Planting dormant Crinum and scabrum question

Joe Shaw
Wed, 13 Sep 2006 16:32:53 PDT
Also, I have read that scabrum is the only Crinum that goes "truly dormant" 
for winter.


Hi Gang and Robert,

There were many questions within a question in the note; I enjoyed it 
because it all caused me to think.

1.  I would be loathe to violate any advice proffered by Tony A., unless 
another authority had found an alternative approach to zone-breaking.

2.  Dave Lehmiller has indicated that he provides just about any Crinum from 
Africa with a dry, winter dormancy (see the link at the bottom of the URL: ).  However, as I read over 
the manuscript in question, C. scabrum does not seem to be mentioned.

3.  In my own garden, I have grown C. scabrum (2 different, seemingly 
true-to-type) year-round outdoors in 20- or 25-gallon containers.  The have 
died back in winter and "gone dormant," but received rain 12 months of the 
year.  The soil has not frozen.  Marcelle Sheppard reports the same for C. 
scabrum grown outdoors in the ground in her East Texas garden.

4.  I've never tried to trick Crinum into growing longer necks.  But, one 
strategy I have employed for many plants is to let them go dormant over 
winter (cool and dry) by putting them in an unheated garage or basement, or 
perhaps under a porch (it depended upon climate zone).  In this way I get 
some plants to grow to a larger size before I put them in the ground.  They 
survive the cool weather if dormant due to drought (or mostly dormant).

5.  Offsets still attached to the mother bulb should be fairly impervious to 
deep planting (just guessing) as long as the mother bulb is OK.

6.  10 inches deep, for the bottom of a bulb, doesn't worry me too much, but 
plants are like kids--what works for some is a mistake for others.

7.  C. scabrum has some cold hardiness, but I wouldn't plant it near the 
surface if the ground freezes deeply.

8.  It seems that, as I look over species descriptions and garden comments, 
that C. scabrum is a variable group of plants.   What works for some C. 
scabrum plants might not work for other similar-appearing plants.



Conroe TX

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