Ferraria culture in the Pacific Northwest??

Laura & Dave
Sat, 17 Jan 2004 12:11:56 PST
      Well, now I went and did it again!  Looked at a pretty picture of 
a plant, and then jumped at an opportunity to get it.  Now, with some 
fifteen small tubers of 'Ferraria crispa' in hand, I find myself asking, 
"what the heck do I DO with these"?  I live in the southern Puget Sound 
Basin (Tumwater, WA to be exact), and grow almost every thing outdoors 
in containers plunged into sawdust in raised beds.  This works quite 
well as a way of coping with our wet (~90cm rain) and cool winters (5 C 
average, with drops down to -5 to -15 several times each winter).  It 
also helps keep roots cool and moist in the mostly dry summer.  The 
fluctuations of temperature are one of the "features" we have to cope 
with here.
      I've researched the web, and all the books that I have on hand, 
and have found that the F. crispa grow on/in sandstone or granite based 
soils, that they come from the winter rainfall area of the western cape 
of South Africa, that they can achieve a height of 1m (probably only on 
a good day) and that they are scarcely hardy.  What I need to find out 
is what the pictures rarely show; the extent and type of their root 
system, and the depth of planting of the corms.  One reference suggested 
planting 15 cm deep, where the winters are severe (which doesn't help 
much unless one knows what is considered severe in the advisors mind).
      Any suggestions on container size and shape would be most 
appreciated, as well as any other advise on how to grow these beauties!

Peace and good gardening
Dave Brastow (zone 7A, sorta)

More information about the pbs mailing list