How hardy is Tecophilea?

Jane McGary
Tue, 26 Feb 2013 17:15:30 PST
I have found Tecophilaea cyanocrocus to survive for many years in 
plunged pots in unheated cold frames, with an added microfoam blanket 
when outside temperature was below 20 F (minus 6 C). I am now growing 
it in a raised bed under a polycarb roof, but with no side enclosure. 
My plants are almost ready to flower, having gone through about 10 
days of temperatures several degrees below freezing in January, when 
the leaves had begun to emerge. Plants that I grew in a solarium kept 
above freezing became elongated and failed to bloom. I do not 
recommend that Jim Waddick, in the Midwest, plant it in the open 
garden, despite his friend's success over three years. Are those 
plants perhaps sheltered by the eaves of the house? The corms are 
very expensive, though the plant can be grown from seed to flowering 
in 3 or 4 years.

My understanding of this plant in nature is that it emerges following 
snowmelt, flowers, and then is dormant during a dry summer. Its cycle 
reminds me of deciduous Lewisia species and in fact I grow them 
together, as they are a pretty combination.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

At 12:37 PM 2/26/2013, you wrote:
>Dear Friends,
>         Recently a friend called to tell me (rub it in) that his 
> Tecophilea were just emerging from winter dormancy. He lives just 
> outside of Wichita KS however and this seems very unlikely. His 
> bulbs are growing near a concrete side walk ( a heat sink) and have 
> survived through 3 winters.
>         I just never thought Tecophilea might survive this far 
> north. Just how hardy are they?  How cold have they survived 
> outdoors for any members?
>         Do I dare try them here in Zone 5/6 in the ground?

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