Lewisia is a spreading perennial grown for the attractive flowers as well as the foliage, they are a spring flowering plant with attractive flowers in a range of colours.
Colourful little rock garden plants they are mainly found in nurseries as hybrid forms.
A small perennial plant from the Rocky Mountains where they are known as ‘ Siskiyou Lewisia’ and ‘Bitter Root’, they form attractive rosettes of green foliage, with flowers rising well above in spring.
They are naturally found in rocky areas, growing in semi shade in a well drained humus rich soil.
The hybrids that we see offered for sale come in flower colours from white through top pinks and yellow.
Excellent in a protected position in the garden where the flowers add good colour in spring, and also suited to growing in containers. Once established hay are an easy care plant.
Lewisia cotyledon Care
Drainage is the most important factor in growing these colourful plants.
- Soil and Drainaige
Drainage is important to prevent crown rot, Lewisia are a plant that naturally grow in rocky free draining soils, so you need to mimic this.
In the garden dig in extra drainage material or try growing Lewisia in a Rock Garden, Crevice Garden or in containers.
Drainage material can include horticultural grit, scoria, fine gravel and similar soil amendments. You can also try to raise of ‘lift the plant up’ a little in damp areas.
A good layer of grit around the base of the plant can also help with preventing crown rot.
Although they naturally grow in near to full sun, in warmer climates they will require dappled shade to grow well. The actual amount of sun depends on your climate. Full sun in cooler zones works well. As we move into warmer zones good morning sun light dappled shade in the afternoon will be beneficial.
- Watering Lewisia
A wet dry cycle is best, water well and then allow the soil to dry a little before watering again. Frequency of watering will depend on climate and soil.
After the first flowering they should be watered well, as this will promote a second flush of flowers. This process can be repeated. It is important to let the soil dry between waterings, constant moisture causes problems.
In winter months little to no extra water will be required.
Use a slow release fertiliser in spring and then a liquid fertiliser during the flowering period.
- When to Plant Lewisia
In the garden plant Lewisia in spring after the soil has warmed and frosts are over. In containers plant year round, just provide some extra protection through the first winter.
Growing Lewisia from seed.
- Lewisia seeds seem to germinate best after a cold stratification, so store the seeds in the refrigerator over winter.
- Plant seed sin spring.
- Use a seed raining soil mix.
- Firm the seeds down into the mix but do not cover.
- Keep moist by mist spraying.
- Once seedlings are large enough, prick them out and pot them up in a free draining potting mix.
Propagation by division
Offsets can be be removed in spring to summer.
- Provide very good drainage in winter.
- Grow them in semis shade.
- Use a humus rich yet well drained soil.
- Provide a little extra water during long hot periods.
Available for sale from the following nurseries
138 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788
"Large range of rare and unusual plants.."
- Botanical Name : Lewisia cotyledon
- Common Name : Bitterroot, Lewisia, Siskiyou Lewisia,
- Origins : Canada to south western U.S.
- Plant Type : Low growing , evergreen perennial.
- Height : 6 – 8 inches
- Spread : Will spread to around 16 – 24 inches
- Position : Full sun to part shade depending on climate zone.
- Soil : Well drained soil is essential.
- Flowers : Star shaped.
- Flowering Season : Spring to summer.
- Flower Colours : White and Yellows to reds and Pinks.
- Drought Tolerant : Yes
- Frost Tolerant : Yes