Those seed pods! They must be removed at any cost or my entire garden would be Amsonia. I do not want those seeds to ripen, fall to the ground, and germinate.
The Amsonia seedlings, which don't look all that big, have roots that rival those of nearly any other plant I can think of.
Most seeds anchor themselves with a bit of root before sending up a shoot. Amsonia must spend 99% of its energy on developing a strong root before using its last 1% to send up a shoot.
You can attempt to pull them out. Just try. You won't be able to pull it out. It will laugh at you. It will stand there collecting on bets it made with other plants around it. "How much you wanna bet she can't pull me out?"
Which is why once a year I gird my loins and cut back all the Amsonia—three stands of it—and in the process, remove the seeds.
Why must I gird my loins for the simple task of cutting back Amsonia?
Because of the white, sticky sap.
It's like white glue. It is sticky. And messy. And sticky. And will get all over you and whatever pruners you use to cut back the stems.
I gird my loins by donning a long-sleeve T-shirt, a pair of long pants, a baseball cap, and gardening gloves, and grabbing some spare pruners. I choose only those items that I don't care about getting Amsonia
I generally make "cutting back the Amsonia" the last gardening task of the day because after I'm done, my clothes are covered with sticky
Amsonia isn't for the timid gardener. It can become a massive clump over time. A clump that is almost impossible to dig out without jackhammers. Therefore, it must be cut back every year to prevent it from self-sowing its way to garden domination, one seedling at a time. I admit after being cut back, Amsonia doesn't look all that great, but over the course of a few weeks, it will sprout some new shoots and begin to look a little less hacked-back
So why plant Amsonia?
Because it has lovely blue flowers in the spring and is one of the only perennial flowers to have actual fall foliage color.
And it is a native wildflower.
Speaking of wildflowers, this is Wildflower Wednesday! Hop on over to Clay and Limestone to see who else is writing about wildflowers today.
Then if you have Amsonia in your garden, gird your loins and cut that thing back so it doesn't self-sow all over the garden!
This week's podcast episode from The Gardenangelists is all about edible flowers, basil, and behaving yourself while touring other people's gardens!
Oh, you haven't listened to one of our podcast episodes yet? How about starting with our special weeding episode? We wrote and recorded it specifically to help encourage you as you weed. It lasts just long enough for a decent weeding session. Listen every time you weed. With this episode, we want to do for weeding what Jane Fonda did for working out with her videos back in the 90s! If you like it, please share it with others. Thank you!