Mars Midget Knautia
Burgundy/ maroon pin cushion-like blooms averaging 1″ across. Flowers heavily end of May through June then sporadically until frost. Deadheading promotes repeat blooms and tidies up overall appearance. Very attractive when in bloom.
Foliage interest – color/texture
Foliage presents with neat clean, silvery green basal mounds round out as the season progresses. Evaluators agreed this plant can look a little ratty at times due to its loose habit. No disease or pest problems.
Habit and growth rate observations
Compact but inconsistent growth habit. All evaluators agreed that this plant has a leggy and loose habit and is a slow grower. The average size after 3 years was 18″ x 15″ There is little evidence of reseeding but is not bothersome.
Site preference – soil & light
Performs well in full sun and light shade. Withstands several soil conditions from clay to loam and dry to moist. This is an excellent plant for tough spots.
Successes and possible drawbacks – how to overcome them
This cultivar has a better habit and stays within its growing space unlike the straight species. Plant tends to lack luster out of bloom so removal of the spent blooms will keep this plant looking fresh.
Notes from growers/retailers
Easy to grow in a container yet slow to fill out. Even though it is a low maintenance grower too much water will rot the crown. For retailers, this is a hard sell when not in flower.
Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Salvia, Coneflower. Best planted by, or intermingled with perennials that support or serve as a backdrop. Consider white or pastel perennials so burgundy flowers will really stand out.
Parting SHOT – the overall evaluation results were Good***
Very attractive plant in bloom and recommended as a team member versus a specimen in the garden.. The flower color and long bloom time are also noteworthy.