Obedient plant 'Summer Snow' Physostegia virginiana 'Summer Snow'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
obedient plant 'Summer Snow'


'Summer Snow' is a vigorous, erect perennial to 60cm in height, with sharply toothed, lance-shaped leaves and dense spikes of tubular white flowers 3cm in length

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead, Virginia Lionsheart

    • Common names

      Physostegia virginiana, Dracocephalum virginianum, Physostegia speciosa, Piloblephis rigida.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' is attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, helping to pollinate the garden.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its spires of white flowers, it adds vertical interest and a striking visual display to garden beds and borders.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is known for its ease of cultivation and is tolerant of a range of soil conditions, making it a low-maintenance option for many gardeners.
    • Long Blooming: It has a lengthy blooming period from mid-summer to early fall, providing long-lasting color in the landscape.
    • Native Plant Benefits: As a native to North America, it supports local ecosystems and is well-adapted to regional climates.
    • Cut Flower Use: The flowers hold their shape and color well, making them suitable for fresh floral arrangements and bouquets.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, the Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' can tolerate periods of drought, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Wildlife Habitat: It offers a food source and habitat for wildlife, such as birds who feed on the seeds.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' can be used as a natural dye, providing subtle hues to textiles and crafts.
    • The tall, sturdy stems can offer structural support in natural flower arrangements and as a framework for other climbing plants in the garden.
    • The plant's dense growth habit makes it suitable as a natural privacy screen or living fence when planted in a row.
    • The vibrant white blooms can be used as a source of food for edible flower recipes, such as in salads or as garnishes.
    • Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' can be planted to mitigate soil erosion on slopes due to its clumping roots.
    • The abundant nectar attracts butterflies, which means the plant can be used in butterfly gardens to support local ecosystems.
    • This species can be used in sensory gardens because of its tactile stems that maintain position when moved (hence "Obedient").
    • Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' can be utilized in art projects, such as pressing the flowers for decorative botanical works.
    • Being deer-resistant, it can function as a protective border in gardens to deter deer and protect more sensitive plants.
    • Can be used in educational settings to teach plant reproduction and pollinator attraction strategies due to its vivid flowers and popularity among bees.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Obedient Plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Obedient Plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Obedience: The common name "Obedient Plant" comes from the plant's ability to stay in place when moved; this represents the virtue of obedience or compliance.
    • Flexibility: While the plant is known for staying in the position it’s moved to, its stems are also flexible, symbolizing adaptation and resilience.
    • Harmony: The way the flowers of Physostegia virginiana 'Summer Snow' bloom in orderly rows can represent balance and harmony in life.
    • Purity: The 'Summer Snow' cultivar, with its clear white blooms, is often associated with purity and innocence.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to early fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Obedient Plant requires consistent moisture, especially during its active growing season in spring and summer. It's best to water it deeply once a week, allowing the soil to be moist but not waterlogged. In hotter, drier periods, it may need watering twice a week. Provide about 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per plant for each watering session to ensure that the water reaches deep into the root zone.

  • sunLight

    Obedient Plant thrives in full sun to partial shade. For optimum growth and blooming, place it in a location where it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. However, in regions with very hot summers, some afternoon shade is beneficial to prevent scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Obedient Plant prefers temperate climates and can survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit but thrives in a range between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It's cold hardy and can tolerate frost, making it suitable for growing in USDA zones 3 through 9.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Obedient Plant should be done to maintain shape, remove faded flowers, and encourage a second bloom. Deadheading throughout the blooming period promotes more flowers. Cut the plant back to the ground in late fall or early winter after the first frost to prepare it for the coming growing season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' prefers well-draining soil with a rich organic content. A mix of two parts garden soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite would create an ideal growing medium. This plant thrives in a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' should be divided and repotted every 2 to 3 years to ensure vigorous growth and prevent overcrowding. Spring is the best time to repot and divide this perennial to allow it to establish in the growing season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Obedient Plant 'Summer Snow' does well in average humidity levels typical of outdoor conditions. It's not particularly demanding in terms of humidity, so there's no need to provide additional humidity in a garden setting.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial sun; ensure soil drainage; mulch in winters.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Obedient plant 'Summer Snow' begins its life cycle with seed germination, usually in late winter or early spring, as temperature and moisture levels become favorable. The seedlings then develop into a rosette of leaves close to the ground, leveraging the spring warmth and moisture to establish a root system. As the plant matures, it sends up vertical stems during late spring to early summer, which are characterized by their square shape, a trait common to plants in the mint family. By mid to late summer, the 'Summer Snow' variety starts blooming, producing white spikes of flowers that can be bent into position, hence the name "obedient plant." After pollination, often by bees and butterflies attracted to the blooms, the flowers develop into seed capsules by late summer to fall, dispersing seeds for the next generation. Finally, as temperatures drop, the Obedient plant 'Summer Snow' enters dormancy, with its foliage dying back to the ground until the cycle resumes with the next thaw.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to early fall

    • Physostegia virginiana 'Summer Snow', commonly known as the Obedient Plant, is best propagated in the late spring or early summer. The most popular method of propagation for this perennial is by division. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the plants and gently separate the clumps into smaller sections, ensuring that each new section has several shoots and a healthy root system. These divisions can then be immediately replanted into a well-prepared garden bed or into pots if desired. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This method allows for quick multiplication of plants and helps to rejuvenate older clumps that may have become too dense.