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Messages - MLoos

Hello All,

Concern about greater bulb fly is always in the back of my mind.  I've lost some real treasures over the years.  Lately, I've been using unmentionable chemicals with great success.  I use them only in potted bulbs and keep saucers under the plants to control runoff.  I am well aware of the toxic troubles as I use similar chemicals (and worse) at work under protective clothing, with respirators, and in hoods.  It's very specific application and not in actual growing conditions.

Is anyone using neem to control bulb flies?  It works surprisingly well as a systemic control for other things.  Combined with spinosad, I use it to control lily leaf beetles.  For me, it is a reasonable contact kill as well as having a lasting effect for about three or four weeks.  I have found that neem can be phytotoxic in some applications. 

Does anyone have similar experiences?  Bulb fly?  Lily leaf beetle?  Is anyone using beneficial nematodes?  I know GB and the EU have banned quite a few chemicals in recent years. Any thoughts there?

From what I hear, there are non-neonicotinoid, systemic formulations that are/will be coming available in the next few years, but that's another thing.  I have yet to dive into this.

I know this can be a somewhat decisive subject but it would be great to have some discussion on more gentle or specific use pesticides.  Certainly, not all "organic" pesticides are more gentle on the environment, but perhaps there are other options.  

Thank you,
Current Photographs / June 2024
June 02, 2024, 05:56:06 AM
Last of the Tulipa, first Crinum

Tulipa sprengeri from scattered seed about 6 years ago, seed from Alan Street, makes it even more special.  He liked to scatter it along the roadsides.  

Crinum 'Schreck' that has been in the same pot at least 8 years, probably needs a little more space but blooms seem unfazed.  Scheck 6.24.jpgTulipa sprengeri.jpg
General Discussion / Tuberous Impatiens
March 21, 2024, 05:15:28 AM
Hello All,

I'm looking to purchase or trade for tuberous and/or perennial Impatiens species.  Seeds would be Ok too.  

A few I'd like to find, but there are others:
Impatiens cinnabarina 
I. flanaganae
I. gomphophylla
I. mirabilis (I know, good luck with that.)
I. tinctoria
I. rothii

To trade, I have Strumaria of various species and ages (some blooming size salterii, to 3 yr seedlings), Haemanthus a few species, Eucrosia mirabilis (3 yr seedlings), various Clivia offsets (yellow, Belgian, maybe a gardenii), more bulbs... , snowdrops (good lord, yes, snowdrop cultivars), and other non-geophytic green stuff. 

Thank you!
Interlaken, NY  Zone... right now? Winter.
Hi Ken,

I selfed a nice yellow that I was able to select from a group of Monrovia plants a few years back.  The 30 seedlings have all green bases indicating yellow or some color than orange.  I believe that because this selfed cross produced seedlings with all light colored bases, it indicates that the plant is considered to be a Group 1 Clivia.  Regardless of that, 16 of them are variegated!  About half of those are very nicely variegated.  All plants are doing quite well with both variegated and non-variegated growing at similar rates.  Some in each group are faster than others. 

Some seedlings were lost early on, as expected, but it was before first true leaf development and before any noticeable variegation.  From past reading, if a mother plant is strongly variegated, it may produce seeds that grow out as albino seedlings or ones so heavily variegated that they die early on.  I've never really had this many seedlings to tend, but it is fun watching the development.  About 6 months on, half strength liquid fertilizer REALLY helped improve rate of growth.  Fertilization is weekly now, half rate.

I hope yours grow on strongly!

Interlaken, NY Zone whatever, it's 6, was 5, this winter 7, maybe 8.  It's snowing today.  Happy Spring!
Of the 7 seeds coming from C. nobilis x C miniata, 4 have germinated, three remain solid, no rot, but not germinating, about 20 weeks after sowing.  Slow indeed!  The first growth challenged seedling which started the conversation has yet to develop a true leaf.  The others are growing at about C. nobilis rate and are working on a second true leaf.

Of the 16 seeds from the last PBS Clivia seed distribution in November, the last one germinated this past week, 14 weeks after sowing.
General Discussion / Snowdrops - Collectors Galanthus
January 10, 2024, 07:32:48 AM
Hello All,

I'm writing at the request of Hitch Lyman and his delightful snowdrops.  For those of you unfamiliar with him, Hitch makes available exclusive collector's bulbs and new cultivars of specialty Galanthus.  Some species are available.  Old favorite are scattered throughout the catalog. They are shipped in the green, in late April to early May. 

His catalog is available now, for $5.  Mail in requests only.  If you want to order, get the catalog ASAP as he sells out quickly of the rarest selections.  The catalog was sent out this week to those individuals who ordered last season.

Please request a catalog by sending $5 to:

H. Lyman
PO Box 591
Trumansburg, NY 14886

Sales only through the catalog. 


