University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants

Sun Coleus

Solenostemon scutellarioides Coleus in a sunny bed? Unheard of…until now. Long grown for colorful foliage in shade, newer varieties pass the hot sun test with flying colors, literally. In red, lime, peach, yellow, burgundy, pink--all shades at the warm end of the spectrum--plus patterns and frilly-...

Coral honeysuckle

Coral Honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens You can have hummingbirds sipping nectar, when you grow the tubular flowers of this showy native vine. Clusters of blooms appear in spring and continue for weeks. Each 1-2” flower blends coral, pink and yellow tones, fun to match with other flowers. The way the blue-green...

Annual vinca, Madagascar periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus ‘Cascade Lilac’ Low maintenance, good drought tolerance, and easy availability all help popularize annual vinca (not to be confused with Vinca major or Vinca minor , the evergreen ground covers.) A Madagascar native, annual vinca grows 1 ½ feet tall and wide, blooming...

Blue-eyed grass

Sisyrinchium angustifolium This native is not a true grass but a member of the iris family, a small blue-eyed beauty that should not be missed. Growing about 12 inches tall, this clump-forming perennial features narrow grass-like leaves and violet-blue flowers with a yellow center that appear on...

Okra

Photo by HGIC
Abelmoschus esculentus Recognize that beautiful flower? It’s gumbo i.e., okra. Okra may be an acquired taste, but once acquired, there is nothing like okra. Nutritionally, okra is a good source of vitamins B and C, magnesium and fiber. Direct seed okra in a sunny garden on Mother’s Day. Later, thin...

Strawberries

Photo by HGIC
Fragaria x ananassa Everyone has special strawberry memories or recipes. Strawberries are easy to grow and Maryland's climate is ideal for growing them. So…join the club! Grow strawberries in containers or in the ground. Choose a sunny location with organically enriched, well-drained soil (they do...

Deutzia

Deutzia gracilis An absolutely carefree shrub, deutzia delights with graceful sprays of delicate white flowers in midspring. At the highly-sought-after height of 2-4 feet, deutzia quickly grows to a broad flowing mound that reaches down to the ground and won’t need mulching. Its slender leaves...

Tiarella, Allegheny foamflower

Tiarella cordifolia Tiarella is royalty among native ground covers. Attractiveness peaks in late spring with bottlebush flowers arise with dainty white to pink “stars” on dark flower stalks. The maple leaf-shaped foliage slowly spreads to form a mat of overlapping leaves about 6-10 inches above the...

Lenten rose, Helleborus

Helleborus orientalis Helleborus flowers last for an incredibly long time--late winter to May--with petals in smoky purple, speckled mauve, white, and pastel green. Even in summer, the tough blooms persist, faded but indestructible. Happily, deer usually snub the foliage and flowers. The leathery...

Apostle plant, Walking Iris

Neomarica gracilis This is probably one of the easiest plants to grow both indoors and out, and one of the oddest. Its twelve sword-shaped leaves appear as a fan. Each leaf develops an exotic flower like a cross between an iris and an orchid. It lasts only one day, but the numerous blooms continue...

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