New Cyp/native bed

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Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2018
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Hello my Cyp friends.
I recently had some concrete installed and now I’m wanting to switch this bed of Hostas over to Cyps and other natives and possibly ferns.
What are your thoughts? This faces NNW has good drainage but would get direct sun for a little while during mid day at the solstice and more light further up the retaining wall. Would this be to much light? It wouldn’t get any light from the west because of the woods. I would think their roots would stay cool enough to avoid any over heating. Picture is about noon from about a week ago.

Any suggestions on how to initially begin soil prep before I get started?

BTW, anyone want some hostas?? Lol


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Mine here in central Ohio get an hour or two of direct sun midday and are fine with that. As for soil emendation, can't really speak to that much as mine are grown in a mix in pots sunk into a raised bed, but I understand most of them prefer rather poor, sandy soil. Ours here is compressed clay, rock and maple roots, hence the raised bed and mix.
At a more northern latitude I would say the exposure is no problem, especially considering the northern exposure (I miss that TV program). That said it should be OK unless you get a really bad heat wave. Cyps are basically woodland plants and like cool roots. Even species that are found in open habitats like reginae or californicum have cool subtrates since the roots are bathing in cool subterranean water. Perhaps a thick mulch would help, but watch for leaf burn!
Mine get full sun here only while the plants break ground. By the time the buds are forming they only get partial direct sun/mostly dappled because the apple tree has leafed out. Not sure if they’d like all day sun constantly.
If you're serious, I'd love more hostas.
Very serious, I’m in South East MIssouri, when I redo the bed a lot of these will probably be trashed if I can find homes for them. I’m not a big hosta fan. FYI, the blooms spikes are about 4-5’ tall and white with a little color in the throat. If your still interested let me know and I’ll send them your way when I redo the bed.
Looks kind of bright and open! :(

yes quite at. 11-2pm before trees and my house block the sun. But that’s mostly about know through mid July before it’s more shaded.

Cyps are basically woodland plants and like cool roots. Even species that are found in open habitats like reginae or californicum have cool subtrates since the roots are bathing in cool subterranean water. Perhaps a thick mulch would help, but watch for leaf burn!

If I plant them back near the retaining wall the substrate will never get light and will stay cool it’s always cooler on this side of the house. I was thinking about planting most of the N. American natives and then any hybrids that would work for my 6b/7a climate (I’m about 5miles from the line). I would definitely mulch, but what I mulch with will probably be dependent on which species/hybrid I plant. I know some prefer more acidic and others more of a basic substrate. Which would you all suggest I plant higher up as the water will run down the bed.. I planned to separate a lot of them with rock layers between the different types so that may slow or stop most of the water from running down into the next section of the bed. I have to bring more substrate in as it drops 4” into the bed from the new concrete. I hope to bring it up to be 2” + above the concrete. Thing I should go higher? Stay lower than the concrete or even with? Sorry for all the questions, I’ve just lost so many Cyps in pots I want this bed to work.
I live in the Seattle area where most years the temperatures stay cool. I do have a bed with Cyp Sabine and Cyp formosanum that get about 3 hours of full sun every day beginning around 11 am from late April-September - all the other beds are much more shaded. For several years of typical temperatures - highs in the 60s-70s, with perhaps 10 days of 80+ and 4-5 days of 90, everything did very well. The past 2 summers have been hideous. In 2022 we had a heat wave that brought 3 straight days of 100+ - 101, 105 and 110. I had temporary shade over the plants but they suffered (also had a mist system hit them twice a day for cooling). Last year we were also well above normal with perhaps 10 days in the 90s. While the plants looked OK the remainder of the summer, this spring revealed serious setback. I typically get a dozen or so blooms from the formosanum, this year the plants are noticeably smaller and there will be one flower (typically they will have bloomed by now but it is just in bud). I didnt think the Sabine (a very large clump) was going to come up at all but now there are two small stems and no flowers.

I see you have a masonry wall nearby. If the sun reflects off that in the summer you will likely have issues with heat. Having said that, in Connecticut I had a large clump of Cyp reginae album that was less than 2 feet in front of a 3 foot high "thrown rock" wall that faced directly west and got about 4 hours per day of full sun from about noon until 4 pm. The reginae did well there, but I have found that reginae is the hardiest "sun" Cyp that I have kept.

Good luck, if you are observant and protect when necessary Cyps can be very adaptable.