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Showy sunroses add zest to spring gardens.

See, choose, plant, and enjoy them, all this month

Cascading brilliantly over walls, rocks, or anywhere you want color, sunroses (Helianthemum) add to a garden what a strong spice adds to a meal: zest and pungency. They put on a big show in spring and continue to bloom, though less splashily, over several months. And when the colors depart, the 6-to 8-inch plants (spreading to 3 feet) display neat green or gray foliage year-round.

Sunroses are growing in popularity in the West because they need water only two or three times a month in summer. They're flowering at nurseries now in 1-gallon pots (priced at $4 to $8). Choose your colors--varieties include orange 'Prima Donna', yellow 'Wisley Primrose', pink 'Rose', and white 'St. Mary's'--and set out plants now, too.

Pick a sunny spot with good drainage; plants won't do well with lots of water. If you are combining them with shrubs or other flowers, just make sure those don't need much water either, or you'll have healthy sunroses but parched neighbors. For a ground cover, space plants 2 to 3 feet apart.

Then watch the sunrose: within days, clusters of 1-inch blossoms will cover the low mounds. Though each lasts only a day, flowers should open through June (later in the Northwest), with scattered bloom all summer. To encourage repeat flowering in fall and keep plants tidy, shear after spring bloom.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Lincowski, Emely
Publication:Sunset
Date:Apr 1, 1993
Words:231
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