Gethyllis as a house plant

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 09 Aug 2004 20:36:42 PDT
Dear All,

When we were discussing Gethyllis as the topic of the week I mentioned that 
it was one of the plants that Peter Knippels wrote about in his book on 
growing bulbs indoors. His bulbs were growing on a very unusual schedule 
and I wrote him to ask about this. He was away and has only just returned 
and was kind enough to answer my question. When he wrote the book, he was 
writing about his experiences with growing bulbs indoors. The Gethyllis 
were collected from the wild and sold in Western Europe. He was growing 
them on a Southern Hemisphere cycle in the Northern Hemisphere, but not 
very well. When he turned them around to be growing at the correct time, 
they did better, or to use his words, they "survived." Every year they 
produced a few leaves, but the bulbs didn't grow and he is no longer 
growing them.

I was reminded of a very funny post from the old IBS forum and Charles 
Gorenstein who managed the IBS seed exchange for a number of years. Some of 
you may remember reading his hilarious account of his experiences doing 
that. I wish I knew his email address to get his permission to share his 
post which I saved. To summarize he started with a good sized bulb from a 
friend, but it started to rot. He saved it, but it was reduced in size 
(lemon-size). The second year he had the same problem. The third year it 
started to rot again after it started growing. So after three years he 
hadn't seen any leaves and the bulb was the size of the walnut. He 
suspected that at the rate he was going it would disappear in a few years. 
He spoke of spiking the water with prozac, but it wasn't clear whether that 
was for him or for the bulb.

The leaves of the ones I got from Gordon Summerfield (most of them) are 
still green. Bob Werra got his turned around successfully so I am keeping 
my fingers crossed.

Mary Sue

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