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Messages - Uli

Hello Mary Sue,

Thank you very much for this work. I have corresponded in the past with Cameron and am growing bulbs which I received from him as seed or seedling bulbs, all of them of outstanding beauty and quality. I have no time right now to read through his articles but I looked at two of them: excellent. 
Another valuable addition to the WIKI 

Dear members living in the EU,
Having received several orders after sending out the reminder, I will close the ordering time window today at 24:00h Central European Time. No more orders will be accepted after that.
Bye for now
In my hot and dry Portuguese summers I move the pots with dormant bulbs to a shady place, otherwise the black plastic pots become too hot. At some stage I empty all the pots and put the bulbs into paper bags.
But I try to keep the storage of the dormant bulbs in paper bags as short as possible. Some bulbs do not at all like to be stored out of the substrate, dry in a paper bag. These are replanting immediately and only the surplus is stored in a bag. I very rarely use plastic bags to store bulbs because they ,,breathe" and produce a surprising amount of moisture which may lead to rot.
Young seedling bulbs can be lost in their first dormancy if kept brutally dry so they get a light hand watering with a fine rose every 4 weeks or so. If kept too wet during dormancy they may also rot. Pot size matters: the bigger the pot the more stable the conditions are in the substrate. Clumps of mature bulbs are grown in 6, 8 or 10 liter pots depending on number of bulbs and size of the plants. My standard seedling pots are square 8 X 8 X 8,5cm. Anything smaller has proved unsuccessful.
Especially species winter growing gladiolus are prone to loss in their first dormancy.
Dear members living in the EU,
The EU joint bulb order from the SA Bulb Company will be closing soon. If you still want to order, please send me an email with your order as soon as possible. This joint order is only open to fully paid members who have a mailing address in one of the EU countries.
Bye for now
Dear members living in the EU,
The EU joint bulb order from the SA Bulb Company will be closing soon. If you still want to order, please send me an email with your order as soon as possible. This joint order is only open to fully paid members who have a mailing address in one of the EU countries.
Bye for now
Current Photographs / Re: Calochortus superbus
May 11, 2024, 11:16:09 PM
Of course, there are slow ones. Even for germination some seeds are a challenge to the patience of the gardener...... my record was a 5 (in words: five) years wait for the germination of a single seed of Tropaeolum tuberosum var silvestre. I lost the plant after my move to Portugal.....
Current Photographs / Re: Calochortus superbus
May 11, 2024, 02:33:16 PM
Yes...... and growing bulbs from seed is very satisfying, too because they reach flowering size very quickly.

Hello Bob,

This is just a short message to Bob Lauf, saying that the emails I sent you keep bouncing. Do you have another email address which you could send me via PM?

Bye for now 


Dear members living in the EU,

After a successful joint book order from the South African Bulb Company and very pleasant and efficient correspondence with the owner, we decided to do a joint bulb order as well. You have to be a fully paid member to participate, if not yet, you can join the PBS at any time. The shipment of the bulbs will go to Martin in Germany via DHL, the cost of a phytosanitary certificate, shipment and a customs agent at the point of entry in Germany will be divided between the ordering members and a final cost of postage to your mailing address will be added, too.

Please read the instructions at the beginning of the price list carefully, however, the bureaucratic hassle is taken over by us.

The price list contains many tempting bulbs. Please bear in mind, that they come from the Southern Hemisphere with inverted seasons, which means that it is autumn/beginning winter in South Africa now. It might be a good idea to stick to summer growing plants which will be shipped in a dormant state at this time of the year. Some of the winter growers may still be dormant, I do not know which ones. There is always a certain risk of loss when doing hemisphere swaps and it needs a certain experience in growing bulbs to do so. Personally I will stick to summer growers or evergreen bulbs.

Please do also bear in mind that flowering size bulbs can be very big (Crinum, Brunsvigia, Boophone) and heavy and therefore cause expensive postage. We will divide the postage between the members reflecting their order.

When ordering: please follow these instructions very carefully:

Deadline for orders is May 20th, but I advise you to order as soon as possible. Your order will be immediately sent on to Leigh from the South African Bulb Company as bulbs need to be reserved. Which means that you cannot change your order after posting it to me. I will confirm the reception of your order, if not, please come back to me.

The invoice for the joint order will be sent to me only after the entire order is complete. I will forward the expenditure.

Shipment will be in June as a soil test in South Africa has to be awaited before shipping. Again, please keep in mind that it might be late for winter growing bulbs.

You will receive an invoice with your bulbs.