I was given permission to make this post.  If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.  If I can't give you an answer, I can reach out to Hitch.

Thank you!

Michael Loos
Current Photographs / Re: January 2024
January 09, 2024, 03:00:54 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed it!  It was started in early 2017 with a couple of other species.  Some seedlings started blooming at three years old, but this is a first for this one.  So far, it's the best of the lot.
General Discussion / Re: Clivia interspecific hybrids
January 08, 2024, 05:17:20 AM
Ah yes, plant breeding, I should have said "hoped" for some sort of hybrid vigor.  Poor choice of words.  

I also meant to note that I had two crosses with different pollen parents, both C.m. aurea.  Neither cross is particularly vigorous.  I keep going back to the C. nobilis being slow.  Perhaps the species is slower?  Those plants from seed grew at about the half rate of miniata, gardenii, or robusta.  After 5/6 years the nobilis, while blooming, continues to be considerably smaller than the other species.  Maybe I'm hoping for too much.  The C.m aurea X C. gardenii from last season is still ripening.  We'll see.
General Discussion / Clivia interspecific hybrids
January 07, 2024, 01:42:49 PM
Hmm.  My carefully worded post vanished.  The gist is:

Clivia nobilis x C. miniata aurea, seed set and harvested.  Small seeds.  Very slow to germinate, VERY small seedlings, trying 1/4 strength fertilizer to push them a little, but they are still slow - only to a tiny first leaf 6 weeks after germination.  Some are still germinating, some are not even that far, but seeds are solid.  The nobilis parent was slow also, but I expected some sort of hybrid vigor.  Any suggestions?  

Maybe I'll get this to post this time?

Thank you!

Interlaken, NY z6a or something.
Current Photographs / Re: January 2024
January 07, 2024, 12:42:27 PM
The first scape on this seedling Clivia gardenii turned out to be nearly all yellow. 
Also a first, for me, Hippeastrum idimae. 
Hippeastrum 'Saffron' Stands about 35 cm tall.  The short scape is from a bulb that turned out to be having root issues.

Cliviai gardenii.jpgHippeastrum idimae size.jpgHippeastrum idimae black.jpgHippeastrum Saffron.jpg
Current Photographs / Re: November
November 21, 2022, 07:45:53 AM
Lovely Strumaria!  I'm always faint at the sight of a great Amaryllid, even the little ones.

Speaking of Strumaria, I kept mine placed rather closely when in bloom this year.  Are they promiscuous hybridizers?  I have quite a bit of seed forming and, while hybrids could be lovely, I'd rather that they be true to species.  


Interlaken, NY Zone 6 Being thankful most of the Finger Lakes was not hit with the Snowy Big Dump.
General Discussion / Re: seeking kniphopfia multiflora
November 21, 2022, 07:29:27 AM
Hi Jim,

I do have a question for you regarding Hippeastrum cybister.  Is there a way I can contact you off forum?

Michael Loos
Interlaken, NY 
Current Photographs / Re: Mutant flowers
November 14, 2022, 11:53:17 AM
Should I even mention snowdrops?  If they're stable, they're expensive.  The newer 'Quasimodo' and 'Were-rabbit' have tepaloid valve bracts giving them an extra zing.  I have a 'Wasp' that, one or two blossoms a season, reverses inner tepals and outer tepals.  I'll see if I can get a picture during the season.  Oh, those Galanthus...

Interlaken, NY Zone 6  First snow of the season!  Suddenly, it's cold.
Current Photographs / Re: November
November 07, 2022, 07:20:55 AM
Arnold, thank you, I'll have to try the darker background on the next flower pix.  

I have to agree on the medlar.  The "controlled" rotting or bletting part of the ripening process doesn't do them any flavor-favors.  Even as jam, it's rather boring.  I suppose in mid-winter they were a treat, if you didn't have much else.

Current Photographs / Re: November
November 06, 2022, 11:36:20 AM
I can't seem to get the quality photograph I'd like, but here it is.  Three South African Strumaria - discifera ssp. discifera, salteri, and prolifera, all from seed [discifera is the white star, salteri is the pink, and prolifera is the pendulous white].  They each took different times to bloom from seed, some are at six years as opposed to three.  All are blooming for the first time. A few other salteri bloomed last year for the first time. My original salteri from which the seeds were produced, took four attempts (years) to finally produce seeds and the original bulbs were lost the following year!  (Bulb fly, they're not monocarpic...) The leopoldi are six years old and not showing any signs of blooming.  With only single leaves from each bulb, it probably won't be any time soon.  They appear to grow better under the LED light system but I should probably fertilize more frequently.

Michael (wishing it would rain)
Interlaken, NY Upstate Zone 6