Beautiful dame's rockets
image by gary j wood/flickr.com (http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyjwood/505772450/)
Some gardeners enjoy the pink and lavender clusters of the wildflower dame's rocket. Other gardeners eye this perennial flower with disdain due to its invasive tendencies. If you enjoy the colorful blooms and light scents of these wildflowers in early summer, the efforts required to encourage them to return year after year are minimal. With little coaxing, dame's rockets will continue to adorn your outdoor landscapes and even spread out as the years pass.
Note when the plants begin to fade by mid summer. Cut at least half of the plants down to 1 or 2 inches above the soil level when the leaves and stalks turn yellow. Discard the spent foliage in a compost bin.
Leave the remaining plants standing undisturbed. This will allow these dame's rockets to self-sow over the remainder of the growing season. By removing some of the plants, you will control the extent to which dame's rockets spread. If you want to allow the dame's rockets to spread as much as possible, skip Step 1 and allow all of the plants to stay standing throughout the autumn.
Lay down between 1 and 2 inches of shredded mulch over the growing area in the autumn, if desired. Use straw, shredded bark or shredded leaves to insulate the roots from cold winter temperatures.
Remove the mulch in the spring when the weather warms and look for new plant growth.