September 26, 2006

More Fall Bloom

Clerodendron speciosissimum

This striking red flowered member of the clerodendron clan also blooms in the autumn, just before frost. Started from cuttings in april, these are planted out in tubs in the greenhouse, and then moved out doors after the threat of frost has past. These south east Asian native bearts brilliant red blossoms, and resides on the deck until frost kills it. For me, it is easier to keep a plant or two struggling through the winter in the greenhouse, where it is cold, and then take cuttings in the early spring for next summers bloom.

Tricyrtus hirta
These toad lillies are from seed that I brought back from Japan in 2002, and now live in a nice colony near a large yellow magnolia, along the walk to the greenhouse.

Second generation Tricyrtus seedlings
Last year, they set seed so we saved them and started a second planting in a flat. the seed was planted last fall, and kept in the cold greenhouse. To my surprise, the seedlings, although small, all are blooming with a single blossom, surprising me with a few spotless white forms, as well as some variations of violet - sweet.

The first buds emerge from Nerine sarniensis

In my fifth year of growing Nerine sarniensis, I think I am starting to master thier culture. So much about what one reads about cultural requirements with growing these jewels of the Nerine world contradicts itself, that I decided to just learn for myself. And, of course, what works for me, doesn't neccessarilly work for others. All I can say is that although Sir Peter Smithers had tremendous success in growing these Exbury hybrids in tiny three inch clay pots, and fast draining sand and pumice with no peat or fertilizer, I use Promix and perlite, plastic pots, sand bed which is kept wet, and never drying out while they are growing, and weekly fertilizer which is low in nitrogen - I now have clumbs of the largest bulbs, I have ever seen, the size of apples. I also have now divided many since they have divided into two to four bulbs, some pots have two buds each emerging this year.
Of course, my luck can change in a flash, but so far so good. More on Nerine's later, when they bloom.

1 comment :

  1. Your Toad Lillies are so pretty and delicate.
    Do you heat your greenhouse? I don`t really know much at all about them but would like to build a small one someday.



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