Calostemma purpureum

Leo A. Martin
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 09:47:17 PDT
For some 6-7 years I let my two Calostemma purpureum in containers dry completely as
temperatures rose in spring, and kept the dry containers in my house over the summer.
They grew reliably each winter but did not bloom. The containers are glazed ceramic, in
the shape of somewhat narrow Chinese ginger jars, and hold about 2 gallons / 7 liters of
potting mix

Last fall I brought up the issue of bloomless Calostemma in this forum. Several people
wrote that the plant does fine with water all summer, and Dylan Hannon mentioned a bed
of them irrigated all summer in Pasadena, one of the warmer parts of Los Angeles. Pat
Toolan wrote that in habitat the bulbs are often 18 inches / 46cm deep, where they would
remain cool all summer and summer rains would not penetrate.

This spring I moved my plants to a spot where they get bright shade with some very late
afternoon sun, and watered regularly all summer. They remained in leaf and even made a
few new leaves. One of the plants just yesterday began pushing two inflorescences.

The Wiki says plants should be allowed to dry after leaves yellow. Perhaps those in very
warm-summer climates, or those growing their plants in containers, should experiment
with watering all summer, and deeper containers.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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