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Messages - Uli

General Discussion / Re: Summer growers
August 07, 2022, 05:21:55 PM
Dear All,
If you receive summergrowing bulbs at this time of the year, I would not store them dry until next spring. Big mature bulbs may survive but it will deplete a lot of their reserves, smaller bulbs may not survive an entire year of enforced dormancy.
I would plant the bulbs into a well draining substrate to avoid rotting due to excess water. Water once after planting and keep them cool and shady, especially if you live in a hot climate like the Californian Central Valley. Most probably the Cyrtanthus will be of the evergreen type, but leaves cut off for practical reasons. It should make new leaves . But more important is root growth. This will help the bulbs to refill their reserves. If summer growing bulbs would start into growth after planting now, water more and keep them going as long as the plant indicates. Which means as long as the foliage remains green. A  summer growing bulb started late in the season may extend its growing season into early winter and go dormant later than usually or it may even skip its first winter dormancy and remain green. If that happens keep watering it through winter but on the sparing side, not to kill it with an excess of water. Eventually a healthy bulb will return into its normal growing rhythm. It is a matter of observation, the plant will be telling you what it wants. Planting in pots will give you more control than planting in the ground. You can transfer the potted bulb into the opoen garden later once you understood its needs.

If the Nerine bulbs are labelled "From Exbury" they are definetely N. sarnienesis hybrids which behave as winter growers and not as summer growers. N. sarniensis is triggered into growth by cooler temperatures and the onset of autumn rain in mediterranean type climates. So they may start earlier in the San Francisco climate than in the Central Valley. Provided your gardens are frost free they would be best planted now in the open garden, watered in once after planting and then wait for the onset of growth without any more water. Once leaves appear the plants should not be allowed to go dry until the leaves wither naturally which should be about next May. Nerine bulbs need at least one growing season to establish and do not like root disturbance, so be patient with them, they most probably will not flower this autumn.

If Nerine bulbs arrive with leaves at this time of the year, they are summer growing N. bowdenii or their hybrids. Plant immediately, water well and keep them watered well into autumn. N. bowdenii is a summer grower and will lose the leaves in autum and resprout in spring. The dormant bulbs are tolerant of winter rain so these can be planted in the open garden. They may lose their leaves now due to the stress of being uprooted and have spent time in the mail, if that happens, plant them immediately, do not damage the roots provided they have not been snipped off and keep watering them but not as much as if they had leaves.

Hope that helps

General Discussion / Re: Summer growers
August 07, 2022, 06:05:35 AM
Hello @Ottoline,

Can you tell which summer growers you are referring to?
Most Cyrtanthus are evergreen, here, too it would help to know the species name. Same for Nerine, there are winter growing plants, summer growers and a few almost evergreen ones.
Happy to help but I need more information. Do the bulbs come from the same hemisphere, or from the Southern Hemisphere?

Bye for now 

General Discussion / Re: Next seed exchange
August 03, 2022, 04:57:58 PM
Hello Jim,

You can contact Jan, she is in charge of the US seed exchange.
You cannot delay germination of this kind of seed.
If Jan cannot accept your seed right now, you can sow it and donate the seedling bulbs next year.

Jan's email address

She has just opened the donation for the next BX, but it might be a good idea to let her know that your seed cannot be stored.

Hope that helps 

General Discussion / Re: Milla
August 01, 2022, 05:11:58 PM
Hello Rimmer,

Thank you for sharing your pictures, nice plants. I have always liked Milla.
Does anybody in Europe grow Milla biflora? I would love to grow it and would be more than happy to do a swap with bulbs or seed of Milla magnifica 

Bye for now 

General Discussion / Re: Contributions for the Bx
July 30, 2022, 11:38:38 PM
Quote from: Wylie on July 30, 2022, 07:35:18 AMThanks @Uli for the info. I hope the summer isn't being too bad for you. It finally hit here mid-July and I was worried a lot of the bulbs wouldn't get a dry summer rest. But now it is around 26° and very little wind. I have a strong orange xHedychium that is starting to open.  I crossed H. rubrum x H. gardneranum.
Hello @Wylie,
The Azores must really be very different. I wish we could share and split in half our worries....... You seem to have too much rain, we in the Algarve and in the whole mainland of Portugal have too little. The water reserve is almost depleted. There were some wildfires in our area but the fire brigades got on top of them fairly quickly. They seem to have changed their strategy and arrive with maximum presence both on the ground and by air if the latter is possible. We are prepared for evacuation but so far we have not been directly affected.

Your Hedychium Hybrid sounds amazing. Do you have a picture? The parents are excellent plants. The trouble with Hedychium here is that the plant itself needs a lot of water and in hot and dry weather the flowers wither very quickly, unfortunately.
General Discussion / Re: Contributions for the Bx
July 30, 2022, 06:27:31 AM
P.S. there is no minimum number for bulbs, whatever you can spare is welcome.
General Discussion / Re: Contributions for the Bx
July 30, 2022, 06:23:54 AM
Hello @Wylie,

Thank you very much for thinking of the BX.
We do not ask to pre-pack bulbs, so if you label each species clearly with your name and the plant name it will be fine.
For seed we ask (on a voluntary basis) to pre-pack 5 individual portions each sufficient for a good potful of seedlings, provided there is enough seed. If seed is scarce, the minimum number of seeds per packet should not be less than five seeds except for the super rarities.
If there is plenty of seed you can add a larger portion to the five pre-packed ones so that Martin can use this to fill more envelopes if demand requires. But five pre packed portions are already a great help. Martin will supply free seed envelopes on request. ( postage will be refunded in form of a bonus for your own order.
If possible, please wait with sending material to Martin until the donation time window will be open, all fully paid EU members are in a mailing list and will receive an email in due course apart from the announcement in this forum. We plan to run the next BX in September, so the donation should open about the end of August.

