Jane McGary
Tue, 15 Apr 2003 10:05:12 PDT
I have a few Babiana species (disticha, pygmaea, and rubrocyanea) in a bulb
frame watered in summer. B. rubrocyanea does not do well in as much cold as
it gets there in winter (down to the mid-20s some winters) but the other
two do; B. pygmaea flowered heavily last month, and B. disticha is
beautiful right now. I assume they would not survive in the open here but I
may try a few bulbs on the rock garden since they need repotting this summer.

I gave some other species to my mother in California's Central Valley some
years ago and they multiplied (and self-sowed) to the point of being a
pest. There they withstood temperatures down to 25 F most winters, but it
is much drier, and they grew well in the horrible adobe soil, which when
wet has a texture similar to chewed chewing gum; somebody had tried to
amend it by adding river sand, which resulted in lumps resembling chewing
gum that had been tossed in the sand. She always watered everything
excessively in summer, too. Obviously these are tough plants!

Jane McGary
Northwest Oregon

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