Thursday, 7 June 2012

Primula Melanantha Doing...OK?


I tried growing Primula Melanantha (or Primula Euprepes as it was called then) last year. And by this time last year it had very much died. This time around it is still very much alive. Last year I thought I could grow it like your regular candelabra Primula so I kept it in a very moist peaty compost in a shady position. It did not like this and rotted away after not thriving for a couple of months.
This year I changed it up a little bit, treating it much more like the Primula Auricula. It is in a very gritty compost and I keep  it pretty much out of the rain only watering when I think it is running dry. I do however keep it in a more shady position compared to the Auriculas. I did fear for it for a long time, it lost almost all the original leaves (you can see one of them on the photo, all brown and yellow). However it is steadily growing a new flush of leaves.

One thing that bothers me a bit is that the leaves seem to be smaller and less elongated than the original leaves. Primulaworld.com has some good photo's of Primula Melanantha in situ and you can see the leaves are supposed to be much bigger and much longer. Going strictly on colour I think my Primula could probably do with a little bit more sunlight and I might even give it a very light feed. Lets see if I can get it to survive for a little bit longer.

2 comments:

kininvie said...

Tessa, hello....
I ran across your blog when tracking p.melanantha. Did you get yours from Kevock? I was there this morning on an annual visit and had a chat with David Rankin on how to avoid killing p.melanantha. His advice was first to make quite certain the neck of the plant has no damp soil, but only grit or gravel anywhere near it. Second (if outside) to cover it with a pane of glass from August on and keep it fairly dry until it dies back... Since I've only just acquired a specimen, I can't speak from experience - but just pass on what David said and hope it helps.

Where are you gardening? I could probably help a bit with meconopsis if I knew about your conditions. I grow m.simplicifolia more or less as a garden plant - but while it does OK for me, I do have the right conditions. m.punicea, OTOH is virtually impossible!

Tessa_Leonie said...

Hi kininvie,

Yup I got it from Kevock, killed it last year unfortunately. Thanks for the tip, it has quite a good layer of gravel at the moment so I hope that will be ok. I certainly will be keeping it dry at the end of summer.
I am fairly close to the coast in the Netherlands so it is usually quite wet and it doesn't get very hot. I think my problem is that for the container meconopsis I disturbed their roots when I addes some well rotted manure to the containers (will not be doing that again). The chickens got the ones in the ground...
If i'm lucky I can get some more plants locally (garden centre occationally stocks them) but I'll be getting punicea and probably some others again from Kevock next spring. Any additional tips growing them would be great!

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