Hummelo Stachys-Perennial of the Year for 2019

Hummelo Stachys-Perennial of the Year for 2019
Gardeners can’t go wrong if they choose Stachys Hummelo. This perennial was
named the 2019 Perennial of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association.

Hummelo has so many admirable qualities that make it an ideal garden plant for busy gardeners. The plant is resistant to deer and rabbits. It is also free of pests and diseases.

This outstanding plant has some tolerance to drought as well. However, to keep the plant blooming well and looking its best, watering is helpful during dry periods.

Hummelo is recommended for zones four through eight. Most soils are suitable so long as they’re well drained. A moist, well drained soil is preferred. Yet, this adapts to a range of soils from poor to rich ones as well as average ones.

Space these plants about a foot to 1½ feet apart. Full sun to part sun is suitable. Some afternoon shade is ideal. This reliable, easy to grow plant is a good choice for perennial beds and borders, mass plantings, ground covers, edgings, and containers as well as wild or natural gardens.

Hummelo benefits from being divided every couple years or so. The plants are available from Bluestone Perennials, Well Sweep Herb Farm, and White Flower Farms.

Besides being named Perennial of the Year, Hummelo has garnered other honors as well. It was the top ranking plant in a trial of over twenty types of Stachys. In a trial at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, the various kinds of Stachys were ranked according to their hardiness, growth habit, vigor, strong flowering habits, uniformity, reblooming without deadheading, and no reseeding.

At the end of the growing season, the flower stems with their seed heads can be left standing in place to add some seasonal interest during the winter months.

Hummelo forms a rounded clump that slowly spreads by means of creeping stems. The plant is 18 to 20 inches in height with a matching spread.

A member of the mint family, this perennial features a square stem. Although it is related to the commonly grown lamb’s ears, Hummelo looks quite different.

This plant features opposite, crinkled, ovate, shiny leaves. They’re vivid green. The basal leaves are scalloped. In warm climates, the foliage can be evergreen.

Hummelo is best known for the spectacular vivid blossoms. These emerge on two foot tall wiry stems, which can be used as a cut flower.

The showy blossoms, which are typically magenta to lavender-rose or purplish-rose, appear on crowded spikes that are largely devoid of leaves.
They open for a long period from late June into fall. Pollinators are especially fond of these flowers.

Hummelo was selected and introduced by Ernst Pagels, a German grower, during the late 1990’s. The plant is classified as a cultivar of Stachys although experts disagree as to what the Latin species name is.

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