Lithodora - Knowledgebase Question

Bonne Terre, MO
Avatar for Claywell
Question by Claywell
June 28, 2002
Dear Sir or Madame:
Please help!!! I have purchased the Grace Ward Lithodora twice this season. The first we planted in a shade in the morning sun in the afternoon spot and it died. The new one we have planted in a mostly sunny all day location with well drained soil. I have only had it in the ground for a week and it is already turning black and crispy, looks like it is also starting to die. It is not receiving too much water. I really loved this plant when I saw it at the nursery and both were really healthy when I bought them. Can you give me some tips on how to keep it alive. I would hate to lose the second one also.

Answer from NGA
June 28, 2002
This plant can be difficult to grow. It needs soil that is very well drained and somewhat alkaline, and would do well in a gravelly alpine bed. It is listed for full sun, but in hot summer climates sun all morning is usually ample. (Afternoon sun would be too warm.) Since it needs such good drainage, take care not to plant it any deeper than it grew in the pot. It also appreciates a gravel mulch so moisture will not sit under the foliage or around the crown. This seems to help with the "melting" problem as well. In my experience, it is not very happy when the humidity is high, so try to make sure it is in a spot with good air circulation and avoid wetting the foliage whenever possible. Finally, although it needs good drainage, the soil should not actually go bone dry. As I said, it is not an easy plant unless you happen to have the ideal site for it. Good luck with your lithodora!

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