Garden Visits - what inspires you!

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Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

Orostachys are among the hardiest of plants. There are 13 species, of which I grow 5 at the moment, and one species, O. spinosa, can survive down to -40 F. They are even able to photosynthesize under snow cover! All you need to grow them successfully is a small amount of soil/sand (they grow successfully in 1 inch of soil, some sun and intermittent moisture. They are an Asian genus, originating in Japan, China and Mongolia, so water is not a big issue. They are monocarpic, and most develop offsets so you always have plenty of rosettes that are not blooming. O. fimbriata does not make offsets but seeds around quite nicely, giving you plenty of new plants the next year. Over the years the only problem I've had with them is keeping them under control. They are so beautiful and strange, that I have a lot of trouble disposing (that means composting them) of the excess. You should have absolutely no problem growing them, especially on your shed roof.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Peter wrote:

Orostachys are among the hardiest of plants. There are 13 species, of which I grow 5 at the moment, and one species, O. spinosa, can survive down to -40 F. They are even able to photosynthesize under snow cover! All you need to grow them successfully is a small amount of soil/sand (they grow successfully in 1 inch of soil, some sun and intermittent moisture. They are an Asian genus, originating in Japan, China and Mongolia, so water is not a big issue. They are monocarpic, and most develop offsets so you always have plenty of rosettes that are not blooming. O. fimbriata does not make offsets but seeds around quite nicely, giving you plenty of new plants the next year. Over the years the only problem I've had with them is keeping them under control. They are so beautiful and strange, that I have a lot of trouble disposing (that means composting them) of the excess. You should have absolutely no problem growing them, especially on your shed roof.

Thanks Peter. What you tell make me wonder why these very fine plants are not more grown here. I have never seen them, neither in gardens nor in nurseries. An internet search gave some Danish retailers but no Norwegian.

What a tragedy to compost such plants! Put them in an envelope and mail them to me!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Reed
Reed's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-10-09

I was just wondering are they as temperamental to winter wet as I have heard. I rains here all winter we rarely get snow and if we do, "it is for a day or two" just intermittent frosts all winter with rain, rain, rain and more rain then no rain all summer (well except this summer  :(.Thanks

Albany, Oregon USA. Pacific Northwest, elevation approximately 200ft zone 8. Winter wet and Summer Dry. Hot enough to ripen the peaches.

Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

I have them growing in three different locations with 3 entirely different soil mixes. In the shady areas of my garden (which are very rocky and on a fairly gentle slope), they are growing in pure sand. In my large, relatively flat area which gets sun from 8 to 7 during the late spring and summer, the soil is a gravelly mix with very good drainage. In my tallest bed, which has large rocks and a 5 foot drop on 2 sides, they are growing in about 1-2 inches of gravel and sand on top of a 5 foot slab of granite, about 1 foot off the ground. Regardless of the weather they all have thrived. We have had virtually snow-less winters, and winters which have started in late Oct. and no melt until late March. And the Orostachys have always come through. Given their low cost, and the fact that you can keep a few in a pot indoors to make sure you don't lose them all, I'd try them in a gravel/sand mix in full sun in an elevated situation. I think you'll do fine.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I grow Delosperma nubigenum and D. basuticum in the same place as Orostachys spinosa.  While I have at times had winter wet problems with the Delosperma, the Orostachys always comes through fine.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Howey
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-05-17

I like the idea of overwintering Orostachys in a pot indoors for various reasons - like preventing too much winter wet, having a temporary closeup view on the kitchen table during meals before replacing them outside and, I do this when something seems to be dwindling away, like my Orostachys spinosa.  My present little stand is situated under a dwarf Elm, in gravelly sand on a south facing slope but, after 5 or 6 years, appears to be barely hanging on.  I do love them - they look like little soldiers all in a row. Another one that puzzles me is Zauschneria californica which, after several years of bloom in what I thought was the perfect spot, also seems to be dying out - not a single bloom this year. Perhaps it is time to dig up and divide some of these or - if that doesn't work, starting them again from seed - although I don't think I have come across seed for O. spinosa on any of the lists?  Fran

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Garden Visits - what inspires me! I have to say that mother nature herself inspires me as much as any garden I visit.
I do not remember if I have showed this before but I came across it when looking for another picture.
Picture taken on a walk on Mt Nemrut, July 27 2009 not far from Lake Van, Turkey.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

The picture could do with a bit more colour, Trond!!!  ;D

Absolutely magnificent sight (and site)!

On my 'must visit' list now ...

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I did my best, Cliff, here's near by: At least the sky is blue!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I find it very inspiring to see the wonders that alpine enthusiasts are growing here!  From the garden of an extremely fine local alpine gardener, here is a fabulous specimen (though not the only one!) of Callianthemum anemonoides:

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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