Growing Lysimachia (Gooseneck Loosestrife)

Latin Name Pronunciation: lye-sim-ak'ee-uh     

A large and attractive group of perennials, some tall, with elegant, arching flower spikes and others of ground-cover stature. They prefer moist soils, where most will spread rapidly from underground stems. Despite this aggressive reputation, many garden species are more restrained, and their long-blooming, showy flowers are an indispensable part of summer borders and bouquets.

Light/Watering: Full sun or part shade. Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye on the plant over the following week. After the first week, give a new plant a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1" per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Please note that more is not better. When in doubt, don't water.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Not fussy about soil. Although Loosestrife prefers moist, well drained soil, it tolerates poor drainage; it is less vigorous and therefore less invasive in dry soil. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. We fertilize perennials just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 10-10-10 or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Some taller species may require staking. Deadheading after flowers fade helps prevent unwanted seedlings. Divide in spring or fall. Pests are rarely a problem; occasionally rust or leaf spot might occur.

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