Lycoris squamigera; was Deception in the catalogs

Eugene Zielinski
Sat, 14 Aug 2004 19:27:44 PDT
I must say that I do speak from experience.  Prior to moving to Georgia, I
lived in central Pennsylvania, and in Buffalo, New York before that.  My
(bitter?) experience with Lycoris squamigera comes from trying to help a
friend.  I purchased a number of bulbs for her and she planted them as soon
as she received them.  Some came up; some didn't, and it took several years
before one of the bulbs bloomed.
I didn't have better luck with Lycoris radiata.  Bulbs purchased from local
garden centers or catalogues never grew.  One knowledgeable person
recommended growing the bulbs warm initially, since warm temperatures are
needed to initiate root growth.  I kept the pot of bulbs in my house; they
still didn't grow - roots or leaves.  The only time I had luck was when I
received bulbs from a vendor that were packed in peat and had roots intact.
They were received in June, and every bulb bloomed that August.
I realize that my experience may not be typical, but I am now very leery of
buying dry Lycoris bulbs from any source.  Perhaps they need to be treated
like lilies for best performance.

Eugene Zielinski
Augusta, GA

> [Original Message]
> From: Jim McKenney <>
> To: <>
 > Date: 8/14/04 12:05:02 AM
> Subject: [pbs] Lycoris squamigera; was Deception in the catalogs
> At 10:45 PM 8/13/2004 -0400, Eugene wrote:
> >One reason catalogues can get away with using an Amaryllis picture is
> the >dried out, rootless Lycoris [squamigera] bulbs they send out will
> five >years to recover and bloom, if they ever come up at all. 
> Eugene, do I hear the voice of experience speaking here?
> Here's something for you to keep in mind with respect to Lycoris
> squamigera: as Lycoris go, it's cold adapted. It has the reputation of
> growing and blooming much more freely in the north than in the south. It's
> not a good choice for the coastal deep south. Inland and at some elevation
> it might perform differently. 
> Augusta is Gardenia country, right? 
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Gardenia Klein's [or
> is it Kleim's ?] Hardy might just be hardy. 
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