Timing for bulbs changing hemisphere?

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Thu, 03 May 2007 23:08:56 PDT
On May 3, 2007, at 6:33 PM, Paul Tyerman wrote:
> Howdy All,
> I need some brain-picking of experience please?  What is the best
> time to try to change hemisphere for bulbs and corms?

I know plenty of others have experience with this too. But as a  
general rule of thumb, the conversions that have worked the best for  
me are when I get a bulb as soon after it enters dormancy in the  
opposite hemisphere as possible, and then try to grow it as long as  
is feasible in what is left of its normal growing conditions in my  
hemisphere. I have tried to hold dormant bulbs over an extra 6  
months, but very few bulbs seem to like that. They shrivel and  
sometimes disappear before the proper growing season begins in my  
hemisphere, especially if they are very small bulbs, which is often  
the case. Now if I can't get them early enough after dormancy I just  
wait another year.

That being said, I've found that the most difficult type to convert  
hemispheres are the winter growers. Summer growers are easier to  
convert because it's much easier to continue providing them the  
warmer conditions they want on into our late autumn and early winter  
than it is to continue providing cool growing conditions after spring  
has ended and summer here has begun. I have often thought about  
begging friends who lives along the coast here (where they have much  
cooler conditions even into the summer) to let me finish growing them  
at their house. But then I know they won't take care of them  
properly, etc. Now if you live along coastal northern California or  
in the coolest of the San Francisco Bay Area climates, you can  
probably grow them in cool conditions for an extended period after  
receiving them. Same holds for the Pacific Northwest and British  
Columbia. If you have friends in Anchorage, Alaska, that would  
probably be a perfect place to try converting winter growers.

Our only saving grace in So. Calif. is that we get May Gray and June  
Gloom which makes our early summers generally much cooler than what  
the U.S. Southern states experience. But many of the summer dormant  
species don't do well there anyway because it is so humid and wet  
during their summers.

Western and Northern Europe probably have a similarly easier go of it.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA, USDA Zone 10a

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