Crinum in MO - replies

J.E. Shields
Sat, 05 Jun 2010 06:35:30 PDT
Hi all,

Jim W. got me started growing Crinum outdoors in the ground.  I have found 
that bulbs less than 2" in diameter do not survive the winter in the ground 
at my place.  Larger bulbs of x-powellii, bulbispermum, variabile, 
[bulbispermum x lugardiae], and [variabile x bulbispermum] survive in the 
ground year after year, and most eventually bloom.  Look for a superior 
selection of [variabile x bulbispermum] to be released some year by Tony Avent.

A few [bulbispermum x macowanii] and [bulbispermum x graminicola] have 
survived a few winters in the ground, but I eventually chickened out and 
lifted them  The few survivors are in pots now.

A couple bulbs of Namibian Crinum lugardiae survived a couple winters in 
the ground before disappearing, but the larger form of lugardiae from 
KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa did not survive outdoors in the 
ground at all.

Some bulbispermum from Texas collected by (I think) Al Sisk have survived 
unprotected and are blooming right now.  Not all that Al sent me survived, 
however.   Other bulbispermum next to my greenhouse bloom early, reliably, 
and set lots of seed.  Some of it sometimes finds its way to the PBS BX.  I 
think folks in zones 5 and warmer should try just strewing the bulbispermum 
seeds into or under mulch and see what happens.

I'm not crazy about the flowers on x-powellii but I like those on 
bulbispermum and I love the flowers on variabile and some of the [variabile 
x bulbispermum].  The world needs more beautiful and hardy crinums.

We are USDA cold zone 5 here.  When the ground freezes really deeply (1 to 
2 ft. deep), the bulbs are damaged but recover over a period of a couple 
years.   Mulching is especially important for the first couple of winters, 
but after that it does not seem to matter as much.  Varieties of 
questionable hardiness should go at the base of a south-facing wall; up 
against the foundation of your home is best!

Jim Shields
in Westfield, Indiana

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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