Scilla natalensis

Paul Tyerman
Thu, 27 Mar 2003 02:51:15 PST
Howdy All,

I really am not sure what all the fuss about frost and Scilla natalensis
is?  They won't take a LOT of frost, but they'll certianly take down to -6
or -8'C which is definitely frost, but is not frozen ground (and I think
that may be the difference).  They grow fine here in Canberra.  I was
interested to read that the bulb should be on the surface of the ground
though as I did not know that.  Maybe the fact that around here they are
usually at ground level or below, rather than fully exposed may help a bit
with frost?

From observations here.... they do not like being disturbed and if they are
then they will not flower for a time until they have settled in.  I have
only recently received a couple from a friend, but I had them when growing
up and they rarely ever flwoered, perhaps because they were watered as well
in summer as winter.  I do not know of these ever rotting for any reason
though!!  The way these grew with year around watering.... rot was
certainly not a problem.

I find these guys are an "interesting" bulb, but I'd definitely rather grow
the Scilla peruviana which is far more apt to flower every year very well.
We shall see how I go with regards to establishing the natalensis though
and see how long it will take to settle in properly.  Friends down the road
grow these and flower them madly every year, but their garden is left to
it's own devices in summer, which gives them a good solid bake and quite
dry in summer, and they reward this neglect with flowers every year
profusely.  Their bulbs have naturalised for a number of years now and they
have kept themselves underground, rather than rising to the surface, so it
obviously isn't an absolute requirement for the bulbs to be at or on the
soil surface.

I hope this is helpful.


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia.  USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9

Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus,
Cyrtanthus, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about anything
else that doesn't move!!!!!

More information about the pbs mailing list