Allium germinations and others

Kathleen Sayce
Sun, 17 Feb 2013 13:46:39 PST
We had a fine morning here on the PNW coast, so I opened the cold frame to check on seedlings and overwintered plants. I should call this the dry frame, because most of the plants that go in it don't like the local long cool wet season, which normally runs from October to June. Or July. 

One of the first seeds I got from PBS was Iris magnifica. This year I might get flowers from the plants I've grown from seed. The plants are sturdy, and seem very happy in the cold frame, which keeps them warmer than they would be outside, and much drier. I suspect I don't fertilize enough, as others have mentioned getting flowers in 2-3 years from seed of this species iris. 

The frame has a wet end (where I water regularly all winter) and a dry end (where pots dry out and don't get water from late summer until new shoots appear in late fall or winter); all my Habranthus and Zephyranthes are at the dry end, and most of them are sprouting, or have been up for months. I often keep the wet end cracked open in mild weather, when if it rains, water is sprayed over the plants at the wet end by the wind. 

Then I have several pots of Allium seeds. These were planted in pots last fall to winter. About half of them are up now, including flavum, sanborni, serra, praecox, dichlamydeum, subhirstum and obliquum. The Allium flavum seeds came from a planting at a local library where I weed and water in summer; the seed set was too luxuriant to pass up. I may regret this one, but did bring some home to try. . .

No germination yet for A. victorialis, unifolium, douglasii, campanulatum, diabolense or peninsulare. 

I also put a pot of Notholirion bulbiferum seeds in the frame this winter, and these have germinated nicely. The first leaves are up, dark green and healthy. 


Kathleen Sayce
PNW Coast, WHZ 8, dryish cool summers & mild wet winters

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