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Plants for mediterranean gardens => Trees and Shrubs => Topic started by: David Dickinson on November 10, 2013, 09:08:56 PM

Title: Does anybody grow single-flowered Kerria Japonica?
Post by: David Dickinson on November 10, 2013, 09:08:56 PM
I am about to have my 4th attempt! I have had a pot with "pleniflora" for about 10 years and "pleniflora" is to be found in many gardens and parks in Rome. Mine gets morning sun and the roots are in shade. So, it would seem, Kerria is suited to my balcony. I have tried with suckers with roots and also with bought plants from UK (single-flowered not available or grown locally to my knowledge). The former died within 6 months and the bought plants (2 plants in 2 different years) died after flowering in spring.

I have just potted up 12 rooted suckers. Not the best time of year but as this is the only time I could get them I thought it was better to try now than not at all.

Any ideas where I could be going wrong?  ???

Title: Re: Does anybody grow single-flowered Kerria Japonica?
Post by: simonmark on November 11, 2013, 12:37:40 AM
I don't know the answer...But a couple of thoughts... :P

I've never seen Kerria growing in a "pot" before, apart from 3litre/5litre pots in garden centres. Maybe the pot could be the problem ? All the ones I've seen are very vigorous, suckering shrubs, say 1.25m wide at least, by 1.8m high....And there's always a lot of dieback which needs pruning out to healthy wood, along with some of the old wood to let the new growth flourish...Maybe if the top growth dies back it's worth seeing if the roots are still live ? A bit of watering/feeding, and give them a chance to sprout new growth ?? They often do.

They do fantastically well in Northern England in moist, cool, shady, north-facing conditions, with space to grow. I'm not familiar with Rome but a pot on a balcony in hot conditions might not be ideal...? Is it a shrub commonly seen in the Mediterranean ? ....But, fair enough, as you say it's seen in parks around the city. Maybe it's the pot...

...We have the same problem attempting to grow French Lavender in Newcastle....It generally just turns grey !!  :)
Title: Re: Does anybody grow single-flowered Kerria Japonica?
Post by: Umbrian on November 11, 2013, 08:56:33 AM
I would agree that growing it in a pot is the problem. As we know -  the roots sucker and so have need of lots of space, perhaps in a pot they just do not have this opportunity and therefore fail to flourish resulting in the death of the plant. I have a very poor specimin of the single flowered variety (that I much prefer) but it does not tolerate the summer drought very happily perhaps for similar reasons - the suckering roots find very little moisture to sustain them as they try to spread and resulting topgrowth is very sad. I have seen big healthy bushes in this area, mainly in towns I think, which made me decide to try it but my more exposed garden does not suit it.
Title: Re: Does anybody grow single-flowered Kerria Japonica?
Post by: David Dickinson on November 11, 2013, 09:13:33 PM
Thanks for your comments. Sorry to hear about your disappointment with yours "Umbrian" but at least yours is surviving!

I can give it all the water necessary, "Simonmark". No hosepipe bans ever - those ancient Romans knew what they were doing when they laid the foundations of the modern system 2,000 years ago. You are right that I do need to prune out dead wood on my "pleniflora". I like to trace the long stems up from the balcony floor through the troughs hanging on the balcony railings. This way I get yellow flowers mixing in with different coloured flowers and the nice fresh green leaves all year round. As you can see from the attached picture there is dead wood but enough flowers to make it worthwhile, especially in autumn when I have the same number of flowers contrasting with the lavender it is growing around. It is just that I prefer simple flowers and so would be even happier with the single-flowered form

So we come back to the idea that the pot itself is the problem (in which case I have been lucky with my 10 year old "pleniflora") or is it that the "pleniflora" is, in some way, more able to cope with the summer heat?. This might account for why it is the only variety I ever see in Rome.
Title: Re: Does anybody grow single-flowered Kerria Japonica? If at first you don't etc
Post by: David Dickinson on April 14, 2018, 10:50:51 AM
Some 5 years later I come back to the same topic but with better news. Now that I have a garden, small though it is, I took some more cuttings  2 years ago. They are soon to be liberated from their pots and put in dappled shade in exactly the same place where they have been sitting for the last 2 years. I had to move them out into the sun for a day while I cut back all the dead growth on a lemon tree after the bitter cold we had a month ago. I photographed them in the sun but this is not where they usually are.  Lots of flowers and new growth coming through.
I brought a "pleniflora" with me which is in full shade in soil and is now 1.5 m tall and doing well. Lets see what happens with the single flowered form.