Plants to Help Any Landscape Challenge

July 25, 2011

Deer? Steep slope? Small space?   These plants can help solve your landscape or garden challenge!


Festival™ Burgundy cordyline, Flower Carpet® roses, Tropicanna® cannas among solutions


Do deer think your garden is their personal salad bar? Do you have a slope so steep and dry, the plants fry in the sun and wash out in the rain? Are you big on gardening but small on space?

No matter your landscape or gardening challenge, there’s a plant that can help. And here are just a few from Tesselaar:



SOLUTION PLANT: Flower Carpet groundcover roses

Flower Carpet Pink groundcover roses on slope

Flower Carpet Pink roses are a perfect solution for this steep slope.

The simplest solution for landscaping a slope (which people often want to fill with something besides turf grass, because they don’t want to mow) is groundcovers. There are many foliage-only options out there, but if you want season-long color and blooms, an excellent choice is Flower Carpet groundcover roses. The Flower Carpet series has won the most awards for disease-resistance, most notably, Germany’s coveted All Deutschland Rose (ADR) designation, the world’s top honor for disease-resistant roses. And if you want roses in containers (which often succumb to drought even quicker), Flower Carpet’s Next Generation line – which this year earned high marks in the Dallas Arboretum’s famous plant trials in extreme heat – also offers an additional 15 years of breeding for improved heat and humidity tolerance.


Here are a few reasons why these groundcover roses are particularly good on a slope:

  • They root deeply and therefore keep the ground from washing out – so they’re good for the soil/location itself.
  • Once established, they’re pretty drought tolerant – good for slopes, which often tend to dry out and become impervious to water.
  • Because they’re “self-cleaning” and don’t require a lot of fussing or pruning (just a once-a-year cut-back), they’re great for a hard-to-navigate slope.
  • Unaffected by salt, they’re good on slopes along salt-treated roadways.
  • When planted in masses, they provide quickly spreading coverage.

Flower Carpet roses fact sheet/plant portfolio



Festival™ Burgundy in container

Festival Burgundy also works well as an indoor house plant


SOLUTION PLANT 1: Festival Burgundy cordyline

Festival Burgundy cordyline (at right) was the No. 1 pick in the April 1, 2010 issue of Sunset magazine’s “Top 10 picks for tight spaces.” Not only is this plant drought-tolerant and low-maintenance – if planted in a pot, it can be overwintered beautifully indoors for those in cold climates, lending a tropical feeling in the middle of winter with its glossy, strappy fountains of foliage.

Festival Burgundy cordyline fact sheet/plant portfolio



SOLUTION PLANT 2: Flower Carpet roses

No. 2 in the same Sunset magazine article (mentioned above) was Flower Carpet Amber and No. 10 was Flower Carpet Pink Supreme. Both are from the new Next Generation line of Flower Carpet roses, offering an additional 15 years’ worth of breeding for improved heat and humidity tolerance. The series is especially drought-resistant, reasonably compact and well-behaved in containers.

See fact sheet/info/other images above in section on slopes.


SOLUTION PLANT 3: Tropicanna cannas

Original Tropicanna, Tropicanna 'Gold' and Tropicanna 'Black'

Original Tropicanna, Tropicanna ‘Gold’ and Tropicanna ‘Black’

“If you prefer a lush look but lack the space to layer effectively, look for plants that combine a mix of color and texture within a single specimen,” write the authors of the new Garden Up! book on vertical and small-space gardening — Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet — in their chapter on “Skinny Spaces.”


And cannas, they say, are an excellent choice – particularly the Tropicanna series: “Look for newer varieties, which are praised by gardeners for their variegated leaves that range from the rich, bronzy-black patterns of ‘Phasion’ to the green and gold striping of Tropicanna Gold.”


Morrison, in fact, was one of many commenters expressing their love for Tropicanna cannas in a comment on the popular Garden Rant blog in March. In conjunction with the North Coast Gardening blog, Garden Rant praised Tropicannas and even held a giveaway.


“I love Tropicanna cannas,” wrote Morrison. “‘Phasion’ (the original Tropicanna variety) is my favorite, but I’d love to try Black.” Lucky for her – and all the other gardeners clamoring for dark foliage now – that the purplish-black-leaved version (right) is now widely available to the public this year.

Tropicanna Fact Sheet/Plant Portfolio



“Of course, the quick fix for deer-browsed areas is to simply move a container garden to the hole to cover up the bare spot,” says Anthony Tesselaar, cofounder and president of Tesselaar Plants. “You can even do it with a hanging basket – just take off the hook and plop it right into the hole.”

But a more long-range solution means using plants that won’t end up being a deer buffet in the first place:


SOLUTION PLANT 1: Cordylines

“I planted red cordyline to relieve the sea of green,” says Austin, Texas gardener Pam Pennick in a post on deer-resistant foliage in her blog, Digging. “We inherited a couple of cordyline along the foundation of our home when we moved in, and the deer never bothered them.” also lists cordyline among its deer-resistant plants.

For a fact sheet/images of Festival Burgundy cordyline, see Problem 2: Small Spaces.



Phormium (New Zealand flax) is highly deer resistant, according to Monrovia, the nation’s leading grower of ornamental plants (including phormiums).



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About Tesselaar

Tesselaar Plants searches the world and introduces new plants for the home garden, landscape, home décor and gift markets. Tesselaar Plants undertakes extensive research and development of its varieties and, once selected for introduction, provides marketing and promotional support for its plant brands through its grower and retail network. Tesselaar’s portfolio of plants is small by design, given rigorous standards that result in high-quality, dramatic, prolific plants that are also environmentally friendly and exceptionally easy to grow.

The Tesselaar philosophy is to introduce exceptional plants while “making gardening easy” for everyone, and so it makes them widely available as possible. Tesselaar believes that the more gardeners there are, the better it is for everyone.


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