Sternbergia and Zephyranthes

Rodger Whitlock
Sun, 27 Oct 2013 22:03:15 PDT
On 27 Oct 2013, at 10:27, Kathleen Sayce wrote:

> I have some questions about growing Sternbergia and Zephyranthes. I've grown
> both for years, the Sternbergia in the garden, and Zephyranthes in pots in my
> cold frame. Some foliage appears each fall, and seems to be healthy, but no
> flowers. Any idea what I should be doing to encourage flowering in these
> species?

My own sternbergias are in a raised bed about ten feet (3 m) from the south 
facing wall of my house. The wall is white stucco and reflects a lot of heat in 
summer, as I have found out the hard way from putting potted plants too close 
to it. The wall may also radiate stored solar heat during the night, thus 
alleviating the rather cool evening temperatures we experience in summer.

The bed is about 1 foot (30 cm) high.

That area of the garden is something of a quagmire in winter, so when in active 
growth the sternbergias have lots of moisture available, but well below the 
soil surface and the bulbs.

Scattering crushed eggshells on the bed seems to have improved flowering of 
many things in it, not just sternbergia. My guess is that the eggshells 
alleviate the calcium deficiency often found in PacNW soils.

Perhaps there's a clue or two in all this.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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