Tue, 16 Jul 2002 16:25:24 PDT
In a message dated 16/07/02 22:12:52 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

>Each year, I have brought my spring blooming Iridaceae into the 
>greenhouse in September or October.  I have Anomatheca, Lachenalia, Moreae 
>and Lapeirousia.   The bulbs bloom well, but the stems are weak, causing 
>the inflorescences to topple.  Lachenalia.
>         Could the relatively low light be the cause of the floppiness? 

Hi Joyce,
It could be low light, it could also be that the bulbs are growing too fast due to higher temperatures and high levels of fertiliser in the compost. It could also be 'humidity' ? I have found on growing them inside a small greenhouse that the best conditions are less humid ones.

It's all about getting a balance, right pot size, watering and feeding, compost and environment; and don't worry we're all in the same boat, just don't be afraid to try something different, afterall the answer may be looking straight at you.

Try storing a few bulbs a little longer, and once planted water sparingly until growth is seen and then water as required without letting the compost dry out completely; and then post flowering, cut off seed heads before seeds develop and place the bulbs in cool shade, this should keep them green longer which will aid you in keeping the bulbs dormant for longer before having to plant them again.

I generally feed with a half strength solution of Chempak 8 (12.5 / 25 / 25) or a weaken tomato feed every two weeks, starting about a month or two post planting.

Re. Anomatheca, now correctly Freesia laxa, try sowing them in spring and use them as you would an annual. If sown in February they should flower 6 months later outside and then come back every year thereafter.

Best Wishes,
Dave (Plymouth, UK)

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