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Advice please on Phlomis italica

Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,419
My 2 yr old Phlomis italica is looking very sad after the recent cold spells, despite being fairly wrapped up well.  I knew it was a tender plant but it had survived it's 1st year and flowered last year - pinkish blooms instead of the usual yellow ones. It is showing signs of life so I've lightly pruned the dead top leaves off. Does anyone else grow this plant and is there anything else I can do to improve its chances?
North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,427
    Even some of the hardier Phlomis look bad after this winter. Just hope for some warmth to encourage it soon

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,019
    edited April 2018
    Not this one but I did grow another form with more purple flowers.  i tried it in a couple of places before succeeding in a well-drained, sheltered spot.   It was nowhere near as resistant to frost as the Russelliana form but, like yours, OK down to -10C for short spells as long as it wasn't wet.  I gave it a mulch in late autumn for extra insulation.

    This late in the season I think all you can do is keep an eye out for frost forecasts and give it some protection while it recovers.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    I have a yellow variety that I inherited with the garden, not being a fan, I totally neglected it then chopped it right down late last Spring as it was taking over a nearby rose. I was secretly hoping to dispatch it, but it bounced back and is now looking very healthy and much neater so I have accepted it. A pink variety, which may or may not have been Italica, used to grow wild in hot, arid rocky scrubland near where I used to live in Andalucia and was much prettier. I hesitate to give advice on yours because I am no expert, but my gut says don’t feed, mulch or do anything else, as if it’s anything like it’s wild cousins, it thrives in poor, free-draining rocky soil in mediterranean climates.

    I do recall reading somewhere that it’s better to wait until May before pruning though, because you may get more dieback and also that it should recover of its own accord. If it were mine I would leave well alone and give it another tidy up if required when all risk of frost is well and truly gone.

    if anyone more expert than me replies, ignore all of the above!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,419
    Thanks everybody.  I can't  give it hot, arid  and rocky conditions, being on clay but facing south it does get hot, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will wait and see.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,588
    I have free draining sandy soil where I had one planted, but still lost it to the cold.  Echeveria have survived the winter there, but not Phlomis italica.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,419
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed Fidgetbones.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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