Difficult Seeds. TOW

Alberto Castillo ezeizabotgard@hotmail.com
Sat, 30 Nov 2002 06:07:39 PST
Hi Jane et al
                     Jane, it is always fascinating to read your postings. Beginners would want to buy only flowering sized bulbs. Comparatively young immature ones show a lot more flexibility to changing conditions. It is true that one year seedlings are usually too tiny to handle, post, etc., but from their second season of growth on they are the ideal plant material to deal with if they must be moved to different environmental conditions. Being a multinational array of bulb growers, it is interesting to mention that immature bulbs (and some corms) become easily adapted to the change of Hemispheres and resume growth quite happily after a period in which they look puzzled. This mature bulbs (burdened with the responsibility of raising a family) do with a lot of stress and reluctantly and some may not flower for years. Inmature bulbs make a a better use of additional feeding and grow for longer seasons (growing fatter) to the grower's advantage.  AND, if they are seed raised they are virus free, something very important. A lot of the material in the Dutch trade and I mean a LOT is infected with virus. A few years ago, I ordered a variety of hardy bulbs from a U. S. firm that had been highly recommended by some members of the IBS Robin. When they arrived, Muscaris, Alliums, Scillas, even Anemones were virused! It happened that they were only middle men for the Dutch firms but we had to have a whole bed redone and disinfected. A  virus that was in Allium roseum spread to  other plants that we had to destroy. Therefore, seed grown immature bulbs are top material to start with. If some of you grow bulbs from serious nursery people will know what the whole thing is about. I can mention among others the material Dirk Wallace of Australia is distributing extremely robust and healthy and free flowering. Seeing those plants in growth you can see the difference between seed raised ones and the others in  the general trade.

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