The Tractor Seat Plant
If you are looking for a great foliage plant for a shaded position, then Ligularia reniformis commonly called the ‘tractor seat plant’ is one to consider.
Also known as Farfugium japonicum Giganteum and widely seen as Ligularia ‘Designer Verde’, you could well describe this perennial as a feature plant or a designer plant, however it is really the texture of the large glossy leaves that best describe its attraction.
This is a clump forming perennial, evergreen in temperate climates, however in colder climates it will die back over winter.
This is a plant that can reach 70cm to 1 metre in height, it can be grown in a container in shaded courtyard if desired.
How to Grow Ligularia reniformis
Light shade and a well drained humus rich soil along with some moisture are the main requirements.
- Prepare the soil well by digging in good amounts of well rotted compost and aged cow or sheep manure.
- Plant in spring as the weather warms up or in late summer.
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
- Mulch lightly around the plant.
- Water in summer during long dry periods, however do not allow the soil to become wet and soggy.
This is a plant that will naturally multiply and form a clump. Every 3 – 4 years it is best to dig and divide the plant for optimal growth.
Deadheading after flowering is all that is usually required. If the plant is subjected to frosts, prune the damaged leaves away in early spring as the the weather warms.
Really the only problems are firstly that in cold winters it tends to die back and look a little tatty. Secondly, it is susceptible to leaf eating insects and slugs and snails.
- Botanical Name – Ligularia reniformis, Syn. Ligularia giganteum, Ligularia tussilaginea, Farfugium japonicum var. giganteum, Farfugium reniforme.
- Common Name – Tractor Seat Plant
- Family – Asteracea
- Origins – Japan.
- Height – To around 1m
- Spread – will form a clump to around .5m.
- Growth rate – Medium to fast
- Position – Dappled shade to shade.
- Soil – Moist and well drained
- Flowering Time – Summer
- Flower Colour – Yellow
- Foliage – Large glossy green.
- Frost tolerant – No.
- Drought tolerant – No.
Ligularia reniformis is available for sale from the following nurseries.
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
York Rd, Mount Evelyn VIC 3796