Gentiana andrewsii

Submitted by Whyer on Fri, 09/19/2014 - 15:21

I have a single plant of this rooted into the sand of a neglected alpine bench. I should have moved it many months ago but forgot about it and it is now in full flower, 18" or so high. It is nominally in a 2 1/2" square pot (it was the only seed/plant that survived from Nargs seed) but is now obviously rooted well through the 1" layer of sand. I can pull it all up and cut the pot off and try to keep it going, but when would be the best time to try this removal. It will be eventually grown in the open garden.

I am in the southern UK.


Submitted by Tingley on Sun, 12/07/2014 - 09:03

Hello Whyer,

I just noticed your post today, so you may have already dealt with the errant Gentian, but in case you haven't, I suggest leaving it in place until it starts to wake up in the spring, and then moving it to its permanent location, or into a larger pot. By moving it when it is beginning to grow again, it should quickly settle in with new roots to replace those lost or damaged by the move.

I moved several in our garden last summer, and divided a couple of them inadvertently in the process. They looked a bit tatty for a while, but bounced back, and are now set and settled for the winter.

Submitted by Whyer on Sun, 12/07/2014 - 09:21

Hi. Thank you for the response.

I finally had to empty this neglected bench about 3-4 weeks ago. By then the plant had gone brown, and I eased it from the sand. Just a few long roots were lost, but I then had to cut the small pot away from the remaining root ball. Quite a substantial plant with several shoots starting for next years growth which I potted up and left in an unheated greenhouse. It can go in the garden next spring when I am more certain where I want it. As an experiment I cut a clean top on the severed roots and treated them as root cuttings. No idea if these will grow but nothing to lose.

Hello Brian,

It sounds like you have everything under control. I am eager to hear the result of your experiment with root cuttings. I have been trying to build a collection of Gentians here (very few in the local nursery trade, so I have been making attempts from seed). My first plant went in a few years ago- the hybrid Gentiana 'True Blue', and since then four species have joined it (andrewsii, depressa, septemfida and uniflora). I have at least two other species growing on in the greenhouse, which I hope to plant out next year (I think one is paradoxa, and I have forgotten the other- must check the label once the sun rises). Seedling attempts with Gentiana acaulis and sino-ornata have met with failure, either failure to germinate, or loss of seedlings due to damping off.  One of these days there will be success