What About Mexican (and Probably Mexian) Hymenocallis, First Winter

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Mon, 15 Nov 2004 16:51:02 PST
Hi Joe and all,

I'm not sure I can help Joe in his Texas climate.  Where the Mexican 
Hymenocallis species are concerned,  I have a greenhouse, and some 
including the new seedlings spend the winter in there, but dry.  The older 
bulbs, of necessity for space, are stored in a heated building, bone-dry 
from October till May.  I fear that over the years I have become calloused, 
and do not carefully tabulate my loses anymore.  If seedlings live, they 
live.  If they die, there will be space for more next year.  Most live.  As 
we get more species and more clones of species in cultivation, the risk 
will decrease in any case.

But Joe, you are right to be concerned:  The first winter is the worst test 
of the seedlings' ability to survive.

Some Mexican species seem to increase very slowly.  H. azteciana comes to 
mind, as well as H. woelfleana.  In years past, I was not able to get seeds 
on H. azteciana (selfed).  I had the same problem with a single bulb of 
woelfleana.  Fortunately for hobbyists but probably sadly for the plants in 
habitat, H. eucharidifolia is suddenly abundant in commerce.  A couple of 
my plants bloomed, a bit too far apart to cross-pollinate easily.  So I 
selfed them, got some seeds back in July, and those seeds have now 
germinated (in the greenhouse).  Also interesting where eucharidifolia is 
concerned, all my plants of this one are still in full leaf, although bone 
dry since mid-September.  Only the summer flush of leaves are there, no 
newer ones.

Joe, you really need a greenhouse!

Jim Shields
in central Indiana

At 06:46 PM 11/15/2004 -0500, Joe wrote:
>How do I overwinter some seedlings?  They germinated in summer, and are
>mostly doing fine, but short days seem to be enticing them to go dormant.

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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