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Author Topic: Hepatica cultivation  (Read 17573 times)

Peter Maguire

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2008, 11:26:35 PM »
You have a hepatica house!  :o

Peter
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johngennard

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 10:46:08 AM »
It is now !!!!
John Gennard in the heart of Leics.

johngennard

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2008, 09:39:21 PM »
Thought you may be interested to see these pots of seedlings growing 15/20 in a 3ltr.pot and flowering in the main for the first time.
The other pot is interesting because the seed was only sowed in April 2004 and I have never had flowers that soon before and before they have been pricked out.
John Gennard in the heart of Leics.

Paul T

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2008, 02:45:09 AM »
John,

Oh I do so wish I could visit your place.  Your various pics are absolutely heavenly!!  These latest Hepatica pics are glorious!!  Thanks also for the advice re pricking out seedlings.  It sounds like I can do it any time from autumn to spring, so I guess some more experimentation with the eldest seedlings is in order (Lesley Cox's deep pinks!)

Heading towards autumn now, although this was the coolest February in 12 years we didn't even reach 30'C this Feb, which is extraordinary.... we should be getting closer to 40'C at times.  I'd imagine that the Hepaticas would be starting their root growth by now, if it commences in autumn.  We've already been down to 5'C, which is also extremely unusual for the hottest month of the year (well it normally would be anyway).

Under two years for a flower!!??  I WISH.   ;D  I'll just be happy if I get a couple of flowers this year, as I think they've just completed their third growing season.  Fingers crossed!!

Thanks again for the advice in the Hepatica threads.  All gratefully received, even if this is a somewhat belated thanks.  Still slowly catching up on everything from my fortnight of barely using the computer.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2008, 02:46:42 AM by tyerman »
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

mark smyth

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2008, 10:36:02 PM »
Now that autumn is almost upon us is there any thing I should do with my collection that are in pots? A feed etc?
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mark smyth

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2008, 05:58:31 PM »
Flowering has already started with some of my collection. A couple of small plants have no flowers left. Next year I plan to repot all of my plants. Right now they are in 2L long toms. John what size terracotta pots do you use?
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EinMy

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2008, 05:36:47 AM »
I grow Hepaticas in a cooler climate than most members here. I would say that pricking seedlings in their first year is no problem if you take precautions to prevent them from drying out. Drainage in the pot should be good and the soil should be kept wet at all times. By wet I actually mean soaking wet. I plunge my pots into bigger trays and fill these trays up with water untill just below the rim of the pot. The pots stay in the trays of water for around half an hour to make sure the soil can absorb no more water. If your pots keep drying out even so then put the pots inside plastic(polysterene) bags in addition to reduce evaporation. This may not look too good to visitors but is to be preferred to a pot of dead seedlings of course.
Also fertilize your seedlings once a week with half the recommended strength of the type you use. That keeps them growing well enough to put up their first normal leaf as early as in June here.

Einar

Maggi Young

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2008, 10:08:40 AM »
Einar, an interesting technique... a lot of water involved, for sure !
Would you please add your home area to you signature box of your profile.... it helps if we can see  exactly where you garden in "a cooler climate" !
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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EinMy

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2008, 11:52:06 AM »
I hope my location will show now. If not,- I live some 20 kilometres south of Trondheim, Norway. -12 centigrade at the moment, 4 inches snowcover and the sun is shining. Just my idea of paradise!

Yes, I soak my pots but let the water run off by itself afterwards. It is not a lot of work. You simply pour in the water and empty the tray somewhere convenient afterwards. I am not transferring Hepaticas to a subspecies of Caltha palustris. Hepaticas do not like to be placed in waterlogged soils on permanent basis but can actually be submerged in water for some days in the wild. They also seem to be untouched by such involuntary incidents.
Kath Dryden once said that if in doubt whether to water a plant or not, then water it! I think this was a good piece of advice.

Regards
Einar

Paul T

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2008, 07:06:22 AM »
Einar,

And yet I found that the first lot of seedlings I took out into separate pots (approximately 2 years old) I watered too regularly and they all rotted.  Maybe it was the fact they were older instead of so young.  The following year I took more seedlings out of the original pot (now 3 years old) and I think every one of them was successful as I didn't water them as often.

