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No flowers on sea holly

RobmarstonRobmarston south walesPosts: 330

i was given a sea holly 'big blue' in march of last year. I potted it up carefully with mpc and good drainage. It appeared to slowly die but a little growth came back but died back again at the end of the year. This year it has grown much better. It hasn't flowered. The leaves look pale to me and there's no sogn of a flower. What am I doing wrong?

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589

    I think you would do well to re-pot it in some decent John Innes no 3 compost mixed with maybe a handful or two of MPC so it has better drainage with a bit of moisture retention.   I only ever use unmixed MPC as a soil conditioner for beds.  Try using a ceramic pot to maintain a more ven root temperature as black plastic can lead to over heating on warm, sunny days and doesn't provide much insulation against cold in winter.

    Bear in mind also that all commercial composts only have food supplies to last for 90 to 100 days at best so your plant is probably starving.  If it has to stay in a pot, give it a spring top dressing of pelleted chicken manure or rose fertiliser and then regular liquid feeds of tomato food from April to mid July.  That should perk it up and have enough spare energy to produce some flowers.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376

    That looks very sad. I'd tip it out of that pot and see if it's pot bound. It looks like the pot it came in and it must have grown, or tried to grow, in that time. Then pot up as Obelixx suggests.

    What exactly did you mean by MPC with good drainage? Did you add grit to the MPC or put some at the bottom?

  • RobmarstonRobmarston south walesPosts: 330

    Thanks obelixx. I had been under the impression that it preferred a poor soil so wasn't feeding it. I shal do as you say. Should I re-pot it now or wait till it's dormant?

  • RobmarstonRobmarston south walesPosts: 330

     Nutcutlet, I added grit to the mpc and a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot. It's not the pot it came in, I potted it up into this one. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589

    Now.  It's desperate for some nutrients.  remember to soak it first, tease out the root ball to encourage the roots to grow outwards into their new home and water well after re-potting.  Give it a generous drink at least once a week and more often in hot spells - daily sometimes necessary.  Best to dunk it in a bucket till no further air bubbles appear then leave to drain.  Tomato food between dunkings.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376

    It was the label on the pot that made me think it was the original, Rob. image

  • RobmarstonRobmarston south walesPosts: 330

    just been out to give it a feed for now.  Can't repot till next weekend so hopefully that will help. Such a wonderful plant but I can't plant it out yet. We're moving house end of the year/next year so I want to take a lot with me - hence the pot. I transferred the label because I was so chuffed to have one! ?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376

    When we moved here I came in a car packed to the roof with plants, cuttings, seedlings, a garden on wheels

  • RobmarstonRobmarston south walesPosts: 330

    That's my plan. I've been taking cuttings, digging things up and potting them etc. We'll need a separate truck just for the garden! Can't leave my hard work behind! 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,376

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