Bulb Requirements: Rhodophiala

David Maxwell opbungalow@gmail.com
Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:22:42 PDT

it pleased me very much to read your contributions in the PBS 06-25 forum
regarding "bulb requirements"...because you were 3 of the members who
responded to my Rhodophiala seed offer (they went out yesterday
hand-stamped/hand-sorted USPS).

Some of what motivated me to distribute these seeds to other PBS members who
might not otherwise try growing these South American, Andean varieties of
Rhodophiala...or purhaps had previously but wanted to refine their
process...was to hopefully hear back at some point regarding their
success:///failure/ rate...and find out what they did in these 3 areas you were
discussing; heat, soil, moisture.

I always suppose that people will do (more or less) what's in their previous
experience...and in this case, they'll approach cultivating these
Rhodophiala seeds they way they do with the bulb of their particular
interest...even if it's not what's recommended.

The bulb of my particular interest is Hippeastrum, and so I used the basic
planting techniques I've used for Hipps with these Rhodophiala, but then
modified those 3 areas (heat, soil, moisture) based either on what was
recommended or what I deduced based on their native habitat.

I'm a the-proof-is-in-the-pudding kinda guy...and believe whole-heartedly in
test stripping...('Prove it and show me.')...and experimentation...and
*not*necessarily doing what's recommended if by deduction it doesn't
seem to make

For instance, it's been recommended to pre-soak, stratify & then transplant
these Rhodophiala seedingly, which in my mostly ignorant & completely
inexperience opinion seems like a lot of unnecessary fussing.

I always soak & grow my Hipps seeds in the same plastic containers &
soil where they'll grow for the first year or 2...since they don't like to
be disturbed...and I've had a 90% to 95% success rate doing that...so that's
my approach with these Rhodophiala seeds.

Some of the experimentation & test-stripping I'm doing has to do with
acidity levels in the soil.

*Rh.rhodolirion & Rh.andicola* were said to prefer neutral to acidic
soil...so I followed the lead of my begonias that thrive under the redwood
tree in my front yard...and took completely dry redwood needles, pureed them
in the food processor, strained 'em & thoroughly mixed about 1/2 tsp. of
redwood puree into an 11 fl.oz. plastic container of sand & peat/potting
soil medium.

I've test-stripped 10 seeds each in the medium with & without the redwood
pesto...and I'll be very amused (given *that* kinda of potentially
unneccessary fussing) to see if it makes any difference at all.

I'll keep you posted.

Keep me posted with your efforts as well.



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