TOW - Ferraria

David Victor
Sun, 26 Dec 2004 12:18:17 PST
Dear all,

I was away most of last week and have only just caught up on this 
topic.  As Ferraria are one of the genera with which I have a love affair, 
I thought that I might add a few comments, even if they are very late.

I grow around ten collections of Ferraria, mainly ones collected by Rod and 
Rachel Saunders, though some come from other sources.  F. crispa flowers 
regularly for me, normally around February.  A strong perfume, which I find 
the ladies particularly dislike.  It has a smell somewhere between musk and 
cat, with sweet overtones and fills the whole greenhouse.  I have two 
collections of F. ferrariola in bud at present and two others that I just 
have as F. species.  I have yet to see the latter flower.

I grow all of my Ferraria in one litre pots.  These are deep plastic pots, 
with a 4 inch diameter top. They live in a cold greenhouse, as do most of 
my South African bulbs, which drops to minus five Centigrade on really cold 
nights.  They sit on the plunge and on the cold nights I raise a canopy of 
fleece over them to protect them from the worst.

This question of temperature is an interesting one.  Its been cold the last 
few nights and I recorded minus three in the greenhouse.  Whilst some of 
the bulbs had the extra protection, I have lots of pots of Oxalis, Nerine, 
Haemanthus and seedlings of Leucoryne and Tristagma on unprotected metal 
staging that are undamaged.  The books would suggest that such plants would 
not come through this regime, yet they do year after year with me.  I feel 
that my practice of only watering at the start of mild periods helps the 
situation. Also, day-time temperatures normally rise above freezing so that 
the plants only have such cold for short periods.  Any thoughts?

Best regards,
David Victor 

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