Milla magnifica

Diana Chapman
Mon, 13 Oct 2008 08:20:56 PDT
Hi Dylan:

I'd like to say it's my expert growing, but I don't know why some of the 
Mexican bulbs did so well this year.  We had a cooler than average summer, 
but they are in greenhouses where it gets pretty warm.  My Behria tenuiflora 
(I think they are now included in Bessera?) also did well for the very first 
time ever, and I have had them for years.  I have to assume it's something 
to do with weather conditions.  In thinking about the greenhouse conditions, 
I have the greenhouses swathed in Aluminet this year, plus it was cooler, so 
there weren't the extreme diurnal temperature swings that have existed in 
previous years, although it's still a pretty radical swing, from about 50F 
at night to around 90F in the daytime.  I do feed my bulbs with a water 
soluble fertilizer, and I treat with fungicides about twice a year, although 
I haven't found these bulbs to be prone to fungal diseases.  How often do I 
feed?  Whenever I have the time!  I would like to feed more, at least once a 
month, but I don't.  Probably about two to three times during their growth 
cycle.  My winter growing bulbs get fed more.

The more I think about it, the more I think it is temperature.  I am 
actually amazed that bulbs will grow for us in black plastic pots, where 
soil temperatures must make very radical swings compared to what they would 
experience in the ground.  Not to mention huge swings in moisture from 
soaking when watered to almost dry (although I think bulbs are OK with 
that).  After all, that's the logic behind plunge beds, to keep the 
temperature of the pot stable, with the added benefit of keeping moisture 
levels more even.

And to answer Cynthia question -- again, I am not sure, but Milla takes a 
while to mature, so your bulbs may not be mature enough yet.

Telos Rare Bulbs

> Diana-- Heavy feeding perhaps? Whatever it is, my plants are a shadow of
> yours this year, though they have grown and proliferated well. Thanks for
> posting photos that do this species justice.
> Dylan

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