Obedient plant -- need your advice please

Madre1(z4 Twin Cities)May 20, 2005

I just bought an obedient plant, but after researching it, I'm wondering if I want to plant it. I can contain it in a sunny area. How long and when does it bloom? Suggestions?

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Paul_TC_MN_4(Zone 4)

Regardless of the type (white or pink) that you obtained, a sunny position is best. Does not like wet feet during winter, so well-draining soil is good. Bloom time is late summer (August for me in a west facing garden, early August for the south facing one). I've had mixed blooming success depending on the year (amount of sun seems to affect early growth, so bloom can be really late or not many blooms). Good luck with your clump!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 11:30PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

I am trying to remove every last litle bit of mine- and it is taking years. It loves where I planted it as is taking over the whole 8'x12+' bed by root runners. I cut all the flowers to be sure it won't compound the problem with self seeding- which it also does.
Now- on the other hand- I know people who love their obedient plants and say they spread like a monarda or evening primrose- rapidly, but still able to controll by lifting and dividing. Those people have somewhat clay-ish soil under their amended beds, if I remember correctly.
I have to believe them- but it is hard to-
Mine is a green plant with soft light pink flowers in a sandy loam soil.
I hope you will enjoy your plant- or find something even better for you!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 11:32PM
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dentaybow(Z3A MN)

I have the same experience as Julie. Worked again this spring at diggin out the last (hopefully) remnants of the green-leafed varieties of Physotegia. I don't care if they call it Miss Manners or whatever....it is extremely invasive in my sandy loam soil. Well behaved for about two years...Then look out! Those root runners are everywhere.

The variegated version of this plant is not invasive. Have had that for years and years and it stays nicely in place.

Kinda surprised to hear that it doesn't like 'wet feet'. This plant is native on wet ground in our lowlands.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 5:57AM
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Yep- digging mine out too. First I gave it another chance in a real rocky bed where I was having trouble getting anything to grow but it just won't stay in it's area. The runners actually went under weed block fabric and came up 5 feet away with my baptisia.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 9:29AM
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As Julie noted some people like Obedient plant, I am one of them. I do have clayish soil under my beds too. I have had my white obedient for three years and it is slowly spreading for me. Now watch after I say this, I will go out to the garden tonight and it will be everywhere!

Julie - If you didn't rid yourself all your pink obedient at your sale, like I said, I will take some to mix in with my white. As you know I need spreading stuff up at the lake.

If anyone else has obedient other than white, bring it to the June swap and I will take it.

See ya

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 7:56AM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Come and get it!!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 4:49PM
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I am new here...I love my Obiedient plant...mine is a beautiful lavendar...I have had it for years...and it spreads but nothing like I am reading here...I have clay and rock soil...it's terrible soil...it has taken me years to get good soil in all my gardens....I have planted it in Sun..sun/shade and total shade...and it seems to grow beautifully everywhere.....so where is this swap meet...and what's the date and details...I live in the Prior Lake/ Savage area....I love this website....

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:30PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Oh Michele-
You just missed the spring swap! The swap was posted in the exchange part of this forum- Click the little blue colored "exchanges" just above the beginning of the posts in the column- There are different ones happening through the year though- and several to come this fall!
Hope to meet you at one -

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 6:45AM
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Well I am starting to get the hang of this web-sit...it's great..unbelievable...it was recommended to me by someone on my on-line book club...we are a group of women who belong to the Maud Hart Lovelace ...Betsy Tacy Society...I wouldn't mention this on here except Maud was a Minnesota author ..born in the late 1800's...who was born and raised in Mankato Minnesota..I read her Betsy Tacy books as a child and her stories have stayed with me my whole life....I first got on here because I had questions about Heirloom tomatoes...I have already learned a tremendous amount about them...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 10:10PM
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magazinewriter(z5 Mich)

I am very happy with my obedient plant. They are located between a brick walkway and the house, with some lovely white-blooming hosta between the obedient plant and the house. Although they have filled the bed nicely, they are obviously not going to knock down the house or the bricks -- or the hosta. I dig out some every couple of years and give them away.
They are in part sun and bloom pink in mid-late August, at the same time as the hosta. At other people's houses, where they are in full sun, they seem to bloom earlier.
My only problem with them is that some insect begins eating the leaves in May/June. But, as soon as I see a couple of holes, I spray with all-purpose insecticide. One thorough spraying controls the insects for the rest of the summer.
I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 10:44AM
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Greenthumb(Zone 5a, MN)

I think that I have finally eradicated every last piece of obedient plant from my garden, but it has taken years.

If you have heavy clay soil, the plant will not be too aggressive, but in a good loamy soil - look out! This plant is anything but "obedient"!

