Trillium ovatum and moss

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Renew, May 4, 2016.

  1. Renew

    Renew Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a small Trillium ovatum which bloomed, in a pot, I want to plant it on the North West side of the house behind some hydrangea leaves, so it gets dappled afternoon sunlight. There is thick moss growing there. Should I remove the moss before planting the Trillium? Can Trilliums compete with moss?
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    I have found that the main criterion growing Trillium ovatum is that they be kept moist. I have seen a large clump growing happily in full sun but it could not have done so if the soil were dry. Good air circulation is also important - something I learned the hard way when dozens of plants I had growing in my Burnaby garden were wiped out over several years due to Anthracnose (introduced by ailing native Dogwood trees). I wonder if the spot you have chosen may not be a little too shady. Moss itself is not a problem but I would remove whatever is in the immediate vicinity until the plant is established and then let it fill again later.
     
  3. Renew

    Renew Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you for your response. No native dogwoods around here...I will remove the moss, and some crawling sedum-like plant (not aggressive) away from the area. I will also put some more soil with home-made compost there as it is lower than the rest of the bed, mulch it with leaf mulch I made. It will get afternoon sun for 2-3 hours but filtered by the hydrangea leaves. It will be right near the front porch so I can water it frequently.
     
  4. pmurphy

    pmurphy Rising Contributor

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    Western trilliums grow in cool/shaded, moist areas.
    But once established they can tolerate sun - mine grow under a sparse rose tree so they don't get a lot of shade but they have been growing there for about 10 years and are thriving - they now densely cover a 2ft x 2ft area and I'm actually finding seedling popping up in other areas of the garden

    Coast trilliums grow best in light shade. Ideally this is a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade or the bright shade beneath deciduous trees or very tall conifers. In too much shade they will not spread or flower as well; in hot afternoon sun their foliage burns. All trilliums require fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. In the right conditions, this trillium is fairly drought tolerant, but it will do better with regular additional water during summer dry spells. Gardening with trilliums teaches the rewards of patience: young plants can take three to five years to bloom and another five to eight years to develop into a nice clump. Just remember that the wait is well worthwhile with these garden gems. Do not remove old flowers but let the seeds develop, ants will disperse them around your garden to start new clumps. Trilliums are long-lived garden perennials, taking several years to form a significant clump. Coast trillium grows 18 to 20 inches tall and over a ten-year period, can become a patch up to 15 inches in width. Trilliums are poor competitors, so be careful not to plant aggressive plants nearby.
     

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