Miss Manners Obedient Plant

Physostegia virginiana ‘Miss Manners’

Description & Overview

Attractive white snapdragon-like flowers make this plant perfect to mix into colorful beds. Miss Manners is also a non-invasive, clumping form of the Obedient Plant making it a great alternative. Its tubular flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and all sorts of insects looking for pollen. Make sure to provide a well-drained site with full sun to see the beauty that Miss Manners brings.

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Variety of North American Native
Mature Height: 18-24 inches
Mature Spread: 12 inches
Growth Rate: Perennial
Growth Form: Clumping
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Prefers somewhat acidic soil, requires a well-drained site
Flower: Tubular pure white flower arranged closely together with a snapdragon-like look, raceme
Bloom Period: June-September
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Color: N/A
Fruit Notes: N/A

Suggested Uses:

Unlike the straight species (Physostegia virginiana), Miss Manners is a non-invasive cultivar allowing it to be excellent in many beds or borders. It’s clumping form prevents it from taking up space which gives room for the other beautiful flowers to grow. They also work great in separating colors within your landscape because of their pure white flowers.

Wildlife Value:

Miss Manners Obedient Plant attracts bees, hummingbirds (particularly the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird), and butterflies with the nectar that it provides. Luckily, it is also deer-resistant!

Maintenance Tips:

Miss Manners should be sited in an area with full sun and slightly acidic soil. Full sun allows for the plant to have an abundance of flowers. The stems tend to flop in too much shade and rich soils; however, Miss Manners flops less than the straight species (Physostegia virginiana). The plant tends to grow to its optimum potential in a well-drained site.

As a member of the mint family, Miss Manners is not as aggressive as the straight species (Physostegia virginiana). To prevent it from becoming an aggressive spreader, remove the seed heads before they disperse.

You can also cut back the first flowers after bloom to allow for a second bloom to occur later in the season.


There are few pest or problems with Miss Manners Obedient Plant. It can get an occasional rust which is caused by too much moisture in the air and soil. This will rarely kill the plant, but it may cause the plant to lose vigor. Pinch the infected leaves off if needed, but never more than 1/3 of the plant’s leaves.

Like most plants, aphids are also a pest that could appear on your beautiful Miss Manners. These bugs feed on the plant’s sap causing the plant to yellow. If an aphid colony becomes abundant, an insecticide might be needed.

Leaf Lore:

(Physostegia virginiana) comes from the Greek words of physa which means “bladder” and stege meaning “covering”. These reference the calyx (covers the seeds) which inflates before the seeds disperse. Virginiana refers to the state of Virginia which is where this plant was initially collected.

The Obedient Plant received its name because when you re-position individual flowers, they will stay in that position temporarily.

Sometimes the Obedient Plant is also referred to as “the false dragonhead” because it looks comparable to dragonhead (Dracocephalum) flowers. Both plants have tubular structured flowers and are part of the mint family (Lamiaceae).

Companion Plants:

Pair Miss Manners with other full sun plants that prefer well-drained sites. And its pure white flowers makes this plant go exceptionally well with darker colored plants such as Fruit Punch® ‘Pomegranate Kiss’ Dianthus, Sombrero® Hot Coral Coneflower, Stutter’s Ball Daylily, and Blue Zinger Sedge.

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