August 10, 2006

Canadians and Voodoo

I wrote earlier this year about my meadow anemones aka Canadian anemones which are considered by some to be invasive. Invasive is one of those terms that gets used differently by different people, so I thought I would show before and after photos to help the evaluation. To the left, my clump in June, to the right, the same clump in August.

Canadian anemones in JuneMeadow anemones in August
They have been expanding much more enthusiastically than they did at my last house, which is probably due to the fact that I have been much more pro-active in improving the soil this time around. I've had to start pulling up around the perimeter already, as the anemones have been trying to spread into the brunnera and into the lawn, which is admittedly very patchy at that spot.

I have deliberately planted a number of "spreaders" because tightly packed plantings are part of my "cat management strategy", fully expecting to be replacing them bit by bit over the years. I wanted good coverage quickly. It looks like I may have to consider pulling up and possibly eliminating these anemones sooner than expected.

You may recall the very different problem I was having with my Voodoo stonecrop, that of the smoky purple foliage. Sedum spurium is normally a very quick spreader, although very easy to pull up, so not what most people would consider to be invasive. Most of my seed-grown Voodoos didn't survive the winter and the tiny specimen that did make it wasn't exactly prospering.

Sedum spurium 'Voodoo' in JuneVoodoo stonecrop in August
As you can see from these June/August photos, it has managed to put on a little weight, so there may be some hope for it after all. It looks like Voodoo is made to order for those people who like their plants on the timid side and if it ever bulks up sufficiently, it might make a good replacement for the more enthusiastic ones that tend to encroach on their neighbours. I do have concerns about its winter hardiness here, so I'll likely take a cutting this fall to overwinter inside as insurance. I'd be curious in knowing how gardeners in warmer zones have fared with this cultivar.

Previous posts on the topic of Canadian anemones and Voodoo sedum

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Blackswamp_Girl said...

Janet, I have sedum 'Voodoo' in my backyard, and I have found its vigor to be, um, highly overrated thus far. I planted full (spilling over the sides full) pint pots of it last year and it has just now achieved the amount of foliage that you would expect to see on a gallon container.

In spite of me burying parts of some of the longer stems, it doesn't seem to be very interested in spreading that way, either. I took cuttings last summer and rooted them in water in an effort to make more plants... they rooted just fine, but only one plant survived being planted out.

The 12 tiny (2in. herb pot size) 'Fuldaglut' babies that I planted earlier this year are probably all bigger in size than the 'Voodoo' already. The 'Voodoo' is prettier, though, with that greyish red foliage... darn it!

By the way, thank you for your lily foliage advice. I think I'm going to use that to hide the lily "bare legs" in another area where I want to plant a couple of very red, early blooming asiatics.

Janet said...

Thanks for the input. I would never buy Voodoo in a nursery, but seeing as I have seeds, I'll likely try again some time. I take it you didn't lose any over the winter.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

No, I didn't lose any... but I would have been really surprised if I had. I generally plant things that are overly hardy in my zone, and with the well-drained (read: poor and sandy) soil that I have, winter root rot is not a problem.

I probably wouldn't buy it again at a nursery, either... but I bought it at a 25c pint sale last summer so I can't really complain too much, I guess. (I SO wish that nursery was still in existence!)