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February 3, 2018

QuestionI went to some trouble to purchase a type of Amsonia that was not hubrichtii.  I can't exactly remember the name, but it might have been the Blue Ice variety.  I have had problems with the three plants I put in just flopping over on the ground and not standing up.  And they are not very vigorous.  I have neighbors with beautiful plants that I believe are hubrichtii.  My question is, should I just take out the plants that aren't performing as I expected and replace them with Amsonia hubrichtii?  Or is something wrong with the site?  They are in a garden bed with mulch and compost, so I believe they should have enough nutrients to do well


I believe you are referring to the larger willow-leaf type of amsonia, Amsonia tabernaemontana.  The hubrichtii forms are the narrow or almost thread-like leaf forms.  I love ‘Blue Ice’ which is closely related to A. tabernaemontana, but is considered its own species.  How much sunlight is your plant getting? If they are in more shade, they can be a bit more floppy.  They do well in full sun, although a little protection from the afternoon sun won’t hurt.  You might try adding a perennial support around it to prevent the flopping, or move them to a sunnier location.


May 2009

QuestionCan you identify a plant for me? It is blooming now with really pretty blue flowers on delicate foliage. The foliage looks like a fern and the flowers are in clusters and light blue.


AnswerThe plant in question is Amsonia hubrictii also commonly called bluestar or Arkansas amsonia. It is a tough perennial for sun to partial shade. In addition to the showy blue flowers in the spring, it has outstanding yellow fall foliage before it dies back in the fall.


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