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Twisted Plants

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Friday, December 7, 2018 - 7:00am

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist

Transcription:

The fall and winter seasons can really show off some twisted plants found in the landscape today on Southern Gardening.

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Plants that have twisted or contorted features are fantastic at drawing attention to themselves and to the landscape especially in the fall and winter. Probably the first contorted plant that I found interesting, along with many other gardeners, I’m sure, is Harry Lotter’s Walking Stick. This is a member of the Filbert family that is actually a slow-growing shrub having twisted stems, branches, and even leaves. This is a fine specimen during the summer months but really stands out in the winter months. The plant is grafted so care must be taken when doing any type of pruning.

Corkscrew Willow is a fast growing landscape plant that will reach up to fifty feet tall and twenty-five feet wide. Corkscrew Willow tolerates heavy pruning to control its size. The pruning has the additional effect of adding tight, compact growth. Floral designers prize the twisty and curvy stems and branches for winter arrangements. Contorted White Pine is a plant that doesn’t have twisted branches but does have twisted needles. The clusters of evergreen, curly needles provide interest all year long.

When planting in the landscape, consider the background as this will help to accentuate the curviness of the branches and stems. Planted against the solid background like a garden wall is a good choice. Or in northern Mississippi, where an occasional snow will blanket the ground, the contorted stems will stand out and be highlighted by the white background.

Contorted plants are unique and are great focal points for interest in the landscape. Consider finding a special place in your landscape for twisted plant material.

I am horticulturist Gary Bachman with Southern Gardening.

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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