Letting go of this summer’s garden

The year of the Turk’s Cap

Turk's Cap

Turk’s Cap

I shudder to think how many of these things we have planted this year. The problem is, they will not allow me to ignore them. These plants smugly offer so much that I am unable to resist planting them all over the yard.

Here is the quick rundown:

  1. They are drought tolerant
  2. and they aren’t very picky about the kind of soil you plant them in
  3. and they grow well and bloom profusely in the shade
  4. and as if that wasn’t enough — they attract hummingbirds and other pollinators
  5. and they are beautiful plants with dark green foliage and brightly colored blooms.
The Turk's Cap have been blooming in my backyard for months - with no sign of letting up.

The Turk’s Cap has been blooming in my backyard for months – with no sign of letting up.

We planted our first ones about three years ago. Once they were established (one season), they have not required any water. I do water them occasionally, but none of plants appear to suffer much from lack of water.

Turk’s Cap will die back during the winter and trimming them down to the ground has worked because most of the new growth comes from very low on the old stems or from new shoots that spring up. They do spread somewhat, but are easy to control and haven’t been invasive. On the contrary, I usually encourage the spreading in areas where I have planted them and enjoy having the plants fill out and make a nice stand.

Every year we see hummingbirds, bees and wasps on the blooms. We have hummingbird feeders and the Turk’s Cap is one thing that attracts them to our  yard. They also enjoy our salvia and Trumpet Vine.

Turk’s Cap is one plant that I recommend heartily for those in my area (Fort Worth, TX) who are looking for something to plant in shaded areas. Sometimes it seems very hard to find natives that both grow in the shade and bloom and these plants are proving to be virtually indestructible.


The petals of Turk’s cap make an interesting spiral.