reluctant crinum

Uli Urban
Sat, 04 Sep 2010 15:09:00 PDT
Dear Tom,

if you have received mature bulbs and seed at the same time from
Mozambique I would not be surprised if the mature bulbs would take a
year or two to adapt to the hemisphere change. Mozambique is southern
hemisphere with inverted seasons. My experience with bulbs from the
southern hemisphere is that they go into a prolonged dormancy and most
of them switch to the northern hemisphere growth rhythm after that.
Prolonged dormancy means they would not produce leaves but may well
produce a lot of roots which is always a very reassuring sign of
well-being. Some seem to be confused and do unforeseeable things. But as
long as the bulbs are firm and healthy (did they produce new roots?) I
would not worry. I think gentle bottom heat is a good idea but as long
as they do not grow they would probably not need much water. I would
keep them dry during winter except they would start to grow in autumn
following their "old" internal clock. It might be better to withdraw the
bottom heat sooner or later to avoid that. You have to follow the bulbs
in their needs anyway and cannot force them into the new rhythm.
Seedlings always adapt to the hemisphere they are growing in by simply
staying evergreen for one or two years or germinating a the right time.
I am not familiar with the climate in Mozambique, but many bulbs from
Southern Africa have prolonged dormancies naturally this being an
adaptation to irregular rainfalls. My potful of Albuca clawilliamigloria
is the best example. Should be about 10 bulbs from Silverhill Seed and
maximum 2-3 of them in growth and one season (winter-grower) nothing at
all. I was very surprised when I found so many healthy bulbs in that pot
when I tipped it out thinking that everything had died. But I think that
does not really apply to Crinums.

Greetings from similarly cool Germany,     Uli

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