May 24, 2010

The Bad Hair Day Plant re-visited

Last spring, I found the coolest plant at our local Loblaws — Juncus Effusus, otherwise known as the Bad Hair Day Plant. I just finished putting together some planters this weekend, and of course included some of these funky plants :-) I don’t have pics of my planters yet, but I thought I’d re-post about my favourite plant in case you missed it the first time…

flilckr closeI’m totally hooked on a fantastic and fashionable little plant called juncus effusus spiralis (JUNK-us eff-YOO-sus). It’s fun to say eff-YOU-sus… say it few times and you’ll see what I mean :-) Its more common name is the corkscrew rush. I found a picture of it on Flickr entitled The Bad Hair Day Plant, and that name stuck in my head :-)

You may be wondering why it was dubbed the bad hair day plant — it looks relatively tame in the picture over on the right, yes?? But don’t be fooled… this is one of the craziest & funkiest looking plants you’ll ever see!!

Some info…

  • Family: Juncacae | Genus: Juncus | Species: Effusus | Cultivar: Spiralis
  • Height: 12 –18 inches (30 – 45 cms)
  • Hardiness: From Zone 4a (to –34.4C/-30F) to Zone 10b (to 1.7C/35F)
  • Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) | 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) | 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
  • Sun exposure: Sun to partial shade
  • Bloom colour: Inconspicuous, may grow brown flowers in early/mid summer
  • Requires consistently moist soil (seems to like being in a pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole). Do not let dry out between waterings. Suitable for bogs and water gardens.

So if you always forget to water your plants, this little guy might not be for you — try a cactus instead ;-) But if you’re like me and tend to over-water your plants, it’s perfect!!

OK, want to see some pictures now?? Check this out!!

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artistic gardener

flickr brick wall

How funky is that!!?? It grows in water too…

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Some artsy shots…

flickr blue sky

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And a couple of close-up shots…

flickr 2 jackson nurseries

I bought six of them at the garden center at Loblaws. I’m going to put three in individual pots, and I put the other three into a container with some trailers and a fuchsia-on-a-stick(no idea what the technical term is!!)

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I thought the curly grass would fill in the space around the fuchsia’s stem nicely. But that was before I realized that the fuchsia needs shade and the bad hair day plant likes a lot of sun and moisture. I’ll see how things go, and if the bad hair day plants start to look unhappy, I’ll transplant them into individual pots too. I think a grouping of pots looks great anyway…

dk images


Back to 2010 now… the fuchsia and bad hair day plants got along fine, and looked great together all summer long :-) I just love this plant — it makes me smile :-) And this spring, I found another new plant that I just had to try out. It’s called Cyperus King Tut…

king tut pw certified

I’m waiting till the planters fill in a bit before I post pictures. For now, here’s a drawing I did this afternoon for my Drawing Techniques class. (Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment and going to school in the summer — insane!!) Impatiens are my very favourite go-to annual. Beautiful bright colours, no dead-heading required, and they just keep growing and growing and growing — how can you go wrong?!


Do you have a favourite go-to plant that’s a staple in your garden every year?? Leave a comment and tell me about it :-)

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Kathysue said...

I love this plant. It might be a cousin to my octopus fern,hehe. Kathysue

unique unique design said...

I have just recently seen this plant somewhere, but didn't know the name. I love how it looks. Will have to look for it again. BTW, love your happy green planters. Great drawing, too! :)

Marcus Design said...

I love your drawing Kelly! And that bad hair day plant is so cute and whimsical looking :) My fav plants in my garden right now are my pompom juniper, my dwarf japanese maple, and my Hosta, I am having so much fun watching them grow this year!

Sharon said...

I wonder if the bad hair day stems can survive being used in a bouquet. They look so whimsical!

Have fun gardening;)

Razmataz said...

That looks like my hair on a good day. I have to get some of that, I think it is so interesting.

Unknown said...

very cool lookin' plant you've got there. i like the native grasses we can get here in northern CA. they take little to no water, and virtually are maintenance free. for planters, Creeping Jenny is really pretty- a bright lime green plant that trails over the sides of planters.

BubBLeS said...

LoL he looks COOL! So do you need to trim him? I'd so want one, but we have huge trees both in the front and back of the house, so I need to find things for partial shade..

BTW, any cool recommendations for partial shade plants for both in and outside the house? We're looking to start planning out our garden in preparation for next yr. :) This yr we're more focused on weeding, shed building, and just clearing stuff up. :P

Unknown said...

How fun! I've never heard of the bad hair day plant before. Super cool looking - I'll be keeping my eyes open on my next trip to the nursery!!!

mrsben said...

Last year I had two Bad Hair Day plants in my garden, however have no idea what became of one of them which I had planted in the backyard. (You didn't perhaps jump over the fence and help yourself did you? Winks!)

Fortunately the one in the front is thriving and weathered the winter elements beautifully. (Faces North and is partially shaded with a ground cover of mulch bark. Only gets late afternoon sun.)

As far as other plants go, since my forte is NOT gardening, I rely entirely on shrubs, evergreens, ornamental grasses, perennials, river-rock and boulders for my Landscaping needs with a few Annuals to add color. I haven't yet shopped for the latter so best keep an eye on your planters...HAH!

Susan said...

I love the texture... reminds me of curly willow. Looks awesome in that green planter... nice work.

Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

My effusus didn't survive the winter inside - but mrsben says hers survived outside - hmm I'll give that a try this year!

Love your pictures Kelly and your drawing is awesome - who said you couldn't draw?

I love impatiens like you - for the same reasons! For perennials, I have to go with hydrangeas - gorgeous! I'm patiently waiting for them to grow this year :)!

Lisa said...

I've seen this so cute, crazy plant at the nurseries as well! Alas, my backyard is full sun so it won't work for me... BTW - your sketch is great - see you can draw!

Beach Tropic said...

Bromelaids!! Cant kill them, they multiply for you, flower, live in a pot, like sun or shade and are all truly beautiful.
Di x

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

I've never heard of the Bad Hair Day Plant, but I LOVE it!
I, too, overwater my I think this plant would love me. :)
I'm going to try to find one tomorrow, thanks for sharing!

Diane Schuller said...

gosh that's a great way to think of my plants. I have several I look forward to and several that have great meaning to me. But, the go to plant ...
You know I think the go-to plant in my garden may well be my delphiniums. They grow in a mass, are a range of blues, draw the hummingbirds, and make a bold and beautiful statement every summer. When i bring them indoors the statement is definitely bold.

So, even though I love my large lily bed, my short-lived peonies and lilacs, and my clematis, those tall blue spikes are probably my go to plant.

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