Greenhouse Time Again for Amaryllids

J.E. Shields
Mon, 03 Oct 2005 06:49:02 PDT
Hi all,

One morning last week, there was frost on the roofs when we awoke.  Since 
autumn is finally coming, it's time to move pots of tender bulbs 
inside.  We've been working on and off for the past week at this.

Still, a few things are in bloom.  The 5-gal. pot of Hymenocallis caribaea 
is showing a scape for the first time sine I received it.  One of the 
varieties of Hymenocallis acutifolia that we grow is now blooming, even 
though we did not set the pots into pans of water for the growing 
season.  The one pot of Hymenocallis puntagordensis is now blooming, as well.

One bulb of Cyrtanthus montanus is in flower.  These are not getting as 
large as the bulbs of Cyrtanthus [elatus X montanus] get.  The mother pot 
of Cyrtanthus sanguineus is also putting up a bloom scape.  C. obrienii is 
starting a scape now as well.

Numerous Nerine are still in bloom, including NN. angulata, appendiculata, 
filamentosa, and platypetala.  A couple N. filifolia are still blooming, 
but most of that species have finished.

The dwarf species that is NOT gibsonii is still blooming, making a 
long-running show for its two pots.  This one has flowers like a smaller 
version of angulata or filifolia, only 1 inch (25 mm) across but with 
peduncles that get no more than 5 to 8 inches tall (12 - 20 cm).  The dwarf 
species that is NOT hessioides is also in flower.  It looks like a 
gracilis, with small pink star-like flowers 3/4 inch across (ca. 18 mm) but 
with scapes not quite so tall, only about 10 inches (25 cm) high.

And finally, only a couple weeks after I dogmatically stated that Nerine 
bowdenii never blooms until December here, two bulbs of N. bowdenii 'Koen's 
Hardy' are each sending up a flower bud!  They just had to make a liar out 
of me; not that I'm going to complain much, of course.  I hope the other 
pots of bowdenii wait until December, as their flowers are very welcome at 
that time of winter.

Another very dwarf amaryllid from South Africa,  Strumaria tenellum 
orientalis, is finishing up blooming.  It has very small white flowers, 
maybe 1/2 inch across, on relatively long pedicels.  This plant has only 
one or two fine, thread-like leaves, no more than ca. 4 inches long; they 
are almost invisible unless you look very closely.  I wonder how it manages 
to grow?  It sets plenty of seeds, so I have two pots of blooming seedlings 
from the two original bulbs I got years ago.  They do not seem to make any 
offsets, so abundant seed production is just about an evolutionary necessity.

Crinum x-digweedii, C. erubescens ex Peru, and C. americanum are blooming 
now, even as we move them into the greenhouses for the winter.  Even when 
grown in saucers to retain water, they do not usually manage to bloom for 
me.  This summer was hotter than usual, with very abundant rainfall.  Maybe 
they liked the heat and humidity!

We are in a brief return to hot, humid summer weather, but it will be 
short-lived.  There may be general frosts by this time next week.

Happy growing,
Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)
40° N latitude, ca. 83° W longitude

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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