Growing Tender Bulbs in Cold Climates--Tow

Den Wilson
Tue, 08 Apr 2003 23:24:44 PDT
Hello all,

The climate here is not particularly cold and it only rarely drops a degree
or so below freezing in winter but we do suffer from low light-levels and
prolonged damp conditions. I have noticed with winter-growing amaryllids
that there is a distinct mid-winter pause in growth - probably induced by
insufficient light - for approx 6 weeks spanning the solstice. Rather than
attempting to artificially increase light-levels I treat the plants as
near-dormant at this time by withholding moisture almost completely and
allowing the pots to dry out. This greatly reduces excessive air-humidity,
condensation and the danger of root-rots. The plants appear to suffer no
ill-effects and soon pick up speed again during late January as day-length
and light-levels begin to increase and normal watering is resumed.

I agree that we should take a tip from orchid-growers who go to great
lengths to reduce air-humidity in winter and ventilate whenever possible.
Air circulation is much more important than trying to achieve high
temperatures in winter and it should be remembered that warm air supports
relatively high humidity. All this condenses out as excess water as night
temperatures fall.

Generally, I have found that winter-growers demand much less water than
summer-growers and it is beneficial to allow them to dry out briefly between
waterings. Go and buy a smaller watering-can and fill it less often.


Den Wilson
Isle of Wight
Zone 8 (maritime) almost frost-free.

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