Lewisia plants are a native of North America and are a fantastic flowering Alpine or Rock Garden Plant. Being succulents they grow well in fairly dry soils.
Also known as ‘Bitter Root’ over 100 species have been identified, however few are offered for sale.
A group of mound forming evergreen perennial, that are actually flowering succulents Lewisia do well in rock gardens. One of the more widely grown species is Lewisia cotyledon.
Being a cool climate plant Lewisias do vary in the amount of sun they require. In the natural environment most would grow in full sun. In cultivation all need protection from hot sun.
The modern hybrids of Lewisia cotyledon produce brilliant flowers that rise above the rosette like foliage in spring.
They make excellent container plants, and the long flowering nature along with attractive foliage make them useful year round.
Often grown in containers, Lewisia are also suited to rock gardens, and as long as the soil is free draining and they get good morning sun they seem to be happy.
They require a well drained soil to do well and actually seen to thrive on poor soils.
Use a soil mix that has lots of fine gravel mixed through, you could also use perlite, which retains moisture but is free draining.
Lewisia are reasonably drought tolerant and can be grown easily in pots or containers. A little protection from afternoon sun is an advantage
Well drained soil
Full sun moving to part shade as you move into warmer climates.
Keep dry in winter.
Spread grit around the soil surface to keep slugs and snails away from new foliage.
Popular Lewisia species include:
- Lewisia cotyledon – The most commonly grown and hybridised species. Flower color seems to vary, even on the one plant.
- Lewisia columbiana – An interesting species from British Columbia. Small flowers, but delicate and attractive
- Lewisia rediviva – Large flowers in this summer dormant species.
- Lewisia tweedyi – Another species from British Columbia, large flowers that are a creamy yellow to apricot pink.