March plant of the month

One of our early flowering gems that is always worth a closer look – it reminds us of a pan of clotted cream!
 

Saxifraga 'Gregor Mendel'Saxifraga 'Gregor Mendel' can be found with other little gems in our alpine display house by the restaurant.

It is one of our earliest and most reliable plants to flower with lovely creamy-yellow, star-shaped flowers and grows to a height of about 10cm.

The plant forms grey-green mounds of stiff needle-like foliage held above slightly frosted green needle-like foliage which is evergreen and attractive in its own right.

We grow the plants for the alpine house in terracotta pots using a well-drained compost, topped off with grit. The clay pots are plunged into sand which not only looks attractive but also helps to ensure good drainage as this allows water to pass between the pot and the sand, keeping moisture levels even. The sand also prevents the roots from getting too hot or cold.

Growing many of our alpines in pots means they are easily moved to keep the best plants on display in the alpine house, and being raised up they can be enjoyed close up. We can also protect them from the extremes of our Devon ‘liquid sunshine’ (rain to anyone else).

When flowering is over, let the stems die off and dry out, allowing the dead flower stalks to be removed with a slight twist. We often use long tweezers to look after our alpines which helps to get into small spaces without causing damage.

Here at Rosemoor you will see Saxifraga 'Gregor Mendel' AGM alongside other delightful alpines such as one of my favourite primulas; Primula ‘Broadwell Milkmaid’ which is covered with a mass of white flowers with pale yellow centres.
 

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