Carol_Ann(5)March 18, 2006

Saw some lingonberry plants at the farmer's market today (yes, the farmer's market opened for the season, hurrah!). I love the fine texture of the leaves and wondered if it would be suitable for a slope in full afternoon sun, acid soil... if well-mulched and watered the first few years, do they adapt to the summer dry soil so future watering could be minimized? I take it, from reading some descriptions, that they spread but are slow-growing.

I'm more interested in the evergreen ornamental quality than the fruit although if I ever got enough to eat (or the birds did), that would be a nice bonus.

Any experience with these? Good possibility, or would I be better off going with other plants?...

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Cool far northern climate plant. I'd keep the root zone moist and shaded, as on an irrigated north facing slope.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 1:01AM
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Thanks -- I think I'll look for other options. This slope faces west and south and would probably be too hot and dry.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 11:44AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

The very dwarf V. vitis-idaea minus I've used as an edging plant is happy in full sun and slopes with occasional drip irrigation; it's more a rock garden type plant than the taller varieties might be.

It does spread nicely, and birds may enjoy the berries...but to tell you the truth, I've taken most of it out. Overall it's a little boring over time, and the same weevils that damage rhododendrons completely love it...controlling the weevils on something so dwarf that bears fruit is more trouble than worth to me.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 3:10PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Outer coast has much more scope for growing heath family plants in the open than we do here in the warmer, drier summers and glaciated soils of the Puget Trough. Salal and evergreen huckleberry grow right behind the beach there, look terrific in that coastal fog and sand. Here it is usual to see exposed lingonberry plantings dying out. Plants in nurseries may often be seen blighting off right in the pots, before being brought home. Even salal is a pain to manage under ordinary conditions. Such items must have a cool, highly aerated root zone as they are quite susceptible to water molds (Phytophthora and friends). In the deep South they can't even grow rhododendrons in the shade because of the root rot problem.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 3:52PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Maybe you could point that out to Rain Tree edible plants nursery...I see they are still selling the very dwarf form of lingonberry as a rock garden plant this year, and not just to those of us on the coast.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 4:47PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Widely offered here, not just by Raintree--as are various other Ericaceae that can't just be plunked into any old spot. Miserable and dying rhododendrons are easily found here, too. Mass consumption culture makes such things a common occurrence. Most plants have tolerance ranges beyond which they do not perform well, if at all.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 4:55PM
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