Dormancy problems in Ornithogalum dubium

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 24 Jul 2002 20:28:04 PDT
Dear All,

This is an interesting topic. I thought I had figured it out, warmth in summer and now Claire says hers go in a cool basement.

I looked up my records.
Feb 1999--IBS BX planted in Februrary (which I thought very late, but since they were donated by someone in a colder climate they must have been on Claire and Lisa's schedule.) They came up right away and 2 of 4 bloomed in June. When the looked like they were going dormant I stopped watering them.
Oct 1999--I repotted them and watered them. They did not start into growth. I stopped watering when the rains stopped. Sometime between then and now I lost them without their ever coming back into growth.
Spring 2000-I bought some orange ones in bloom at a grocery store in Texas in May when visiting my family. This is the sign of a true fanatic, going out of state and bringing back bulbs in bloom on the plane. I dried them off when they went dormant.
Fall 2000 I start watering them again and they did not come up.
Summer 2001 I repotted them (four) and watered them and then watered monthly until two came up in October. They bloomed April-June. I just went out and felt in the pot since I am following Alberto's advice and still applying some water until they are completely dry and it appears that the two that have now stayed dormant for two years are healthy.

Twice I have tried Ornithogalum maculatum from seed. No germination one time and the second time I got them to germinate, but they did not return the second year. I had 50 little shoots from seed of Ornithogalum dubium from Silverhill seeds the first year. Most of them did not come into growth the second year and I ended up with 20 tiny bulbs. So my track record is not good. Dash did you keep watering your seedlings or provide a dormant period?

I am always amazed to read of people growing things in large containers in pure sand. Don't you have to water a lot and aren't the pots really heavy? How much do you feel your bulbs Dash?

Since Alberto says one of the problems is potting at the wrong depth, what is the right depth?

Thanks for the suggestion of cutting them right away and enjoying the flowers Claire. Hoping to get better at this,

Mary Sue

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