Native to Europe and the Middle East, variegated lysimachia is a herbaceous perennial that boasts striped foliage and striking yellow flowers. Best planted in the fall, it grows slowly, forming clumps with tall stalk-like stems that can reach up to 3 feet tall. Its leaves maintain their attractive striping all season long and it's considered less invasive than other forms of lysimachia, making it a popular choice for a landscape ground cover, garden border, or container specimen.
|Botanical Name||Lysimachia punctata|
|Common Name||Variegated lysimachia, loosestrife, yellow loosestrife, loosestrife 'Alexander,' circle flower|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial|
|Mature Size||2–3 ft. tall, 1–1.5 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH||Neutral to acidic|
|Bloom Time||Late spring, summer, early fall|
|Hardiness Zones||4–8 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Europe, Middle East|
Variegated Lysimachia Care
Variegated lysimachia is a great way to add a bit of color and visual interest to your garden. To the benefit of casual gardeners, the plant does not require much care—it can thrive in a variety of different soil conditions and will do well in both full sun and partial shade.
Variegated lysimachia blooms in late spring and early summer all the way through fall, exploding in bright yellow blooms that complement its striped foliage. At blooming time, the variegation on the plant is green and white, but earlier in the spring, it's often a striking green and pink. It looks great when given a prominent spot in the landscape, like as an edging plant or as landscaping around a water feature (it loves wet ground). Additionally, the plant has no serious pest or disease issues.
Variegated lysimachia can thrive when planted in a spot that either boasts full sun or partial shade. However, its exact needs will depend largely on the environment you're growing it in. Hot summer weather means your plant is probably best located in a partially shady (to fully-shaded) spot, while more moderate temperatures mean a sunnier spot is ok. If you notice the leaves fading in color or acquiring a "bleached" appearance, it's a good sign that the plant is receiving too much light.
Aim to plant your variegated lysimachia in a spot that has consistently moist soil. Lysimachia plants do not like dry soil, so it's important have a blend that retains water well—you can even top the soil with a bit of mulch to help lock in moisture as well. Additionally, soil pH is not important to your variegated lysimachia plant—it can do well in a mixture that is neutral, acidic, or alkaline.
Your variegated lysimachia plant should be watered regularly to ensure the soil does not dry out. If you notice the leaves losing their vibrancy or browning around the edges, that's a good indication that the plant is not receiving enough water. Generally, about 1 inch of water (from rainfall or manual watering) per week will be sufficient, though you may need to increase your watering cadence if you're experiencing particularly hot or dry weather.
Temperature and Humidity
As long as it's planted in the proper USDA hardiness zone, your variegated lysimachia will be very happy. Other than that, it does not have any special temperature or humidity requirements—in fact, it's an especially hardy varietal and can tolerate temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Feeding your variegated lysimachia isn't necessary for successful growth or a thriving plant. However, it can't hurt either—if you want to give your plant an extra boost (like if your soil isn't particularly nutrient-rich), you can feed the plant with a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of its growing season in early spring.
There are several other species in the genus Lysimachia, each with their own color variations and special characteristics. They include:
- Purple-leaved loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata 'Purpurea'): Another common landscape plant, purple-leaved loosestrife has purple foliage and is known to be a very aggressive grower, to the point of being invasive.
- Creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia): This plant is very different-looking than variegated lysimachia. Instead of upright growth, it appears more like a vine and is typically used as a ground cover.
Pruning Variegated Lysimachia
Keep your plant looking trim and attractive by periodically pruning back new growth. The best time to do so is during the late winter. Cut back any spent stems or flowers to make the plant appear more tidy, or trim back the stems of the plant to within 2 inches of the ground if you prefer to rid yourself of a patch altogether. Additionally, the plant can be divided every three years or so to promote robust growth.