TOW-bulbs in the shade

Chuck Gleaves
Mon, 19 May 2003 11:26:01 PDT
For my zone 5 climate in north-central Ohio I have slightly different
favorite bulbs for the shade. I was very happy with a planting I did in the
shade of Lycoris squamigera. In one area its inflorescence come up through
the fern Matteuccia struthiopteris very nicely and in another area its
flowers were so intermingled with hostas that some people thought we had
pink blooming hostas. The Lycoris didn't bloom for a couple of years after
planting but has performed well for many years since.

Hyacinthoides hispanica has already been mentioned as a great shade bulb,
and I would second that and take the opportunity to get on my soap box about
Dutch bulb dealers. I planted a wonderful sweep of Hyacinthoides hispanica
in a shade garden. I was so pleased that I ordered more of the same cultivar
from the same bulb dealer. As has happened time and time again the Dutch
bulbs sold under the identical name from the same dealer in a different year
were not the same at all. They had a slightly different color blue flower
and the leaves were finer textured. The planting looked worse.

Clivia miniata has been mentioned as a shade favorite in California. In Ohio
it is a shaded patio favorite of mine. It is grown in a container and put in
a window for the winter. After reading lots of Internet advice about Clivias
I let mine go dry for the last half of the winter and kept them in 40
degrees F. There is a record number of inflorescences elongating now. I had
thought they were blooming well over the years until I saw this year's

Chuck Gleaves
Kingwood Center
Mansfield, Ohio

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