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Author Topic: Hepatica cultivation  (Read 17572 times)

Paul T

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Hepatica cultivation
« on: January 28, 2008, 12:12:59 PM »
Howdy All,

I thought this might be a useful discussion thread to have here...... for people to ask questions and/or give suggestions re cultivation of Hepatica.  Given our rather diverse climatic condtions in various parts of the world you just never know what little gems we might pick up from someone else's experiences.

Now I have a specific question...... what time of year is best to repot Hepaticas.  Also, what age do you suggest pricking out or repotting Hepatica seedlings.  I had bad experiences with pricking out part (thankfully not the whole) of a pot of seedlings that were just shooting their second season of true leaves (i.e starting their third year of growth I guess?) and I lost nearly all of them.  I have a few different lots of seedlings coming along from wonderfully generous people here on this forum and I'd like to do them justice, rather than killing them as soon as I repot them.  Should I after two years just pot the whole pot up into a larger pot to givem them more space but not disturb the roots?  Should I be fertilising them?

And I have yet another question...... how catastrophic to a Hepatica is drying out enough for it's leaves to die?  I think the central crowns are still alive, although obviously not as big as they should be because they're only half way through the growing season.  I "think" it will survive the trauma, but will it now wait until next spring or will it reshoot new leaves for the rest of the summer?  Or will it now decline and die?  I haev no live leaves on it at all now, as they've all browned off in the 35'C days a couple of weeks ago... I guess I missed watering that pot.  :'(   I only have 3 mature Hepatica plans so the loss of this one will be pretty dreadul!!

Thanks in anticipation of any advice or reassurance anyone can provide.  :D
Cheers.

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

Paul T

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 11:42:49 AM »
So.... does that mean that everyone else grows them in the ground and therefore never pricks out seedlings, and that everyone else lives in climates where the Hepatica never stand a chance of drying out?  Ah the wonders of cooler summers and no water restrictions! <sigh>
Cheers.

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

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 10:07:48 AM »
Hi Paul,

I'm definitely not the big Hepatica expert but I do love them.
I once got two potfulls of seedlings from Chris Vermeire who also posts here - they were two years old and I pricked them out in early spring - all did quite well and gave me their first flowers the next Spring - their third year.  I keep them in the shade during Summer and don't let them completely dry out.  I have the impression they don't want an awful lot of moisture from late Spring onwards.  After all, in nature they are in the woods, under leaf cover, in fierce competition with tree roots for water, so they have to be happy with what they get.
Obviously, our summers are quite unlike yours.... ;D - but I think, given some shade and some water every now and then, they should be ok with you.
 
Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

Susan Band

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 10:33:20 AM »
Hepaticas put out their new roots just at or after flowering. I would suggest that this is the best time to move them just as they start putting down the new roots. Keep them well watered until the roots have sopped growing, if you leave it too late any broken roots will be sitting til the next season. The new roots are much paler brown in colour and have white tips to the ends, they come from the crown and in theory they don't really need the old roots again.
Susan Band, Pitcairn Alpines, ,PERTH. Scotland


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Paul T

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 11:35:08 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  hepaticas in general do just fine for me, or at least for the few years I've been growing them.  My big concern was my most mature plant which dried out and all it's leaves went brown..... and I'm wondering whether it will acutally survive or whether that is it.  it was "only" a common blue, but no Hep is common in this country so it was VERY valuable to me.

As to seedlings..... I have a number of pots that are reaching their second or third growing seasons thanks to the wonderful people on this forum.  I experimented with pricking out part of a pot from my first sowing (Thanks Lesley) and promptly lost pretty much every one of them.  I don't really want to lose the rest of them, but maybe it sounds like I should leave it until they actually start shooting in spring before I repot them, whereas I tried to time it last time to just prior to shooting so that the new growth wasn't soft and therefore mor likely to wilt.  Sounds like I may have got it jsut that bit early, kept them too damp, and lost them as a result.  The only one of them that thrived was one in a pot I gave to a friend..... of the 3 seedlings one survived and I expect by how well it grew it will flower in spring this year, well ahead of those seedlings which I left for safety in the original pot.  Still, they're alive and that is what matters!!

Thanks again for the responses.  Sorry if my spelling is dodgy at the moemnt.... it's late and I'm tired.  Just wanted to say Thanks before heading off to bed.  8)
Cheers.

