Native bees, bumblebees, honeybees, moths and butterflies love the nectar-rich flowers. And many beneficial insects are associated with Fernbush. But unlike lilacs that have little to offer after blooming, Fernbush flowers are followed by attractive bronze seed heads that adorn the plants through winter, catching the snow and providing pleasing muted-brown color in the dormant seasons. Small seed-eating birds also feed on its copious seed set in the fall.
PLANTING TIPS: This is a tough, durable plant. It is a robust grower all across the western US and Great Plains. It thrives in most soil types and does well when irrigated with drip irrigation systems (not the case for some native shrubs). And it takes no pruning to keep it looking nice and tidy. Just deadhead the old seed heads in early spring. Fernbush is very cold hardy and gets a good jump on next growing season by planting it in the fall. This establishes its root system and lets it grow larger the first year than the same size plant planted in spring.
Lamb's Ears ~
ABOUT THIS PLANT:Classic spring-flowering shrubs, lilacs produce abundant, colorful flower clusters with a sweet, memorable fragrance.Lilacs are hardy, easy care plants, and the fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to butterflies. Flower colors include blue, lavender, pink, red, purple, yellow, and white, depending on the variety. Most lilacs grows 5 to 15 feet tall and wide, depending on variety. Lilacs are easy care/low maintenance, fragrant, attract butterflies and are great for cut flowers.
PLANTING TIPS:Select a site with full sun and moist, well-drained soil.Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on variety. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you've removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don't amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.
CARE:Apply a layer of compost under the plant each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer ofmulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Prune lilacs immediately after flowering, removing dead and broken branches, then cutting back as necessary to maintain the desired size and shape. Overgrown lilacs can be pruned back by as much as one third.