Lesley, these were your seedlings, so there are now around 15 or 20 of them successfully taken out of the original sowing pot, and probably still another 50 of them in there.  ???  I think every single one of your seedlings germinated, or it seems that way.  After the first attempt I was worried I was going to have to leave them in the same pot together permanently.  ;)

Thanks Einar for the information.... I shall try your way at some point with some freshly germinated seedlings and see how they go.  I would much prefer to get them into their own pots earlier rather than later.
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

EinMy

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2008, 04:55:59 PM »
Paul, growing Hepaticas in Oz would be a challenge to any one of us so-called experienced growers so I think you have proven your abilities as a gardener simply by making then grow at all. When having said this, there are ofcourse always ways to improve your techniques, and I do have some ideas about this.

I wonder why your seedlings survived this year and not last year for a start. If time of year, potting mix and all other constants were the same both years I cannot understand why reduced watering should increase seedling survival rate. Unless: You use the recommended leafy compost used for Hepaticas in most of Europe in a climate much warmer than here. Microbiological activity increases with higher temperatures, meaning in short that the activity of pests will be higer in a leafy compost in Australia than in northern Europe. I would like to suggest that you exchange a considerable part of the humus in your potting mixes with sand. Sand is a "cleaner" material that reduces the activity of germs. This means that you may have to fertilize and water your plants more frequently, but I think your plants might grow better after such a change of potting mixture.
Hepaticas need a nourishing mix or fertilization of course, and it is still my experience that Hepaticas grow better in wet or moist soils than moderately moist soils. The roots do not need moisture only but also air or oxygen, so the soil mix should not stay sogging wet over time. Perlite drains the soil but also stores moisture at least for some time. If my inner picture of what has happend to your seedlings is correct, then I would suggest a well-draining soil for your seedlings and an increased amount of sand and Perlite in your potting mix.

In western Norway Hepaticas grow in "rainforest" conditions as for average precipitation during summer months, so there's no lack of water in the soils there. I therefore find it hard to believe that watering alone caused your seedligs' demise.

I think many of us are impressed with your achievements in the sense that you are pioneering ways of cultivating the little blue gems under climatic conditions that otherwise would be too hostile for them. You are paving the way for others,- or "shovelling away the snow for others" to use a Norwegian metaphor  ;D

Best regards
Einar

Paul T

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2008, 09:07:47 PM »
Einar,

There are a couple of us here in Canberra who grow Hepaticas, so I'm not that much of a pioneer.  Thanks for the sentiment though.  Potting-wise I use a good quality potting mix with excellent drainage.  I do tend to add some coarse river sand to anything that requires even better drainage, but I actually left the sand out of the seedling repotting of the Hepaticas.  They have grown very well this year and I expect a bunch of them to flower next year so I can find out whether Lesley's seedlings are all the same pink or not. 

I also repotted a couple of other pots from the same year, after watching the seedlings I'd just repotted for a couple of weeks and realised that with the lower water levels they were much happier than the year before, so hopefully there'll be even more Heps flowering next spring. 

I have only a few adult plants, a couple of blues and a white with pink shading in the buds... some of these also have seedlings under them this year as well so that will also be interesting to see the results of in a few years.  I would love to get doubles, but they are very, very rare here.  Maybe one day.  I'd love to try to get seed of semi-doubles to see whether I could manage to produce a double seedling or tow, or some semi-doubles.  Might be the easiest way to get them here. 

I'm definitely finding that growing them from seed here is working well for me, so I will keep trying to get hold of different colours in seed to see what else I can add to my collection.  I greatly appreciate the generous SRGC members who have sent me seed in the past.... they're pretty much all doing very well and I will post pics of the results as they commence flowering (as I did this season when a few seedlings started).  So exciting getting new colours, even if so far that is "just" a mid pink from Lesley's seed.  I put the just in quotes because it was a colour I didn't have, and that meant it was exciting.  I am hoping for a few different shades in that lot of seed, but if not I will still be happy with some fantastic mid pinks.

So if people have spare seed of their Heps this spring that they'd like to trade/donate to the Hepatica colonisation efforts of Australia  ;) then please keep me in mind.  ;D

Thanks again everyone. 8)
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Michael J Campbell

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2008, 09:20:19 PM »
Paul, if things go according to plan I should have seed of various colours to spare. Remind me in the spring.

Paul T

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2008, 09:47:56 PM »
Michael,

Thank you, Yes please.  I would like to build up a good collection of colours from seed, as they'll all be acclimated to here and I think will work far better than brought in plants given my conditions.  That is the frustration with the double plants.... no seed.  ::)

Now, not being facetious..... when actually IS your spring?  It varies so much around the world, so I'm never sure.  Given we're the "opposite" it makes it harder too.  I'm assuming you're meaning somewhere around the March or so region?
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Michael J Campbell

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2008, 09:57:48 PM »
Paul, the end of March should be ok , really depends on the weather.

 


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