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Libertia not flowering

dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 982
Hello all,

I inherited a large clump of libertia from a lovely neighbour, last autumn.

I could only plant it out in April, as we were having works done and the new bed where it had to go, wasn’t ready.

I divided into 3 small clumps and tidied up the old foliage, but although it has been in the ground for 5/6 weeks, there are no signs of any flower stalks, just greening up of the foliage.

Should I have cut it back to the ground, after planting? Or could I still do that now, to rejuvenate it / encourage it to flower later, perhaps?

Thanks 🙏🏻 
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  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,049
    edited May 2021
    I can only speak from personal experience with one plant, but I have heard that they can be shy to flower. I got a clump about 4 or 5 years ago. It grew healthily and luckily I like the leaves and the shape of the plant, as it showed no signs of flowering at all for 3 or 4 years! Until it finally flowered last summer and when it had finished, I divided it (it had become huge) into three large clumps and a couple of very small ones. I gave one large clump to my sister and told her to expect nothing for at least a couple of years. But to my surprise both my clumps and hers now have many flower buds. And the two small bits that I only planted 6 weeks ago also have a flower each.
    So from my experience, I would suggest just hoping it flowers next year... or the next!

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,307
    I noticed one of my three plants had flowered, yesterday. From what you describe, it sounds like they'll need to get a bit more established in their new location to flower. I'd leave them alone, they seem to be pretty unfussy in their care, you should get some flowers later on, but after all their main reason to exist is their lovely foliage which is why I'd say let them be. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 982
    So you don’t think giving them a haircut now may encourage flowers this year?

    I wondered if they were similar to roses, that we are told to prune as soon as they are planted out.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 982
    LG_ said:
    I can only speak from personal experience with one plant, but I have heard that they can be shy to flower. I got a clump about 4 or 5 years ago. It grew healthily and luckily I like the leaves and the shape of the plant, as it showed no signs of flowering at all for 3 or 4 years! Until it finally flowered last summer and when it had finished, I divided it (it had become huge) into three large clumps and a couple of very small ones. I gave one large clump to my sister and told her to expect nothing for at least a couple of years. But to my surprise both my clumps and hers now have many flower buds. And the two small bits that I only planted 6 weeks ago also have a flower each.
    So from my experience, I would suggest just hoping it flowers next year... or the next!

    That’s really interesting - it sounds like they flower from a mature clump, even if it has been divided then.

    My clump came from a neighbour who has only had them 2 years, but his flowered profusely in their second year already.

    hmm!
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    No, don't cut it back! It just needs time. I don't know which variety you have but I find some take several years to establish after division and some are total thugs. Just let it get on with putting its roots down, it will flower when it is ready.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,983
    It's only been in the ground five minutes  :)
    Libertias need time to establish - especially after dividing, which is best done in early summer, same as other grasses.  They need a sunny well drained site to flower well.

    Don't cut anything off at this time of year. They're spring/early summer flowering, so you would only be cutting off the potential flowering stems. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,735
    I assume you mean Libertia Grandiflora?  Our flower buds are just about to flower, and would have done so already, had it not been such a dry April, and chilly Spring.  Yours are unlikely to flower now, so as others suggest, you should just leave as they are.  It wouldn't do any harm to give them a liquid feed every couple of weeks, just to make the plants as large and healthy as possible.

    I've often wondered if I should shear them back to the ground in early Spring, as one of my pet hates is having to cut out individual dead leaves.  

    Our Libertia peregrinans hardly ever flower, a pity, as they are very pretty, and such a pure white.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 982
    I think mine are grandiflora, but they didn’t come with a label.

    im not patient but I’ll try to be 😁
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,735
    If the foliage is deep green, about 2 foot high, then it's grandiflora.  The others that are often grown in UK gardens (Peregrinans, Goldfinger, Ixiodes) have yellow/brown foliage.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 982
    Yes, the foliage is green. Plants are about 2ft. I’m trying to sit on my hands and watch them.
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