Lycoris squamigera in warm climates

Nathan Lange
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:02:32 PDT

I haven't had any problems growing and flowering other Lycoris 
species in Sonoma County, California although L. radiata is sporadic 
and, not surprising, plants growing in the south facing sides of 
sun-exposed pots seldom flower. Having grown L. squamigera in the 
Midwest and Amaryllis belladonna in California, I think the two 
species would make for an interesting side by side comparison. I was 
hoping to avoid refrigerating the bulbs since the flowers look best 
in mass and the bulbs can get very big and multiply quickly. The 
winter climate here is significantly colder than where Ken lives 500 
miles to the south in San Diego. As for Tony's comment that his 
plants won't flower unless the temperature drops below 15F (-9C), I 
suggest and hope this has more to do with bulb planting depth and the 
overall colder winters indicative of temperatures below 15F since it 
is highly unlikely that the bulbs themselves have a optimal 
vernalization temperature below 32F (0C). Probably wishful thinking 
that they could reliably flower here.

There are many ways to push the envelope and grow plants in colder 
climates with winters normally considered too cold, but how does one 
achieve the reverse without refrigeration?  There are limited options:
Grow in pots that can be moved out of any direct sunlight during the winter.
But, keep the pots exposed to the open sky at night to take advantage 
of radiational cooling.
Plant shallow to take advantage of longer colder nights.
Use a very aerated mix directly around the bulbs to promote 
evaporative cooling (not very helpful during damp winters).
Water with ice cubes from the kitchen (probably have to do this at 
least daily to make any difference and daily water could induce rot).
Place one of those gel ice packs on top of the pot every day 
(probably would only achieve, at best, one or two hours of actual 
chilling per day)

Any ideas?


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