Rhodothamnus: Rhodothamnus chamaecistus
Started by: AGS EncyclopaediaGo to latest contribution by John Good, 20 December 2012, 17:40. Go to bottom of this page.
Images on this page are shown as thumbnails. Click on an image to enlarge it.
The plant of Rhodothamnus chamaecistus with which I was fortunate enough to win the Farrer and Forest medals at the 1991 International conference at Warwick is still alive and looking reasonably happy in my garden, 20 years later. It is much woodier and less floriferou than it was, but that is the case with most dwarf shrubs as they reach old age. My plant grows in full sun in freely drained stony soil that never dries out, it is fed occasionally with a liquid feed designed especially for ericaceous plants, and once every two years in spring (after flowering)it is topdressed with a mixture of gritty sand and fine composted bark. Propagation is not easy, I have tried seed on several occasions without success and cuttings are notoriously difficult to root. Success rates may be improved by applying the old gardeners' tip of covering the plant with an upturned flower pot for a few weeks after flowering, masking the drainage hole(s) to cause the shoots to etiolate, when they are more inclined to form roots. Even then, if you get 10% to root you will have done well. Don't be in a hurry to pot up any cuttings that do root as they are inclined to die if you do, and keep them shaded and sheltered until they are growing away strongly.