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Saturday - May 02, 2009

From: North East, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-blooming blue-eyed grass in Northeast Maryland
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I purchased blue eyed grass(sisyrinchium angustifolium)It was in bloom when I planted it, but has never bloomed since. It looks healthy and gets full sun, but for at least 3 years or more, it has never bloomed. Please help...

ANSWER:

From our webpage on Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrowleaf blue-eyed grass), we learned that it is NOT a grass, but rather a primitive iris, and member of the Iridaceae family. We also found out that this short-lived perennial will decline if allowed to dry out. Heavy mulch causes crown rot and rich, organic soils encourage rank, vegetative growth. Plants need to be divided at least every other year. It is native to Maryland and, while it likes semi-shaded conditions, it blooms better in the sun. What we never did learn was why it is not blooming for you. About the only suggestion we can make at this point is that you avoid fertilizing it, especially with high-nitrogen fertilizers, like you would use on a real grass. Honestly, it sounds like it does better when it's neglected a little bit, not in rich organic soils, not fertilized. Try a little benign neglect, and see if it doesn't get its act together. Plants all need to reproduce and to reproduce they must bloom and produce seeds. If life is too easy for your blue-eyed grass, it might just roll over and go back to sleep, forgetting to wake up and bloom. 

 

 

 

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