Showing posts with label greenhouse bulbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label greenhouse bulbs. Show all posts

July 23, 2006

Scadoxus multiflorus ssp. Katherinae

This Scadoxus was once known as Haemanthus

Once classified by taxonomists as Haemanthus katernae, the re-classified Scadoxus multiflorus subspecies Katherinae is more commonly known as the Blood Lily. The fact that taxonomists separated the two make sense when one considers that Haemanthus have more succulent leaves, and are more like 'true' bulbs, than Scadoxus, which is just 'somewhat' bulbous. Scadoxus have rizomes attached to the bulb plate and behave more 'geophyte-like' than 'true bulb-like'. I know, not making sense, but let's say that the Scadoxus don't produce the dry, papery-skinned dormant type of bulb which we think of as 'bulb', although they die to the ground, certainly these are all geophyes, it's just that whole onion-and-Leeks-are-both-bulbs-but-are-different-thing.

This is a bulbous plant which may be uncommon to those who live in colder areas, but one which Californian and tropical or Zone 10 and higher may be familiar with as a l ong lived garden plant.

As an indoor house plant, we have grown these for years in the house, and they behave much like Clivia. Fussy to bloom and a little challenging. We have had better luck in the cool greenhouse where they get tossed under a bench for the winter in thier pots, and forgotton, go dryish and stay cold. In spring, the pots are brought outside and they bloom every July. This been the pattern for five years now. Below, you can see that all of the summer growing South African bulbs are placed out doors, where they can get the benefits of rain and the bright light of the sun. These plants are from seed which we started in 2000. They are potted up in a fast draing bulb mix that I use for most of the South African bulbs, a mix containg equal parts of commercial peat based Pro Mix, perlite, pumice, sharp sand and and gravel.

April 11, 2006

Forcing Iris bucharica

Iris bucharica in a pot
Iris bucharica

Still in the greenhouse, the last of the potted Juno iris to bloom this year is this native Iris from Afganistan, Iris bucharica.Another pot that I 'saved' from certain death from my new sand bed built the foundation of the greenhouse this past winter. Once I replace the sand with a faster draining type, like washed river sand, I will re plant it outside after our frost free date, which will be near the end of this April.

Not your average Iris, Juno iris are challenging for the novice grower, requiring a strictly dry summer rest after the foliage dies back in late June or early July. This dry period is the key to success. If you wish to try these gems outside, plant the root stock where you can provide cover (a plexi roof) for most of the summer, providing a bone dry summer similar to what the experience in the native habitat. Uncovered in Autumn, to allow the rain to hydrate them in preparation for the winter.