Colchicum Emerging, hard summer for geophytic impatiens, gloriosa lilies
Sun, 05 Sep 2010 18:30:45 PDT
Colchicum agrippinum (which I got a few years ago from Linda of "Buggy Crazy" love that name, too bad she is no longer in business, she did sell some great stuff) is blooming in my home garden, we had a cooler spell followed by more heat which has just ended for the time being.  It must have small foliage, because I've never associated whatever it produces with the flowers (they grow amongst various spring flowering bulbs).  
Its been a hot summer, some plants love it, others, like Impatiens flanaganae and I. tinctoria hated it.  No flowers on the former yet, and they look stressed, whereas last year they were loving the cool summer and even making a few seeds.  I tinctoria is a great challenge here, I still haven't gotten a bloom yet, though one plant set buds which promptly fell off in late June as the temps started to rise.  It went downhill quick in the following couple of months, dropping most of its leaves.  Of four potted propagations the big one was put in the ground this spring, right next to a northwest wall of the house), one definitely is doing okay, I think at least two others died during the heat.  Now that night temps in particular are dropping, both impatiens show slight signs of perking up, how much they will do so depends on how many weeks of decent weather we have before frost.  A spray to control broad mites, which have also curled some leaves (and always seem to find impatiens, especially when they are heat stressed), will also have to happen soon and no doubt will help the plants grow better.  Broad mites, along with spider mites, can be lethal, especially indoors during the winter, but are easily controlled with some long acting newer stuff that is specific for mites.
I have Gloriosa lilies in a large pot, from seeds ex NARGS, I think.  If memory serves me correct, they were supposed to be a mix of virescens and something else.  They are flowering now, with flowers that can be red or yellowish. They are easy from seed and can flower the second year, rhizomes (which often look like a wierd inverted V) are easy to store in a zip lock in a cool dry place after being washed and dried for a few days, or can simply be left in the pot, which is dried off for winter. Not a difficult plant, and definitely worth growing.
Tuckahoe NY--Where the flop of a hurricane didnt bring a single drop of much needed water, so in desperation I duct taped a garden hose (with my wife's help) to a sink faucet in my classroom, threaded it out the window, and watered my school garden quite thoroughly last Saturday.  It will be looking really good when the students come back on Tuesday. 

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