Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends

Are Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Compatible Garden Friends?

When I first planted tansy and fruity teucrium together in an oddly shaped corner of my flower bed nearest the street, I had four reasons for doing it.

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Tansy and Teucrium First planted in 2013, © B. Radisavljevic

  1. They would fit there.
  2. They could live in poor soil and required little water
  3. They would fill in the space as they grew. 
  4. Their flower colors would be complementary to each other
I wanted to fill in that one small triangle tip. I also had heard that tansy was good for repelling ants, so I thought it might be helpful to have some on hand. (It turned out not to repel my ants.) The teucrium would bloom first with its light purple flowers. The tansy would make its big splash of bright yellow in summer and overshadow the teucrium. 

The plants were tiny, as you can see above, when I planted them in June, 2013. I knew tansy could be invasive, and since I was trying to fill space with something that would smother the weeds, I thought its tendency to take over would serve that purpose. I like to pick my weeds. My plan would have worked better had I realized when I planted that I should have planted these tiny herbs farther apart. 

By August 25, 2015, that triangular corner looked like this. The teucrium swallowed the tiny tansy at the very end, but it still peeks through when it finds a way. The tansy does spread, but it also dies back after it blooms in July leaving these empty spaces. That doesn't stop it from trying to invade the teucrium, though. 

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Tansy and Teucrium by August, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic

Things to Know about Fruity Teucrium and Tansy

The fruity teucrium is also called fruity germander. It flowers bountifully in spring and fall, but not so much in summer while the tansy is in full bloom. It is dearly loved by bees and butterflies. After the flowers bloom, they turn brown, as you can see above. 

Tansy leaves also turn brown in the summer heat, so it's recommended that when that happens one should cut them them to the ground. According to an article I just read about tansy, if this is done early enough, new foliage may grow out and there may even be a new round of blooming. I'll try to remember that this year. For comparison, this is how my little triangle looked on July, 9, 2014.

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Tansy in July, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic

Just so you can get a closer look at the fruity teucrium (or fruity germander), I will show you these photos taken in August, 2015. Here's the whole plant, or at least most of it. These two photos are also part of one of the related articles below. 

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Teucrium by August, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic

Here is a closeup of the fruity teucrium flower. 

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Close-up of Teucrium Flower, August, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic

I took the photo below today, April 23, 2016. The tansy is reemerging and invading the teucrium. In fall I will probably do some root divisions and move some of these plants to where nothing else but weeds and gazanias will grow. I may have made a mistake in believing tansy and teucrium can be garden friends, but I will leave that for you to decide.  

Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends
Tansy and Teucrium Together in April, 2016, © B. Radisavljevic

I share my garden experiments in case the information may help others know what to expect if they do what I have done. Like most home gardeners, I have both successes and failures. I hope something I share in these posts will help you.

Note; Please keep in mind that tansy can be toxic to pets and people. Use it with care.

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Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends

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