Fred Biasella
Tue, 25 Oct 2011 07:25:29 PDT
Hi Mary Sue and Doug,

My Veltheimia (Bracteata) never really went dormant this summer and I have a few pots of them all started from seed from different sources. I keep them outside under the outer fringes of the grape vine and in almost full sun. They very briefly lost their leaves but in no time they started a new flush of leaves. About a month ago I noticed the inflorescence poking out from the very center, just like they did last year and will probably flower in January or February. 

I really don't give them any special attention other than watering them when they get dry (with rain water from my rain barrel) and pick off the ratty looking leaves in late spring/early summer. 

Warm Regards,
Fred Biasella
Cambridge (Boston) MA
USDA Zone 6b

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Mary Sue Ittner
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 10:08 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Veltheimia


I'm really curious about Doug Westfall's recent post about the status 
of his Veltheimia

>There are flower spikes on most of them

My Veltheimia bracteata has just broken dormancy this month. Most of 
the plants haven't had leaves since early summer. Are these new 
flower spikes? My plants usually bloom sometime from March to May.

This is another example of how plants grow really differently in 
Southern California than in Northern California.

Many years ago when we discussed Veltheimia some people reported 
their plants never went dormant, probably because of the difference 
in how much moisture they got in summer. When the leaves on mine 
start dying back, I stop watering them. The ones I planted in the 
ground dwindled away I expect because it was too dry for them in 
summer since in South Africa they would have rainfall in summer. In 
large containers in the shade in our relatively cool summers the soil 
probably doesn't dry out so much.

How do you treat yours Doug?

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

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