Pot size for Babiana sambucina

Leo Martin stnalpsoel@gmail.com
Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:09:56 PST
Fernando asked about this plant.

Your 5-year-old seedlings might flower this season, so don't repot now.

Irids generally abandon the old corm as they grow. They form a new corm
each year after a period of growth. If disturbed in growth before the new
corm is formed, they may die. So it is best not to transplant irids in
growth, but only during full dormancy. I have dropped containers of Moraea
and Babiana in growth, and successfully repotted them, but it set them back.

Some irids form flowers after making new growth. I suspect Babiana is like
this. Transplanting in growth may prevent flowering that season.

For Babiana, I would use the largest and deepest container you wish to
handle. They will grow and multiply faster in larger containers.

Transplant when fully dormant. Use a mineral and sand-based mix with little
organic matter.

Plant bulbs only 3-4cm deep. They will pull themselves down to the bottom
of the container when they grow. If you plant them too deeply, however,
they may not find the surface ans may not survive.

Each season new growth follows the old, dead leaves to the surface, so
don't pull dead Babiana leaves in the spring - cut them with a scissors at
ground level. If you intend to repot while dormant, don't cut off the
leaves. Use them as handles.

If you set some irid bulbs with leaves at an angle in the new pot, not
completely upright, the new growth will thence emerge at the same angle,
since new growth follows the old leaves. This happens with my Babiana

If your climate has dry air in the winter, like mine, you can keep Babiana
very moist or wet in the winter. I have never had fungus problems with any
bulbs. People along the west coast of North America, where there is much
more humidity, report Babiana rot if kept too moist.

I have not been to Africa, but a member of our local cactus society, who
has visited the winter-rainfall areas of South Africa, reports seeing
Babiana growing in water in ditches beside the road.

Leo Martin
Zone 9?
Phoenix Arizona USA

More information about the pbs mailing list