Lycoris and Rain - A theory

Kelly Irvin
Mon, 20 Aug 2007 12:18:48 PDT

Theories are fun. Sometimes they lead to conclusions. Other times, they 
lead to more theories. I was really worried this spring when my 
spring-foliage Lycoris leaves were dessimated, for the most part, by a 
very late, very hard freeze, after 4-5 weeks of very spring-like 
weather. Still, bloom came for my L. squamigera, L. sanguinea, L. 
longituba, and L. sprengeri in that order. I shouldn't really count L. 
sanguinea as only 3-4 stalks arose out of a potential of hundreds. On 
the others, the show was not all that spectacular, but stalks were 
normal sized, I believe, because we had adequate moisture through the 

Enter chapter two, and a theory, not my own, but one I am considering. 
Through Friday, we had experienced about 18 straight days without rain 
and temperatures over 90°F, up to 104°F during that whole period. Enter 
Saturday, and we get .5-.75 inch of rain spread throughout the day and 
Sunday. I go out this morning and a number of new L. longituba and L. 
sprengeri are poking up new stalks. I'm also seeing a few L. chinensis. 
Was it just time, or did the rain trigger it?

Thing is, if you look at these alone, you might conclude it is possible 
the surge of moisture contributed to pushing up new stalks. Problem. I 
also had winter protected fall foliage Lycoris that bloomed pretty well  
for me this season to this point; L. xhaywardii x L. longituba 
(shouldn't need protection, but it is in the protected row), L. 
xhaywardii (what a show!!), L. houdyshelii (my first time), L. radiata 
var. pumila, L. straminea, and an unknown cream white. None of these 
suffered from the spring freeze. Still after the rain, and after the 
hybrid and L. xhawardii looked completely done, I have new stalks of 
them both coming up today, mostly from spots that are not secondary 
bloom locations. All the others mentioned are putting up new stalks this 
morning, too. Meanwhile a few others that had shown no activity to now 
are pushing up new stalks today. As an aside, but significant to the 
coming theory, my potted rain lilies are sending up a flush of bloom.

The complication with just considering moisture with these is that I had 
done a long slow drip soaking of that particular Lycoris bed a week ago, 
and it wasn't suffering stress in the first place, being under about 2" 
of mulch. The rain lilies are in with other potted items that need 
regular water, so they have been getting overhead water twice a day. Is 
it just water that these plants are responding to, if not sheer 
coincidence? I can't remember who has brought this up before. It may 
have been in another forum. What qualities might exist with rain water 
that don't exist in ground water, lake water, or treated water? What 
about ozone? What about other combinations of Hydrogen and Oxygen, 
however minute the percentage? Could these qualities or others unique to 
rainwater influence Lycoris bloom and other plants?

Who knows. Thoughts I consider while I enjoy flowers in bloom.

Mr. Kelly M. Irvin
10850 Hodge Ln
Gravette, AR 72736
USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6a/b

James Waddick wrote:
> Dear all,
> 	On September 9 I wrote:
> Last night we had almost 1 1/4 inch of rain. Maybe too much of it ran 
> off, but some soaked in. Will this bring a new flush of Lycoris bloom 
> as I think or was the spring freeze too damaging to make a 
> difference, now.?

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