What's blooming: tender bulbs

J.E. Shields jshields104@insightbb.com
Wed, 27 Aug 2003 10:26:46 PDT
Hi all,

Right now, we have lots of pots of Nerine rehmannii blooming and setting 
seed.  I just saw a small butterfly, Everes comyntas, the Eastern Tailed 
Blue, visiting the flowers of one pot of N. rehmannii.  N. rehmannii blooms 
well in a 5.5 inch square by 5.5 inches deep plastic pot in a sandy or 
gritty mix.  I'm collecting and planting the seed as it ripens.  I want tor 
try crowding these bulbs together more closely.

There is one flower scape in one pot of N. masoniorum.  We get very little 
bloom from this species here.  The flowers are a bright pink, larger than 
N. rehmannii but smaller than most other Nerines.  That includes Nerine 
filamentosa, which is starting to push up scapes in every pot of it we 
have.  N. filamentosa is quite reliable at blooming in late summer.  They 
are fairly crowded in 6-inch round plastic azalea pots, growing in gritty 
mix.  They set a few seeds, which I have also been planting.

Strumaria tenella orientalis is another white-flowered amaryllid, but it is 
even tinier than N. rehmannii.  It also seems to bloom quite reliably every 
year at this time.  Several grow and bloom together in a 5.5 inch square by 
5.5 inches deep plastic pot in a sandy or gritty mix.  It sets seed readily 
and blooms from seed in just a couple of years.  It propagates better from 
seed than from offsets, so I always plant the seeds when they ripen.

Nerine rehmannii, N. filamentosa, and Strumaria tenella are tender but very 
easy to grow.  Put the pots out in full sun in late Spring (May in central 
Indiana) and water when they get dry.  Feed occasionally with a dilute 
solution of a soluble fertilizer.  Dry off and store before first frost in 
a dry, frost-free location over winter.  They are deciduous and summer-growing.

There are a few pictures in my web sites 
at  http://shieldsgardens.com/amaryllids/…  and 
at  http://shieldsgardens.com/Bulbs/…

I would hate to be without my small nerines in late summer.  They come at a 
time every year when my love of gardening starts to wilt in the heat and 
bugs of late August.

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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