Epimedium enchanting!

I have a bit of an epimedium weakness (I like erythroniums too, and many other things beginning with e but not… well, let’s not get distracted). However, my garden eats epimediums, so this year I got a bit radical.

epimedium

My one remaining epimedium – and I’ve been given epimediums which are an invasive menace elsewhere but which disappear chez moi – is this precious pearl, Epimedium grandliflorum ‘Lilatee’.  I love it, but I didn’t want to see it go the way of all flesh – um, the way of all epimediums – and so I marked its position carefully and let the leaves die back.

And when they did, I potted it up.

epimedium

One of my friends said ‘I didn’t know you could grow epimediums in pots’, and neither did I. But it’s a tiny one, despite the name, and I thought it might be OK. It came through the winter fine, nice and dormant, snuggled below the soil. Then this spring I began to notice signs of life. I moved the pot to near the back door where I could enjoy it, and sure enough – pow. A really healthy plant. Flourishing, in fact.

Then we had a really chilly night – I had to scrape the windscreen of frost – and I thought it looked a little pinched and surprised, so I moved it into my unheated greenhouse.

I think it likes it.

epimedium

It’s supposed to be warming up a little, so I might try reintroducing it to the outside world. But while it’s sitting on the potting bench (oh, I’ll come clean – the old picnic table I use as a potting benchette), it’s at just the right height for some epimedium worship.

epimedium

Those flowers, by the way, are a max of 2.5 cm from spur tip to spur tip. I’ve got another flowering stem to come out, and I’ve never seen it look so good.

Maybe I might invest in a couple more…

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18 thoughts on “Epimedium enchanting!

  1. Alison

    They are so beautiful. I’d have never thought of growing them in pots – now I think I might have to try that – thanks

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I’d no idea you could do it before I had no alternative. I might need to do a bit of repotting this winter – it’s thriving so much it’s almost filled the pot. Such an improvement (plus I don’t have to crawl around the garden on wet grass to admire it).

      Reply
  2. Janneke

    Good idea to grow them in pots. I too thought mine had gone in the garden but surprisingly I found a flowering plant last week. When I buy new varieties I will definitely put them in pots.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I think I might have to be very careful about them drying out – not that dry weather is normally a problems for me… and I’m not sure I’d try it with the bigger ones. Though maybe I would, in a big enough pot!

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      They are so perfect – wonderful to be able to study them closely without either doing my back in or being accosted by men with straightjackets!

      Reply
  3. Angie

    I have a bit of an thing for Epimedium too. There are some that like dry conditions and some that prefer a bit more moisture. Either way, it’s important to water well until they are established.
    That’s a nice one, one I don’t have – they are fascinating plants don’t you think?

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Aren’t they lovely? Now I’ve worked out what I need to do, I think I might have a go with some others (keeping to smaller ones, though). Certainly won’t let my garden get its teeth into them again!

      Reply
  4. hillwards

    I love epimediums too, and a couple have also disappeared here, but I’m thrilled to see new leaves have pushed up on my one remaining one – I just hope it flowers too! Yours is exquisite indeed.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Ah ha, another epimedium-eating garden! This is exactly the position I was in last year with this survivor, and was the point at which I decided to try a pot. It’s just as well I moved it – quite apart from its very survival – as the area it was in is a carpet of sweet woodruff this year. It’s gone insane, and a sweet little epimedium would have stood no chance.

      Reply
  5. Spade & Dagger

    Epimediums have some interesting common names, due to a chemical they contain. Is this part of their appeal, l wonder.

    Reply
  6. Janet/Plantaliscious

    That’s gorgeous! I managed to do some weeding on Monday – when I should have been working, but hey, it was sunny, so I stole some time – and discovered remnants of two of my three epimedium sulphureum lurking in the tangle of weeds and aquilegia seedlings. I have carefully teased them apart from the bindweed (hrummmph) and have planted them in new spaces, and, well, at least they have been well watered in…

    Reply
  7. croftgarden

    I have problems with epimediums too. They survive in a pathetic way but are not spreading and won’t flower. So perhaps I’ll pot some up and see if they like other parts of the garden!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I’m absolutely stunned by how well it’s doing – give it a go!
      I just knew I had to move it or lose it, and I didn’t want anywhere else in the garden to have a nibble at it (my garden eats plants for fun), so pot it was.

      Reply
        1. kate Post author

          Er, July? We had a sunny day yesterday (intermittently, but at least it wasn’t raining), but it was still on the chilly side and blowing a hooley…

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