeds for mutant white bluebonnet
April 18, 2007 - I have seen a white bluebonnet in Brenham on Easter and wondered how rare the white ones are and how you get seeds for those. Are there any special directions on collecting seeds for planting next fa...
view the full question and answer

Seed propagation for Goldeneye Sunflower for Austin
October 30, 2010 - I have been unable to find Golden Eye seed, and am therefore thinking about harvesting seed from existing plants. My question is: At what stage of the development do I make the harvest of fully develo...
view the full question and answer

Harvesting seeds on the American basket flower (Centaurea americana)
May 30, 2010 - Where are the seeds on an American basket flower? How do I get them out to propagate them? When can you get them out? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Eupatorium serotinum (late boneset) for garden setting, care and propagation
October 27, 2007 - What are the prospects for Eupatorium serotinum in a garden setting? What requirements does the plant have? How large does it grow, etc.
view the full question and answer

native plants for landscaping in Honolulu
January 08, 2012 - Hi, wildflower.org has been a great help for me in learning about different plants, their Latin names and characteristics. I was looking for a list of plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center