fertilizing bulbs

Robert Werra robertwerra@sbcglobal.net
Thu, 07 Apr 2005 21:54:41 PDT
Regarding bulb fertilizing, I have a naive question.
Does regular fertilization shorten bulb or corm life?
I worry that this artificial forcing may wear out the
bulb. I have grown moraeas in pots for 15+ years and
have been dilatory in this regard and although my
plants aren't show stoppers, they keep performing with
regularity. I have several that have bloomed most
every year for 15 years and they are the original
bulb/corm. What does PBS think? Thanks  Bob Werra
--- Rand Nicholson <writserv@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote:
> Hi All;
> >From experience, I wholeheartedly agree with what
> Ken has said, although I must confess to only a
> vague notion as to what a plant is doing with
> nutrients and when. Like many of us, much of my
> experience comes through, sometimes painstaking,
> trial and error, or the kindnesses of others. Having
> said that: what do experienced Lachenalia growers do
> with their plants regarding culture?
> By the way, this one spends spring, summer and fall
> out doors and is well acquainted with frost. I am
> certain it could not take a true hard Canadian
> frost, but it has survived unexpected hoar frosts
> without major damage, retaining a significant
> portion of its leaves. It still has two from last
> year, splitting up the middle as the bulb expands.
> Although any notes were lost in my rather hurried
> move last March, for some reason I keep thinking
> that this bulb was on a South African schedule and
> one of the reasons that I lost the other bulbs was
> through my efforts to "switch" them to a North
> American season - something which it looks like I
> have achieved (if, indeed, that is what I was
> attempting to do).
> Rand
> >Hi, members
> >        Fertilizing any plant is a complicated
> matter--your soil, its pH,
> >what minerals are present, the mineral needs of the
> particular plant you
> >are growing, moisture levels in the soil, 
> temperature,  the stage of growth
> >of the plant, etc. all interacting.
> >
> >>  No foliage, no fertilizer.  I have applied any
> good organic
> >>fertilizer just when the new leaves start to nose
> out of the ground.
> >
> >        If what you are doing works, continue.  But
> remember when
> >fertilizing bulbs, you are feeding the bulb, and
> the effect will be shown
> >in next year's plant, with only minor effects on
> this year's plant.  All
> >the minerals for this year's plant are already in
> the bulb.  There are
> >numerous studies of which minerals are taken up by
> bulbs, and at
> >what times.  It is very easy to be mislead, because
> the mineral levels
> >in the upper leaves of an easter lily for instance,
> will be different than
> >the mineral levels in the lower, older leaves on
> the same stems.  And,
> >as the season draws to a close, minerals are
> translocated out of the
> >leaves down to the bulb. An excess of one mineral
> may cause another
> >needed mineral to become unavailable, and this can
> change with the pH.
> >        Different species or hybrids, even in the
> genus Lilium for instance,
> >use minerals at different times, and "one size fits
> all" does not apply.
> >Species which grow their roots at a different
> season than their foliage,
> >have nutrient needs at a time you may not expect.
> >        When using organic fertilizers, it should
> be remembered that
> >their nutrient content is released more slowly, as
> the fertilizer is
> >decomposed by soil microorganisms, so applying the
> fertilizer needs
> >to be done far enough in advance that the
> decomposition can be
> >accomplished before the minerals are needed by the
> plant.....then you
> >need to be sure it won't be taken up by some other
> plant or otherwise
> >tied up, before the targeted plant can use it.
> >        What I'm really saying is, I can tell you
> what works for me, but
> >it may not work for you, growing the same plant
> under other conditions,
> >and you may be just polluting the ground to apply a
> fertilizer when the
> >plant can't use it.  Comments from elsewhere need
> to be regarded as
> >a guide, not a "cookbook" that can be blindly
> followed.
> >
> >Ken
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