Lagerstroemia indica - Crepe Myrtle

Flower Color

Height

Season

Pests

Uses

Propagation

lavender, pink, red white

18"- 60"

summer

powdery mildew, Japanese beetles

perennial border

seed, cuttings


Performance - Crepe myrtle is a common southern shrub/small tree that is hardy in Kentucky, but freezes to the ground during many winters. Because it often freezes to the ground, it can be grown similarly to many other herbaceous perennials in the state. There are few plants that can match its floral performance during the heat of the summer, so it is a good addition to Kentucky landscapes. Crepe myrtle should be grown in full sun locations in well drained soils.

Comments - Seed propagated plants or cutting produced cultivars probably are equal in Kentucky gardens, because both will freeze to the ground most years. The seed propagated plants generally are smaller.


Lamium - Dead Nettle

Flower Color

Height

Season

Pests

Uses

Propagation

yellow, white, pink

8"- 15"

early summer

snails and slugs

edging, ground cover

division, cuttings

Performance - Dead nettles are reliable perennials for Kentucky landscapes.

‘Pink Chablis’

‘White Nancy

The plants grow well in partial shade in soils that are well drained. They are suitable for a woodland area where little else will grow. If the soil is too dry the plant will become straggly and less compact. Plants will become scorched if placed in too sunny of a site.

Comments - This plant can spread quickly in the right growing conditions and may not be suited for planting along with other perennials in a border.

L. galeobdolan - Yellow Archangel (also called Lamiastrum galeobdolan) - 'Herman's Pride', Silver Carpet', 'Variegatum'.
L. maculatum - Spotted Dead Nettle - 'Aureum', 'Beacon Silver', 'Pink Pewter', 'White Nancy'.


Lantana camara - Lantana, Shrub Verbena

Flower Color

Height

Season

Pests

Uses

Propagation

pink, red, orange, white, yellow

18" - 36"

summer

whitefly

border, mass planting, containers

cuttings


Performance - Lantana is a tropical shrub that is grown as an annual plant in Kentucky gardens. These plants should be grown in full sun conditions; they love our summer heat and drought, in well drained garden soils. The flowers are unique because, in many cultivars, they change color as they mature; so individual flower heads will have two or more colors. The reds and oranges are spectacular.

Comments - These plants have small spines along the twigs and leaves, they are pretty coarse to the touch. Lantana is one of the ten worst weeds in the tropical areas of the world, so it is easy to grow. It is not, however, hardy in Kentucky.

Varieties - Results from UK trials in summer 2000.

‘Patriot Rainbow’ - This variety seems too small and too slow growing for garden use in Kentucky.

‘Gold Coin’, ‘Patriot Cowboy’, ‘Tangerine’, ‘Weeping Lavender’, ‘White’ - These varieties are easy to grow and perform well.

‘Confetti’, ‘Dallas Red’, ‘Irene’, ‘Patriot Hot Country’, ‘Patriot Sunburst’ , ‘Pink Caprice’, ‘Radiation’, ‘Rainbow’, ‘Samantha’ - These varieties are easy to grow and perform well. ‘Radiation’ is our favorite because of bright red/orange flowers.

‘Patriot Dove Wing’, ‘Golden Plume’, ‘Lady Olivia’, ‘Miss Huff’, ‘New Red’, ‘Patriot Hallelujah’ - These varieties are easy to grow and perform well but may be too large for many gardens.

 

‘Gold Coin’

‘Miss Huff’

‘Patriot Dove Wings’

‘Patriot Radiation’

‘Samantha’

‘Weeping Lavender’


Lathyrus - Sweet Pea

Flower Color

Height

Season

Pests

Uses

Propagation

pink, red, purple, white, yellow, or blue

4' - 8' vine

early summer

few

trellis or fence

seeds, division

Performance - There are annual and perennial sweet peas that can be grown in Kentucky gardens. These cool season plants will do well in spring and early summer, but deteriorate dramatically during summer heat and drought. Sweet peas grow best in full sun locations with well drained soil.

Comments - Sweet Pea is excellent along a trellis or fence with its delicate and colorful blossoms. There are few plants with such a nice fragrance, sweet but not overwhelming.

Lathyrus latifolius - Perennial Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea - This European native will do reasonably well in the state.
Lathyrus odoratus - Sweet Pea - The annual sweet pea that does well in the spring garden.


 

‘Provenence’

Lavandula - Lavender

Flower Color

Height

Season

Pests

Uses

Propagation

lavender, purple

15"- 30"

summer

few

rock gardens, cut flowers, dried flowers

cuttings, seeds, division


Performance - Lavender can be an excellent and reliable perennial in Kentucky gardens. Variety selection and well drained soils in a sunny location are key to its success. The performance of the better varieties now available should make this plant this plant more common in Kentucky landscapes. In spring, cut the stems just above last year's growing point. This plant can grow undisturbed for an indefinite period of time.

Comments - An aromatic plant that is excellent as a dried flower for arrangements, potpourris and sachets.

Varieties  -
Lavandula angustifolia - Lavender, True Lavender, English Lavender - 'Hidcote', 'Lavender Lady', 'Munstead Dwarf', 'Otto Quast'.
L. x intermedia - 'Provence'.
L. stoechas - French Lavender - 'Goodwin Creek'.