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Saxifraga arendsii "Purple Rockfoil"

These guys took a beating this winter (their first); lost 3 of 9 starts. The ones that made it are looking a little iffy, but I think by the end of the summer they'll be looking pretty good. They're certainly blooming extensively. I just learned how to use the close-up feature on the camera and viola! The plants are currently ground-cover and the blooms no more than 6" high and maybe a 1/4" in diameter.

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and

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Comments

Does this plant need to be deadheaded or do you sheer it down after it blooms? Will it bloom again if deadheaded or sheered?

I didn't deadhead or sheer it. When I asked about care at the shop where I got them, they didn't mention either activity. They did suggest heavy winter mulching with straw. I sued regular wood chips instead. They're all dead now. I don't think it was the wood chips though. At first I thought it was insufficient sun where I first put them, so I moved the last two to a sunnier spot. Still dying. I'm not totally convinced that they're hardy enough for this zone. Either that or there's something in my soil that's killing them. The first spot was part-sun/part-shade; well-drained, on a slope, under a pine tree (so acidic). The second was also well-drained, full-sun for morning and most of the afternoon and presumably less acidic (haven't tested); certainly capable of supporting dutch iris, lily of the valley, trollius, pulsatilla, jacob's ladder, sedum and milkweed. soo...beautiful as they are, I don't know what to recommend for care.