Fwd: Sinningia sp. as garden plants

John Ingram floralartistry2000@yahoo.com
Mon, 17 Nov 2003 20:44:58 PST
Mark Wilcox asked me the following questions and I
think it is relavent to the whole list so I am posting
my responses. 
> I live in Washington, DC, zone 7b, and was a
> recipient of your S.
> sellovii seeds in the recent BX.
> While this particular species isn't mentioned in the
> general reference
> works I have available, it's advised to start seeds
> of the genus in
> February for the northern hemisphere.

As you and whoever else received the seeds know, they
are very fine. They do need a little bit of care in
the beginning. Use a sterile commercial seed starting
mix. You can start them at any time of the year. 
Lightly dust the seeds over the soil and mist with a
spray bottle to moisten. Then I place the whole pot
into a dish with several inches of water and let it
absorb for several hours. Then I place the whole pot
into a large ziplock bag (a 4" pot fits into a small
or large freezer bag).
I place the pots into an east or west window where it
will not get direct sun but stay warm. If available,
they can also go under grow lights. 
The new plants will sprout in 3-6 weeks. Once they are
large enough (several sets of new leaves), move them
into fresh soil. They will be growing very close
together and I usually move clumps of 15-20 plants at
a time into fresh media until they are large enough to
thin out. Many sinningias can flower in 6 months from
seed. Some, very few actually, may take a year or two.
They can be fertilized with 1/4 to 1/2 strength fert
from the fitst misting. The more fert, the faster they
will flower. 
Most sinningias will take full sun once mature. Slowly
move them into stronger light. For me, S. sellovii is
evergreen outside in sun or shade. In colder areas,
they will die down to the ground. 

> I and my partner were recently at Iguazu Falls,
> along the
> Argentine/Brazilian border, while on vacation. 
> While there I snapped a
> picture of what certainly looks like S. sellowii
> just coming into flower.
>  I have yet to post a picture to the wiki as an
> "unknown bulb," but plan
> to do so.  Is this area of the world part of S.
> sellovii's natural range?

S. sellovii has a large range covering most of
Southern Brasil so it could be possible. I would love
to see your photo. I saw one Sinningia in bloom when I
was there several years ago but the photo never came
out for me to get a name put to it. And I was not
about to crawl over the ledge to get a closer photo. 
> I'll be very interested to see your pictures of the
> plants in flower that
> you believe will be hardy in zone 7.  I have little
> space in which to
> garden, but am always looking for unusual geophytes,
> such as Sinningia,
> with which to fill it.

I will try to get some photos uploaded when I get a
free minute. My family is coming next week for 3 weeks
and things are getting hectic tryingto ready

> Lastly, are Ss bothered by any common pests or
> diseases we have?  You may
> have covered it, but if so I don't recall.

I have not had any problems with either. I do know
what thrips can cause problems when they are present
but they don't attract them per se. 

John Ingram in L.A., CA. 
Soon to become http://www.floralarchitecture.com/ check it out soon

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