Nerine Thoughts - anew

Matt Mattus
Mon, 23 Aug 2010 17:21:09 PDT
I can't help but love Nerine sarniensis.

First, I packed up a box of named N. sarniensis for James Waddick, but his
email address didn't work, so James, they are on their way!

This Nerine discussion is timely, since I happened to spend yesterday
cleaning up my little collection. Mary Sue is correct, we all are having
much more luck with bud count now that we provide a little bit of summer
moisture, but this year will be interesting for me for I was a bit lazy, and
forgot to care for my bulbs all summer. I am hoping that they survived the
searing 110 Degree heat in the greenhouse this summer, but I am not hopeful
since I summered them over on a higher bench than I usually do, and we had
an unusually hot summer.

A piece of bubble wrap peeled off of the glass, and fell on top of most of
the containers, so I am hoping that this may have reduced the amount of
evaporation. While I cleaned up the pots for their first formal autumn
watering yesterday, they all seemed rather plump and healthy, and perhaps
even plumper than in regular years. Maybe the humidity this summer did the
trick. I will know shortly. Last year I had nearly a 90% bloom rate, which
is easy to calculate since I have about 120 bulbs that are blooming size,
and I tag the ones that had bloomed.

Three years ago, I chipped some bulbs, and then I forgot the polystyrene
fish box of sand under a bench for two years ( remember, lazy me.). Last
autumn I noticed something pink under the bench, and two of the small bulbs
were blooming, so I repotted all of the small bulbs, and this summer they
look much larger. I also have a pot of mature bulbs from Mary Sue's seed
which she sent me about 5 years ago, which may bloom this year.

All in all, I can share a few more bulbs, but not named ones, for most have
lost their labels. I have never made a lost of varieties in my collection,
but I would imagine that I have about 25 or so named Nerine sarniensis, most
from Springbank, and about 10 from Sir Peter Smithers Exbury collection. Not
a large collection, but space is at a premium in my greenhouse and every
year I tell people that I am going to get rid of half of them.

Other Nerine are blooming now, my summer growing Nerine falcata is in full
bloom this evening, with a flower head about 10 inches in diameter, and a
pot of N. masoniorum which I repotted last year into a 2 foot deep long tom
because I felt that it might need a deeper root run is loaded with buds. I
assumed that my never-blooming N. masoniorum wanted a deeper root run when I
observed the habit of it's strong roots filling the bottom of a 12 inch pot
that I had it in. So I treated it to a much deeper pot. It now has at least
3 dozen buds and more on the way it seems, so it should put on an impressive
show in a few weeks.

Matt Mattus
Zone 5
Worcester, MA

On 8/23/10 11:22 AM, "Mary Sue Ittner" <> wrote:

> Hi,
> I didn't have time to reply to the original post this weekend, but
> I'd like to make a few comments. Some I've said in the past, but
> we've had new people join our group since then.
> Like Mike I sent money to Steve to assist him in trying to save some
> of the bulbs in the Zinkowski collection. I talked with Steve at a
> NARGS winter study meeting and he talked about what a horrible state
> the collection was in when he tried to save some of the plants. One
> of the benefits from participating was receiving some of the plants
> as a thank you. I gave half of mine to Diana Chapman. I don't know if
> she propagated any of them. I had very poor luck with them for years
> although there was
> Hopefully Matt Mathus will speak up since he grows a lot of the
> hybrids in his greenhouse in Massachusetts.
> Mary Sue
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