Ebenus cretica for a first timer.

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JamesDevon

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Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« on: July 09, 2013, 02:55:09 PM »
Hello all.

I've read through the other thread on Ebenus cretica, but it seemed to me to be from an angle of already being more familiar with the plant than I am. Apologies though if this doesn't warrant a new thread.

My Dad is hard to buy for with gifts, but he does like gardening, growing new things and always has his holidays in Crete/Greece, so I thought it would be nice to get him some Ebenus cretica seeds for his Birthday. Now maybe you're already calling me a fool :P

Anyway, I cannot really find a nice set of complete cultivation instructions anywhere, and also, you guys no doubt have some good practical experience. So, could someone tell me what to do to grow this plant, starting with that to do with the seeds up to ongoing care. Can it be kept in a container for good or will it need to go into ground? And the usual - soil types, exposure, tenderness and even growing habit of it. I've got the seeds now, so even if it's not a plant for the long term, he may as well have a go for the fun of it. I will take your information and make out a sheet for him to give with the seeds.

We live in East Devon, which so far seems dry, hot, sheltered in summer.

Thank you kindly.

James. :)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 06:42:02 PM by Alisdair »
Amid the hope and worry, the fear and anger believe that each day which breaks is your last: the unhoped for hour will be a welcome surprise (Horace's Epistles, Bk I, Ep IV, L13)

Alice

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Re: Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 06:06:25 PM »
What a lovely idea, James.
Here is some very brief advice concerning E. cretica:
For germination pour boiling water over the seeds and leave them to swell overnight before planting.
For cultivation try to replicate the conditions of its natural habitat: poor, stony soil with perfect drainage. Never over-water. Try to avoid the combination of cold and wet at all stages - not easy in Devon. Otherwise it should tolerate low temperatures and windy situations. It forms a rounded shrub not more that 1m x 1m. Since it has a long tap root, it might not like being kept in a pot long-term.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 06:42:18 PM by Alisdair »
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

pamela

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Re: Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 06:42:04 PM »
Alice that is very useful. I have seeds which I got at the AGM in Crete. They might be a little old now but you have given me impetus to get them started.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 06:42:59 PM by Alisdair »
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
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Alice

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Re: Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 12:37:51 AM »
Good luck, Pamela. I think it is a lovely plant.
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

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JamesDevon

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Re: Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 12:59:07 PM »
Thank you for that. So this is a plant that likes a dry life then? Better to under water than over water?
Amid the hope and worry, the fear and anger believe that each day which breaks is your last: the unhoped for hour will be a welcome surprise (Horace's Epistles, Bk I, Ep IV, L13)

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 03:58:39 PM »
Yes a nice idea but a bit hard on your dad!
Even the experts have a hard time propagating Ebenus cretica and then growing them on and getting them to survive planting them out isn't very easy either. Why not give him seeds of the Cretan palm Phoenix theophrasti instead. Cretan expert John Fielding is advising us all to grow this because it might get wiped out in its native habitat in eastern Crete by the palm beetle. It's tough and adaptable.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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JamesDevon

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Re: Ebenus cretica for a first timer.
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2013, 02:25:43 PM »
Ooh OK, Thanks Fleur, I'll look that up! x
Amid the hope and worry, the fear and anger believe that each day which breaks is your last: the unhoped for hour will be a welcome surprise (Horace's Epistles, Bk I, Ep IV, L13)