Griffinia is worth the wait

Ronald Redding
Wed, 28 Apr 2010 17:40:04 PDT


What a wonderful post thanks for sharing it with us. I have three species of griffinia and struggled to get them to thrive for a couple of years however decided to experiment to see what I could do to try and get them to grow somewhat better. I knew that they liked lots of moisture and could tolerated pretty low light levels so I placed a pot-base underneath one of the pots that they were planted in and decided that I would water as soon as the level in this base dropped ie the base always contained water and so the medium at the bottom of the pot was always flooded. This breaks about every rule that I have read about potted plants especially potted bulbs however it has worked a treat, so much so that I get regular flowers and I can see roots actually coming out of the holes in the bottom of the pot and continuing into the water in the pot-base. They love this treatment from what I have found and they contiue to grow and thrive and I longer worry about them. 

Kind Regards and Best Wishes Ron Redding Hervey Bay Australia

> From:
> Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 17:14:42 -0700
> To:
> Subject: [pbs] Griffinia is worth the wait
> Dear PBS members,
> For those who are in the first few years of growing *Griffinia*, namely *G.
> espiritensis *var.* espiritensis, *I just wanted to say that they do perform
> better with time. I have uploaded some pictures to my flickr account of
> last May's bloom:… .
> As with many amaryllids, they have their own minds made up about how things
> should be done. In my experience, they like to take their time. I began
> with a bulb purchased for $45 in 2004 as 'blooming size' that still took two
> years to bloom even under ideal greenhouse conditions. This species (or
> clone of it) is a prolific multiplier and rather stoloniferous. In the past
> 5 years, from a single bulb, it has probably produced about 100 baby clone
> bulbs. I have found that unlike many bulbs that have to reach their
> ultimate size dimension before reproducing asexually from the basal plate,
> my original *Griffinia espiritensis* var. *espiritensis* bulb is still
> increasing in size and bloom capacity 4 years after its first bloom and many
> many pups later. I have been weeding out the pups that appear almost as
> grass and sharing them with botanical gardens in Hawai'i, and allowing the
> original bulb and the three largest pups to stick together. Last year a
> total of 11 inflorescences were produced from the 4 bulbs, of which 4 spikes
> came from the oldest bulb. The flower count from the largest bulb is still
> increasing as well.
> Aside from being so mature, it also helps that in 2009 it was in luxuriating
> in the full glory of the high humidity and rainfall of Upper Mānoa Valley.
> It is a true rainforest bulb that enjoys shade and is quite tolerant of
> forest debris falling on it. While it benefits from humidity, I have also
> found them to perform well as a house-plant in both northern and southern
> California, the latter often being quite dry. The only downside for us
> horticulturists is this species' proclivity to allow its inflorescences to
> tumble down into a horizontal position at the slightest disturbance! Surely
> this is an advantage in a rain forest, allowing developing seeds to be
> deposited directly onto the ground. My clone is self-sterile and after many
> pollination attempts, I have given up hoping it to be otherwise. I do hope
> to obtain seeds one day or another clone so that propagation from seed might
> be possible.
> Side note: I believe that if we hope for a healthy future for our beloved
> geophytes in cultivation, and especially if we wish for them to survive us,
> we must strive to propagate them sexually even if baby clone bulbs abound!
> Viruses and other threats are always lurking, and the chance to start fresh
> again from seed is the very best thing we can do to perpetuate these plants,
> at least *ex situ*.
> For *Griffinia* growers, remember it gets better!
> Jacob Knecht
> now in Berkeley, California for a while
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