New Nerines on the Wiki

Michael Mace
Thu, 16 Nov 2006 22:02:08 PST
Hi, everybody.

I've been lurking here for a long time.  I don't have enough time to write
as much as I'd like, but I do read the list.

I wanted to let you know that I just posted some new Nerine photos to the

I was one of the people who received bulbs from the Nerine collection of the
late Jack Zinkowski some years ago.  I finally got around to posting
pictures of some of them this week.

I think the most interesting hybrid is the one labeled H-61.  It's a weird,
red/mauve/purple striped affair.…

This year I had by far the best blooms ever from the Nerines.  My secret?  I
watered them once a week, all summer long.

I know that's heresy, and I'm not recommending that anyone else do it, but
in my conditions I think the extra water is needed.  I am growing them in
8-inch (20 cm) plastic pots on a south-facing slope.  The soil mix is a very
lean 50% sand and 50% peat.  I haven't changed the soil in five years
(because I'm told Nerines hate disturbance), so I'm sure there's less than
50% peat by now.  

Where I live, typical summer temperatures get into the 90s F, humidity is
quite low, and it doesn't rain a drop from April to October.  I think that
in past years, the bulbs and their roots were getting completely dried out
in summer, which stressed them too much to bloom.

I tried watering the pots once every month or two in summer, and that
produced some more blooms.  But still I was getting flowers from maybe one
pot in seven.  This summer I thought about those bulbs growing up at Mr.
Zinkowski's place, in greenhouses up in misty rainy Oregon where I doubt
they would ever completely dry out.  So I swallowed hard and set the drip
irrigation system to water weekly throughout the summer.

The result: flowers in about one pot out of three.

I'll let you know in a couple of years if the bulbs have all rotted away.
But so far, so good.

San Jose, CA
(zone 9, min temp 20F)

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