Nerine bowdenii - How to overwinter?

Brian Whyer brian.whyer@btinternet.com
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 06:27:51 PDT
To some extent I think this shows how tolerant this Nerine is.
 
I garden level with London,in the middle of the two below, although John has only just gone back up north.
I grow a square yard or so in what was open garden (south facing) but now a little shaded by a Berberis that is not as compactum as it should be. They are just coming into bud (longest ~9"), have no leaves excepting some still from last year. A close neighbour's garden has about 6'x1' south facing border, against a wall, packed tight with them. The end against the water butt is still in full leaf from last season, but I think it flowers all along with no problem.
As a rule I don't expect much in the way of leaves until early spring and then they stay there until late summer when the slugs and snails clean up most of them.
 
To some extent they can behave like Scilla peruviana, which leaf up a bit in autumn, get turned to mush by any deep frosts, and in spring produce fresh leaves, and in this caser then flower.
 
N. "Zeal Giant" is now in flower with several good leaves, but then it is a hybrid.
 
Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8'ish


>________________________________
>From: Nick de Rothschild <nikko123@btinternet.com>
>To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org> 
>Sent: Wednesday, 3 October 2012, 12:10
>Subject: Re: [pbs] Nerine bowdenii - How to overwinter?
>
>Re John Grimshaw's reply.... you have to realise that he comes from 'up north' and we come from 'down south'- up north they are a tough bunch, whereas down south we are softies. This could also apply to the way the plants react- our bowdeniis only appear in the autumn and winter and sleep through the spring and summer- (up north winters are miserable affairs) - curious though how several hundred miles makes a whole heap of difference.
>
>
>
>
>________________________________
>From: John Grimshaw <john@oltarakwa.co.uk>
>To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org> 
>Sent: Wednesday, 3 October 2012, 6:59
>Subject: Re: [pbs] Nerine bowdenii - How to overwinter?
>
>I am astonished by Rodger Whitlock's assertion that Nerine bowdenii is a
>winter-growing plant. This is entirely contradictory to experience here in
>the UK, or in its wild habitat, where in both cases it is emphatically
>summer-growing. It is this fact that makes it a (very) hardy plant in this
>country, being dormant in winter and thus able to tolerate both the damp and
>cold. Here it comes into growth as the spring warms up, is in full leaf all
>summer (slightly dependent on soil moisture) and is just coming into flower,
>with some active leaf remnants. Contrary to the popular myth ('plant under a
>warm wall'), it has been demonstrated that it does not like summer heat, and
>does best in sunny well-drained conditions in the open border.
>
>So what it does in Victoria is a mystery to me, but in my experience the
>advice given would be an excellent way not to grow it. In Maine I think one
>would need to grow it in a pot as a summer active plant, keeping it cool,
>dry and dormant in winter. Freezing in a pot would be promptly fatal - which
>reminds me to get my recently moved pot-fulls into the ground!
>
>John Grimshaw
>
>
>Visit John Grimshaw's Garden Diary
>http://johngrimshawsgardendiary.blogspot.com/
>
>Dr John  M. Grimshaw
>1 Kirkhill Farm
>Settrington
>Malton
>North Yorkshire
>YO17 8NT
>
>Tel. 01944 768494
>
>
>
>>From Rodger Whitlock:
>
>Nerine bowdenii is a common plant in gardens here in Victoria, BC. The
>climate seems to agree with it, so presumably the more closely you can
>emulate Victoria's climate, the greater the likelihood of success.
>
>Note that it is a winter-growing plant. 
>
>Try this:
>
>1. During summer dormancy, bone dry, no water at all, warmish soil, but
>don't bake the pot in full sun like a Central Asian tulip. Put it in a
>shaded place.
>
>2. Start watering in early September. As the foliage (and, hopefully,
>flowers) develop, give more water. This is also a good time to feed the
>plant. A dilute liquid fertilizer rather low in nitrogen would do the trick,
>applied every two weeks, say.
>
>
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