|Positive ||wallaby1 ||On Dec 10, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:
This seed was very expensive, out of 5 seed only 1 had an embryo which, luckily, germinated. It was sown in spring last year, planted in the ground in autumn, and has increased this year quite well. It has a very long flowering period, possibly because it rarely makes seed, I had several flowers and not one seed. The flowers are the most beautiful, frilly, violet-lavender/blue, and the bees loved them. At this time (10th Dec.) there are two flowers close to the ground just making, but slightly frost damaged, and a further larger one higher up which is not damaged. This is after 3 weeks+ of frost to -4C, frost most nights, and cold weather daytime temps. no more than 2 to 8C.
Once the plant becomes larger it is wise to divide the root ball, discarding the older woody parts, to retain vigour. It is also said to need soil on the alkaline side, mine is acidic. Too much winter wet will rot the roots, so a free draining soil is essential, as well as full sun. It will tolerate dryness. A native of the Caucasus Mountains, it has strong, stiff stems, and large flowers approx. 3" or more in diameter.