> Out of about a hundred N. sarniensis crosses, this year I have had the > fewest flowers ever,too. Nine have bloomed, and most bulbs have become > smaller. I plan to experiment over the next year, Brian, I like your idea > about 2 litre pots, and soil based compost....do you believe in soil > sterilization or do you, like others, feel that it kills too much bacteria? Matt My potting mix for all my plants that are to remain long term in pots, is a mix of commercial soil based multi purpose compost, lime free grit and a composted fine bark, plus on occasions vermiculite or Perlite instead of the grit. The commercial compost is a loam/soil + sphagnum peat + grit mix, with fertiliser and trace elements added, similar to John Innes no. 2 or 3 but probably with a higher peat content. I guess that with my mix, that varies in proportion depending on what I am potting, the final soil/loam content is not much more than 10-15%, and the grit content maybe 40%+. I use variations on this mix for most bulbs, alpines, woodlanders etc. maybe adding a coarse sand with the grit, and less bark, when it comes to the smaller South African bulbs like lachenalias, or for some of the higher alpines cushions. I find using potting bark gives a much more open mix than I ever got with peat, when used in a soil/grit mix, but this is only available in the UK "for propagating" as a trade product, so I have to search for it, although a similar less well graded retail garden soil improver is passable, but usually contains more fibres and wood splinters. By fine bark I mean 2-10mm or 3/8" if possible. The soil improver is more like 0 - 20mm. I was put onto a square 2litre pots supplier by Hamish Sloan. He like me, uses them to give a good root depth, and to save space. Or maybe I should say to get more plants into the same space, particularly when much of the time they are just dormant leafless pots. I use smaller 9cm square by 12cm deep pots for small bulbs and bulbous seed sowing, when the seedlings may stay in the same pot for 2-3 years, for the same reasons. I have noticed with my Nerine filifolia, which 2-4 years ago flowered profusely, I now get none after neglecting them as regards fresh compost and feeding. Lots of small bulbs but no flowers. They are too easy, and got ignored. Similarly with the oxalis that multiply too quickly. Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8.