The value of this short-lived perennial is in its deep red flowers that bloom for the nearly the entire summer. Generally there are not many hardy perennials with red flowers, but this one is a true winner. Each single flower is about 1.5 inch across; the entire plant grows with a dwarf, bushy habitus and gray-green leaves.
This variety will reseed, but is a moderate self-seeder (not all the seeds are fertile), and the young seedlings stay around the mother plant (botanical species of Knautia macedonica and its variety ‘Melton Pastels’ are heavy seeders, and can be become problematic in the garden, but they are easy to control).
‘Mars Midget’ is ideal for sunny borders, bigger containers, cottage gardens or rock gardens, and is suitable for some naturalizing too. Best if planted in small groups or even masses; the short-lived characteristic of this plant tells us that it can be great filler in the gaps among plants that are slower to establish.
Can be combined with many common, sun-loving perennials, but looks awesome with silver, blue, purple and chartreuse colors – try it in combination with Alchemilla, Artemisia, Geranium, Lavandula, Salvia or Stachys byzantina. Good native companions can be Agastache, Cunilla origanoides, Echinacea purpurea, Euphorbia corollate, Gaura, smaller Liatris, Monarda bradburiana, Oenothera and Penstemon.
Blooming Time: July to September
Size: usually 1.5’ tall x 1’ wide, spacing 1’
USDA Zones: 5 to 7
Culture: full sun, half sun, grows well in average soil, prefers some drainage (additional sand, gravel etc.). The better drainage, the longer-lived it is. Performs better in cooler climates (doesn't grow well in the hot and humid south).
Moisture Needs: medium-dry, medium
Origin: Garden origin selection introduced by Jelitto Seed Company in 2002; the botanical species is native to Europe
Deer/Rabbit Resistant: yes / yes
Attracts Butterflies or Pollinators: butterflies and bees
Attracts Hummingbirds: no
Pot Size: square 3.5" x 5" deep pot