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How to Grow and Care for Red Dragon Fleeceflowers

Persicaria microcephala

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsButterfly FlowerNo DeerWhite flowering plantPersicaria microcephalaHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper

The Red Dragon Fleeceflower is a fast growing, low maintenance, spreading perennial that grows 2-3 feet tall, with a 3 foot spread. They are known for their bright red stems and stunning, 3"-4", lance shaped, deep burgundy leaves accented with a central, silver or gray chevron. The foliage color intensifies in full sun or becomes less intense in areas with warm night temperatures, but in all cases the foliage will begin to turn to a coppery or dark green by fall.

Beginning in midsummer and continuing into fall, your Fleeceflower will produce sprays of tiny, white 'Baby's Breath' like flowers standing above the foliage. Both the flowers and foliage are useful in cut flower arrangements. Because their foliage remains dense all the way to the base, Red Dragon Fleeceflowers make good ground cover plants. They are excellent additions to woodland settings or in bog gardens, and are well adapted to growing in planters.
Red Dragons are very tolerant of smog and other urban pollution.

Arf the Garden Gnome

Growing Requirements for Fleeceflower Plants

Red Dragon Fleeceflowers are hardy in USDA zones 4-9.
To grow and look their best, Red Dragon Persicarias should be grown where they will receive full sun to partial shade, except in hot summer regions where they will require protection from the afternoon sun.
They are very tolerant when it comes to soil types and can even be grown in heavy clay, but like most perennials, your Fleeceflower will appreciate the addition of compost to the soil at planting time.
Water regularly and thoroughly, especially during the first year. Red Dragon Persicarias prefer average to constantly wet conditions, and will even tolerate periods of standing water.
Add a topdressing of compost in the spring and again in the fall.
Your Red Dragon should be pruned back hard in late winter or early in the spring, before new growth begins, but it can be trimmed back at any time that you feel the need.

Propagating Red Dragon Persicaria Plants

Red Dragon plants can be propagated by division or with softwood cuttings.
Either method should be undertaken in the spring or fall.

Another way of propagating new plants is by simple layering. This method will only work for Red Dragon Fleeceflowers if the soil remains constantly moist.
Using a piece of stiff wire bent into a U, pin a lower stem to the ground about 6"12" from the tip. Cover the pinned area with soil, then bend the tip sharply into a vertical position and stake it in place.
Roots may take up to a year to develop.

Persicaria microcephala seeds are sterile and are of no use for propagation.

Tovara 'Red Dragon'
Persicaria microcephala
A Red Dragon Tovara Growing in the Garden, Persicaria microcephala The Flowers and Foliage of a Red Dragon Tovara Plant

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