Hippeastrum reticulatum var. striatifolium soil advice

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:11:19 PDT
Alberto's description describes exactly the conditions that I saw one growing in situ when I got to visit Mauro Peixoto, who lives in Mogi das Cruzes, and he took me on a quick botanizing trip down the escarpment from where he lives to the Atlantic coast. We parked along the highway and started walking towards the beach through a dense coastal forest growing at sea level between the highway and the beach about 1/2 km in width (the forest, that is). The "soil" is just coastal sand, like at the beach, mixed with lots of fallen and decomposing leaf matter. It was easy to move the sand away to see that the bulb was about 10-12 cm deep. There were only two leaves growing. This was in January. Mauro was surprised to see it there because the beaches in this area are not very far from São Paulo and he said any time beachgoers walking on the paths through the forest between the highway and the beach see any plant with cool flowers, they dig it up, take it home, and then it dies. (We were not walking along any of the paths.)

In any case, the weather along the coastal strip of Brazil between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro is unlike any I would have guessed. Rio's weather is just like I expected for a location at sea level equatorward of the Tropic of Capricorn on the eastern coast of a continent: warm to hot in the summer, humid and muggy, doesn't cool off at night, rainy summers, dryer winters. The coastal strip south of Rio is most of those as well (incredibly humid), but it never gets hot, just warm (maximum temperatures in the 80s °F during the summer) and, miraculously to me, it even cools down at night even during the summer. If you want to see for yourself and you have an iPhone, you can enter Ubatuba, Brazil into the Weather app that comes with it, and see for yourself. Ubatuba is a beach town about 60 km north of where we were hiking that for some reason is hooked into the international WMO stations that report their weather and forecasts to the whole world. For example, looking at the forecast highs and lows for the next 6 days (it is the equivalent of early October in Northern Hemisphere terms) Ubatuba is forecast to have the following temps (in °F): 
81/59 84/61 86/64 79/63 68/57 66/59
(not what I would expect for the tropics in early autumn)

About 200-300 km further up the coast, Rio is forecast to have the following temps:
84/72 84/73 90/73 90/73 79/70 73/70
(which *is* about what I would expect for the tropics in early autumn)

In contrast, Miami, which is further away from the equator than either of the above, but on the same side of the continent but in the opposite hemisphere is forecast to have the following:
77/70 81/70 82/72 82/72 84/73 84/70

which to my mind is much more like Rio than like Ubatuba even though it's further away from the equator. Very interesting climate along that area.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

On Apr 10, 2014, at 11:43 AM, Alberto <ezeizabotgard@hotmail.com> wrote:

> The soil is naturally sandy, not added with sand. it is very well drained but in this species high temperatures are important fo rit to grow to mautrity and flower every year. Coarse sand and a good commercial compost 2.1 would be fine.
> The plants are dormat prior to flowering, some three months. Sometimes they lose their foliage during dormancy, in ohter cases they just stop growing but keep the foliage. This you regulate by giving very little water then. They are often found in deep shaded conditions.

More information about the pbs mailing list