Would you like pretty flowers that bloom all summer, return every year AND are drought tolerant?
I can’t wait to introduce you to Jupiter’s Beard (aka, Red Valerian). It’s official botanical name is Centranthus ruber.
If you want long-lasting color, I think it’s one of the best flowers for Colorado, Utah and similar western states. It’s one of my favorites.
Here are just a few reasons to add Jupiter’s Beard to your garden
This flower plant is:
- Easy to grow
- Colorful and showy
- Drought tolerant (this means you don’t have to water it much once its roots are established in your garden — which is awesome in our semi-arid climate)
- Tolerant of hail (it bounces back quickly from light hailstorms)
- Resistant to nibbling deer and rabbits (they tend to skip it for munching)
And it’s a MAGNET for butterflies, bees and moths.
Seriously, it’s like Grand Central Station for pollinators.
I constantly find myself heading back into my house to get my camera because there’s a new butterfly dancing across its flowers.
“Oh, hey there, Swallowtail butterfly!”
The Monarch butterfly in the photo below visited my Jupiter’s Beard plant in October.
(Yep, flowers and butterflies well into October!!)
And its color goes on, and on, and on …
When you’re planning a garden, I think one of the biggest challenges can be finding perennials (the flowers that come back every year) that give you showy color for a long time.
Most perennials only bloom for a few weeks, and then they’re done for the season.
The beauty of Jupiter’s Beard is that it will keep pushing out new flower blooms over the whole summer.
The only catch is that you need to keep up with trimming off the faded blooms, so new buds can grow in.
And if you don’t trim off the dead blooms?
Well, this happy-go-lucky plant will send its seeds EVERYWHERE.
It’s like a birthday card with glitter on it. No many how many times you vacuum, you keep finding more glitter.
Friends, the seeds on this plant are like glitter.
So, put Jupiter’s Beard in a spot you want to fill in with more flowers OR be diligent about trimming off the dead blooms.
You can find Jupiter’s Beard with red, pink or white flowers
The red variety is more of a dark pink than a true red, but it’s still very pretty.
Jupiter’s Beard is happiest when it gets A LOT of sunshine.
It grows well up to elevations of about 9,000 feet.
And if you’re familiar with plant hardiness zones (which tell you whether a plant is likely to survive winter temperatures in your area), Jupiter’s Beard typically grows well in gardens in zones 4-9.
Do you live outside the intermountain west?
If you live in another region of the country, ask at your local garden center whether Jupiter’s Beard can be grown where you live.
Jupiter’s Beard can spread aggressively in maritime regions (like the West Coast), so there are places where it isn’t allowed.
Related tips that may interest you:
- Red Birds in a Tree: A drought-tolerant flower that’s a magnet for hummingbirds
- Pre-planned flower gardens: Beautiful flowers without the overwhelm
- “Where can I learn about waterwise flower gardening?”
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