Archives, Lachenalia and such

Jane McGary
Sun, 30 Nov 2003 10:50:35 PST
Don Journet mentioned the extra protection afforded tender foliage by 
placing it in shaded areas, which he attributed to trees preventing the 
fall of frost crystals onto the leaves.

It is often possible to grow marginally hardy plants in areas that do not 
receive morning sun. I think this is so because the foliage does not thaw 
quickly after being frozen. I was discussing Muscari macrocarpum with a 
Dutch friend who cannot grow it in the open, and we agreed that the 
difference was that my plants were in a raised bed that is shaded during 
winter mornings by trees to the south, even though it is very sunny the 
rest of the year.

There is a vivid illustration of this effect in my bulb frame. I have a 
10-inch diameter pot containing  North African Scilla haemorrhoidalis (what 
a name!) with broad, tender leaves that happens to be placed just where the 
shadow of the south wall of the frame bisects it. After a recent cold, 
sunny spell, the leaves on the north side of the pot were frozen about 
halfway to the tips, while those on the south, shaded side were undamaged.

I put some pots of Lachenalia in the frame this fall, since they were just 
getting stretched and were not flowering well in the greenhouse. One 
receiving sun looks pretty unhappy, but one up against the south wall of 
the frame, and hence in shade, looks quite normal. However, they are 
different species, so this is not a good experiment.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

More information about the pbs mailing list