Wed, 10 Jul 2002 11:45:06 PDT
In a message dated 10/07/02 11:37:14 GMT Daylight Time,
Dear Lauw and David,

First of all, welcome to David!

Did I read correctly that some Moraeas grow at a depth of 30-40 cm? That would be below the freeze line here. I guess since they are winter growers it wouldn't work, but I wonder if they could have their seasons switched to bloom in spring/summer here is USDA zone 6. Any thoughts?

Hi Dell,
I guess the secret would be in the storage of the Moraeas. I don't grow
Moraeas but I grow other spring irids, they often need quite high winter light levels to produce flowering sized bulbs on an annual basis. Hence I would try and store them as long as possible through the winter so that the emerging bulbs get as much light as you can possibly give them. However there is often a very fine line between holding back a bulb and dessicating it. Lauw may be able to give you a better idea about storing Moraea.

Best Wishes,
From ???@??? Wed Jul 10 07:39:26 2002
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 07:39:26 
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
From: Mary Sue Ittner <>
Subject: Re: Moraea and how deep to plant

Dear All,

I find this topic of how deep to plant bulbs very interesting. I recall when we were talking about Nerines on the IBS forum that someone from Tasmania had found in his climate that planting them deeply was very helpful even though you always read to plant them just below the surface.

When we were talking about Moraeas, on the other hand, I think it was Dirk who said that if when planting them in containers you plant them too deeply they won't flower. He said they could pull themselves down, but not up. Lauw once observed to me that Moraea polyanthos he always found close to the surface and I often find Moraeas in my raised beds to be close to the surface as well. I am wondering if there is a difference between what you would do in raised beds, containers, and the ground or are we just saying that different species have different needs which would make sense.

I have also read that some things will bury themselves so deeply that they never bloom. On the other hand we are told to plant tulips deeply here in California if we have any hope of them returning and other things as well so they won't split into many bulblets. It is confusing.

Dell there are summer growing Moraeas you might try. Jim Shields I am sure tries to get seed of all of them. And if you could find seed of Moraea polystachya from a summer rainfall colder area maybe it would work. There are some that bloom in the fall before it gets cold. I have a friend who specializes in Moraea who lives in Ukiah, California and he grows a Moraea polystachya that he says blooms in the spring. He gave me seed and I am eager to see if that is how it will work for me since when it blooms for me it is always fall. I don't know if he has turned it around or if the seed just came from a winter growing population.

Related to this same theme Alberto Castillo recently told the Australian forum that he is growing his South American plants in deep pots (5 gallons). Without the extra room for roots they do not set seed as well. It was a very interesting post and I probably need to write and see if I could get his permission to post it here.

I'm glad to have you on board David and I hope we won't all overwhelm you with questions in your busy time of year when your garden is at its best.

I had thought I would try to limit myself to one post a day as I do not want to dominate this list and I've already done two! One was only partially mine however. I'm out of here.

Mary Sue

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