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Kent Diary Discussion: 21 June 2014

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Ostrowskia magnifica

Go to latest contribution by Della Kerr, 23 June 2014, 08:30. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Della Kerr 22 June 2014, 07:23top / bottom of page
Growing O. magnifica

I saw this plant in the alpine house at Kew, I think, about 10 years ago, and was determined to grow it. I managed to get some seed, from Jim Archibald, but it did not germinate. I have since tried it twice from roots, keeping it in a pot in my unheated grrenhouse. The first time, I got a few very uninspiring flowers, before the plant collapsed and died. This year, I have only had foliage, which again quickly disappeared. I haven't yet dared to check if there is anything remaining in the pot, but suspect I shall again have just some very expensive compost! However, I note your quote about the necessary pot-size, and aestivation, so shall keep it (if alive) dry for the summer, then re-pot into something very much larger than its current home. Thanks for another interesting and informative diary-entry.

Contribution from Margaret Young 22 June 2014, 19:15top / bottom of page

Hang in there, Della: with your skills I am sure you will succeed in the end with this  lovely plant. Ostrowskia magnifica is a plant that has been taxing growers all over the world - always  nice to know you're not alone, eh? 

Some of the efforts :

Sellers of the plant all claim "it is growable" of course.

Paige Woodward in Canada says : "Our plants descend from material collected by Arnis Seisums in the Hissar Range of Tajikistan. This plant needs dry Central Asian conditions to thrive, but on account of its size it is unlikely to survive in a pot smaller than 15 liters (4 gal.). Seisums grows it in an open bed, lifting it after it flowers and keeping it dry till the end of September. We grow ours in pots in a cool glasshouse. We don't lift after blooming, but we water frugally and when the leaves die down we stop watering completely till the first green tip emerges."

Good luck!



Contribution from Della Kerr 23 June 2014, 08:30top / bottom of page

Thanks, Maggi. I've read the comments in your link: coupled with Tim Ingram's diary entry, it is pretty clear where I have been going wrong! The pot  (a long tom) is too small, and I watered the plant when it started flopping, instead of realising that this was its normal habit when the sun came out! I must do better next time.

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