Help growing Bloodroot?

Andrew(5a)

For the last 3 years, I have been trying to introduce bloodroot into my woods. The first year, in midsummer, I sowed a bunch seeds all over the place with no success. Early the second year (last year), I planted a bunch of bare-root plants in a variety of areas. Nothing came up. A friend of mine gave me a plant with a leaf and seedpod on it. I put that out there too. It didn't come back this year. No bloodroot is surviving anywhere.

It seems strange, as I've also planted a bunch of other spring ephemerals with moderate success. Trilliums, Jack-in-the-pulpet, Virginia Bluebells, and even club mosses have been successfully introduced out there. I just can't get bloodroot.


I do have heavy clay soil with a pH around 7-7.5 (according to a cheap pH reader I have), so maybe that's the issue. It just seems strange that I have such a wide variety of plants out there, but bloodroot- which is referred to as easy-growing- can't make it.

Plants surviving out there include: white & red trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpet, Virginia bluebells, clubmosses, NY ferns, sensitive ferns, Christmas ferns, spring beauties, trout lilies, dutchman's breeches, herb-Robert, wild geranium, early blue cohosh, virginia creeper, wild strawberries, bellwort, toothwart, and a variety of violets.


It seems like there's everything EXCEPT bloodroot.


Any input is appreciated!

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Comments (8)
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klunker

I transplanted maybe 50-75 plants last early fall. They seemed to do very well.

They flowered this spring and there are growing good.

I also collected seed last year and planted it in 2 areas. I harvested the seeds at the perfect time. The seed pods would split open if I didn't handle them gently. I planted them in a raked bed in the woods. There are small plants coming up all over. So I was successful with seeds also. I watered the seed beds for about 2 weeks after planting as it was relatively dry at the time. I understand the seeds don't have very good viability if allowed to dry out.


I planted all my plants and seeds in the woods along a gravel drive that goes thru the woods. My soil has little to medium amounts of clay in the soil. I can't speak to the PH. I watch the weather when transplanting, I try to do it before a good rain. I also dig them up and keep as much original soil around the roots as practical. I also dig and plant them within about 1-2 hours.


I always struggle when transplanting wild flowers, especialy woodland flowers. I try to find a place that I feel that they will be happy with. So I'm looking for the right amount of light, moisture and soil type. Hopefully in an area that isn't over whelmed with Sugar maple seedlings. They are the most prolific "weed" I deal with in the woods.


Hope I've helped.





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ncrescue

I have clay and acidic soil, from 5 to 5.5. All of my bloodroot originally came from rescues, and they have reseeded. Soil is somewhat moist, light shade, well drained, on slopes. I have planted some in dry areas, and they have come back with no blooming. What are your soil conditions other than Ph? I really think that may be the problem, but I cannot find that info in my materials. Sorry.

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Andrew(5a)

Thanks for the responses! My land is also hilly and sloped, mostly well drained, and fairly moist thanks to the layers of leaves that have built up out there. There are however a lot of sugar maples out there, so maybe that's an issue?

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ncrescue

Just checked another source, which says there is a rot problem if too much mulch is there. Suggested planting with gritty soil. Also indicated that a higher Ph shouldn't be the problem. Keep trying, as Bloodroot is one of the loveliest early bloomers.

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klunker

I don't think Sugar Maples would be a problem. Lots of them around. The spot that I transplanted them from and where I moved them to are not in the "deep" shade. But are on the south side of a hardwood forest. In fact its a bit on the grassy side. The site I moved them to are also on the south side of the drive. So they do get some sunlight all summer long.


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althea_gw

Andrew, unless you have a huge area to grow plants, consider yourself lucky the bloodroot didn't take. A friend gave me some many years ago because it was taking over her whole yard. Since then it has been taking over all of my gardens. I gave away at least a hundred plants last year and that just left space for more bloodroot to fill in. It is like an invasive. If it wasn't such a pretty plant, both the flowers & leaves, I would pull it up & chuck it in the compost.

I'll gladly ship you a box of my bloodroot if you pay the postage.

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edlincoln(6A)

I might like to take you up on that, althea_gw.

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althea_gw

Oh, oh Edlincoln. I just wrote a long explanatory post about declaring it an invasive that didn't post for some reason. In short I gave a bunch of it away then took almost all of the rest to County Compost. I still have a patch to keep I haven't deadheaded yet so I can send you seeds when they are mature. If you add your email to your profile, I'll send you a note. Sorry

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