Does anyone here grow Dodecathon?

LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,482
I have one in a small terracotta pot on a table, which makes it easy to see and appreciate the flowers;  thinking of putting it in the ground but I'm nervous - it seems too delicate! Where do you grow it? Any problems? Has anyone successfully collected and sown seed? 
'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
- Cicero

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,156
    I tried it several times in different spots in my Belgian garden but it only ever came back once the following year and then only one of the three I'd planted.   I suspect that winters were just too cold and wet as it isn't hardy below -15C.

    Haven't tried it here yet.  It's in the primula family so seed will do best sown fresh, rather than stored.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 505
    Yes.  We grow it in the ground.  It is north facing and gets baked in Summer, but the plant is dormant by that stage and so not a problem. I have tried to grow from seed, with high germination rates, but the seedlings didn’t come to anything once planted out. They take years to flower from seed, better to propagate by division.  Put plenty of compost and manure in the planting hole. Make sure to water regularly during the growing season if it has been dry. One of my favourite plants.  
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,482
    edited 13 June
    Thank you both. No slug problems? @KeenOnGreen, whereabouts are you? 

    It seemed much happier here in light shade than in sun, but I'm thinking of planting it in a slightly shadier spot than that - but with shade from a Viburnum bodnantense so little leaf cover in its growing season. There are Primula denticulata and an Asplenium scolopendrium there and happy at the moment.

    Good to know about division opportunities! I've just been reading about it and division sounds a little more specialist than I'm used to doing; willing to give it a try though. 

    Thanks again.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    I think the problem is the summer dormancy , because the leaves tend to disappear in summer the seedlings take a long time to get to flowering size. They like it dry and well drained, but also like moisture prior to and when they are actively coming up too.

    I used to have D. meadia, in pink and the white ones, but they got forgotten about after a couple of years, as then I did not understand properly what they needed.
    They had dry shade under the edges of a conifer with only early morning sun, and did nicely, but I think my mistake of non longevity was the lack of water at the right time.

    I am glad you posted as they are lovely, you may have inspired me to try again, good luck with yours LG.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 505
    No slug problems but some unidentifiable caterpillars ate most of my flowers two years ago.  Now I keep an eye out for them.  They do prefer shaded areas but mine are very close to the north facing side of the house and are thriving even though they are not shaded by anything.  You divide after flowering.  Be sure to remember exactly where you plant them, as summer dormancy makes invisible for much of the year.  
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 468
    Hi @LG_,

    I grow Dodecatheon pauciflorum (aka D.meadia)..... bought at the Malvern Show a couple of years ago. It is in the ground and is now a much bigger clump than it was when bought, and it's been lovely this spring. I've got some seedlings going .... just about to prick them out and plant on.
    It is shaded from about 2pm onwards, in quite moist soil (but then the whole garden is moist as I live in a valley in southern Scotland!).

    I've got it in a border with a few other little "treasures"  .... so there's nothing close by to swamp it.

    Good luck with yours.

    Bee x
      image  Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey 
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    @Bee witched  I am a little out of date, thanks, pauciflorum now.
    Also just read that they are pollinated by Bees shaking them. Sonication or buzz pollination. :)
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 468
    Hi @Rubytoo .... thanks, I didn't know about the bees ... 
    We've 10 hives in our garden .... probably about half a million bees at the moment ... so the plants here have no excuse!

    Bee x
      image  Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey 
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,482
    Very interesting about the bees :) 🐝

    Interesting that you say dry shade, as I found my plant wilted very quickly if I didn't water in time. However, it did only get the occasional drop when it was dormant as I was unconvinced that there was anything viable in the pot! So it sounds like I chanced upon the right conditions.

    One of the reasons for planting it in that particular spot is that I'm more likely to remember it's there!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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