Topic of the week/Ammocharis--TOW

Thomas Glavich
Sun, 24 Oct 2004 07:50:23 PDT
My experiences with Ammocharis in Southern California are that this is an easy bulb to grow.  Flowers seen in one year are a reflection of the growing conditions in the previous year.  We had one very hot summer a few years ago, hot to the point that it was hard to keep the leaves green without dangerously overwatering the bulb.  The bulb flowered normally, with a great head of red, but short lived flowers.  The following year, there was no bloom at all.  It has sinced resumed normal bloom.
They are opportunisitic leaf growers.  I have them in full leaf now, due to the heavy rains.  I also have them in leaf typically in early January, and then periodically throughout the spring and summer.  I fertilize my bulbs regularly in the spring and summer, and not at all in the late fall and winter.  I grow in a mix of Supersoil and pumice, with a bit of granite sand.
It is self fertile, and seeds should be collected when the papery husk begins to get light brown and paper like.  They should be placed on top of the soil, and just barely pushed in to get good contact.  Growth is very slow for the first year, slow for the second, but picks up as the bulb begins to put on mass.  Use a much bigger pot than you think the bulb really needs.  The bulb has very large roots, and these need room to stretch out.  A three year old bulb should be in a 1 gallon pot.

Mary Sue Ittner <> wrote:
Dear All,

My attempts since May to get introductions for the topic of the week have 
not been very fruitful except for a few notable exceptions (Pelargonium, 
Paeonia). I've really tried, sending out lots of emails, but either I don't 
get replies or the people I ask have been too busy to help. I have 
concluded that I don't have time to keep struggling with this so plan to 
give up trying to do a Topic of the Week. I'll finish the year out with 
sporadic topics if I think of some that don't require introductions. 
Hopefully we can finish the favorite bulbs by colors and do blue and white. 
There are a couple pending topics that are possible too if people find the 
time to get them to me. If anyone is bursting to talk about their favorite 
genus and wants to do an intro for me please contact me privately. Since 
our archives are public we hear from people who are not members of our list 
who were eager for information and are thrilled when they come upon some of 
those introductions.

About a year ago I asked for help with the topic of the week. I've tried 
doing it less frequently, recycling old topics, doing things that didn't 
require an introduction, and some of the other ideas suggested then. A 
couple of people volunteered to do topics and we have done those. One of 
the ideas I proposed then was to talk about a genus without an introduction 
and hope that people will share all they know about it. I think I tried it 
once and drew a blank.

Someone very much wanted us to talk about Ammocharis so I am proposing it 
as a topic of the week. Who grows this? What species? What are your 
experiences? Thanks ahead for anyone willing to respond.

Mary Sue

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