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Lewisia - Care Guide
Caring for Lewisia
Lewisia are primarily alpine or rock garden plants but they grow well in crevices or planting holes in retaining walls. Some species are harder to grow than others but we offer the rather easier to manage ‘Sunset hybrids’.
These are clump forming evergreen perennials with rosettes of fleshy leaves which are mid to darker green with toothed or wavy margins. In spring and early summer the ‘Sunset hybrids’ produce open funnel shaped flowers in large panicles over a lengthy flowering period. The range of bright colours on different plants is impressive and goes from pinks, magenta, yellow, orange and on to white. These plants flower spectacularly with us and can make a wonderful display in pots in the greenhouse before you even get around to planting them out. They can make good edging plants to a small spring border especially with bulbs. Despite their origins these are rather more than just rockery plants.
While these Lewisia hybrids are perfectly cold hardy they will not tolerate standing in winter wet or boggy conditions where they are prone to basal rotting. They therefore need humus rich well drained compost in pots and, in the rockery border, a mix of loam, leaf mould and sharp sand to give good drainage.
In the middle of summer we gently remove side shoots of offsets from our more mature plants in pots. Even with hardly any root these will quickly grow on in the greenhouse or mist frame/bench with bottom heat. Although they flower best in full sun a little shading or protection from direct sunlight is advisable under glass. If your plants prosper the offsets will develop into flowering clumps over time. These too can be separated and divided up to create more young plants.