AURICULAS are hardy perennial plants which will tolerate the coldest weather. They are happiest in a well-drained gritty soil with plenty of fresh air - alpine conditions.
IT is usual to grow the Florists' auriculas - particularly the show selfs and show edges - with some protection from heavy rain during winter and spring. This maintains the beauty of the white farina or paste on flowers and leaves.
A cold greenhouse with plenty of ventilation, or a frame which is opened in fine weather, will do very well. The pots can stand outside in a cool, shady position after flowering, but they will need plenty of light again in the autumn and winter.
SHOW Auriculas are usually grown in no larger than a 3.5ins. pot - clay or plastic. They should be re-potted into fresh compost annually, and the small plantlets (offsets) removed. This will maintain the quality of the blooms. Auriculas do not come true to variety from seed. Growers all have their own recipe for compost, but our suggestion would be -
- One part John Innes No.2
- One part multi-purpose compost
- One part 3-6 mm. grit
- One handful crushed charcoal........well mixed, to keep the compost sweet.
A note on watering. It is very important not to overwater, particularly in winter. Auriculas need only an occasional water when they are dormant. Sitting in a soggy pot or puddle could prove fatal.
IT is natural for leaves to die off after turning yellow. When they do, remove them gently to avoid encouraging rot.