Watsonia questions

David Fenwick crocosmia@blueyonder.co.uk
Tue, 15 Jul 2003 10:06:06 PDT
Hi John,
>>>>1) how much do they hybridize? Can I expect a true species from seed if
they flowered when others right
next to them bloomed?

They hybridise very easily, and are insect pollinated by both bees and
hoverflies, and quite possibly moths.

>>>>2) When is the best time to start seed? Should I sow them now when they
are fresh or wait until fall/winter
to get them started?

In a climate like yours, sow the seed straight away and keep them growing
for as long as possible till they go dormant, autumn 2004. Keep feeding them
all the time and you might even get flowering plants in eighteen months this
way. 2-3 years is normal though.

>>>>>3) Should they be divided now as the foliage is dying down or wait
until later in the fall?

If the foliage is dying down now, yes you can do it now, or you can wait
until they start shooting again. I have often found that new shoots on
Watsonias can be very brittle and break easy on propagation, thus dividing
now is probably your best option.

Be very careful when pulling them apart, Watsonia leaves can be very sharp
when dry, and old flower scapes can splinter into your hands and fingers
very easy also.

When you dig them and break them up, remove some of the old tunics and check
the health of the corms, if there are any pest (eg. thrips) or disease signs
on the corms, now is the best time to treat it.

Best Wishes,


David Fenwick
NCCPG National Collection of Crocosmia with Chasmanthe and Tulbaghia
The African Garden
96 Wasdale Gardens

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