Moraea huttonii(?)

Paul T.
Sun, 09 Aug 2009 18:01:51 PDT
At 09:58 AM 10/08/2009, you wrote:
>I garden in Auckland, New Zealand; this is not only my first posting 
>but my first attempt to join one of these mail lists and I still 
>don't understand how one replies to posts but no doubt I will learn.
>I want advice about my (probable) moraea huttonii. I found a website 
>which noted that huttonii's foliage remains evergreen 'unless 
>frozen' and here in frost-free Auckland, the leaves are now over six 
>feet long and a dreadful nuisance in the middle of my herbaceous 
>border. Presumably I should have pretended to be Jack Frost in April 
>or May and cut them to the ground, but do I dare do that now? 
>Remember I am in the Southern hemisphere, so April and May were my 
>autumn and we are now in very early spring and the moraea should be 
>blooming in about a month.
>Any advice from anyone who grows this beautiful plant in southern 
>California (very similar to Auckland in climate)would be most appreciated.


I grow these types of Moraea here in Canberra, Australia.  While we 
are not terribly cold (getting to -8'C or -9'C each winter) they keep 
their leaves here as well.  This and M. spathulata have done well for 
me for years (although I lost my M. huttonii last year for some 
unknown reason, which is a real shame) with no care or 
attention.  Bear in mind that these Moraea appear to only produce a 
single leaf each year, so cutting the leaves off will likely severely 
impact on flowering if you didn't time it exactly right.  I tended to 
cut the leaves some years on the spathulata just as the flowers were 
finishing, knowing that a new leaf was produced each year right after 
that.  I think I have the timing right in memory.  Given that they 
only produce a single leaf each year I would certainly not be cutting 
them in April or May, as I would imagine that would stop flowering as 
they could not continue to feed and set the flowers up?  Maybe others 
who more clearly know their internal mechanics can help to tell you 
whether there is a perfect time to cut the leaves.

Good luck


Paul T.
Canberra, Australia - USDA Zone Equivalent approx. 8/9

Growing an eclectic collection of plants from all over the world 
including Aroids, Crocus, Cyclamen, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, 
Galanthus, Irises, Trilliums (to name but a few) and just about 
anything else that doesn't move!! 

More information about the pbs mailing list