November 16, 2008

Late Bloomers

Back in February, while attending the World Orchid Grand Prix in Tokyo, you may remember my complaining that my Coelogyne cristata has never bloomed, especially since I purchased one 6 years ago when I first saw the mega-plant in the Tokyo Dome. Well, readers posted what I should do ( basically, provide more fertilizer, and repot, more water, etc....and look what I found today while taking a quick stroll through the greenhouse- only a handful of stalks, but finally, it did bloom. Perhaps next year, I will fertilize it more, and see what happens. The plant spent the summer outside, where the unusually proficient summer thunderstorms drenched the plant daily. I think I should have fertilized it more frequently, but I mixed up a weak manure tea with pidgeon poop and duck shavings. Just playing.

Haemanthus albiflos - getting bigger and blooming on schedule in the greenhouse.

This plant blooms the first week of December for me, so actually, it is blooming a couple of weeks early. This South African is easy to grow, and rewards one with these distinctive shaving-brush like blossoms.

Camellia sassanqua

One often associates Camellias with February and March, but there are some species which bloom in the Autumn. Camellia sassanqua , this particular variety lost its label, can handle some frost, so I leave some pots near the front of the greenhouse along with other plants which look best in the fall, and which can handle some light frosts. With temperatures falling this week into the low 20's, I moved everything in under glass. Officially, winter is about to arrive.

Fergus watches the last of the potted tubs outside the greenhouse get prepared to be moved in for the winter. I think he is hoping for a mouse to appear.

Another annual fall bloomer, my trusty Cyrtanthis alatus x, which I divided this year into a dozen plants. Three divisions have buds, which always surprises me since Cyrtanthis dislike root disturbance. That said, so to Nerine, and I have had nearly 100% bloom this year, a year when I disturbed and divided all of my bulbs. Maybe the disturbance actually stimulates some to flower?


  1. I have a really late bloomer: my Davidia.

    It's 15 years old (from seed Ellen Hornig started at her excellent Seneca Hill Perennials) and about 15 feet tall, and no sign of flower buds yet. They're famous for taking about 20 years to bloom from seed.

    It's very frustrating: I'm pinned down and couldn't move if I wanted to until it blooms. :-)

    Anybody know how to promote bloom in Davidia?

  2. Hi, I don't remember how I found your blog but glad that I did as your flower photos are just amazing.


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