Why wont my seedlings return ?

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Tue, 23 Nov 2004 10:26:25 PST
Dear Rob,

I know you have had a couple of responses on other forums with suggestions, 
but none on ours. I hope Bill Dijk who has been very busy will comment 
since he seems successful in growing a lot of South African amaryllids from 
seed as well. My experience is very limited at this stage and only 
Cyrtanthus and Nerine have I gotten to bloom stage (and some of those are 
summer rainfall). I lose a lot of all the things I grow that first year so 
don't feel like I'm in any position to offer advice. The number that return 
the second year is often less. It seems like if you can get them through 
the second year your chances are a lot better.

I start most of my South African winter rainfall seeds in my greenhouse 
because we have excessive rain during the months when they would have just 
germinated. It provides a little extra heat during the day and having them 
in one place reminds me to water them with dilute fertilizer so they will 
grow faster and be able to survive dormancy better. Usually the Amaryllids 
have kept growing through the first year like you describe your summer 
rainfall species. I wonder if light is another factor. I always marvel at 
how fast Sheila and Mary from Western Australia can get things to bloom 
from seed and someone suggested their high level of light is a help.

It sounds like you have had a lot of success from your reports. Which 
things have not come back and is it a question of their just not coming up 
(my ongoing experience with Ornithogalum dubium) or not being there the 
next year?

Mary Sue

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