On Gardening: Rush for Blue Mohawk to Be Your Container Suspense Plant | Gardening

An exhibit at Young’s Plant Farm’s recent annual garden tour caused a stir, not only in the industry that day, but also on my Facebook page. I’d love to take credit and say it was my beautiful photograph, but to be honest, when you look at a planting and say something like “oh wow!”, it’s still the plants. The display was really a trio of winners who came together. And the cream of the crop was Blue Mohawk rush, or Juncus.

I would like to take you back in time about 15 years ago. I was coordinator of the Mississippi Medallion Award program for Mississippi State University. In our trials we have examined several species of Juncus, but mainly Juncus inflexus, the native J. effusus and other varieties. They all did exceptionally well. We did something a little odd when we chose “the Juncus species” as the winner of the Mississippi Medallion Award for 2008, along with Diamond Frost spurge and All Around Purple gomphrena.

At this time, there was a new trend in Southern landscapes called the dry creek. It was the perfect remedy for areas where you needed to drain water from the house. All embellished with river rocks and plants, the dry creek not only solved a problem, but became a real eye-catcher in the landscape. As you might guess, the bulrush, or Juncus species, has become a plant of choice.

A few years later, Proven Winners began entering Blue Mohawk, a variety of Juncus inflexus, for trials. This strain has won Top Performer 42 times; if your state had a lawsuit, Blue Mohawk was probably the winner. But Proven Winners showed us how elegant the plant is as a thriller in mixed containers. A dozen years later, new recipes continue to conquer the world.

Such was the case on June 7, when Blue Mohawk stood so picturesquely surrounded by Heart to Fast Flash Caladiums and Sweet Caroline Medusa Green Sweet Potatoes. Of course, you’re always welcome to let Blue Mohawk fix landscape issues where they’re needed, but now Blue Mohawk has moved into the fine art category.

Consider the relatively new recipe called Misty Seas, which was also seen at Young’s Plant Farm. It includes Supertunia Mini Vista Indigo, Supertunia Mini Vista Violet Star and Supertunia Mini Vista White – all winners and, as you might guess, surrounding the Blue Mohawk. It could be the perfect choice for your porch, patio or deck.

Mohawk blue rush is considered a warm season grass. It can be a perennial from zones 5a to 9b, or treated as an annual, which many mixed container designers do. In the landscape, you may wish to let it endure. They will reach 24 to 36 inches tall with a 12 inch spread. As a perennial, it has the ability to slowly spread through underground rhizomes. Once the frost has induced a winter dormancy, you can leave the stems to add winter interest. Once spring arrives and growth is eminent, cut the stems back to ground level.

The rush is on for the long growing season ahead, and I promise you couldn’t find a more scenic thriller for your mixed containers than Proven Winners Graceful Grasses Blue Mohawk. Just know that you will make your gardening friends jealous!

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