Rhodophiala and seed germination.

Den Wilson valden@vectis52.freeserve.co.uk
Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:21:23 PDT
Hello all,

I suppose we all have a favourite method of germinating seed so perhaps it's
best to stick with those that work for you. Personally, I've not had much
success with floating seeds but perhaps that's down to me.

For flat amaryllid seed I place a wad of tissue-paper moistened with a
fungicide (sometimes I forget the fungicide) into a small plastic container,
sprinkle the seed over the top and replace the lid. Hippeastrum, Rhodophiala
and most other tender or near-tender amaryllids will germinate at normal
room temperatures in a matter of days or weeks rather than months . Light
does not appear to be necessary. I pot up the seed in very gritty/sandy
compost as soon as germination is noticed and usually before the first leaf
is evident. There the seedlings remain for at least the first year.

Rhodophiala (those I have tried) germinate at any time of year. The large
majority are summer-growers enjoying similar growth patterns to Hippeastrum
but flower later in the summer, usually repeatedly until the autumn. The
winter-growers (R. bifida and its relatives) will germinate and grow at any
time but settle into a winter-dormant pattern naturally as they mature.
These usually flower with the leaves in the autumn but there are one or two
which flower on naked stems in late summer well before the foliage emerges.
We are fortunate to have active members of this group with first-hand expert
knowledge of these amaryllids.

Rhodophiala pratense are just showing the first flower spikes. Rr.
araucana, advena, chilense and elwesii usually follow in May/June. Alberto
tells us there are very many more wonderful species sadly under threat in
the wild.

I wish Alberto a speedy recovery.


Den Wilson
Isle of Wight
Zone 8 (maritime) almost frost-free.

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