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Author Topic: New root growth in hepaticas  (Read 3925 times)

Rodger Whitlock

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New root growth in hepaticas
« on: July 06, 2009, 05:14:45 AM »
This last spring, I lifted and potted a large number of hepaticas that weren't performing. Put most of them in large bulb pans as an interim measure. I had cause to individually repot a number of these today.  While doing so, it was clear that the hepaticas are pushing out new roots right now. It would seem that the time to repot hepaticas is after the seeds have dropped.

I was happy to note that even the smallest division had a sound growth bud nestled in the middle. For this I give credit to Ian Christie, whose suggestion re potting mix for hepaticas I imitate quite closely.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Gerry

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 12:07:02 PM »
Rodger,

Is 'the recipe' on this site?

Gerry

Maggi Young

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 12:24:50 PM »
Hi, Gerry, see Ian Chrisitie's Hepatica article here in the main site:
http://www.srgc.org.uk/nurseryws/040404/content.html
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Rodger Whitlock

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 05:25:00 PM »
Is 'the recipe' on this site?

Yes, but it's such a simple recipe I can paraphrase it here: equal amounts of potting soil, pumice, and leaf mould. I used old compost instead of leaf mould.

These hepaticas that I lifted weren't doing well for at least three reasons: Not enough summer water (though hepaticas grow in deciduous woodlands that go quite dry in summer, so this may not be an issue). Soil with too little organic content, rather compacted, and therefore airless. The dearth of worms is a clue to the seriousness of this deficiency. And, finally, nutrient levels too low. It may be that the soil is also too acid.

Ian Christie's recipe, which I've paraphrased above, is high in organic matter, is well aerated thanks to the pumice, and has a reasonable nutrient level. I've also been careful to keep the pots watered and fed once in a while with liquid seaweed.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 05:44:34 AM by Rodger Whitlock »
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

johnw

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2009, 08:14:52 PM »
Yes, but it's such a simple recipe I can paraphrase it here: equal amounts of potting soil, pumice, and leaf mould. I used old compost instead of leaf mould.

Roger - Can you tell me about the size of your pumice particles, the brand name etc on the bag and the supplier?  I first saw it in the prop house at Cistus Nursery and things were rooting like weeds in it.  My thought is that it might be better for us than perlite in our growing mixes, the perlite tends to pulverize to a powder in our freeze/thaw winters.

I may be able to get a few bags shipped with plant orders from BC.

johnw - still cloudy here.
John in coastal Nova Scotia

Rodger Whitlock

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 05:53:06 AM »
Roger - Can you tell me about the size of your pumice particles, the brand name etc on the bag and the supplier?

I may be able to get a few bags shipped with plant orders from BC.

It's . . . [runs outside to look at a bag] . . . "Keefer's Horticultural Pumice", from Keefer Greenhouses, Richmond, BC. Sold in 15 liter bags at an outrageous, rip-off price by one local garden center, but it's the only source of pumice here.

It's not very evenly sized. I have to wash it over fly screen to get rid of the mud and fines, then pass it through a 3/16" screen (or thereabouts) to remove any large pieces before I use it. At the price you have to pay, you'd expect better than that.

Also, it's a pretty ugly pumice, a sort of dirty bone white. Many years ago, I got pumice from the Verkist orchid nursery outside Bellingham, Washington, that was a beautiful warm ocher color. If ferries weren't so expensive and crossing the border such a hassle, I'd make a special trip for more.

But the Keefer's pumice does the job. I have found it ideal for many true alpines: Ramonda, haberlea, weldenia, nierembergia patagonica & N. rivularis, plants that demand extremely good soil aeration.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Gerry

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 09:41:40 AM »
This sounds pretty similar to John Massey's mix; equal parts JI number 2, leafmould and perlite. I use it for initial potting of new plants.

You're right about dryness though. I try to put established plants in the open ground at the ned of a season in a pot. It seems to give them just the 'right' amount of dryness.

Gerry

johnw

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Re: New root growth in hepaticas
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 12:27:38 PM »
re: pumice

Thanks so much Roger, duly noted.

johnw
John in coastal Nova Scotia

 


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