Please feel free to ask if there are more questions.

Bye for now 

General Discussion / Re: Are tulips dangerous?
July 29, 2022, 04:05:00 PM
Hello @Jane,
I think it is very true, unfortunately. But it may depend on the race or variety of tulips. For sure the Rembrandt strain with its "pretty" flame like colour breaks is a virus carrier. Similar, long gone varieties were fuel for the infamous Tulip Fever. The problem was that the ridiculously expensive bulbs had a very short lifespan. This turned out to be a very bad investment and made the fever cool down quickly, simply because they were all virused....... I would assume that this also applies to other varieties with colour breaks. Why do the parrot tulips have deformed petals?
If you consider that all named tulip hybrids are vegetatively propagated and grown in very large fields (admittedly a breathtaking sight) the risk of contamination over the years is very high. This said, the toughest (and commercially  most successful) varieties will probably still be virused but can cope more or less under optimum growing conditions. But still are carriers.
Sorry about this pessimistic reply.....
General Discussion / Re: Bessera - Setting Seed
July 29, 2022, 03:40:49 PM
Hello Colin,
Did I get it right that gnarled flowers have occurred repeatedly? If yes, have you considered a virus infection? How does the  foliage look like? Yellow streaks? Also deformed? It is also strange that your plants went into premature dormancy. Have they become accidentally too dry before that happened? If that would be the case it would be a natural reaction but if not it sounds like a disease.
Maybe it would be a good idea to discard a possibility diseased plant before it spreads and start again with healthy material?
But I must add that I have never grown this bulb myself.
Portugal, mediterranen climate with moderate Atlantic influence 
Hello @Jane and All,

Thank you very much for your concern. Portugal as a whole is severely affected by drought, the water reserve is depleting. My area in the mountains of Monchique seems to be less affected but is still very dry. The risk of fires is very high and very present, we had a fire in Monchique which could be extinguished fairly quickly. The garden has been cleaned of potential fuel and the house is prepared for a possible evacuation. We are trying to live with this in mind  as relaxed as possible.

Bye for now 

Bulb and Seed Exchanges / Next EU BX
July 11, 2022, 12:31:25 AM
Dear members living in the EU,

As we were asked several times when the donation period for the next EU BX will start: here is a short information. We are scheduling the autumn exchange for Mid to End September so that the donation will open around mid to end August. Precise dates have not yet been set.

All fully paid EU members are in a mailing list and will receive a personal email once donations can be sent to Martin in Germany. This information is also posted in the forum and the old email list. Please come back to me (Uli) if you want to be removed from the mailing list or if you do not receive a personal email with the same content.

So.... please think of your fellow gardeners when you dig up bulbs or harvest seed. Personally I (Uli) am very busy right now cleaning and packing seed and sorting dormant bulbs. Harvest was good this year and there will be some nice things to share.

Please do not hesitate to come back to me (Uli) with questions

Have a good summer!

Uli and Martin

Mystery Bulbs / Re: Tiny yellow stars
July 08, 2022, 12:30:09 AM
Hmmmm...., I don't know. I have no pictures of my own plants in flower but the fotos in the WIKI show flowers with much broader petals. 
Also, my Nothoscordum felipponei flowers in late winter (outdoors in a Mediterranean Climate) and has been dormant for weeks. It would surprise me that it would behave so differently in your climate, @Martin Bohnet.
Hello Peter,
Sorry to be a bit late with my reply, very busy.....
Albuca can swap a season and still be perfectly healthy. Albuca spiralis comes from a very dry climate, the spiraling of the leaves is considered to be a strategy to catch more water from fog than it would with straight leaves. These dry climate bulbs have to be able to survive long periods of drought.  You state that they normally leaf out early, early in which season? As Leo stated you might have turned their growth rhythm upside down by keeping them indoors (air conditioned= cool?) so that when you brought them outside they behave like bulbs who do a Hemisphäre swap and go into a prolonged dormancy.
Could the bulb with the missing center be the one which flowered? I find that in Albuca the old scapes often leave a big hole in the bulb after drying off. Some of these bulbs need another active season to recover from that. Some Albuca species seem to be at their best flowering for the first time from seed. And then decline but not without producing large amounts of seed. This applies to Albuca juncifolia and A. fragrans for example,  while others form bigger and better flowering clumps with time.
My suggestion is to leave them outdoors, keep them in a half shaded place and give them a sparing watering with a fine rose every 4 to 6 weeks. When growth starts put them back to a sunnier place, later in full sun and water more but still sparingly once in leaf. Apparently the curling is much better in hard growing plants.

Hope that helps 

General Discussion / Re: Invasive Bulbs
June 06, 2022, 03:30:59 PM
Hello Wylie,

Do you have a picture of the tall purple flowered Allium? It sounds quite attractive and is not necessarily invasive in a much drier environment.

Bye for now 

General Discussion / Re: Invasive Bulbs
June 02, 2022, 03:27:57 PM
I don't think that the Arisaema was entirely dormant for 12 years. It was probably choked by the bracken and did not flower, so it was inconspicuous but still there.
As far as I know the only bulbs which are able to remain dormant for many consecutive years are those from very dry climates where it only rains occasionally. But Arisaema need to renew their tubers every year and need a leaf to do so.