Polianthes geminiflora

Dennis Kramb dkramb@badbear.com
Fri, 25 Nov 2011 15:05:38 PST
I resurrected an old message thread:

Okay, so I just re-read Dennis S's explanation about P. geminiflora.  And
I'm finding it troubling to force a plant (seedling) into dormancy that is
quite happily green and growing.

I've heard advice to keep Hippeastrum seedlings green & growing their first
year or two. And my experience with Central American Gesneriads is that
they enter dormancy all by themselves, making it obvious to cut back the

So how do I bring myself to force these guys into dormancy when they are so
quite happily growing again on my windowsill?

Tough love?

I don't know if I'm that kind of parent.  ;-)

Dennis in Cincinnati (where it was summer today)

On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Dennis Kramb <dkramb@badbear.com> wrote:

> In winter I did that quite by luck.  In winter time I kept them in a south
> facing window where they got direct sunlight, but there was also a
> fluorescent light for them too.  They stayed ever green, and grew slowly.
> I never allowed the soil to completely dry out.  In summer, I set them
> outdoors but they dried up once or twice in direct sun..... and they went
> dormant.  Now they are in a shadier spot getting regular water and they are
> all coming back.  I will keep them well watered as you suggested.
> Thanks a bunch!
> On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 12:53 PM, Dennis Szeszko <dszeszko@gmail.com>wrote:
>> Dennis:
>> A few notes about the culture of P. geminiflora.  I have seen this species
>> growing in warm oak forests in Mexico  that are seasonally very dry.  They
>> grow in highly mineralized clay soils and are accustomed to a 6 month dry
>> season.  Your mistake was in trying to keep them green during the winter,
>> when you should have let your plants die back naturally by withholding
>> water.
>> Recipe for success:
>> Water your plants and provide almost full sun from May 15 to October 15
>> but
>> then only just enough water (once per month?) to keep the soil from
>> completely drying out from October 15 to May 15.  Almost all of the
>> bulbous
>> plants (Bessera, Tigridia, Calochortus etc) in the same habitat as P.
>> geminiflora react to the onset of summer rain by starting growth
>> immediately
>> after receiving a good soaking, so I'd be careful of overwatering during
>> the
>> dry season lest they commence growing unnaturally.  This species grows in
>> warm temperate oak forests at around 1700 m., so it should adapt well to
>> growing outdoors in the US during the summer.
>> I hope this helps...
>> -Dennis
>> >Polianthes geminiflora is a little perplexing to me.  I thought I would
>> >struggle to keep it happy through the winter, indoors under lights, but
>> in
>> >actuality keeping it happy outside has been far more difficult.  Most of
>> >them died back, and are just now resprouting.  I don't know what they
>> >want... maybe more water, more shade, or less heat?
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