Eucomis in-ground hardiness

John Grimshaw
Fri, 19 Oct 2007 10:59:09 PDT
Ellen's comment on ample summer water for Eucomis is very important. If too 
dry in summer they will soon dwindle and never flower. Our very wet summer 
has been much appreciated by my plants in the ground here, but with the 
general lack of warmth they have not ripened any seed and we had a stiff 
frost last night to put paid to the ripening process. Also good nourishment 
helps, as with most bulbs.

I find that it is very important to keep pot-grown bulbs very dry, 
undisturbed in their growing pots so that they don't desiccate too badly 
(the roots are more or less perennial) and just above freezing. Too damp & 
they're apt to rot, especially when young.

I have come to regard most Eucomis as hardy here & don't lift anything once 
it's planted in the ground. So far so good, but we haven't had persistent 
penetrating frost for a while. When I was in Holland we lifted the bulbs 
each year but escapees survived, even E. vandermerwei in wet peat after 
several hard freezes, although I wouldn't risk my entire stock in that way!

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

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