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March 2010
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Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ – how to grow and what are the necessary conditions for its growth.




The new and distinctive cultivar of Brunnera named ‘Jack Frost’ characterized by an intense silver coating on top of the leaves with contrasting green veining and leaf edges, and light blue flowers in the spring, suitable for landscape or potted culture.

Characteristics of Brunnera – Jack Frost

– It forms a clump of heart-shaped silver leaves, delicately veined with mint green.
– Sprays of bright blue Forget-me-not flowers appear in mid to late spring. This is a choice collector’s plant, but an easy-to-grow perennial.
– The foliage reaches heights of 18 inches (45 cm) and forms compact clumps 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm) wide.
– The leaves are cordate to reniform, coarsely pubescent, with long thin petioles basally attached to underground rhizomes.
– The foliage shape, type and structure are the same as the parent ‘Langtrees’, however the surface color of the foliage is coated with a silvery white frosting which covers almost the entire leaf except the primary and secondary veins and a rim around the outer ? to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm) of the leaves, giving the appearance of cracked porcelain.
– The plant is hardy to USDA zone 3. It has no serious pests.
– Brunneras are classic perennials that are treasured for their shade tolerance and lovely blooms.
– A deer resistant ground cover, Brunnera ranks high on our list for texture, form, foliage color, and performance in the shade garden.

Planting Conditions for Jack Frost

– Jack Frost is low-maintenance, requiring partial shade, and it has medium water requirements.
– Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade. Intolerant of dry soils. Prefers consistently moist, organically rich soils in shady areas.
– Sow seeds in container in spring. B. macrophylla should be divided in winter.
– For a tidy plant, remove ragged foliage in late fall and snip off the spent flower stalks in early summer.
– It can take dry summers and wet winters.
– Tissue culture has allowed larger quantities of this variety to reach the market in a relatively short period of time.
– It performs best in a media with both good water-holding characteristics and, more importantly, adequate aeration.
– Jack Frost requires an average amount of irrigation, as it does not tolerate really wet conditions or overly dry conditions.
– In early winter, after the temperatures are consistently below freezing, it is recommended to cover plants with a frost blanket.
– During warm spells, the covers should be removed to let in fresh air and reduce the likelihood of unwanted diseases
– When spring-like conditions arrive and Jack Frost begins to grow, space plants out in the coldframe.

Uses

Specimen, groups or mass as a ground cover. Borders, woodland gardens, naturalized areas or along streams or ponds.





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