Ixia viridiflora

Juliet Leigh julietleigh@ihug.co.nz
Tue, 26 Feb 2008 13:15:17 PST
Thank you Mary Sue, Erin, Bill,Mark and Carlo!
I have been overwhelmed by the responses from you all to my initial sortie 
into your obviously vibrant,and truely global world!
I have also been enjoying all the other info as well, as this is the third 
year that my partner, Lindsay and I have run a small mail order bulb 
business as a semi-retirement income;we are both  in our early sixties. We 
sell about 70 different species/varieties of spring bulbs. While I have been 
a compulsive but desultory gardener all my life,  it has been an eclectic, 
haphazard affair.  These last couple of years, as I have enjoyed the fruits 
of our annual left-overs I feared I may be getting a little obsessive about 
bulbs.  It is great to find others enjoy without embarrassment the same 
passion as I am working into!
I am storing all your hints and comments  and weighing them against our 
climate/soil here- the former task a mite difficult as our weather patterns 
are definitely changing as anticyclones move further south yearly (or so it 
seems) allowing the tails of more summer tropical cyclones to descend on the 
long, narrow peninsular of Northland from Dec-April. (Last week one such 
cyclone made life very difficult for us as humidity made all our daffs sweat 
in the shed. Luckily a succeeding dose of sunshine and brisk wind seems to 
have done the remedial trick. )  Basically, I guess this mid-Northland area 
could be described as "mediteranean", with cool wet winters 
(c1000mm),frost-free, and warm (20-26 daily max) sporadically damp summers 
(a further 200mm). Soil won't be as problematic I hope as we are on the east 
coast with old sand dunes compacted at a depth of around a meter, overlain 
with thin humus, which means efficient drainage where it matters for bulbs 
but some water retention also for trees.
Ixia are always popular but, for the afficionado clientelle, we are finding 
stunning viridiflora more and more difficult to obtain from growers. I am 
understanding why now!  At the same time their increasing endangerment must 
be being offset to an extent by all your combined efforts. Hopefully I will 
in time be able to add my humble contributions to the knowledge bank.

Onward Green Fingers!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mary Sue Ittner" <msittner@mcn.org>
To: <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 5:08 AM
Subject: [pbs] Ixia viridiflora

> Dear Juliet,
> Welcome to the pbs list. We have a couple of members of our group who live
> in the North Island of New Zealand and perhaps they will respond to your
> question about Ixia viridiflora. This is the Ixia that everyone wants to
> grow because of the amazing turquoise color. I grow it in containers, but
> it is hit or miss about blooming and this does not seem to be unusual. 
> I've
> yet to figure out exactly what it needs. And I believe that I am not alone
> in having difficulty keeping it going. But you are in luck since I
> understand it does well in New Zealand.
> Suggestions that have been given on our list in the past that may or may
> not help you. I've lost all the Ixia viridiflora I've put in the ground
> even though other Ixias grow fine in my climate. I've grown it from seed 
> as
> has Jane McGary and it has bloomed in three or four years from seed. It
> does not expand prolifically like a lot of other Ixias I grow and since it
> doesn't always bloom and everyone wants it that may be why it is a bit
> challenging to obtain. I once included seeds and corms of it for someone
> else when I ordered from Gordon Summerfield in South Africa and that 
> person
> wrote a few years later asking me if I was going to order again since his
> success was short lived and he wanted to try them again.
> A member of another list from Australia accidentally left his dormant pots
> of this species when young in a greenhouse where they got watered all
> summer when they were dormant and they thrived which made me start giving
> mine occasional summer water even though generally the thought is that
> winter rainfall Ixias should be kept dry when dormant. He also commented
> that they resented disturbance and that a grower who were selling them 
> lost
> about a third of them when he dug them up for sale. In South Africa Rachel
> Saunders reported some people growing this species in pure sand with added
> fertilizer. Hers planted out in the ground disappeared after about 3 
> years.
> Bill Richardson from our list (Victoria, Australia) who specializes in
> growing Ixia has reported great results with this species in the past and
> he grows them in the ground! He is actually the only one I've ever heard
> that can boast of this. Perhaps he will give us all an update about how to
> grow this bulb successfully.
> Mary Sue
> Mary Sue Ittner
> California's North Coast
> Wet mild winters with occasional frost
> Dry mild summers
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