Growing Difficult Gentian – Gentiana

Gentian

I have a phobia or total lack of ability when it comes to growing Gentians. Because I expect to fail I have done so many many times and now I avoid Gentians like I wanted to avoid Gentain Violet bactericide as a child.

Gentian Facts

  • The Gentians are evocative of the mountains (and that should tell me something about there cultivation).
  • The majority of species flower in the deep, intense shade of blue for which Gentains are renown. ( New Zealand Gentians are white and there is a yellow Peruvian variety).
  • Larger Gentians have 5 petals in a trumpet shape whilst smaller varieties have 5 petals that open like a star.
  • In general European varieties flower in spring whilst the ‘easier’ Asian varieties flower in Autumn.
  • This is a large genus with over 400 species and varieties.

Growing Tips

  • Gentians are fiercely lime hating and require moist but fast draining soil.
  • Gentians are thought to be difficult to grow outside their wild habitat.
  • Good clumps of root should be planted out between October and February.
  • Once established the less the plants are meddled with the better
  • Top species to grow in England include Gentain Acaulis, Gentian verna, the spring Gentian and Gentian septemfida theĀ  Crested Gentian.
  • Gentiana sino-ornata is not only one of the easiest and most reliable, but also one of the loveliest with spectacular colour (BBC)

See tips for growing Gentians and I resolve to try again in my Rockery


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