Good luck (and don't say we didn't warn you... (:o)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 12:26PM
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I just went and bought another Obiedient plant...white this time at a buy 1 get one free sale....My other plants were all started from one little plant...and divided...and divided...it is in every garden in my yard.... the first one is lavender....I want to find pink next...I stated before that I have clay soil..with millions of rocks...our house sits where the top of a hill once was and anyway...I LOVE the Obedient plant...>^,,^

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 9:11PM
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spartangardener(z4 MN)

I put divisions of my most aggressive one in the most toxic part of a garden that I have that's next to a walnut, thinking that either a) the walnut would keep the OP under control, or that b) the OP would fill in where everything else has croaked or failed to bloom. So far the OP is winning!

I have three different colors, and I had blooms into November last year on the one that's in nearly full shade.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 11:31PM
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So how many colors of the OP are there? I have the Lavender and white...and I know the pink.....is that it for colors....I also had OP blooming into November last year...when almost everything else was done for the season it kept going and going and going..I have it in the Sun ...Sun/Shade and total shade....it does good in all of the locations....not quite as good in the total shade......Michele >^,,^

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 5:08PM
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spartangardener(z4 MN)

I've seen two shades of pink. I have a light pink, and I've seen one that was more of a bright carnation pink. I also have a true lavender, and a white.

I'll forgive it a lot seeing as it blooms that late in November in the Twin Cities. That and the alyssum were pretty much the only things still going at that late date.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 10:31PM
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pretty_ize(z5 Ohio)

Anybody got any good advice on how to get rid of this stuff. I dug up the whole obediant plant, and got little shoots everywhere. It's like the energizer bunny, it keeps going and going...LOL....

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 11:39AM
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After planting two( I know, why did I buy and plant two), last year, I learned how invasive these plants are this spring. I dug out the two 'mother' plants and all of the smaller plants popping up away from the mothers. Because it was difficult to always get all of the root when pulling/digging, I decided to to begin painting Roundup on the new babies coming up. After a couple of months the babies stopped popping up and I am happy to say that I am now obedient plant free.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 3:46PM
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Gosh...count me as another person who honestly loves the plant. It is so beautiful in bloom; but I do have heavy clayish soil too.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:31AM
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I just purchase my first Miss Manners Obedient Plant & was thinking about getting 2 more. Should I keep it in the pot when I plant it, or can I plant it right in the ground? Live in Florida, zone 9b. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 5:54PM
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Mine are facing southwest and are in part shade with dryish, not so well draining soil. These conditions are not optimal for this plant. I could probably get more flowers over a longer period if their position were sunnier with a bit more humidity. But I think this is the key to it not spreading too much. My obedient plant spreads so little each year that it is very easy to manage. I cut it back after it's done blooming in fall and I pull out out-of-place new growth in spring. That is all I do and it has never attempted to take over.

I think the key is to grow this plant in conditions that stray somewhat from what would be ideal. It will still bloom nicely and for a long time, but it will also fill out its spot slower.

A word of advice, though. If you grow this in anything less than full sun, stake it. Mine never get floppy but they do have a tendency to try and reach for the sun, which results in stems lying down and stretching across the ground in order to achieve this. So, stake them. If you cut them back halfway in July, you'll get shorter plants that will not be as floppy without affecting the number or quality of flowers later.

This is one of my favorite plants in my front yard, and it would be a pity to avoid planting it for fear of it taking over. If you can ensure to grow this in less than ideal conditions, it will behave.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:31AM
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I want to know if i can make a obedient plant into a house plant since i do not grow a garden and i rent a home i need house plants and i don't have any i got two obedient plants at a plant sale at a local library for .50 a peace they were not dead it was a donational raffel thing and i purchased these plants i wanted to know can i use them as house plants and stick them on the porch or will they die?i don't have house plants and i am not great at plants all together i do not have a green thumb so any advice let me know thanks!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Count me as another one that pulled every bit of it I can.
I planted about 20ish from freebies from a friend.....It seemed to seed everywhere ina garden area 4 X 20....pulled up so many...and watching for more to crop up....will be painting with roundup...very good idea...thanks....
On a side note....it grew in clay soil with no problems.....was very happy in a funky place....shaded....by fruit trees....and only got full sun for about 3 hours....and against a wall so no afternoon sun....and it went wild...very very very very wild.....

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:33PM
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I was given some plants last year. I read in other gardening website it was a plant that would take over a
garden so, I planted it across the road in the wetlands instead of my lake shore restoration becasue I didnt want it takeing out the grasses and native plants I have in there or the water plants along the shore line.
It bloomed white this year abut the flowers do not look like
any iv seen in photos here. I wish I could post a photo to show you and maybe you could tell me if it really is an obedient plant as it was marked. I got it from a nursery that does native planting, shore lines etc. It looks like a phlox to me but the leaves look the obedient plant not a phlox leaf Can I send you a photo by email I dont do HTML

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:15PM
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I love mine. It does spread, but that's why I plant perennials so they fill the beds...i also am just starting out with vegetable gardening and it helps to attract bees to my yard. With the shortage of bees nowadays I think they are a wonderful addition to my yard. But I also have rocky clay so it spreads, but isn't uncontrollable...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 2:42PM
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