Growing Pipsissewa Plants In The Yards
A whorl of leaves with dark and light markings and a reddish stem topped by dangling white blossoms are but three characteristics of beauty for the Pipsissewa plants. A wood-like perennial subshrub, it is very low growing with its stems usually hidden by leaf litter. It’s native to dry acidic woodland soils of the eastern United States and Ontario, Canada, and isolated populations have been located in Arizona, Mexico and western Costa Rica. Pipsissewa plants are often gathered in the wild. Do your research first; the plants are vulnerable in some areas and may be protected by law. If harvesting Pipsissewa in the wild is acceptable, dig the rhizomes carefully from a large, healthy population. Take care not to disturb or trample the plant. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with extra plants, you can easily start your own plants without threatening the native population.
You can also propagate Pipsissewa plants by taking cuttings in June or by planting ripe seeds. The latter may not be the best option, however, as seeds often fail to germinate. If you decide to try propagation by seed, plant the seeds in moist peat moss mixed with a small amount of soil gathered from the area around the plant. With cuttings, it’s best to grow using some of the same planting medium from where it came, as the plant shares a mycorrhiza relationship for uptake of water and nutrients, and this will increase your chances of success.