Rodger Whitlock
Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:44:57 PDT
On 6 Oct 2013, at 20:11, John Wickham wrote:

> I've always been reluctant to re-pot bulbs when they are in active growth. I
> always wait until they are dormant before messing around. I'm am being too
> paranoid about this? Is it perfectly fine to pot up seedlings, for example, as
> they are growing?

It may help you to understand a detail of plant physiology. Most bulbs are 
monocots, not dicots. Monocot roots will not branch if injured, but dicot roots 
will. One infers from this that repotting monocots when in active growth is a 
little risky, depending on the degree of root disturbance.

In practice this means once a monocot bulb breaks dormancy and begins to grow 
roots, it is progressively more sensitive to root disturbance. That said, I 
have successfully lifted, divided, and replanted the following when in flower:

Leucojum and Acis

Another facet of the discussion is related to a remark Christopher Lloyd once 
made: while all the books say this or that season is the right time to take 
cuttings, in practice if you are offered cuttings outside that season, take 
them. In one's own garden, take cuttings when you think about it, even if it's 
the wrong season.

An old saying expresses Lloyd's view in many fewer words: "nothing ventured, 
nothing gained."

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

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