On Gardening: The Diamond darlings of the garden world are massing quite a trophy room


If there was such a thing as a Super Bowl dynasty in the plant world it would have to go to Diamond Frost euphorbia. Somehow, I doubt that Proven Winners and the entire green industry knew what they had when it made its debut over a dozen years ago.

Comparing Diamond Frost to a Super Bowl or World Series dynasty is really a disservice to this incredible plant. While researching for a seminar, I was stunned to see it has won 407 awards since 2007. I think it is really more than they know.

You see this means every year it is still entered into trials and competition against all of the new introductions. The real shocker to me however is that it is still taking home a slew of awards such as Top Performer in 2019 Texas A&M East Texas Bedding Plant Trials. Or how about 2018 where it took home perfect score in Oklahoma State and Michigan State trials.

In 2008 while I was with Mississippi State University it won the Mississippi Medallion Award, and thus was promoted to gardeners throughout the state. As great as Diamond Frost is, it may want to make room on the bench for an offspring of sorts, the award-winning Diamond Snow making its debut at garden centers this spring.

If you start comparing traits, they are almost identical except for a shocking thing. The tiny white flowers of Diamond Snow are double. When you look at a plant in bloom it is like seeing double. It really looks as though it is covered in a frozen mist,

Yes, these plants known as spurges and euphorbias are related to the poinsettia and copper plant, but don’t let that throw you. They really are, and will always be, the toughest flower you can put in the garden. Though small in stature reaching about 12 to 18 inches tall and as wide, these diamond darlings will never be without hundreds and perhaps now thousands of tiny white flowers.

For best blooming select a location with as much sunlight as possible; some shade is certainly tolerated. Despite its rugged nature, you will still want to give it good bed preparation so that it will quickly establish and get happy in your flowerbed. If you are plagued with tight heavy clay, incorporate 3 to 4 inches of organic matter like compost, humus or peat to loosen and improve drainage and aeration. Plant at the same depth they are growing in their container, spacing plants 10 to 12-inches apart.

Diamond Frost and Diamond Snow are virtually pest free and an environmentally friendly addition to the landscape. It is not a big water user either; add mulch after planting and allow soils to dry before re-watering. Overly moist soils and over watering can be fatal. You might think that a plant with this many flowers would need some kind of deadheading but this is simply not the case as it is self-cleaning and maintenance free. Another outstanding trait is that it is deer resistant.

The white flowers: Let them combine with any other color of flower for a dazzling display. It can also be used in any style of garden from the tropical to the traditional and in baskets or containers. Use them as a filler plant for a baby’s breath like look in mixed containers, after all, white partners with anything.

Old Man Winter is still giving us all he can but a spring with new incredible blooms is coming. Put Diamond Snow and Diamond Frost on your must have list.

(Norman Winter, horticulturist, garden speaker and author of, “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.” Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.)

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