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Androsace: Sparse flowering

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Started by: Alan Jones

Go to latest contribution by Rick Lambert, 11 May 2012, 20:31. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Alan Jones 10 May 2012, 11:25top / bottom of page

I have several seed grown Androsace which flower sparsely. One is six years old, a fine looking cushion. I hang on to it hoping that it will turn out to be a very fine swan indeed, but I fear I am deluding myself. Question is: Should I consign this plant, and the others, to the compost heap? I am sure the reason must be genetic. At least banishing them from the alpine house would make more space. Yes, I remove all the flowers to encourage better flowering next time, but it makes no difference.

Contribution from Margaret Young 10 May 2012, 13:42top / bottom of page

Sparse flowering is frustrating for a cushion that is otherwise healthy.It may indeed be genetically a poor strain - but before you take the drastic action of dumping these plants, Alan, may I suggest another course of action?

Try repotting the plants into a very lean mix of mostly sand. I have no real expectations of success with this... but I have a suspicion that such plants may be being TOO well looked after, in a rich potting mix that is supplying so much nutrient to the plants that they are happy to make vegetative growth at the expense of flowers. Treat 'em mean for a while in a poor mix and see if you can frighten hem into flower - worth an experiment, don't you think?

Contribution from Alan Jones 10 May 2012, 17:58top / bottom of page

Yes, Margaret, makes absolute sense. I'll try it. In all honesty, I like the cushions out of flower...and I'd really feel guilt-stricken if I threw them away. Thanks for your reply, as always. Alan.

Contribution from Rick Lambert 11 May 2012, 20:31top / bottom of page

Hi Alan,

Yes Margaret is correct. I use 1 part sharp sand 1 part of perlite and a bit(*) of JI 1 or 2.

Too much nitrogen and no buds are formed. Also don't let them get too dry during the winter.

Generally high alpines will get all the food they need by their roots dissolving it from rock debris.

Try rooting cuttings or get fresh seed. Once a cushion has got into a non-flowering state it is difficult to get it to flower again.

Some say that androsace are best planted outside in a very free draining raised bed.

Best wishes

Rick Lambert

(*) the amount of JI and which one depends on the species and best to experiment


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