The Garden Guy has been thinking of writing about the Bidens for some time, but I have been worried I might start an earthquake of some sort. But then I thought it should be OK, as these Bidens are kind of “Bush”-like and do well in the South.
I have been dying to try a little humor, especially since this is the first time I have written about the plant known botanically as “Bidens.” Campfire Marshmallow is making its debut next year, and you will definitely want to put it on your list.
Botanically speaking, Bidens are in the Aster family, and until the new Campfire series, we have generally looked at them as transition-type plants, performing from spring until early summer. But the Campfire series has plugged in an extra dose of toughness coupled with beauty.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that not only would I have a Bidens perform in the toughest summer heat I have ever experienced, but it is also going into August, too.
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As you might expect by the name, Campfire Marshmallow is a pristine white, but it’s partnered with bright orange centers. It looks like it was created as a mounding long-performing wildflower for your landscape, containers and even baskets.
One thing I have particularly enjoyed is the constant cover of bees and small butterflies like skippers and duskywings. It is like the plants are alive (well, I guess they are).
The Campfire Marshmallow will reach about 14 inches tall with a 24-inch spread, hence my humor at calling it “Bush”-like. It does need plenty of sun to reach its potential, and of course, well-drained soil.
Campfire Marshmallow has been a hit at The Garden Guy’s house and further put an exclamation point on its beauty at the summer trials. At the Young’s Plant Farms 2023 Garden Tour in Auburn Alabama, partnerships with Superbells Magic Lemonade calibrachoa and Sunstar Rose Pentas made The Garden Guy get out the camera.
Recently, Garrett Alford, a friend and former classmate of son James, was at the Colorado State University Trials shooting pictures. Sure enough, Campfire Marshmallow Bidens caught his eye and camera’s click as it was looking like a champ.
The performance of Campfire Marshmallow made me research to see how Campfire Flame did in its debut. As I expected, I missed out, as Campfire Flame, which made its debut a couple of years ago, won more than a dozen awards. Big awards, too, like Perfect Score All Season at University of Minnesota and Top Performer at Penn State, Michigan State and Oregon State. But it also won awards in the South, which was like music to my ears. It won Top Performer awards at Louisiana State University and University of Tennessee.
Campfire Flame Bidens is a little shorter in height and width, but true to its name, it is a flaming red/orange with brushstrokes of yellow. It will set your border or mixed containers on fire. Both Bidens won’t need much fertilization other than controlled-release granules at planting time in the landscape. Those in containers where daily watering is the regimen of a diluted water-soluble fertilizer every other week will prove most beneficial.
Both Campfire Flame and Campfire Marshmallow offer you the opportunity to create designer-looking mixed containers. As usual, Proven Winners offers recipes with instructions online along with cultural information on each variety. Put them on your list.
Follow Norman Winter on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.