Jim McKenney
Thu, 19 Feb 2004 14:43:09 PST
Mary Sue Ittner wrote:
>You should think of them as bulbs changing 
>hemispheres. If they survive they may take a bit of time to get adjusted 
>and bloom again.

What can be done to help them adjust? My experience with Cape Bulbs is that
they do not adjust easily. Freesia, Babiana, Sparaxis, Ixia, Ornithogalum,
Homeria and others are offered in the trade for spring planting. The ones I
have tried bloomed if planted as early as possible - a cool period during
early development seems important for successful flower development. By the
time they come into bloom it's often so hot that the flowers do not last
very long - in fact, they're pretty fleeting. 

Then, they have another surprise. If you leave them in the garden, they
ripen and die down; and then in late August they start to grow again. Some,
such as Ornithogalum thyrsoides, will start to grow in August even when dug
and stored dry. 

These would probably survive the winter here if dormant. 

Is anyone out there growing these outside in a cold-winter climate? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, zone 7 

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