Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

Specific Families and Genera => Meconopsis => Topic started by: Leena on June 08, 2022, 12:29:31 PM

Title: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Leena on June 08, 2022, 12:29:31 PM
Does the soil affect Meconopsis colour?
Early this spring I divided my biggest Meconopsis, possibly 'Lingholm', it was grown from seeds maybe 7 years ago.
Half of it stayed in ground and half I potted in ordinary compost from bag with added grit, but the compost had added calcium while the soil in the ground is around pH6 or less.
Now the half in the ground is starting to flower with the same brilliant purplish blue colour as usually, but the ones in pots have flowers with faded dull blue. Not at all like what they were in the ground!
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Maggi Young on June 08, 2022, 02:27:01 PM
Leena, in our experience here in North-East Scotland EVERYTHING can affect the colour of Meconopsis!  :-\
Seriously though, I think it is mainly weather conditions that  change the  colour of the  "Big Blue Poppies". We have found plants exhibiting changing colours from year to year, even in undisturbed plants, well-established in the ground.
How to fix this??  We don't know - we just live with it and hope for better colours next year!
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Leena on June 09, 2022, 06:38:38 AM
Thanks Maggi. :)
I just thought it was strange when the same plant in ground has different colour than in pots, and so thought that perhaps soil had to do with it.
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Margaret Thorne on June 09, 2022, 11:08:29 AM
As Maggi says, lots of things can affect Meconopsis flower colour. Temperature is a very obvious variable factor, they turn more blue in warmer conditions. We often get 2 tone flowers when the petals have been frosted in bud. Sometimes they go a more uniform blue later and sometimes they stay as they are.
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Leena on June 19, 2022, 07:36:29 AM
Thank you Margaret. :)
Here is a picture from week ago comparing the colours. Mother plant is in the back. The plant in pot has been outside in the same weather as the one in the ground.
It is still in pot, I was going to give it in a plant swap but there was a piece of Gentiana triflora in the same clump, which I thought I had got off, but noticed I hadn't when a small Gentiana started to grow again from the side of the Meconopsis. So, I'm going to plant it back in my own garden.

Last winter was very bad and I lost many plants, but Meconopsis survived well, and cool spring and early summer has been good for them.
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Véronique Macrelle on June 20, 2022, 07:47:01 AM
Do Meconopsis germinate more easily in direct seeding than in pots?
 is 'Lingholm' the easiest of the blue poppies?
 i failed again with meconopsis seedlings this year, except for some M. napaulensis that i sowed in a pot, then put the pot in the soil without dividing them. result: i never had anything so advanced, (10 cm high), but it's a tight group of plants and i don't dare to touch it.
 i made a new bed for shade plants with the result of a pile of composted branches, not quite degraded yet, and the result is very interesting for many plants usually difficult for my soil.
I would like to try direct seeding of Meconopsis.
 I would love to get that blue, Leena, even a little faded! ;)

Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Leena on June 25, 2022, 01:07:47 PM
Veronique, I haven't had self sown seedlings of Meconopsis, so I don't know if they would germinate better in the ground. I try to sow them as fresh as possible, but also seeds from for instance last winters seeds ex have germinated quite nicely. I sowed them in February and placed the pots outside in the snow, and they started to germinate in May when the weather turned warmer. In milder climate they germinate faster than here outside. They are still very small, and I haven't pricked them out, and besides it is now too hot outside and I will wait for cooler days before I do it.
I have had success also just dividing the seed pot in  small clumps and putting them straight in the bed outside without really pricking them out. Maybe that is a safest way.
For me both 'Lingholm' and M.baileyi have been equally easy/difficult, so I can't say anything really.

I hope to get seeds from my Meconopsis, and I can send you some in the autumn, if you like. :) They are flowering well right now. :)
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Véronique Macrelle on June 26, 2022, 05:13:21 AM
It would be a pleasure, Leena.
your garden is so beautiful that I thought they reseeded themselves naturally: but it is the result of great care!

I am looking for seeds in my garden that could make you happy...
How hardy does your garden need to be?
Title: Re: Meconopsis flower colour
Post by: Leena on June 27, 2022, 07:03:45 PM
Veronique, I think one reason why I don't get self sown seedlings could be, that I mulch the beds quite heavily with dry leaves in the autumn for winter protection. Seeds which have dropped get buried under the mulch.
I think my garden is maybe US zone 6, or 5 to be sure. You don't need to think anything in return  :), if all goes well, I will get plenty of seeds. It depends on the weather in August.Your Violas are growing well here, though most of them were no planted outside yet last summer.
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