Shortia are creeping hardy perennials that have evergreen rounded leaves.
They bloom in the spring time carrying pink tubular shaped flowers.
Their creeping nature makes Shortia an ideal plant for use in rock gardens.
Some of the common names for the pant include Fringe bell, Oconee Bell, and Nippon bells.
Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells) by Zen.
When growing fringe bells and other members of the Shortia genus from seeds it is easiest to sow them outdoors from spring towards the end of summer.
Sow the seeds on the soil surface about 30 cm apart in a shaded or partially shady part of the garden. Shade is important as fringe Bells require a cool soil, additionally the soil should be acidic, and moist.
If starting Shortia plants indoors then they should be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for three weeks. Seeds should then be sown out at a temperature of 15 to 18 Celsius; they normally take about one or two months to germinate.
Seedlings should be transplanted following the last frost of spring.
These plants are not the easiest to look after. Shortia requires a cool soil so supply a leaf mold mulch. Water the plants in the growing season to keep the soil moist. Although they can be propagated by division it is best not to disturb Shortia plants, so if you require more plants take cuttings in the summer.
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