We asked five top landscapers for their go-to best value plants that keep on delivering.
Here are the final top best value plants to have in your garden.
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These beautiful perennials are real value for money and great to kick off this list of best value plants. They don’t need much attention, love the sun and are frost hardy. Their butterfly-like blooms appear in mid-spring and continue into early winter. Cut them back right to the ground in late winter and they’ll soon spring back with even more vigour.
‘Iceberg’ Floribunda Rose
The top-selling rose, both the standards and bushes require very little care. Prepare the soil well before planting and make sure they get enough water. Look out for yellowing leaves, which can be an indication of nitrogen and magnesium deficiency, but regular feeding with Vigorosa will sort this out. Prune them in mid-July and then again mid-January.
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Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’
This compact, evergreen ornamental tree with its glossy green leaves gives year-round interest. Its blooms appear all year, peaking from summer into autumn. Even when the gorgeously scented flowers fade, cone-like seed heads keep it interesting. I love using them in small gardens, but they are also perfect for larger gardens or in pots. They don’t require regular pruning and tolerate both sun and semi-shade.
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The leaves of this frost tolerant shrub change from green in summer to brilliant red in autumn and winter, while sprays of white flowers transform into scarlet berries. I find it perfect for lower screening and softening, an informal hedge or a feature plant in a small area. It’s a good choice for an oriental garden, resembling bamboo without being invasive. It grows in full sun and semi-shade, is easy to care for.
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Pink Perennial Basil
This plant can be used in the herb garden or herbaceous border where it provides masses of flowers throughout summer. Bees adore the flowers and are drawn to the plant for its nectar. It’s fast growing and reaches a height and spread of about 600mm. It combines beautifully with other perennials such as gaura, salvia and statice.
The river indigo is a delightful, easy-to-grow, indigenous tree. In summer it’s covered in masses of pink, pea-like flowers which attract bees, butterflies and other insects. These in turn bring the birds. Once it has flowered, beautiful reddish-brown seed pods appear. It can be used as a small tree or large shrub and is ideal for a small garden. It grows relatively quickly and prefers well-drained soil.
The Mexican bush sage is a fail-safe, long-lived shrub produces beautiful foliage and flowers year after year with very little maintenance. It has a spread of about a metre and grows just as tall. The grey-green leaves make a good contrast.
I use this P. ciliatus as a groundcover in those difficult shade areas. It’s not fussy and quickly covers the soil. Its decorative foliage remains attractive throughout the year, and from mid-February to June, it produces masses of delicate white and purple-pink blooms. It also does well in containers and hanging baskets. For those on a budget, cuttings take easily.
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This indigenous tree aloe is easy to grow, very low maintenance, water wise and an ideal focal plant. For a statement in a dry-themed garden or even one with a tropical flavour, this plant can be planted in big pots or containers and has the added bonus of stunning orange flowers during late autumn and winter.
With very little maintenance E. ‘Euphoric’, ‘Kilimanjaro’, ‘Diamond Frost’ and ‘Breathless Brown’ keep producing masses of white blooms throughout the year except in the dead of winter when they slow down a little. Perfect for mass planting, they make excellent fillers. Use them as single specimens in a container or hanging basket. Feed them regularly.
For more ideas and information on any of these best value plants, visit gardensandflowers.co.za