[Australian_Bulbs] Getting rain lilies to bloom

Daryl Geoghegan plants_man@bigpond.com
Sat, 20 Jul 2002 18:43:18 PDT
Hi Mary Sue and All,
I have grown Rainlilies now for a few years in a mixture of sand and potting mix 50/50 with excellent results. The usually bloom for us here twice or more a year. Drying them out seems to help with flowering. Saturating them after a short dry period helps to stimulate them into bloom. Feeding is done with blood and bone, urea free, fertilizer. 
Zephyranthes candida is by far one of the easiest for us here. It blooms profusely and grows like a weed! Indeed, some of these wonderful little bulbs have escaped into our bush in Queensland.
Z. macrosiphon and primulina are also easy to bloom and cultivate. Z. citrina, another easy bulb, grows well here with little or no attention at all.
Habranthus robustus 'white form' and H. tubispathus grow like weeds. I have these in larger pots, 20 inch,  and the easily fill the entire pot over time.
Most of our collection has been double named. That is, I have collected many rainlilies with the same name, different growers naming the bulbs, or perhaps getting the bulb buy that name. Some, have elaborate names  like 'Yellow with a red stripe' and are simply H. tubispathus , the usual run of the mill Habranthus tubispathus. Why the grower named it as thus is beyond me. This can be a tad frustrating. I have collected around 150 types of different rainlily, only to find that many are similar or the same. As Mary suggest about Z. zeymeri? This looks like a small Z. macrosiphon and perhaps should be called thus.
I know Dirk Wallace in Oz. is studying Rainlilies and has a wonderful collection of correctly taxonomic bulbs. Dirk, where are you buddy? 
Best wishes,

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