Frits & Alliums in pots?

Rodger Whitlock
Fri, 16 May 2003 07:59:42 PDT
On 12 May 03 at 19:15, Jane McGary wrote:

> Jennifer wrote,

> > [I want] some advice about growing Allium and Fritillaria in pots.

> Many small species of these genera are often grown in pots... and
> also in hypertufa troughs, which offer a bigger root run and better
> temperature and moisture control.

> will have to place the pots in a sheltered location,
> plunged in some substance that will keep the moisture and
> temperature constant during their dormant period. They won't
> tolerate the kind of baking they'd get in above-ground pots in your
> area, especially in sun...
> I don't think there is any Allium or Fritillaria that definitely
> can't be grown in a pot, as long as you control the water regime
> properly and don't let them desiccate or boil in summer.

Perhaps it is worthwhile recounting the system that Molly Grothaus 
used to grow her Frit collection in -- was it Lake Oswego, Oregon? -- 
somewhere in the Portland area. She gave a talk on this at one of the 
western winter study weekends in the early 1980's, and (like Paul 
Christian's talk around the same time on bulb propagation) I still 
have vivid memories of some details.

Molly (Mollie?) grew her frits in upended pottery flue tiles, which
her husband, a building contractor, could buy fairly reasonably in
quantity. Each species went into its own tile. The tiles were
arranged in an elongated block (memory is uncertain here) of which
one end was shaded by a tree in the garden.

When she lifted and replanted her frits in the summer, if she noted 
that a given species was looking withered, she'd replant it a 
little closer to the tree, thus in somewhat cooler, shadier 
conditions. Each species would find its own niche with just the right 
balance of shade and sun after a few years.

IIRC, she was trying to acquire the entire genus and had an amazing 
range of species in her tile bed. 

Perhaps pbs subscribers who knew Molly and her garden at first hand 
can give us more details?

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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