Choosing the Best Gentian Variety

Plants & Flowers
Gentian Varieties

Since there are many different Gentian varieties, there are many choices you can make. Your choice will depend on the role you want Gentians to play in your garden, as well as growing conditions you can provide to them.

Numerous Varieties

Gentians have about 800 species and numerous hybrids. Many of them are grown for their gorgeous blue flowers or as primary plants in the garden. However, keep in mind that some varieties make excellent edging plants.

Other varieties are great for landscape design, particularly in those gardens that have pools. Some verities of Gentians are great for the bog garden.

Gentians are not weak plants but they might be a bit tricky to grow. They don't like summer heat and most varieties require to be firmly set. Some varieties, such as Alpine Gentians, dislike to be disturbed, so this is one thing to keep in mind if you choose this variety.

It is also possible to choose more than one variety for your garden. Also, if you find that it is very difficult to grow a particular variety of Gentians in your garden, you may try another one. Keep in mind that these plants require care and dedication so you need to be patient with them.

Common Gentian Varieties

Spring Gentians have star like flowers. These flowers look better in a mass than in individual plantings, so make sure to plant plenty of them. These Gentians bloom during April and May. This variety tends to be small, 3 inches in height and 4 in diameters. They have small green leaves that are spoon-shaped. The best place to plant them is a bi acid leafy medium or peaty loam.

Gentiana Aestive (Gentian angulosa) has large flowers and a more solid form. It also has a longer period of bloom so it's not surprising to see it flowering in the fall. This Gentian variety is also more tolerant of various gardening conditions.

Gentiana bavarica is a beautiful variety that has leaves with a shade of yellow in the green. This variety is water-loving so it's ideal for wet soils.

Gentiana saxosa is a common variety in New Zealand. It is the most popular of the white Gentians. This is a low plant that grows about 3 inches in height. It has flowers in the shape of white cupped stars. This variety flowers in July and August. The best soil to grow it is neutral.

Photo credit: Peter Stevens

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