10 Great Landscape Plants - Diamond Frost®
"Gardeners, Do Not Be Fooled" despite her delicate, frilly appearance Diamond Frost® is tough as nails.
I really wanted to call this series of articles "10 Plants Every Gardener Should Try in the Landscape," but this seemed a bit long for a title. Whatever you call them these, 10 plants should be great in landscapes in almost any climate. They were chosen to be heat tolerant, to need limited to no supplemental water and to be easy to care for with no deadheading needed. I've grown them all (most of them repeatedly) and love them!
- Artist® Blue Ageratum
- Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' Buddleia
- Senorita Rosalita® Cleome
- Graceful Grasses® King Tut® Cyperus
- Diamond Frost® Euphorbia
- Dolce® Blackcurrant Heuchera
- Illusion® Midnight Lace Ipomoea
- Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Lantana
- Snow Princess® Lobularia
- Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia
Have you are ever driven through the mountains in Colorado? If you have, you may remember signs that started out "Truckers, Do Not Be Fooled" and then concluded with a message about being careful of the upcoming descent. Well, I was thinking "Gardeners, Do Not Be Fooled" despite her delicate, frilly appearance Diamond Frost® is tough as nails.
When we first decided to introduce Diamond Frost®, way back in 2003, we knew we had a pretty cool plant on our hands, but we didn't really understand just how great she was. It wasn't until we sent her out to the public and university trials in the summer of 2004 that we began to understand just how special she was! That fall the trial reports started to trickle in and I began to notice that this frilly, rather unassuming plant was winning top performance awards from practically every trial. In 2004 alone, she won 30 awards and has continued to add to her trophy shelf with a total of 172 awards and counting from trials in Texas to Quebec and Massachusetts to Oregon - and everywhere in between! By the time she made it to retail garden centers in the spring of 2005, we knew we had an amazing plant on our hands, we just had to convince everyone else of the same thing.
The challenge with Diamond Frost® at the garden center is she doesn't look like she's "all that" when she's sitting there in a 4-inch pot. She might look cute and sweet, but she doesn't look like a plant that will thrive in almost all conditions. In order to really understand just how great Diamond Frost® is, you have to take her home and grow her yourself. Sales for a few plants start out like they were shot from a cannon, Supertunia® Raspberry Blast Petunia was one of those plants. Growers and gardeners alike took one look at the amazing color and we sold millions the first year that she was on the market. She is a great performer and still one of our top selling plants.
Diamond Frost® wasn't like that. She sold reasonably well her first year, but it took about three years before she really got momentum as word spread that she was really great in gardens almost everywhere. She isn't a screaming "look at me" kind of plant, but I've had her in my garden every year since we first introduced her and really can't imagine not having her somewhere in my garden every year.
We always put emphasis on choosing plants with great versatility, but I think Diamond Frost® might be in a category all by herself. She is great in landscapes and containers. She is especially effective in the landscape, when you mass several plants together (photo above, right - Powell Gardens), although a single plant can hold its own too (see photo at left - my garden). She can work at the front edge of a bed or more towards the middle. She will create a mound of dainty white flowers that are forever in motion in the landscape.
In containers, she will gladly mix and mingle with pretty much any plant out there. Baby's breath is a staple of cut flower arrangements. Diamond Frost® serves the same purpose in combination planters - adding fullness and delicate texture. She is also quite attractive when planted by herself in containers.
Diamond Frost® is heat and drought tolerant. I would generally consider her to be a full sun plant and she flowers most profusely with at least 6 hours of sun a day, however, she will also do quite well in shade, although flower power will be decreased in shady conditions. Diamond Frost® will tolerate both poor and rich soils. She does not do well with soils that stay too wet.
Diamond Frost® isn't cold tolerant and really won't flourish until the temperatures heat up a bit. In most climates she will function as an annual, however, you can overwinter her indoors, although she will stretch and get rather leggy. Prune her back in spring when you move her outdoors and she should bounce back quickly.
One last note, if you are allergic or have sensitivity towards latex you should take care when handling Diamond Frost®. The sap of all euphorbias contains a deriviative of latex and could cause issues for anyone allergic to it. A good pair of gloves should alleviate any problems. For those that aren't allergic to latex, it would still be a good idea to wash the sap off of your hands after handling euphorbia plants. Sap should only be a problem when pruning the plant.
Sun/Shade: Prefers full sun (at least 6 hours of sun a day), but will perform admirably in part shade and shade conditions also
Height: Medium, 12-18 inches
Spacing: 10 to 12 inches apart
Habit: Mounded, used as a filler plant for combination planters
Bloom Time: Planting to Frost
Note: Can be overwintered indoors. Like all euphorbias she will exude a sticky sap that contains latex from cut stems. If you have a latex allergy, you should be careful when handling all euphorbias, including Poinsettias.
Artist® Blue Ageratum hybrid 'Agsantis' USPP15,289, Can. 2050; Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' Buddleia hybrid USPP19,991, CPBRAF; Senorita Rosalita® Cleome hybrid 'Inncleosr' USPP19,733, Can. 3290; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia 'Inneuphdia' USPP17,567, Can. 2830; Dolce® Blackcurrant Heuchera hybrid 'PWHeu0109' USPP19,574, Can. 3774; Illusion™ Midnight Lace Ipomoea batatas 'NCORNSP-011MDNTLC' USPPAF, CPBRAF; Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Lantana camara '2003.301' USPP19,706; Snow Princess™ Lobularia hybrid 'Inlbusnopr' USPPAF, CPBRAF; Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001' USPP17,730, Can. 2871