The Mitchella genus is a hardy perennial sub shrub.
It has a prostate nature and is ideal for use as ground cover or for use in a rock garden.
Mitchella has small evergreen shiny leaves and blooms in the early months of summer with minute white flowers, and carries attractive red berries later.
Some of the common names for Mitchella include Squawberry, Partridge berry and Running Box.
Mitchella repens picture by InAweofGod.
Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) photograph by wackybadger.
It is best to grow Squawberry and other Mitchella from seed outdoors or to buy them from the garden centre. The seeds should be sown into flats at a depth of 7 mm using fresh seed when it becomes available in Mid-autumn. The flats should be placed in a shady part of the garden and covered in glass; keep the soil moist be warned that it may take a long time for the seeds to germinate, if at all.
Once seedlings emerge transplant them in the autumn at about 25 cm apart into either a shady or partially shaded area. Squawberry likes to grow in moist soil that is rich and acidic (pH 4 to 6).
Once growing, Mitchella plants should be fertilised every spring and a mulch applied. If you require more plants allow Mitchella to grow for a few years and divide the roots in the spring.
Alternatively Squawberry and Partridge berry cuttings can be took in the summer; or Mitchella may even produce runners once fully established.
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