Crinum moorei, what does it want?

David Fenwick
Wed, 23 Jun 2004 23:08:13 PDT
Hi Joe,

>>>>>What does C. moorei like? I've read it likes half day sun, and a summer

Mine gets half day sun here, but it grows all through the summer and autumn.
Infact it would probably be evergreen here if we didn't get frost. I'm
slightly cooler in summer as you know and because I'm on the coast and this
is why it grows continuously. In warmer areas, the med countries etc. it is
summer dormant and Angelo in Italy will confirm this.

>>>Does it require a summer dormancy, or will it be OK if it gets year-round

It doesn't need summer dormancy but will go dormant if temps. are too high.
Year round rain is OK and in my experience moorei is one of the easiest and
most reliable to grow. Much easier than it's cousin C. macowanii.

>>>>I've got it in a 10-gallon pot in sandy humus-rich soil.

I obtained a very large bulb of moorei from Uli a few years ago now. I
planted it to the top of its neck when it was dormant. The bulb was 2 1/2
feet long, 75cm, thus the hole was that deep. It thrives, and produces at
least three scapes each August / September.

>>>>How about cold, how much winter cold can it take. I don't mind if it
loses leaves but I wouldn't want to interfere with bud formation.  Last
winter it
lost foliage when temps got a bit below 30 F.

Planted at 2 1/2 feet also means that frost in my area doesn't get a chance
to do any damage at all. My bulb regularly gets cut to the floor each year
by frosts to -5C, and by July it's leaves are always back to over 1m x 1m
again. In your area I think it'll flower slightly earlier and because of
your warmer summer temps. and it may go dormant for you in late summer.

But my advice is to get it out of its pot and into the ground, and where
it'll eventually make a clump several meters across.

I top dress with Growmore in late spring and feed with full strength
Miracle-Gro every three weeks in summer. Some people will probably tell you
not to bother feeding it though, as starved Crinums usually flower better
once mature.

I'll send a few images to Mary Sue for the wikki.

Best Wishes,

The African Garden
NCCPG National Plant Reference Collections of
Crocosmia with Chasmanthe, Tulbaghia and Amaryllis
96 Wasdale Gardens,
Estover, Plymouth, Devon. England.
Tel:  44 (0)1752 301402

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