This deciduous perennial forms rounded clumps of succulent, green leaves on light pink, fleshy stems from spring. The flower buds are the same green colour as the leaves, opening out into clusters of deep pink flowers from late summer into autumn. The flowers’ colour darkens as they age.
What to use it for
This plant is drought tolerant, so a good choice for dry locations or areas which are difficult to water in the summer. It can be used in a wide variety of situations and its striking appearance makes it suitable for a range of styles. It can be grown in beds or borders, gravel/rock gardens and in containers. The flowers provide a late source of nectar for bees and butterflies making it a useful addition to a wildlife garden. The seedheads remain intact over winter so this is also a good choice for a winter garden. The fresh or dried flowers are used in flower arranging.
How to look after it
Benefits from being divided every few years to keep it growing vigorously and prevent it ‘flopping’ out from the centre as older plants tend to do.
How to prune it
Cut back down to ground level after flowering, although you may wish to leave doing this until early spring as the seedheads provide winter interest.
You may wish to carry out the ‘Chelsea chop’ in late May or early June; cutting the stems down by a third to a half in order to get a larger number of flowers (albeit smaller ones) on a more compact plant (this can also help prevent the plant ‘flopping’ out from the centre). You may wish to just cut back 1 in 3 stems, or only the stems at the front of the plant, to get a mixed height effect.
How to propagate it
This plant is sterile so it can’t be propagated by seed.