Blue Ice Amsonia is a likely cultivar of Amsonia tabernaemontana (Willowleaf Amsonia) parentage, but is much more compact and has deeper blue flowers. In spring, willow-like, shiny, green foliage is accented with near-black flower buds that open up to stormy, blue star-like flowers. Foliage stays clean throughout the season until fall when it turns brilliant shades of yellow and bronze. Blue Ice Amsonia is an excellent landscaping plant and a staff favorite at Johnson’s Nursery.
Amsonia performs best in full sun to part shade. Too much shade will cause the stems to flop and require support and produce the best flowering and fall color in full sun. Amsonia should not be planted in sites with poorly drained or wet soils.
Blue Ice’s compact habit makes this a great plant for bordering or edging sidewalks, walkways, or driveways. The stems don’t flop nor do they need to be cut back prior to blooming to maintain a smaller height. Amsonia is also very drought tolerant once established. It’s a low-maintenance, colorful option for an otherwise ordinary area of the landscape.
Use Blue Ice Amsonia as a complementary perennial around accent plants in garden beds. The pink or white flowers of Lollipop crabapples contrast with the blue flowers, which incidentally provide a nice pop of blue color alongside many other perennials. A green screen of trees would also benefit from the burst of color provided by the spring flowers and fall color of Blue Ice Amsonia.
Blue Ice Amsonia has flowers that are not only appealing to people but insects, too. It is the host plant for the Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis), Great Ash Sphinx Moth (Sphinx chersis), Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus), and Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta).
Other visitors to the flowers include the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, carpenter bees, hummingbird moths, Hickory Hairstreak (Satyrium caryaevorus), Poecila Sphinx (Sphinx poecila), Apple Sphinx (Sphinx gordius) Northern Blue (Plebejus idas), Arogos Skipper (Atrytone arogos), Edward’s Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii), Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis), Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos), American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon), Monarch (Danaus plexippus), and Striped Hairstreak (Satyrium liparops).
Deadheading is not required as it will not bloom again in one season.
Pruning can promote bushier growth but should be done after flowering. Note that pruning will remove seedpods. Be sure to wear gloves as this plant will exude white latex that can be irritating to sensitive skin.
Like other perennials, plants will recede into the ground each fall. You may choose to leave stems up or cut them down; they will break under snow load, so they aren’t particularly winter interest heavy.
Plants can be divided; in early spring or fall. Ensure that each division has at least one eye.
No need to fertilize as it may cause floppy stems.
Black Walnut Tolerant: Yes Deer Resistant: Yes Rabbit Resistant: Yes
The plant’s milky sap deters rabbits and deer from browsing.
No known serious insect or disease problems.
The genus Amsonia is named after Dr. Charles Amson, an 18th-century scientific traveler in America.
Blue Ice Amsonia was “reportedly discovered growing with A. tabernaemontana seedlings in a greenhouse at White Flower Farm. The parentage has apparently not yet been definitively determined.”
Blue Ice Amsonia can stand on its own in the landscape or can be paired with other plants. It looks great when paired with Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Glossy Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa var. elata), Hummelo Lambs Ear (Stachys monnieri ‘Hummelo’), Rose Marvel Salvia (Salvia nemorosa ‘Rose Marvel’ PP30,118), Montrose White Calamint (Calamintha nepeta ‘Montrose White’), Blue Zinger Sedge (Carex glauca ‘Blue Zinger’), Drummon’s Pink Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata ‘Drummon’s Pink’), White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba), Dark Towers Penstemon (Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’ PP20,013), Pardon Me Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Pardon Me’), ‘Millenium’ Ornamental Onion (Allium ‘Millenium’), and Karmina Geranium (Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Karmina’).
Johnson’s Nursery, LLC™ is a third-generation, family-owned business. We passionately pursue our goal of providing hardy nursery stock to clients in SE Wisconsin and beyond.
Essentially we are a wholesale grower that welcomes the general public. Johnson’s Nursery provides Retail sales and Landscape design/build services from our Menomonee Falls headquarters. Our wholesale clientele of municipalities, landscape contractors, garden centers, and other nurseries can arrange to pick up material either in Menomonee Falls or our Jackson, WI Farm holding yards.
The information found on our website is provided for free and Johnson’s Nursery, LLC.™ does not assume any liability resulting from the information provided. We hope this information helps.
These are rough guidelines and may speak generically to our broad customer mix. Not all possible situations are covered. How plants act may be unique to the conditions presented by your landscape. Your landscape should be inspected by a trained professional.