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

Gunhild Poulsen

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2008, 07:56:31 AM »
I am always pricking my Hepatica in spring as soon as the seeds has emergence, and the first two small leaves are big enough to handle. By pricking I ad some long lasting fetiliser. In that way they always flowers the 4. year, rarely the 3 year after sowing.

I dont know the climate where you are living. Maybe its not the right way to do it in your part of the world. A Japanese Hepatica grower tells me, that they never repot or pricks out Hepatica in the spring, because of the heat summer.They always do it in autumn.

johngennard

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2008, 08:39:32 PM »
Paul,
This is the first time that I have picked up this thread and others have already given good advice.I did give full details of my own methods in last years thread and they are broadly the same  as the others but one difference which may help you in your climate is the fact that instead of pricking out into individual pots I prick out about 15/20 seedlings to a 3ltr.plastic pot.This provides a much greater volume of compost that is less prone to dry out during the dormant period and despite other comments I do not believe that they enjoy being completely dry at any time.I was given this tip by Phillip Baulk of Ashwood Nurseries who are ace growers of the genus
and he stated that they like company which is perhaps another way of putting it.I have certainly suffered far less losses since adopting this method and far less space taken up by what turned out to be empty pots by the following season.Good luck with your efforts.
John Gennard in the heart of Leics.

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2008, 10:21:15 AM »
Sounds like very sound advice John - I'll keep it in mind  ;)
Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

chris

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2008, 06:12:36 PM »
just want to say I try to repot my seedlings in autum, from end of october and I give one or two weeks before some fosfor fertiliser (10-52-10) 1 gram/liter, fosfor is good for the roots and they recover verry fast from damage.
Chris Vermeire
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Zomergem
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Afloden

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 08:18:00 PM »
 Hepatica, like Cimicifuga (Actaea), Clematis, Helleborus, Eranthis, etc, begin their new root growth in the fall, which is when I begin to repot them and why fall sown Hepatica seed is good, but best just as they ripen. They continue to produce new roots, but the new and main crop of new roots is fall produced with a second minor one just after flowering. The next years buds are formed in summer (Aug-Sept), with noticeable bud growth in Sept-Nov. I continue dividing, repotting, and potting on until I finish sometimes throughout the fall, winter, and into spring, much like a friend in Japan. I don't think there is much harm done by dividing in the spring just as the buds swell, in flower, or just after the leaves harden though. Repotting in the fall enables them to grow a better root system before they flower or have to face a hot summer when the next years buds are formed.

 I always sow in 6-8cm pots in quantity and then only pot those on after 2 years. The first flowers normally occur the third year.

 A little fertilizer, heavy in potash is good when repotting. Water well until you can take one out of a small pot after a few weeks and see the new yellowish white roots at the edges of the soil ball.

 Aaron Floden
 Knoxville, Tennessee
 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 08:23:40 PM by Maggi Young »
Missouri, at the northeast edge of the Ozark Plateau

Gunhild Poulsen

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2008, 09:20:38 PM »
Aaron - you write: first flowers normally occur the third year.
I'm curious to know - is it the third year after sowing or the third year after the the small leaves are shown?



Afloden

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2008, 01:01:24 PM »
 It would be the third year from when the cotyledons show up. So sowing last years (2007) seed would produce flowers beginning in 2011, since the cotyledons will be showing in the next couple of weeks. I am sure fertilizer could push that or make the first flowering better, but I grow my plants lean.

 The second flowering really shows what the flowers will look like though. The first tends to have one or two flowers of a color atypical from maturity.

 Aaron Floden
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Missouri, at the northeast edge of the Ozark Plateau

Peter Maguire

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2008, 07:48:03 PM »
To start another line of enquiry..

I tipped out a pot of a young Hepatica henryi yestrday which was showing no signs of the central bud swelling. Sure enough, there was no central bud, probably due to a passing slug, but at about 4/5 places around the root ball, very small shoots could be seen to be growing, almost in a suckering fashion. Naturally the plant was immediately repotted!

Has anyone noticed this behaviour before, as it seems like a potential way to form a good clump (mot that I'm advocating removing the main buds from the centre of the plant).

Peter
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johngennard

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2008, 09:24:19 PM »
I have'nt experienced this myself unfortuneately but I have read where a possible propagation method is from the thicker portions of
the root thongs as root cuttings.I have not had any success I have to say.Here are a few pics. from my hepatica house taken to-day.
John Gennard in the heart of Leics.

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: Hepatica cultivation
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2008, 09:28:10 PM »
John, what fabulous views  :o :o
Some of these plants must be 15 years old or more ???  ???
Brilliant display !!
Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

 


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