Centranthus Ruber Ground Cover
Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian)
Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian) is a hardy clump-forming, bushy perennial with graceful blue-green, semi-evergreen foliage. The masses of small, funnel-shaped, pinky-red scented flowers are produced in dense clusters from Spring through to Autumn.
Incredibly easy to grow, Centranthus ruber ground cover look best grown en-masse on banks, or when allowed to self-seed between the cracks in walls and paving. Very long flowering, these hardy perennial plants form a handsome, bushy mound, with succulent-like leaves that contrast perfectly with the vibrant flowers. They are perfect for a wildflower garden, attracting bees and butterflies and other pollinating insects galore. Partner them with other wildflower plants such as Scabious or Erigeron karvinskianus for a natural planting effect with plentiful colour that lasts for months.
Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian) grows best in full sun or partial shade and in any soil that doesn’t become waterlogged in winter. Dead head them after flowering if you want to avoid too much self-seeding.
As a rough guide when planting Centranthus ruber as ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
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How to grow Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian)
Position: Full sun, partial shade
Soil and site: Well-drained – almost any soil except waterlogged
Flowering time: Late Spring to late Autumn
Growth rate: Fast growing
Ultimate height and spread: Height to 80cm, spread to 45cm
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: In early Spring cut back the previous years’ growth to ground level