Ferraria culture in the Pacific Northwest??

Lee Poulsen
Sat, 17 Jan 2004 13:36:14 PST
This is probably not too helpful for your conditions, but I grow them 
in pots here in southern California and they're like weeds. I give them 
almost no care and they seem to survive in the climate conditions we 
get here just fine. If the winter is very dry, I'll give them 
supplemental water since they're in pots, but that's about it. I used 
to fertilize them, but they made so many offsets that I had to re-pot 
them every year. Even so, every couple of years when I dump the pots 
out, about 3 inches down, it becomes a solid layer of flat disks 
stacked on each other covering the entire cross section of the pot. 
This doesn't seem to bother them much because they all sprout the next 
fall and bloom as well. But then it really needs additional watering 
since there are so many plants growing in the one pot. I grow them in 1 
gallon pots.

Also, I found out by accident that the bulbs are really tough during 
dormancy. I had set aside a bunch one year to send to the BX and forgot 
about them for more than a year. Even so, although they had sent about 
a 1/2 cm of leaf out the top the previous fall when it got cooler, they 
stayed that way until the following fall when I put some in some soil 
and then watered them and they grew just like normal.

Maybe that's how they were converted to summer growth. I would think 
that during dormancy you'd need to keep them inside or someplace else 
very warm and dry. Then when you wanted them to grow you could set them 
outside in the Pacific NW where it would think it was a South. Calif. 
winter since it's so cool there in the summer. But I think you'd need 
to bring them into someplace where it was even warmer (80s or 90s F.) 
in the fall to induce and then maintain dormancy during the winter.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10

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