Please do not hesitate to get back to me, Uli,  if you have questions

Please refer to the attached price list

Uli and Martin
Hello Kelly,

Your question is not easy to answer. First of all it is strange that you received a winter growing bulb at this time of the year. I do not know Brecks. Here in Europe the Dutch bulb companies sell winter growing bulbs like Freesia, Ixia, Lachenalia and Babiana in spring which I never understood and which does only work if you live in a climate with a very cool summer (about as cool as a Mediterranean winter, I think that a Berkeley summer is warmer than that, right?) As soon as summer weather warms up the bulbs will go dormant. Before I knew better I used to order those bulbs and always failed. Have you contacted the seller and discussed the matter? Maybe you can get a refund and return the bulbs. I don't think they would survive a dry storage until the autumn. Do the bulbs show any sign of sprouting? Are they firm to the touch? If you want to keep them and try your luck you could plant them in the coolest part of your garden in the shade. If they sprout, keep them evenly moist and don't allow them to get dry as long as the leaves are green. Once the leaves go brown stop watering. This way your bulbs may make some growth and produce new bulbs. Babiana replace the old bulb each year with a new one and for that they need the green leaves. As they will have grown out of season the new bulb forming this way will be much smaller than usual. But you may still have something to grow on. If this works I recommend digging up the bulbs once they will be dormant and then plant them in an appropriate place in full sun. Babiana does not thrive in shade. The only reason why I recommend to do the emergency planting in shade is that they will remain green for longer in shade. The longer you would manage to keep them green the better the newly formed bulbs will be.
It is a bit like buying bulbs from the southern hemisphere which have the opposite seasons and do a hemisphere swap. It can fail and needs some experience. A local seller should supply bulbs at the correct season, though.
Hope that helps, happy to answer more questions 
General Discussion / Re: Hippeastrum Brasilianum
April 29, 2024, 12:46:04 PM
if you have a normal kitchen microwave, I recommend micorwaving the pollen before putting it on the stigma. The precise instruction how to do this is here:
With this method I managed to get seeds of Hippeastrum and Albuca which I tried before in vain for many many years. It may sound more complicated than it really is. Depending on how many flowers there are, ou can try without microwaving as well, of course.
Good luck!
Dear members living in the EU,
The spring seed and bulb exchange is now closed for orders. Please wait with any payments until you receive your order together with a payment slip from Martin.
The next EU exchange will take place in autumn and will be announced through all the channels. Please do not send any material to Martin in the meantime.
We wish you happy growing and a good summer!
Uli and Martin
Some information on my donation:
Amorphophallus linearis has long relatively thin rhizomes which should be planted vertically into deep pots. If the pot is not deep enough they will coil in the bottom or even try to push through the drainage holes which might damage the tuber. This species, like many others can be propagated by leaf cuttings, using not the entire leaf but only a segment of the finely divided leaf.

Dioscorea discolor: The tuber should be started as soon as possible with some bottom heat, otherwise it will take very long to sprout. It is fully dormant in winter and must be kept completely dry but the growing cycle goes well into late autumn/early winter. It is an easy plant and can be grown outdoors during warm weather, partial sun improves leaf coulours. A happy plant becomes quite big in one season, it is a climber which needs something to cling to.

Kohleria warczewiczii: splendid plant, colour combination is very special. Becomes big but can be kept to a managable size by re-starting it from cuttings. No dormancy, produces only very few rhizomes if at all. I sent in cuttings and would appreciate a feed back by those who received it. It is the first time I sent in cuttings and I would like to know if it works for you. This gesneriad is very easy to grow.

Sauromatum horsefieldii: I recommend growing it in a pot because the number of bulbils is enormous. It might become weedy in the right condition.

Spathantheum orbinyanum: large summer growing plant with attractive Acanthus like lush foliage, fully dry dormancy in winter. The flowers appear before the leaves and look like a small leaf on a long stalk. Only when you look under the "leaf! you will recognise a typical Aroid flower. Strange smell.
Following a question after my donation of Achimenes and other rhizomatous Gesneriads to the EU BX, here is how I get them through the winter.
In autumn I try to keep the vegetation going as long as possible after flowering. This ensures good and healthy rhizomes. I keep fertilizing with a general fertilizer rich in potassium to build up the scaly rhizomes. Once the plant goes dormant I stop watering immediately and move the pot into a room with about 12-15 degrees centigrade. The rhizomes remain in their pots in the substrate which should be completely dry. A trap to avoid is residual moisture in larger plastic pots which might lead to rot during dormancy. Overwintering the dormant pots in a cold but frost free greenhouse has led to almost total loss, it was too cold. Repotting takes place around this time of the year and the rhizomes are started with gentle bottom heat until shoots are visible. I do not store dormant rhizomes in bags: in paper bags they dry up too much and in plastic bags they might rot. Storage in the dry substrate has proven to be best.
The same procedure applies to Caladiom tubers, they are even more sensitive to too cold storage condition.
Attached is a picture of X Smithicodonia 'Heartland's Joy', a reliable hybrid
Mystery Bulbs / Re: Scilla or?
April 25, 2024, 12:33:57 AM
Well.... Maybe not as bright blue as I remember.... I checked this website which is an excellent reference for Portuguese plants. I tried to copy a picture into this reply but it did not work.