Leo A. Martin
Fri, 13 Oct 2006 10:53:53 PDT
Mary Sue Ittner wrote regarding Lapeirousia

> ... This has been a genus that has caused me great
> frustration. I find it to be so beautiful and have admired it greatly in
> the wild so have tried it a number of times from seed and have not been
> very successful.

I've grown them from Silverhill seed. One L. oreogena bloomed in a
12-ounce styrofoam cup in its third growing season (and set some seed.)
The cup had spent the summer outdoors in Phoenix, Arizona, albeit
protected from the rain. Our daytime temperatures are routinely above 110

In the winters, if I don't keep my Lapeirousia boggy wet, they die down
quickly. I didn't water enough last winter so growth was not good. I
suspect those of us in the US aren't watering our S African bulbs enough
during the growing season.

Especially for sprouting the seeds - I keep them in standing water until
well after they have sprouted.

I use a very sandy soil mixture that drains almost as well as sand. I
plant the seeds in cups without drainage holes. I cover them with white
sand so I can see the tiny sprouts easier. I then fill the cups with water
to the brim. When the water evaporates down to the sand I fill them again.

When several sprouts appear, I punch holes in the cups so the water will
no longer pool. But I keep the soil very moist to wet. If I forget to
water the sprouts will die down and that is it for that growing season.

In the fall, they often don't wake up until they have been really soaked
for a number of days.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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