How to Plant, Grow and Care for Tovara 'Red Dragon' Plants
An exceptional plant with very striking foliage of burgundy with mint and silver chevrons, aging to dark green with red chevrons. Many white blooms are a wonderful contrast to the foliage.
A beautiful foliage perennial. Pointy heart-shaped leaves are medium green with a silvery V-shaped marking, and a bronze centre. Plants are mounding, bearing sprays of tiny white flowers in late summer. An excellent foliage plant in the border, and especially good in tubs or mixed containers. The gorgeous bronze to plum shades of the leaves blends well with nearly anything! In cold winter climates this plant is well worth growing as a foliage accent, treating it as an annual or wintering indoors in pots
Red Dragon Fleeceflower is an herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.
This perennial will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Red Dragon Fleeceflower is recommended for the following landscape applications;
General Garden Use
Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
Red Dragon Fleeceflower will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This perennial does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This plant can be propagated by division.
Accent: Good Texture/Form
Smartweed, Knotweed, Fleeceflower
Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat)
Height x width: 24" x 30-40"
Growth rate: vigorous but not invasive as many other relatives (sterile so not seed invasive, non-stoloniferous so not root invasive)
Foliage: main feature of this cultivar, being deep burgundy in early spring with dark and mint or white-edged center ("chevron"); in summer may be a blend of burgundy, red and silver; color varies with temperature, being more intense in sun and heat; elongated heart-shaped 1-1.5" wide and 3-4" long; dark red stems and often pink central vein
Flowers: none significant
Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9
Soil: tolerates most including heavy clay
Light: sun or shade
If leaf color fades in summer heat, just cut back for renewed vibrant color!
Space 12–18 inches apart. Perennial.
In spring, the fresh burgundy leaves on reddish stems are marked with a dark centre surrounded by a silvery chevron. As summer progresses, the leaves may become greener but they still have some dark hues and markings. The flowers are insignificant. It needs to be pruned back hard in late winter to allow the new leaves to develop. It may need support from cradle stakes when in full growth and can be trimmed back a bit at any time when it seems to have outgrown its spot. It can grow in sun or part-shaded sites and tolerates most soils. The colour of the leaves complements nearby hot-coloured or blue flowers, and it combines well with silver foliage (such as Plectranthus argentatus) to echo its markings. It also makes a dramatic contrast to gold-leaved plants, such as Duranta 'Sheena's Gold'. It grows very readily from cuttings taken in spring or autumn and the foliage is useful in flower arrangements.
Growing Requirements for Verbena Plants
From the late plantsman Greg Speichert comes this fabulous perennial, which emerges in spring with dark burgundy-red stems that form a 3-4' tall x 4-5' wide plant. Each stem is lined with exquisite, tricolor, chevron-patterned leaves of purple, silver, and green. From midsummer through fall, the tips of the plant are covered in tiny, white baby's-breath-like flowers. Persicaria 'Red Dragon' is great in the perennial border as well as in a mixed container planting. In climates with hot nights, the intensity of the leaf coloration will not be as dramatic. Persicaria 'Red Dragon' is not a runner, but tips that touch the ground may root down if the soil is moist.
Western cottage garden.
Soil Requirements: Average garden soil to well amended soil with good drainage.
Water Use: Medium water-use.
Cut back and clean up once it freezes. Top dress with 1 inch of compost spring and fall.
Height/Width: 3’ – 4’ tall/3’ – 4’ wide
Flower/Foliage Color: Indistinct white flowers. Showy green and red spear shaped and toothed leaves. Red veining and coloration in the leaf center.
Flower Season/Duration: Leaf coloration all season long, white flowers from mid to late summer.
Mature Shape: Tal, upright herbaceous perennial.
The most remarkable quality of Red Dragon Persicaria is its burgundy red patterned leaves and red stems, a plant grown much more for its foliage than flowers. (The flower stalk in the upper right is of Acanthus spinosus.) Not a native (native to China) it will come back if nipped by a late frost and will suffer sunburn in afternoon sun. Red Dragon may take 3 years before flowering, however, that is not a drawback.
Propagating Verbena Plants and Growing them from Seed
Tovara 'Red Dragon'