Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?

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David Dickinson

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Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« on: January 06, 2017, 10:11:40 PM »
One of the plants I expected to see everywhere in gardens when I came to Rome was some form(s) of helianthemum. Like Crocosmia they are nowhere to be seen. A search on the forum throws up only 3 entries. So, in Italy, Umbrian has some in her garden and references to Greece come up too. Are they grown in everybody's gardens and are too common to be worthy of mention or is it that they cannot take the heat? I have just brought back from Leeds UK H"Henfield Brilliant", H"ben fhada" and H"bunbury". the fact that other varieties have thrived in my sister's garden in Leeds does not bode well for their survival in Rome. Does anybody have tips for helping them survive the summer heat? The internet sites I have looked at so far suggest full sun or morning sun. The latter may be better in full-on Mediterranean heat.

I did try on my old balcony a few years ago but the plants didn't survive the year in pots. Now I have some open soil in full sun or shade and am hoping for a little more success this time round.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Fermi

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Re: Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 07:08:10 AM »
Hi David,
it's sad to think how many different varieties of Helianthemum have been lost because they seem to have fallen from favour :'(
In our garden we've grown them in full sun but they do not survive without some water over the summer.
I suspect they would be better off where they get some shelter from the extreme heat in the middle of the day.
I've planted one of the seedlings we got from 'Ben Fhada' in a raised rock-garden bed which gets some shade in the late afternoon so we'll know soon if that works!
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!

David Dickinson

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Re: Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 07:46:52 PM »
Thanks Fermi. Water isn't a problem in Rome. The Romans knew what they were doing all those years ago when they built their aqueducts far out into the hills. Hopefully a combination of summer water and some afternoon shade will keep them going. Good luck with yours :-)
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

David Dickinson

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Re: Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 03:31:41 PM »
"Ben fhada" seems to have taken to its new home. First flower out today and other buds lined up at several points on the plant. Some afternoon shade, as you suggested Fermi, seems to be doing it no harm. Now all it has to do is survive the summer.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

Andrewhubb

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Re: Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 10:23:44 AM »
I have some planted in shade beneath pine trees - they flower in April / May then go dormant over the summer.  They have survived for 6 years with no water apart from when they were first planted.
Architect, gardening in Berkshire and a new 1500m2 completely dry garden at 300m in the Var.  Mostly perennials grown from seed.

David Dickinson

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Re: Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 12:17:35 PM »
Hi Andrew,

2 out of 3 of those I planted have survived and are 4 or 5 times the size they were when I planted them. There was no browning of the leaves or die-back during the hottest periods. They both received regular water and afternoon shade. However, flowering was a bit of a disappointment with only the "Ben Fada" producing a few flowers in the late spring.
I haven't given up on them though. The lack of flowers could be to do with the fact that they have put all their energy into growth this year. Or that they were planted out comparatively late. Or that they were very young plants when they were planted out.

Let's see what happens next year.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Fermi

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Re: Helianthemum - any tips on how to grow?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 03:14:10 PM »
"Ben fhada" seems to have taken to its new home. First flower out today and other buds lined up at several points on the plant. Some afternoon shade, as you suggested Fermi, seems to be doing it no harm. Now all it has to do is survive the summer.
Hi David,
I meant to post a pic of the 'Ben Fhada' seedling which survived being transplanted in summer and managed to flower this spring. It gets shaded by an apple tree on the other side of the path in the afternoon and seems to be okay with that.
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!