Starting winter growing seed-Tecophilaea cyanocrocus

Jane McGary
Thu, 12 Feb 2004 09:55:18 PST
Mary Sue wrote,
 >One thing really interests me. Lee Poulsen says that his plants always 
make a lot of offsets. Do >they have to be a certain size to do this? Or do 
some do this and not others.

I have not seen any offsets from corms smaller than flowering size. Mine 
make a maximum of 2 offsets per large corm per year, and some years not 
that much. They are growing much colder than Lee Poulsen's would be, indeed 
experiencing frost every winter even though in a covered frame. However, I 
have other plants from the same general area in the same frames, and they 
handle the conditions well too.

When I first got this plant, bulbs purchased from England, I read that it 
preferred growing in the "open ground" to being in a pot, so I planted it 
directly into the plunge medium in the frames, where it did not do so well. 
Once I moved the corms into pots they did better. I think that statement in 
the older literature reflected being grown in pots in English alpine 
houses, where the plants may have been dried out too much in summer or 
subjected to fluctuations in moisture during the growing season, or perhaps 
didn't get enough light. They will not flower in my cool greenhouse even 
though in full light -- I suppose temperature fluctuation helps stimulate 
them too. I don't think they strictly need an arid summer dormancy, because 
I have read of them flourishing in the open garden in Ireland (although 
that may have been an exaggeration).

I just noticed a lot of aphids on my Tecophilaeas and applied systemic 
insecticide, so check yours too. They seem particularly attractive to these 

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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