Plant Pick: Lithodora diffusa

I found a beautiful blue alpine plant.

This one is an alpine plant for growing in a trough (Bingo!), but most of the info and notes I can find say that it prefers acidic soil. Not alkaline. Hmmm…

Using my hypertufa planters or pots as my vessels for these plants, I think I can solve that with a well-weathered trough. I can use one next spring to plant this Lithodora, but it will have sat outside all winter and through all the fall and winter rains. I can even give it a little spritz of diluted vinegar in between the wet times.

Blue plants are a favorite of mine so this Lithodora diffusa fits perfectly in my garden. It is also listed as a Blue Lithospermum.

I hope I will be able to locate this plant. It may be something I will need to order through my local nursery or over the internet. That will be my intention probably about early March. Giving it a few weeks to get here, I will be able to plant it in late May and keep it in my greenhouse (not a heated one) for a few nights here and there.

The information on this plant is given as:

  • Exposure: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: neutral to acid
  • Height: 4-6 inches
  • Spread: 12-18 inches
  • USDA zone: 5-9
  • Bloom time: Late spring to late summer
“Lithodora diffusa 2” by Ghislain118 (AD) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Lithodora is a sprawling and spreading plant so I think it will be perfect for my hypertufa troughs. Foliage is described as grey green and hairy and the flowers are small and described as a vivid blue similar to a gentian. And I love my gentian! Recommendations say to put a light covering of evergreen needles after the soil freezes. I already do this for my hostas so that won’t be a problem. The two white pines near my shade garden shed needles all the time. They make a nice mulch for the beds.

Don’t all gardeners spend all winter dreaming about what we will plant next year? Do you have your garden catalogs yet? What about those seed orders?  But we have to do this when we can’t get out in the garden, right?

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