One Size (or Condition) Does Not Fit All

Joe Shaw
Tue, 20 Jun 2006 18:01:15 PDT
Hi Gang,

I have a strategy I use for plants from Africa, Asia, and other continents 
that come from seasonal wetlands, and which can take some mild frosts (20-25 
F for a few hours).  I call it the "average seasonal wetland plant growth 

I plant such plants in good soil in big pots, 3- or 5-gallon nursery 
containers or larger, and I water them twice a week in hot summer weather 
and less often in wetter or cooler times.

Such plants are often some of the few things from mostly Mediterranean 
climates that will grow here in the greater Houston area.  They survive (I 
surmise) because they are riverine or seasonal wetland plants and adapted to 
humidity and wetness, but many of them are great survivors of seasonal 
drought too.  Alternating periods of wetness and drought is the case for the 
Gulf Coast of Texas.  We have months of too much rain, and then months of 
not enough rain.

Anyway, I've been growing Crinum variabile seedlings for several years. 
They have muddled along and done OK.  But, last Fall I put several bulbs in 
pots and set them out in the low part of my yard where they often get a few 
inches of water for weeks on end (2-3 seedlings per 3-gallon pot).  I also 
kept a few pots of C. variabile in my "typical conditions" for seasonal 
wetland plants from not-too-cold areas-conditions where the plants get 
irrigation but not flooding waters.

I have been very pleasantly surprised to find that the C. variabile plants 
in flooded areas have grown a lot, producing much top growth.  The species 
doesn't seem to create large bulbs, but the "wet" plants are surely making 
more bulb growth than the plants in the compromise conditions.

So, I infer that one size (or type of growing conditions) does not fit all 
plants, even though I wish such were the case.



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