Brodiaea and Calochortus

Sun, 03 Nov 2002 17:40:26 PST
Hi Marguerite ----

I would STRONGLY recommend you pot up the Calochortus bulbs, as gophers are
quite fond of them. We never tried to grow them in the ground, as the soil
on our property was a wonderful sandy loam - and the gophers had a field day
tunneling all over. When it rained, we were always (wryly) amused by the
little "waterspouts" that appeared all over, from the rain water rushing
through and coming out of their tunnels !

Jim used wooden or plastic flats (with holes in the bottom) or large azalea
pots, at least 6 inches deep and ideally 8 inches. You don't have to worry
about planting the bulbs "at the right depth"; each bulb has its own little
corkscrew-shaped specialized rootlet that will pull it down to its preferred
depth. Just layer the bottom of the pot (a little gravel or lava rock works
well, then a well-draining soil mix) and settle the bulblet / bulbs in with
at least an inch of mix on top of them. If it gets very hot where you are,
you can dress the top with a little white gravel to help the bulbs stay
cool. NOW is the ideal time for moving them, before they begin their next
year's growth. Potting them will also make it easier to control their
conditions, of course.

Let me know if you have other questions. And, by the way, I am always
pleased to hear from people who like the Brodiaeas - so many people seem to
think of them as "weeds." I got into an interesting correspondence this past
winter with a botanist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has been
studying the Brodiaeas and their relatives, doing DNA analysis to
reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships. Some of his results were
rather surprising to me.

Best wishes --------------- Georgie

More information about the pbs mailing list