What does lachenalia need for germination

Leo A. Martin leo@possi.org
Wed, 30 Dec 2009 11:20:50 PST
Cherry G wrote

> [snip] lachenalias from seed. I have tended to avoid them
> because I think they might need smoke and the cycling of
> temperatures you get when northern winter is segueing into
> spring. At least that is the last time I was successful
> in germinating them. Now I am in zone ten Florida when
> I might get a week of forties. Just wanted to find out
> what others are doing to insure germination.

I'm just a little cooler than you here in Phoenix. As others have pointed
out they are very easy. Just plant in fall to winter in sandy soil, barely
cover, and keep wet until they're up. Deeper pots are better. In your
sunny winters you might limit seedlings to 4 hours of full winter sun per
day or use 40% shade cloth if your growing area is in full sun. Stop
watering when it begins to heat up in the spring and let them go dormant.

Your problem will be hot and humid summers. Summer rain under such
circumstances will almost certainly result in rotting of dormant
Lachenalias. Your bulbs will probably be happier if you store them inside
the house where humidity will be lower over the summer dormancy.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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