Money Plant / Honesty Seeds
This is a great plant for those shady unused spots in the garden. Money plant is a biannual - meaning it lives two years flowering in the second year. Once established it is very drought tolerant and needs no care or attention.
The first year it produces a group of large green leaves up to 3 inches long with serrated edges, they are very attractive as a ground cover as they stay green throughout the winter months.
During the second year, in mid spring* the plant sends up a tall stem up to four feet high and highly branched. It bursts into a mass of deep purple or pinkish purple flowers which when massed together can look stunning. Flowers can last as long as a month. Each flower is followed by a large dollar coin sized flat pod making the plant look like a large green decorated Christmas tree. These pods change from green to brown and then as the seeds drop a beautiful silver color which will bring light to any darker corner of your garden.
Pods can be collected and split apart to produce the beautiful, but fragile silver pods which give it the name of money plant. If leaf in place the plants will self seed and take care of themselves producing more flowers in two years time.
If you want to have flowers every year you will need to seed in the first two years so that there are plants in flowering and leaf stage every year. Once established the plants should then take care of themselves.
These plants much prefer shady areas in good loam. They do not do well in poor soil, plant under trees in leaf litter. Once established you have a wonderful ground cover and no more need to rake leaves in that location. They cannot tolerate very dense shade but dappled shade under trees or on the border of a woodland is ideal. More shade will be needed in southern states then northern. It is an excellent choice for those shady corners of a garden. Once established will take care of itself just remove tenuous weeds and vines.
Hardy zones 5-9
*Blooming time depends on your location. In the North East US this is mid spring and lasts about a month. Literature seems to state summer for blooming in other areas.