Clover Plant Care: Growing Bronze Dutch Clover Plants
What are Bronze Dutch Clovers?
Bronze Dutch clover (Asclepias tuberosa) is one of the most popular ornamental flowering plants in America. These plants grow wild in many parts of North America from Canada to South Dakota and they have been cultivated since ancient times. They are native to Europe, Asia Minor, Africa and India. They were introduced into the United States in 1837 by John Jacob Astor. Today, there are over 1 million of these plants growing wild throughout the country. There are also several commercial cultivars grown for ornamental purposes.
The name “Dutch” comes from its appearance and is thought to derive from the fact that it was first discovered near Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How to Grow Bronze Dutch Clover Plants?
These plants are easy to grow and require little attention. They need full sun and moist soil with good drainage. Water them only when necessary, but do not overwater. You may want to provide some mulch around your garden beds or other areas where they will be growing. They like bright light so make sure that the lights are kept at least six feet above the ground during all hours of the day and night.
How to Care for Bronze Dutch Clover?
Bronze dutch clovers tolerate most kinds of soil, provided it is well drained. They thrive in sandy or clayey loam, but they do not do well in alkaline soils. They are very drought tolerant and do not require much water at any stage of their growth. If you notice that your plants are looking dull and wilted with yellowing leaves, it may be a sign that the plants need more water.
These plants do not require any pruning except for dead or diseased branches. If you are growing them for their seeds, then make sure the plants are at least three years old before harvesting.
After they reach the flowering stage, they are ready to be harvested. Cut them with a knife to avoid damaging the seedhead. Dry them in an area with good airflow and store them in containers away from sunlight.
These are easy to grow plants that add decorative elements and attract wildlife to any garden.
Interesting Facts About Bronze Dutch Clover:
They contain a poisonous substance called cytisine which acts on the nervous system and can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tremors and even death.
They are toxic to horses and cattle so keep them fenced out of pastures.
The leaves and flowers can be eaten by humans if they are cooked and eaten in moderation.
They are deer resistant plants.
They protect other plants by intercepting the sunlight. This is known as a ‘transition plant’.
The fuzzy seeds are very attractive for kids as well as adults! They can be used in flower arrangements.
During the 1930s, they were bred with nicotiana to create a genetically engineered hybrid for use as an insecticide. It was a total failure and ultimately replaced by DDT.
More Info: Cold Hardy Flowers
Plant info taken from US National Botanical Gardens.
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Bronze Dutch Clover Seeds
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Uses For Bronze Dutch Clover:
Toxicity as Pesticide
Parts of the plant were used as a substitute for Tobacco.
Sources & references used in this article:
Progress made in improving red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) through breeding by H Riday – Int. J. Plant Breed, 2010 – academia.edu
What is the True Shamrock? by H O’NEILL – 1946 – nature.com
Soil manganese in relation to plant growth by EG Mulder, FC Gerretsen – Advances in agronomy, 1952 – Elsevier
Impact of micronutrient seed priming on germination, growth, development, nutritional status and yield aspects of plants by JH Dick – 1917 – AT De La Mare Company …
Ireland’s Wild Plants–Myths, Legends & Folklore by S Mondal, B Bose – Journal of Plant Nutrition, 2019 – Taylor & Francis
Short-term temperature change affects the carbon exchange characteristics and growth of four bedding plant species by N Mac Coitir – 2017 – books.google.com
Ambient Ozone Alternative Monitoring and Biomonitoring with Higher Plants by MW van Iersel – Journal of the American Society for Horticultural …, 2003 – journals.ashs.org