Conditions for Haberlea rhodopensis?

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by abgardeneer, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Hello,
    I've grown Haberlea rhodopensis for many years (it's clearly very hardy, as this is Calgary, zone 3) but have yet to make it happy enough to see it bloom. It started out in an acid bed situation in full sun, where a few of the leaves would burn a little through the season. I eventually twigged on to the realization that it is more a plant for shade (according to some references), and have moved it to increasing shade over the last few years... but there are still a few damaged leaves (possibly the same ones, as it's also been very slow growing) and still no blooms. Can anyone tell me the garden conditions under which this plant is really happy?
    Thanks,
    abgardeneer
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Re: Conditions for Haberlea rhodopensis?

    Thanks for the information. Like other info I've found, this site states its preference for damp, mainly shady places, which is why I moved it into shade... perhaps not damp enough though?
    I was also wondering if anyone who is growing it could describe their conditions in a little more detail.
    Thanks,
    abgardeneer
     
  4. Joe Keller

    Joe Keller Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Conditions for Haberlea rhodopensis?

    I grow specimen plants in clay pots that flower quite heavily. I use the paradoxical well drained, moisture retentive soil mix (about 40% peat or coir, 40% pumice, and 20% fired clay granules sold under the brand name Turface) I keep the plants quite dry, though not arid in the winter and as spring progresses I water more usually with a half strength 15-30-15 fertilizer 2 out of three waterings. Should you ever happen to dry it out too much water with clear water carefully several times until health is restored then resume your fertilzer program. I stop fertilizing mid to late September and slow up watering letting the plants rest through the winter. I believe that Haberlea and the related gesneriad Ramonda flower better when their roots are a little crowded in the pot. If you are planting them directly in the garden try planting in a vertical crevice between two pieces of slate or other stone. This seems to mimic their preferred locations in nature. It is also my experience that while they do not want direct sunlight, open shade, or better yet the last couple of hours of waning sunlight seem to help them to flower well. I hope this answers some of your questions, Joe
     
  5. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Re: Conditions for Haberlea rhodopensis?

    Thank you very much for the insight on growing conditions for this plant, Joe. I'll have to think about how to apply your methods, and the crevice-growing suggestion, to my plant which is outdoors in the ground.
    Thanks again, Michael, for the reference site.
    abgardeneer
     
  6. lilydude

    lilydude Member

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    Re: Conditions for Haberlea rhodopensis?

    I had two plants on the north side of my house in Portland, Oregon, in sandy loam soil, no slope, 2-3 hours of sun per day in early morning and late afternoon. They lasted for about 16 years. I think more sun would be good for them. I am growing a bunch of them from seed, and will plant them in an east-facing bed, so they are shaded during the afternoon heat. They don't need to be planted in a rock wall, although they would like that. Make sure you give them all the necessary nutrients, including dolomite lime.
     

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