Bulbs over winter

J.E. Shields jshields104@insightbb.com
Thu, 15 May 2003 07:26:43 PDT
Hi all,

I've a bit of a progress report on bulb survival over our past winter -- 
which was cold and very wet!

All 19 1-yr old seedlings of Crinum [bulbispermum X lugardiae] that were 
lined out in the field last summer, and mulched heavily over winter (a good 
6 inches of cover) survived and are growing.  So now they are 2 years 
old!  More primary hybrids of bulbispermum X other species are waiting to 
be lined out this summer.

All of the 4 mature Crinum bulbispermum bulbs planted on the east side of 
my free-standing greenhouse survived the winter in good shape.  This 
planting is on very well protected, sloping ground, but in heavy clay soil; 
they were also mulched heavily over winter.

I planted about 35 bulbs of Aad Koen's "hardy clone" of Nerine bowdenii out 
in the field last summer.  Very few survived the summer out there.  I do 
see at least two bulbs growing leaves in the field row now, however.  Our 
hot and wet summer killed most of them, but our cold wet winter did not 
finish the rest of them off.  Curious!

Also in the field, and well mulched, were seedling corms of Gladiolus 
oppositiflorus salmoneus.  Many of these have survived the winter under 
mulch in the open field and are coming up now.

Many gladiolus planted in a sandy bed nearer the house, well protected by 
heavy cedar growth along the northwest but not mulched, apparently did not 
survive last winter.  These included G. x-gandavensis.

G. oppositiflorus salmoneus and G. dalenii planted in a raised, very well 
drained rock garden did not survive the winter.

The Eurasian glads do very well here. G. illyricus is up and ready to 
bloom; G. caucasicus is also just about to open.  G. italicus borneti is 
doing very well.  I love G. imbricatus!

I still have hopes that a few other things might still come up, but not yet 
visible include Dierama of a half-dozen different sorts and Morea alticola, 
galpinii, and huttonii.

Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess' strain planted in a wet display bed 
have not yet come up, but maybe there is still a chance?

Jane McGary's bulbs by and large survived and bloomed.  Muscari bourgaei 
and Bellevalia pycnantha came up and bloomed.  Her Crocus kotschyanus 
bloomed last autumn!  I've never had C. kotschyanus bloom before.

I lost most of my seedlings of Iris collettii, 2 out of 3 in the rock 
garden and 1 out of 2 in posts in the coldframe.  Iris missouriensis 
seedlings planted out last summer in several beds mostly did not survive 
the summer.  Those that did, however, also survived the winter.  Two plants 
in particular, from two different accessions, are growing vigorously and 
increasing already.  A few I. versicolor have started to bloom.  I. 
gracilis Alba has flowered, and setosa and tectorum are starting to show 
some color.  No blooms yet on any of my Siberians, but a couple of the TB 
garden hybrids are starting to flower.

We had another half inch of rain last night.  That brings the total to over 
5 inches, but I'm losing track of it.  5+ inches of rain in the first 2 
weeks of May is a VERY wet May!

Jim Shields
in wet central Indiana

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
Member of INTERNATIONAL CLIVIA CO-OP           and 1-866-449-3344

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