Haemanthus notes

J.E. Shields jshields104@insightbb.com
Tue, 03 Sep 2002 06:47:56 PDT
Hi all,

I checked my pots of winter-growing Haemanthus in their summer storage last 
week.  I was surprised to see that I had missed the flowering of a seedling 
Haemanthus barkerae!  The bulb is one of a batch started from seed in May, 
1998; the seeds came from Silverhill, but I don't know anything about their 
provenance.  Perhaps Rachel could tell us?  Only one of the batch seems not 
to be ready to flower this season.

At long last, some of my Haemanthus carneus seem to be coming out of 
dormancy.  This is the latest they have ever waited to start new 
growth.  H. humilis humilis is not even doing this well, as none show any 
signs of growth since last Fall.

Some of the H. humilis hirsutus started growing in June; most of the rest 
are starting to show tentative signs of fresh green in the neck now.  One 
or two are still totally inert, but clearly alive.  The hirsutus were all 
bought as mature bulbs, in the hope of getting some results.

The above bulbs have all spent the entire summer outdoors.  After June it 
turned hot and dry, and they have been watered occasionally, when the 
potting mix seemed to be dry.

Two large bulbs of H. montanus, purchased from a Southern California 
vendor, showed signs of virus, so they spent the entire summer in the 
otherwise empty and hot (120 F in the afternoon) greenhouse.  I watered 
occasionally, and treated with aspirin at least twice (one 5-grain aspirin, 
crushed and dissolved in 1.75 gallons of water).  They never wilted or 
faltered!  The signs of virus mosaic have disappeared from their leaves -- 
the same two leaves originally produced in early summer.

Indeed, the small seedlings of H. montanus, planted in March, 2001, have 
done remarkably well.  Given the same treatment as seedlings of HH. carneus 
and humilis humilis planted at the same time, they have done marvelously 
well.  Almost all have produced leaves and increased in size.  This lot 
were set out in their pots on a groundcloth in one of nursery bed.  They 
are in full sun and the water they get is natural (and little of it this 
year!) as well as twice weekly waterings from the irrigation system 
sprinklers (equivalent to 1/2 inch of rain per watering).  I am truly 
impressed with Haemanthus montanus and its potential in cultivation.

What experience have other had with these species of Haemanthus in 
cultivation?  I'd be most eager to hear of everyone's experiences with them.

Best wishes,
Jim Shields
in central Indiana, where today we may have our third day of 90 degree 
weather in this new month of September!  Oh Winter, where is thy Snow?

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA                   Tel. +1-317-896-3925

More information about the pbs mailing list