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Author Topic: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia  (Read 3323 times)

Rick R.

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Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« on: April 08, 2012, 05:11:28 AM »
I have what I consider to be a very choice plant Jeffersonia dubia, given to me by a NARGS member when it was a small, non-blooming seedling.  It produces multiple petaled flowers without fail, but seems to be sterile.  I have even tried hand pollinating it with pollen from a normal six petal plant.

I want to divide it this season.  I am thinking the best time is after the leaves fully mature?  What would you all say?  Anyone with good or bad experiences?  Do tell...
Rick Rodich
just west of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
USDA zone 4, annual precipitation ~24in/61cm

ranunculus

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 06:29:29 AM »
A truly wonderful plant Rick.  Temperamental about being manhandled at any time these fragile beauties do not appreciate potting on or being moved.  If you are going to risk it, then your suggested time would see loss (by breakage) of a lot of leaves ... it might seem more appropriate to divide it a little later when the foliage is dying back naturally?
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

Ian Y

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 07:48:11 PM »
A stunningly beautiful plant Rick I would be wary of lifting and dividing it.
Perhaps, in a few weeks time, you could separate off a few shoots from around the edge as cuttings and try rooting them.
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Lesley Cox

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 09:52:08 PM »
I have to agree with Cliff and Ian. If you don't HAVE to divide it, don't. Firstly because such a big plant of Jeffersonia dubia is a wondrous thing and secondly because it really doesn't enjoy either lifting or dividing. The roots are a hugely tangled mass which it's impossible to divide without a lot of loss and damage. If you cut it into say 4 pieces, you'd get 4 tops all right, but again, probably damaged and 4 root masses only a small portion of their proper size and much broken. I know, I've done it and regretted it ever since. Even several years later, the results are quite disappointing.

You say you don't get seed from this plant. If it's maybe sterile that could be the reason why it flowers so well. Just enjoy that and get some seed from elsewhere.

I have to add that while mine set seeds, the plants are nothing like so free-flowering. Yours has lovely full form in the flowers too.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 09:53:49 PM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Tim Ingram

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 09:04:12 AM »
I once tried dividing the white form of Jeffersonia and the resulting plantlets sulked for ages. I certainly wouldn't try with a wonderful plant like that as Lesley says. Rooting cuttings sounds a good possibility and one which I might try myself. I have had similar problems dividing Hacquetia epipactis 'Thor'.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Rick R.

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 04:13:53 PM »
Since Cliff's first comment, I have been thinking that what Ian suggested later is the way to go: to leave the plant undisturbed, but take cuttings or pieces with some roots from the plant edge.  (I have never tried this so I am assuming: I really don't know if I will find any roots.)

I'd still like to here more of others' experiences.  They seem quite easy to move around as a few year seedling.  Gang up on me if you like  ;D.  This is how we learn!
Rick Rodich
just west of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
USDA zone 4, annual precipitation ~24in/61cm

Jonny_SE

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 08:38:44 PM »
I would absolutely let it stay the way it is....here there always popps up lots of seedlings around the motherplants so there no need to divide it...my point of wive  ;)....Jonny
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Lesley Cox

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2012, 09:28:32 PM »
The problem with that Jonny is that Rick says there are no seeds, so no seedlings. :'( If you DO lift it Rick - and I hope you don't - it will take a pretty big heave or two on the large fork or spade. The root mass is seemingly much larger than what is above ground.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Jonny_SE

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2012, 11:44:19 PM »
Ohhhh...if i only could read the whole message it would be much better i think....Mea Culpa......If you can wait 2 months  Rick i can tell you how it works here  need to move one of mine...and then i can try to devide it...like you see of the pic there are seedlings everywhere (plant is darker in color)  ...maybe you need another clone?...they seems atleast selffertile because i had only this plant for several years....Jonny
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Lesley Cox

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 01:03:27 AM »
I don't think it can be fully self-sterile because I have just one flowering plant and I had a dozen pods this last spring/summer (missed most of them before they opened so maybe seedlings later). I have some seedlings from a Canadian Forumist's fresh seed as well. Mine is similar to yours Jonny, in shape and colour. Rick's is a superb form.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

TheOnionMan

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 01:25:11 AM »
Hi Rick, please bear with me while I repeat myself here on this side of the pond, but wanted to share my sole experience with dividing J. dubia with this audience.

Helping out a friend dispensing with garden plants in anticipation of selling her house and moving, we dug a couple huge J. dubia clumps in late summer, memory escapes me exactly when but I'm leaning towards it being Sepember.  The roots are indeed massive, a massive tangle and not easy to divide.  But the deed was done out of necessity, and the large clumps broken into 2-3 pieces each, and replanted in my garden.  All went smoothly, and the following spring they bloomed well enough, and have been getting bigger and better through thye years.  Maybe it does make sense, if one is inclined to divide them, do it when they are in a state of semi-dormancy.

But then again, 2 years ago I dividing up a very large Epimedium membranaceum into 4 pieces, and only one piece ultimately survived, but I put some or all of the blame on that summer breaking records for drought, stressing the plants more than normal.
Mark McDonough
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Rick R.

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 04:07:12 AM »
Whatever I do, Jonny, do post back here with your results (much) later on.  And be sure to let us know when or at what stage of development that you divided it.

I have already tried dabbing pollen from another J. dubia multiple times.  The other (normal) plant does produce offspring. 

Cuttings/pieces from the plant's edge sure seems like the way to go so far.  And I could try them at different times of the year, too.  I divided a huge potted Fargesia rufa once, and every division with less than 7 culms perished.

Rick Rodich
just west of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
USDA zone 4, annual precipitation ~24in/61cm

Lesley Cox

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 06:20:01 AM »
With no scientific basis whatsoever, I wonder if some particularly fine forms which are free-flowering and vigorous are, in fact triploid (is that the word I mean?) and sterile, while other "ordinary" forms are fertile as one might expect. I'm thinking of your Jeffersonia here Rick but also of a single plant I have of Cyclamen cilicium which has slightly larger flowers of deeper colour than is usual, and it flowers for a good four months. But in 20 something years it has never made a single seed pod even though frequently pollinated by others of the same species, which do have good pods each year. It is in a trough and has gradually squeezed out other plants, to be the only one left, the tuber just about rectangular in shape now.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

annew

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 10:10:53 AM »
What a superb plant, Rick. Sometimes with our rare ferns we cut the plant into just 2 pieces (between crowns) then prise out one half hopefully with a half of the root ball without disturbing the other half. If you do divide the plant, this might be worth a try.
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Carlo

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Re: Dividing Jeffersonia dubia
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 10:35:30 PM »
Just beautiful.... Rick's plant reminds of a fabulous specimen in the gardens at Arrowhead Alpines, Bob and Brigitta Stewart's place in Michigan. Great deep foliage color, beautiful flower color--the whole package for J. dubia. I've lusted after it ever since I first saw it....
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