First I am sure we should probably start off with what is a Whipcord. A Whipcord is a variety of Red Cedar. For the Latin enthusiasts out there, I know you are out there right Latin folks? Anyway the Latin name is Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord’ Back to latin folks. Maybe we should call ourselves Latinistas! I may have borrowed this joke from someone in the past. If so I can not remember who so I can not site them. If its my own joke then it was pretty good. We will have another blog in the future about humor in the garden. Whipcords are dark green with a cord like foliage that resembles a mophead. I have had more than a few people call them Bob Marley plants and Dreadlock plants unsolicited by me. Interesting when this happens with several people who do not know each other. The only common thread between these people is this unique plant.The hard facts are its very slow growing. It may take a plant 20-25 years to reach 3’. The texture is the fascinating. One of the best texture plants out there. Why else would you buy this baby? Plant is hardy from zones 5-9. The only thing that is an issue with this plant is its caretakers. If the plant is allowed to go dry it can die. If it goes dry in the winter or summer, it will die. Like most other evergreens it dies then turns brown. If you start watering at that point it is too late. Otherwise the ‘Whipcord’ is great. It grows in full sun to quite a bit of shade. We have had a plant in the garden for upwards of 13 years. I do not do anything for it at this point. I walk by look at it and wonder what the heck people are doing to kill it besides neglecting it and doing a sloppy job planting it. That’s another thing. Plant it a little high 3” or so, so the foliage can cascade down the slight incline so it looks natural. Sweep your hand under the base of the plant after planting it to make sure you did not bury any of the foliage. Even I do this that’s why I do the old sweeping technique. As far as trimming goes trim the tips of the whipcord back 1” with a pair of scissors in the spring. This will promote growth from within the plant and it will become fuller with time. Only trim the longest foliage.Now for the new ‘Whipcord’. The reason it is the new ‘Whipcord’ is because we have sold so many ‘Whipcords in the past’ Maybe more ‘Whipcords have been sold out of this nursery than any other plant. Good chance. I am not a big fan of computers so I can not just push a button and get that data. Bummer! I am still not a big fan of computers and will be just fine speculating that we have sold more “Whips” as I call them than anything. Drumroll…………The New Whipcord will be Pinus strobus ‘Vercurve’. Everybody got that??? You Latinistas got part of it at least. Vercurve is a selection of Eastern White Pine that is similar in body size to Pinus strobus ‘Blue Shag’ but has a twisted or contorted needleset similar to Pinus strobus ‘Torulosa’ or ‘Contorta’ I think these two may be the same plant I just have not had the time to do the research. ‘Contorta’ and ‘Torulosa’ are selections of Eastern White Pine that are tree forms and grow up to 1’ per year. Back to ‘Blue Shag’, ‘Blue Shag’ is a Eastern White Pine that is a globe form.‘Vercurve’ will eventually be larger than ‘Whipcord’. Not everyone has twenty years to wait for a plant to hit 3’. However, in this body style the two have the coolest texture of all the evergreens I am familiar with, and that is a lot of evergreens or conifers as we call them.The other plus about ‘Vercurve’ is the plant is more cold hardy than the ‘Whipcord and therefore more forgiving for the novice gardener. However, I do not think it will grow as well in a shadier location. I could be wrong but I doubt it.I had a handful of ‘Vercurve’ this past year in stock for sale. We sold them all. Not as quick as I thought we would though. We will have more in the future. I just thought I would let everybody know about this wonderful plant. It took me about 5 years to get my first ‘Vercurve’ I think I can shorten that time frame for you. Yes, You! In the mean time get yourself a ‘Whipcord’ or two or three. The Whipcord is still an amazing plant and will always have a place at Blue River Nursery. Just keep it Moist!!!
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