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Lewisia Cotyledon rotting....

msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
My newly bought Lewisias seem to have started to rot unfortunately... I repotted them into 50/50 mixture of soil/grit after arrival and left them in pots on a sunny patio outside. Didn't water them heavily straight away as I read that they like dry conditions. Leaves were becoming droopy at that point and I wasn't sure whether they were overwatered or underwatered. Then it rained for a few days, which in hindsight was probably the cause of the rotting. I removed some leaves going red from one plant that's doing particularly badly, but it didn't help either.

Anyone's got experience looking after this plant please? Was reading previous posts saying that they should be planted in crevices but I don't have a rock garden yet. Now I'm starting to think that I may need to keep them in pots indoors forever as it rains so much here in London.

Any advice would be much appreciated!




Posts

  • coccinellacoccinella LuxembourgPosts: 194
    Hello.  Lewisias take time to establish, yours look fine to me but you have to be patient with these little madams.  From what you have it took mine almost three years to flower freely and at one point I almost chucked them.I enclose a photo of mine so you can see what I have done. In their natural habitat they selfseed between rocks where water will not stagnate. I would remove the plastic pots and transfer them in some terracotta with stones sort of "hugging" them.  They like deep soil so raise the plant as much as possible with deep pots. I live in a cold winter climate so I transfer them in (plastic) pots but away from rain and protected from direct frost. I feed them from April with an ordinary flower compost once or twice during the whole summer.
    When down go out and buy a packet of seeds
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
    Hello.  Lewisias take time to establish, yours look fine to me but you have to be patient with these little madams.  From what you have it took mine almost three years to flower freely and at one point I almost chucked them.I enclose a photo of mine so you can see what I have done. In their natural habitat they selfseed between rocks where water will not stagnate. I would remove the plastic pots and transfer them in some terracotta with stones sort of "hugging" them.  They like deep soil so raise the plant as much as possible with deep pots. I live in a cold winter climate so I transfer them in (plastic) pots but away from rain and protected from direct frost. I feed them from April with an ordinary flower compost once or twice during the whole summer.
    Thanks so much for the advice Coccinella! Yours look amazing! Hope it's as you said, though the ones that I bought came in decent size and already flowering (which I deadheaded). I'll try and see if I can transfer them to some sort of terracotta/stone set up as you recommended. Really want to figure out how to look after these beauties as they look so gorgeous when they are doing well.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,631
    edited July 2021
    Your left pot is very small and young with not a lot of leaves. Try to lay some small gravel pieces around their base to keep the lower sections dry. Once they grow more leaves, it creates a rain shadow over their root area. They don't need a lot of watering. If you need to water, place a tray or saucer and water from underneath. 

    Ideal conditions would be to keep them away from very strong afternoon sun in the summer. Not sure with how fast Lewisia Cotyledon grows but I grow Lewisia Longipetala, and they grow quite fast and every year, always new plants are produced from the main plant, which means, I can cut that away and root into another pot. They don't require any feeding and thrive on dry free draining soil. If you grow them without an angle/slope, in the winter they need protection from winter wet, so I recommend a cold frame or cloches over winter.
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
    Your left pot is very small and young with not a lot of leaves. Try to lay some small gravel pieces around their base to keep the lower sections dry. Once they grow more leaves, it creates a rain shadow over their root area. They don't need a lot of watering. If you need to water, place a tray or saucer and water from underneath. 

    Ideal conditions would be to keep them away from very strong afternoon sun in the summer. Not sure with how fast Lewisia Cotyledon grows but I grow Lewisia Longipetala, and they grow quite fast and every year, always new plants are produced from the main plant, which means, I can cut that away and root into another pot. They don't require any feeding and thrive on dry free draining soil. If you grow them without an angle/slope, in the winter they need protection from winter wet, so I recommend a cold frame or cloches over winter.
    Thanks! The left pot was exactly like the right pot when it arrived, and it had a few flowering stalks too. But the leaves have since started drooping and gone soft, so I got rid of most of them.. rightly or wrongly... I'll try watering from underneath definitely.
  • I have read that lewishias prefer to be planted on their sides in vertical cracks in rock cevices as they hate water around their necks. It causes them to rot as they are very succulent. I would guess if you have to plant them flat they would do best slightly proud of soil level with plenty of grit around them to give them good drainage.
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
    Another one of my Lewisias is dying and I still don't know why... Bought this from Secret Gardening Club as 9cm pot. It arrived in very damp compost (think they thoroughly water all plants before sending them out, but not sure if it's the right approach for Lewisias). Learning from previous experience I kept it indoors and repotted into succulent potting mix. Exposed the neck above soil level too. Didn't water it until the compost almost dried up. Yet two weeks later the neck still seems to be rotting now....

    I contacted the SGC team and they refunded me immediately but didn't offer much advice on the cause. Anyone could help identify the issue please? Thanks!


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,631
    They are perfectly fine left outside and will not mind the odd down-pour or wind. Why not leave them out on a west facing wall to begin with to see how they fair. The soil should be loam-based with lots of grit or perlite added to keep it free draining. Make sure the container is deep enough for their tap roots. They like a cool deep root run to keep them strong and happy.
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
    They are perfectly fine left outside and will not mind the odd down-pour or wind. Why not leave them out on a west facing wall to begin with to see how they fair. The soil should be loam-based with lots of grit or perlite added to keep it free draining. Make sure the container is deep enough for their tap roots. They like a cool deep root run to keep them strong and happy.
    Thanks for the advice! Mine didn't seem to like that approach though... (see previous posts with photos) A week's London rain managed to kill two of my previous three  plants (strangely, one exposed to rain survived and one not exposed to rain got killed). I did see my neighbour's Lewisia growing happily outside. I still haven't figured out what exactly I did wrong... For now I'm suspecting the damp compost they came with (with the neck buried), not sure how long they were kept like for in transit.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,631
    edited August 2021
    I have received a lot of poorly managed plants, and some take up to a year to recover. You could be right about possible dodgy care. That could be inconsistent watering and lack of sun. If you have re-potted, I think you should leave them outside as it's the right weather for them.

    Keep them somewhere with afternoon shade to help them settle down. Water them once every 3-4 days allowing the water to drain right through. You can lay a thick layer of gravel around the top of the pot so any water does not linger around the base.
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