Thanksgiving surprise

Fri, 29 Nov 2013 20:32:03 PST
Hi, Lauw!

Several factors are involved, which I should explain. Most of the clumps
received some water this summer and most, but not all of them, flowered soon
after receving a good watering, in July or August. I discussed this behavior
here a number of months ago. It occurs after a dry winter. Without that
watering in summer, almost no blooms appear.

The particular clump that is blooming now did not receive any water until
our recent rain came. Unlike all the others, it does not appear above
ground. It was buried under a a one inch layer of gravel for reasons that do
not need to be discussed, I think. All other clumps show the necks of their
bulbs about 2 inches (5 cm) above the surrounding soil. The fact that it was
buried was probably why it did not get watered in summer. As to whether the
burial made an essential change (such as summer cooling) I simply do not

November is quiet time for bulbs here, as it is  in other gardens with
mediterranean-like conditions. Oxalis, of course, is blooming at this time
of year although it has never reached the interest of the public. Cyclamen
and narcissi should surely provide good alternatives. I suppose it is
cut-flower trade that may be looking for late blooming season for A.
belladonna. In that regard, I'm not sure if my explanations will be enough
for you. The conditions may not be simple to replicate. You would need to
give the bulbs are rather dry winter season, to avoid summer water and then
to bring them to life in late October or early November. As to what that
would do to the bulbs themselves, I can only guess. They might not be able
to repeat this annually and might need one well watered winter to restore

Best regards
San Diego

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