Any luck with meconopsis betonicifolia?

concretenprimroses(4B NH)June 19, 2010

Ever since I saw hundreds of them growing at Le Jardin de Metis, on the Gaspe Peninsula, I've wished I could grow them. I tryed seed with no luck even tho I'm aware that it is common knowledge that they don't grow here. But now the local garden center sells the plants so I bought one. I have planted it in an east bed that stays fairly cool even on hot days. Do you think it has a chance of surviving? Does anyone grow them? I wish I had a big rock to plant them on the cool side of.


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Hi Kathy,

I tried these in OR since the Pacific Northwest is supposedly one of the places they will grow. I could get them to bloom for one season but then they would never come back the next year. There was a large one in a planter at Portland Nursery so I got talking to the guy about it. He said I would be better off just coming to look at their's every year rather than trying to grow them myself!!! They are gorgeous.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:45PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I had given up but then when I saw the garden center selling the plants, I thought maybe someone had developed one that survives here.
Le Jardin de Metis has a special microclimate. There are so many of them they are like weeds.
Alas I probably don't have the right conditions. I guess I'll consider myself lucky if this one blooms.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 7:35AM
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marie_of_roumania(z6 MA)

after three years of heartbreak, i finally got about 11 jugs of different kinds of meconopsis -- mostly blue, acquired from seed-dealers and through NARGS -- to germinate via winter-sowing two winters ago. about five of the patches lived through last summer and winter, are thriving, and i'm hoping for first blooms around august. i'm pretty scattershot with tags, so have no idea which ones survived. got about 15 jugs to germinate this past winter, have already lost 5 of them due to over-early planting, i think, but the rest are in the ground & doing their thing. i know they're susceptible to crown-rot, like digitalis, so i made sure to get the leaves off them early this spring. wish i had some more concrete advice to give you. i'm not very good at it but i keep trying. for me, dreaming and scheming are half the fun. best of luck!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 1:32PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

thanks Marie! Dispite misgivings, I want to get another one and put it under my plum tree. It is sooo nice and cool and moist there. I was thinking of mounding the ground very slightly so no standing water will be on it, and adding some drainage in the form of small rocks. I have a lot of stuff growing there that could protect it from late afternoon sun.
It really is a dream isn't it.
I don't know what you mean by jugs. I'd love to hear more about your technique.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 7:38AM
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Do you think these would grow under or near a Black Walnut tree? Many things will not. We haven't been able to have several things I love in the front yard at all because of the tree.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 4:34PM
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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

I grew meconopsis successfully for a number of years. A number of things that help: 1) make sure what you have is a truly perennial variety. There are lots of selections that are monocarpic. 2) Do not let them bloom the first year. It's a struggle to remove those first buds, but the long term health of the plant depends on doing it. 3) The right site is important. It needs to remain cool and moist, but meconopsis are not really shade plants. Some sun is necessary.

Meconopsis will struggle any place where the temperatures - especially nighttime temperatures - remain above 80 or so. High altitude, coastal, and locations near freshwater lakes and streams are much better than inland ones. They do well in these locations because of the cooler temperatures, but the higher degree of atmospheric moisture is also an important factor.

meconopsis are challenging plants to grow under the best of conditions - under a walnut would just add a whole new set of problems.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:31AM
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