Lysimachia clethroides, commonly known as gooseneck loosestrife, is pretty; grows well in the shade; and is a great cut flower. When in bloom, the flowers heads resemble a goose’s head, and when a breeze blows through the garden, the whole gaggle bobs up and down.
Growing Gooseneck Loosestrife
The gooseneck loosestrife are growing like crazy my shade garden. And by “like crazy”, what I really mean is these plants are so invasive, that if they could push their way up through the 4 inches of concrete patio, they would! They are spreading everywhere, and as you can see in the photo below, the only thing stopping them is the patio.
A Hardy Perennial
The plant is a very hardy perennial, and as I mentioned, invasive. If you are going to plant lysimachia, keep it in the shade. Any garden area that is edged with concrete or stone will help keep it in check.
The way I tame mine back is, when it is in bloom and I want some for cut flowers, I simply yank it up by the roots! It comes back the next year anyway – regardless of much I pick in the summer or how many feet of snow gets piled on them in the winter.
Once the first blooms start to turn brown, snip them off (that’s called deadheading) and you will get another round of flowers on the plants.
You can tell when lysimachia needs water, as the 2 to 2 1/2′ tall plants will start to droop. Mine don’t need water too often because the shade garden is shaded by two huge oak trees.
The entire shade garden is planted with only white flowers and foliage plants that have white in the leaves. The garden started as an experiment, and I’m really happy with the results! White flowers can still be seen as it gets dark out, and that is exactly what I wanted for the garden surrounding the patio. The lysimachia started out as just ONE small plant, and now most of the white garden is filled in with it.
Perfect for a Flower Arrangement
Here in Connecticut, gooseneck loosestrife blooms in early July – just in time for a red, white & blue flower arrangement for the 4th of July! Here I arranged the lysimachia with some red monarda, and used a cobalt blue vase.
After picking the flowers, be sure to strip off any leaves that would be under water. Leave the top foliage on the stem, and you won’t need any other greens for your arrangement.
Gooseneck loosestrife are pretty much a perfect plant! (Aside from the invasive part.) Low maintenance; you can’t kill them; and they are a long-lasting cut flower that’s easy to arrange!