Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 04 Sep 2002 18:10:26 PDT
Dear All,

Bill Dijk has once again posted some interesting information on the 
Bulbs_Images list along with some stunning photos. I saw his Tropaeolums 
blooming in New Zealand several years ago and fell in love with them along 
with quite a few other things he had in bloom at the time. Unfortunately I 
have had poor luck with any of the seed I have managed to obtain and am 
grateful Diana Chapman sells some of them.  What Bill does not tell you in 
the message below which I am including for those who are not on that Images 
list and may find this information helpful is that when we visited him he 
was plagued by neighbor cats and had put wire across his pots and the 
Tropaeolum azureum was very happily growing sideways and lovely it was too.

Mary Sue
Dear All,

Flowering at the moment another popular genus with many gardeners, not 
easy, but well-worth the effort and resulting beautiful display.
A genus containing more than 60 species, of South American plants, 
including the common nasturtium.
The bright flowers of quaint shapes are usually freely produced on long 
stalks and the rapid growth of many of the climbers render the Tropaeolum a 
very useful and decorative plant for many purposes.
The climbing species mentioned here grow rapidly, support themselves by 
twining leaf-stalks, and can be used for covering a trellis, or fence, 
either in pots or planted out.
The soil should not be to rich, otherwise leafy growth will be made at the 
expence of flowers.
As a rule they would prefer a warm sunny place in a rather dry or at least 
well-drained soil.
They also don't like alkaline soils, but are best in soils of turfy loams 
with plenty of leaf-mould slightly on the acid side.
During growth they require much water but when the stems die down the pots 
should be stored in a dry, cool place and no water should be given until 
new growth begins again.
Trop. azureum: slender climbing species from Chile, flowers up to 40 mm 
(1.5 inch) variable in form, usually lavender-violet-blue, with white eye. 
Trop. brachyceras: another native of Chile, flowers up to 25 mm (1inch) 
yellow with purplish markings.Half hardy.
Trop.tricolorum: from Chile and Bolivia, flower colour variable- red, 
violet, blue or yellow with greenish margins and yellowish inside. Half hardy.

Enjoy and best wishes,

Bill D.  Tauranga, New Zealand

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