What promotes blooming?

Stephen Putman putman@pobox.upenn.edu
Wed, 10 Oct 2007 19:57:49 PDT
I have noticed a difference in effect between a soaking rain on potted 
plants vs. a soaking from the hose or watering can.  Several 
mediterranean Scilla sprouted last season in exactly one week from the 
time of a soaking rain.  This year, absent the rain the time to 
emergence varied from 3 to 6 weeks.  n.b. We also had warmer nights this 
year, so this was NOT a controlled experiment, and the difference may be 
due to the lack of drop in night temperatures as much as it was due to 
source of water.

Steve Putman

rdjenkins wrote:
> In a thread earlier in the season, there was some discussion on how to coax, induce, promote etc. certain bulbs to bloom. In looking at my small collection of Crinums that are of blooming size and how they've done this season, I'd like to say a few things.
> I was able to irrigate my plants well enough to promote good growth and supply their needs during the times that they are naturally inclined to flower. I tried to simulate rainfall by spraying the foliage as well as watering from the center out to and beyond their "dripline" as well as time permitted. Natural rainfall would do both. I thought that perhaps the soaking of the entire rootmass (all 6+ feet of it in some cases) might be needed. I thought that perhaps the water collecting in the leaf axils might be a factor.
> One thing I couldn't affect was the lowered ambient temperature that occurs during a good rainfall, perhaps extending over several days or more, before, during and after the rain.  Does the period of lowered temperature have an affect?
> Is the moisture that collects on the green parts a factor? Even in spraying the foliage, I couldn't keep the moisture on the plant due to the baking heat here. The lowered temperatures and lack of beatingly hot direct sun during rainfall allows the water to remain for a period that I cannot duplicate by my own means. I didn't see anything to suggest that my syringing made any difference. 
> We have just had some good rainfall here finally as our drought has caused dangerous shortages in the water supply statewide. 
> And what do I see today? A new scape just sprang forth between last night and this morning on C. scabrum. The same plant that I have kept well-irrigated all season, though I only seldom watered around the plant as widely as I might have, not anywhere near the fullness and degree that the rain provided. (BTW-We have our own well.)
> Good rainfall gave lowered light intensity, lowered temps, and a full wide and deep watering.
> Something that only nature can accomplish easily had it's effect, leaving me with more questions than answers.
> For now, that is.
> Robert.
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