Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 21 Apr 2004 09:46:13 PDT
Dear Tsuh Yang,

Don Journet is offline at the moment or he would surely respond to your 
question. He wrote a very interesting article on his experiences growing 
Lachenalia in Australia in the latest BULBS.

I have found in growing Lachenalia that a lot, but not all, of the ones I 
grow split into smaller size bulbs. It is curious looking at the offspring 
as they are often attached and very irregularly shaped. Others produce tiny 
bulblets and some at a distance. I  grew Lachenalia aloides quadricolor in 
a raised bed for years and every year it bloomed well for a long time in 
winter providing a most welcome bright display during dreary weather. 
Eventually I got rid of it because the leaves were looking possibly virused 
even though it was continuing to bloom.

I usually repot my Lachenalias every year (at least the ones I grow in 
containers.) It seems to be a genus where some of the bulbs get diseased 
and that allows me to toss any that look like they are not healthy and 
repot the rest so they have plenty of room in the medium. This may require 
an additional pot or disposing of offsets. Since it is a genus with 
interesting leaves and a long bloom time, interesting flowers, and 
occasionally wonderful fragrances I am willing to do this. Most of them (if 
they come up which they don't always) usually rebloom well once they get to 
a certain size. In Don's article if I remember correctly he said that over 
time you might have to start over with some of them as they run out of 
steam. They are easily grown from seed. I finally got seed of L. aloides 
quadricolor and am going to do just that since it was one of my favorite 
winter blooming flowers.

Another Lachenalia that I am finding is really prolific is L. mutabilis. 
I've got it planted a couple of places in the ground and it is doing fine. 
Also I am finding it in other pots so perhaps I need to be more watchful. 
Another Lachenalia that I admired years ago in African Hill, UC Botanical 
Garden, Berkeley, is L. contaminata. I wasn't very successful with my 
attempts to mimic this in my original raised beds as it was erratic. But I 
have it in quite a few pots blooming right now (labeled unknown Allium? 
since the bulbs looked like some of my Allium bulbs) as well as in 
containers named in its own right. Some of the now identified bulbs are 
going in the ground next year and I'll try again with it in the garden.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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