Frit. Imperialis -

Jim McKenney
Wed, 07 May 2008 11:53:14 PDT
I'll bet that Jim Waddick is right that pH alone will not explain our
problems with Fritillaria imperialis. However, I'm convinced it's a step in
the right direction for those of us on the East Coast. It might be a case
where some pathogen in our soils is deterred by a shift in the pH, or it
might be a case where some nutrient is more readily taken up in soils with a
higher pH.


Years ago I used to dig bulbs of Fritillaria imperialis for the summer. Even
bulbs stored in the open air inside the house developed necrotic spots and
rotted. So as with pH, moist summer conditions alone can not explain our
problems. But this failure provides a hint, doesn't it? Whatever was causing
the bulbs to rot was in/on the bulbs by the time they ripened. The rot
occurs even in bulbs which do not have soil contact during the dormant


The local Fusarium are at the top of my list of suspects. 


And the slightly cooler conditions provided by the shade of deciduous trees
is definitely worth investigating. 


I have not given up!  



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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