Lachenalia. Was: Blooming in the December greenhouse

J.E. Shields
Mon, 05 Dec 2005 05:47:47 PST
Matt's comments remind me to check my own Lachenalia.  Both L. viridiflora 
and L. rubida are in bloom.  These are usually the first two Lachenalia to 
bloom here.  Interestingly, one pot of L. rubida bloomed over a month ago; 
now the pot sitting right next to it has flowered.

Lachenalia are tender winter growing bulbs that generally increase like 
weeds, by offsetting.  They provide a nice touch of color in the greenhouse 
all through winter, each species blooming in its turn.  L. aloides 
quadricolor are especially colorful when they bloom later in the 
winter.  The multiple hues in their blooms are quite cheery on a dull 
winter day.

Two things the Lachenalia need that make them a little difficult:  1.  They 
need lots of bright, direct sunlight, else they tend to get very leggy; and 
2.  They don't want to be too warm.  A cold, just barely frost-free 
greenhouse would probably suit them best.  I think they would get enough 
sunshine in a south-facing window (here in the Northern Hemisphere) but our 
houses are probably much too warm for them in winter.

Does anyone grow them indoors in winter?  How do they take the 
conditions?  Do some do better indoors than others?

Jim Shields
in very cold central Indiana (USA) where it is +12°F (or -11°C) this morning

At 08:43 PM 12/4/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>In my Massachusetts greenhouse,  I do have a Haemanthus albiflos in bloom, a
>first for me, as well as two pots of Lachenalia viridiflora..........
>Matt Mattus
>Worcester. Massachusetts
>USDA Zone 5
>Where it is snowing today, 4 inches, and 28 degrees F.

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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