Posts Tagged ‘native plants’

A few years ago I planted a sharp-loped hepatica — a native woodland flower– to add to my front garden.  I made the mistake of leaving it in  the coir pot, which I thought would biodegrade.  Later, I found out  that the amount of moisture needed to decompose the pots might rot the roots of the plant. The containers need to be constantly wet, otherwise they will dry out and take water away from plant roots. Also, when they decompose, they deprive nitrogen from the soil.

Sharp-Lobed Hepatica

When I didn’t see the flower last year,  I thought that it had died. But lo and behold, I spotted one small flower this year coming up through the leaf litter.  What a beautiful surprise!

The flower opens  first while the furled, hairy leaves are still just peeking out of the ground.  When the flowers disappear, the leaves open out.  These small brownish leaves are blending in with the leaves in my flower bed, which makes me think they may have been there last year, but I didn’ t notice them.

Sharp-Lobed Hepatica Leaves

Sharp-Lobed Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. acuta) like well-drained, rich soil, with dappled sunlight in the spring and shade in summer.  Mine is growing in sandy loam at the edge of the shade of a Norway maple.  Hopefully, it will continue to thrive and multiply there. Luckily, I hadn’t given up and planted something else at that spot. Sometimes it takes a year or two for a perennial plant to adjust to its new surroundings and show its lovely blossoms. So don’t give up on your flowers after one year… you may get a welcome surprise.


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