J.E. Shields
Thu, 21 Feb 2013 06:13:28 PST
Hi Bea,

It all depends on what you are trying to grow.  I specialize in genera like 
Crinum, Clivia, Cyrtanthus, Haemanthus, Hippeastrum, and similar 
things.  The bulbs from arid and semi-arid climates will suffer from any 
presence of excess moisture during their dormant periods.  For such bulbs, 
a soilless mix that dries out quickly is important.  x-Amarcrinum counts as 
just such a bulb, one of whose parents is Amaryllis belladonna from the 
arid western Cape of South Africa, a Mediterranean climate zone.

Note that we are not discussing things like Narcissus, hardier Galanthus, 
certain Lycoris, and the very few African things like Crinum variabile and 
Crinum bulbispermum that survive outdoors here in USDA zone 5 in Central 
Indiana over winter, wet frozen ground and all.

I use a mixture of Promix (a Canadian product), brown sand, and crushed 
granite (granite chicken grit) for my potting mixtures.  The Promix 
moderates the drying and seems to facilitate re-wetting.  Using this sort 
of mix takes some getting used to.  However, it enables a tighter control 
of nutrients as well as of moisture.  Some bulbs, like Nerine for instance, 
are  more tolerant of moisture but are easily damaged by too much nitrogen 
in the mix.

Best wishes,
Jim Shields

At 09:26 PM 2/20/2013 -0500, you wrote:
>Thanks! Would you recommend a soilless mixture? I am not fond of it except
>for starting seeds and cuttings. Dries out too fast and is hard to rewet.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: J.E. Shields
>Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 7:44 PM
>To: Pacific Bulb Society
>Subject: Re: [pbs] amarcrinum
>I don't doubt that experienced gardeners can grow arid climate semi-tender
>bulbs in potting mixtures containing composted natural organic
>materials.  It's just alot harder.

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Lat. 40° 02.8' N, Long. 086° 06.6' W

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