Worsleya woes

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Thu, 10 Oct 2013 07:25:33 PDT
Dear PBSers,

	It has been years since I grew Worsleya. I am sort of confounded by all the comments about people trying to follow the cultivation notes of random trials. A friend sent me a small seedling and I reviewed the literature of the how and where the plant actually grows- temperature, weather,  substrate etc NOT what kind of pot or soil.  I wanted to reproduce the actual growing environment, not a pot culture. I found some great articles in the old Plant Life, Amaryllis Society and IBS publications dating to the 30s and 40s. I wish their pix had been in color especially the habitat shots. 

	Worsleya appears to grow in full sun on, in and among rocks on steep cliffs. As Lee said "they really do grow in large cracks in mountain-sized granite boulders." Google it.

	I used this natural approach and got some inch or so diameter granite rocks ( not gravel or pebbles, but rocks) and planted the seedling in a 6 in clay pot full of rocks. I sprinkled on a couple of table spoons of well rotted compost which gradually trickled down among the rocks.

	I set the pot in full sun (yes full sun in KS/MO is very intense and hot). I watered it daily or almost using the weekly/weakly method mentioned by Nick Plummer ( This just makes sense). I kept it outdoors spring, summer, fall. And I fond it a vigorous growers easily double or triple in size within a year. Basically I found it no more difficult to grow-with some extra attention - than many other bulbs.

	Unfortunately the plant was done in by a freak  freeze - unforecast and unexpected, but part of MO weather. I can authoritatively say Worsleya cannot take even a single night of even a light freeze. 

	Basically I found it responded well to rocky substrate with very little organic matter and full sun. 

	If I could acquire another seedling again without breaking the bank, I'd do it in a minute. 

	As a slight after note, I do recommend that all interested Worsleya growers seek out these old pubs. They are filled with great info and pix. 

	And as a second after note, Worsleya did not seem like a 'prima donna' or a weak wimp, but a sturdy good growing plant. 		

		My 2 cents and get growing.		Jim W. 

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