David Fenwick
Sun, 07 Dec 2003 13:25:18 PST
>>>>>>We are preparing some winter hardiness trials and am curious what are
lowest temperatures that anyone has had luck growing any of the chasmanthe

Hi Tony,
Chasmanthe bicolor should be hardy with you, but you'll have to try the rest
three times.

Chasmanthe bicolor corms are planted outside here 4 inches deep, south
facing and under the protection of a crown lifted Buddleija salvifolia. The
flower and scape colours are much stronger if grown outside, and indeed I
now prefer to grow it this way.

I have found this to be the hardiest species and will survive temps down to
at least -5C, and windchill to -11C, it is also more wind tolerant than
other species. There's one thing about it though, you'll have to plant a
large number of bulbs in one area to be successful with it. I've tried
planting the odd bulb or odd group of bulbs here outside for a few years,
and these all failed. When I planted a group of about fifty they
overwintered beautifully, obviously the larger group provided better
drainage and afforded the colony amassed protection from the elements. I've
had similar success with Watsonia here, and planting them in the same
manner, but much deeper.

I have tried C. floribunda here outside, and under the cover of a tree, and
with the support of a Euryops chrysanthemoides. However it does not like the
cold or the wind. Sadly I haven't the space to plant 50 floribunda bulbs in
the garden, some of which can get over 9 inches across.

Best Wishes,

David Fenwick
The African Garden
96 Wasdale Gardens

01752 301402

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