How to grow and care for a Bishop's Cap plant
The Bishop's Cap or Fairy Wings is an excellent choice to plant in any shade garden.
The lower growing varieties make a great ground cover and 'coverup' for areas which otherwise might remain barren.
These perennials will survive in one of the most difficult situations in the garden; the dry shade beneath a tree.
In time, your Epimedium will become a sizable clump but this growth is slow.
Epimedium plants are hardy in USDA zones 4-8, and range in height from 6 to 20 inches, depending on the cultivar.
The foliage and the flower clusters appear at the ends of separate, black wire-like stems.
The evergreen, heart shaped foliage is attractive the year round. The overlapping 2-3" leaves are light green, but in the spring the new foliage will have a pink to bronze tint.
In the fall, the leaves again become edged in bronze.
The foliage will remain on the plant all winter, if it is planted in a protected location.
The star shaped, four-petaled flowers dangle in clusters when they appear in mid to late spring.
Depending on the species of Epimedium, the flowers may be white, cream, rose, lavender or yellow in color.
Plants should be spaced 10-12 inches apart.
Epimediums spread by means of creeping underground stems, and will form a dense mass once established.
Before the flowers emerge in late winter or early spring, remove all winter damaged stems and foliage, even if this means clipping the plant back to ground level.
Feed your Bishop's Cap in early spring with a good all purpose (10-10-10) fertilizer, or apply a top-dressing of compost.
Propagating Epimedium Plants
Epimediums are propagated by division in the spring or fall months.
A sharp spade will be necessary to cut through the tough underground roots.
They can also be grown from seed, which can be sown indoors at any time of the year, or planted directly into the garden in the spring or fall.
Fairy Wings or Bishop's Caps?
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