Turning S African bulbs around (eucomis, haemanthus)

Thomas Glavich tglavich@sbcglobal.net
Thu, 04 Aug 2005 12:47:30 PDT
I routinely turn bulbs, although this is not the best time of year to do it.   In Southern California, it will be hot for almost another two weeks, and I can treat them more or less the same as early summer.  I plant the bulbs, water once or twice and see if they start growing.  It they do, I continue to water until they realize its the wrong time of year and go dormant on their own.  They then usually start up again later in the fall or winter, but sometimes go until late the following spring.   I'm doing a bunch of eriospermum, just received in the past week.
For small bulbs (less than 3/8 of an inch or so), I would try waiting as long as possible.  I've had poor luck with Lachenalia and Massonia starting at this time of year.  I'll hold them back until the end of September when I have reliable cool nights and at least some cool days.
I wouldn't hesitate with the Haemanthus.

"hornig@usadatanet.net" <hornig@usadatanet.net> wrote:
Today I received some magnificent bulbs of Haemanthus montanus and Eucomis
humilis from a South African grower, and am wondering whether anyone has
experience with carrying over bulbs from this time of year to next spring,
and reversing their growth habits to a northern-hemisphere schedule? 

I've gotten eucomis from South Africa earlier in summer (May-June), in
which case I've replanted them immediately and usually gotten them to
regrow in summer and go dormant in late fall; and I've gotten them in fall
and held them cold and slightly moist until spring, when they regrew just
fine; but with them coming in now, I'm quite divided as to whether I should
try to force them or hold them back. Any thoughts?

As to the Haemanthus, I've never dealt with those at all. Is my better bet
to hold them dry and dormant or try to push them into growth?

Yes, I can part with some of each. Interested parties may inquire.

Thanks in advance for any informed advice -

Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
Oswego NY USA
USDA zone 5

Original Message:
From: Tony Avent tony@plantdelights.com
Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2005 16:21:11 -0400
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [pbs] South Africa expedition

Dear Bulb Folks:

This spring, I was fortunate to coordinate a 3 week botanical expedition
through South Africa, exploring the plants of the region...Capetown to the
Drakensberg Mountains. Many of this list have gone before, but for those
that like to dream, our expedition log with nearly 300 photos is now posted
at http://www.plantdelights.com/Tony/south_africa.php

Our guide was the amazing Cameron McMaster of South Africa1, who many of
you may know personally and through his writings. It was Cameron's
knowledge and superb tour guiding skills that made the trek so wonderful.
I'm sure if you plan to head to the region that Cameron would be glad to
hear from you and possibly be your guide. 

Enjoy the expedition.

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC 27603 USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
email tony@plantdelights.com
website http://www.plantdel.com/
phone 919 772-4794
fax 919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least
three times" - Avent
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