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Diamond Frost euphorbia earns '08 Medallion award
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Move over, New Gold lantana, and make room for Diamond Frost euphorbia.
In 1996, the Mississippi Plant Selections Committee chose New Gold lantana as a Mississippi Medallion Award winner. It became the standard for all others and one plant that many gardeners thought would never be matched in toughness. Now, we have a plant to give New Gold lantana a run for its money.
The same awards committee has named the Diamond Frost euphorbia as a 2008 Mississippi Medallion Award winner. Don't let the name euphorbia throw you. It is related to poinsettias and copper plants, but it is one of the most persevering flowers available.
Though small in stature -- reaching about 12 to 18 inches tall and wide -- the Diamond Frost always has hundreds of tiny white flowers. I often tell gardeners that growing Diamond Frost is like having a Grancy Greybeard for the ground.
For best blooming, select a location with as much sunlight as possible, although some shade is acceptable. Prepare the bed well so the rugged plant will establish quickly and get happy in your flowerbed. If you are plagued with tight, heavy clay, incorporate 3 to 4 inches of organic matter like compost, humus or peat to loosen the soil and improve drainage and aeration. Plant at the same depth they are growing in their container, 10 to 12 inches apart.
Diamond Frost is an environmentally friendly addition to the landscape and is virtually pest free. By “pest free” I am including deer; one of its outstanding traits is that it is deer resistant.
It is not a big water user, either. Add mulch after planting and allow its soil to dry before re-watering. Overly moist soils and overwatering can be fatal. You might think that a plant with this many flowers would need some deadheading, but it is self-cleaning and maintenance free.
The white flowers let it combine with any other color of flower for a dazzling display. It can be used in any style of garden from the tropical to the traditional and in baskets or containers.
Try growing Diamond Frost with the showy Intensia Neon Pink phlox, or for a creative bed of differing textures, grow with the spiky Victoria Blue salvia and the grassy Evergold Carex. Use it as a filler plant for a baby's breath-like look in mixed containers with other Mississippi Medallion award winners like Dragon Wing begonia and melampodium.
Diamond Frost is the 46th winner in this award program. The Mississippi Medallion award program is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Mississippi Plant Selections Committee.
You've wanted a plant that is as tough as the New Gold lantana, and now you've got it in the 2008 Mississippi Medallion Award winning Diamond Frost euphorbia. Look for it now at garden centers everywhere.