Southern Hemisphere seed, was PBS Market Place

Jane McGary
Sat, 06 Aug 2011 11:11:27 PDT
Mary Sue wrote

>  And seed can be
>kept until the right time to plant. Most of us do that already. Seed
>exchanges (besides our BX) often deliver seed at the wrong time.

When I get seeds from the Southern Hemisphere, it has always been of 
species that experience a dry summer -- I don't grow subtropicals 
from wet-summer areas as I don't have a heated greenhouse. 
Germination seems to be best if I keep the seeds dry at room 
temperature (the humidity is low here in summer) and plant them in 
September or October just as I do with Mediterranean-climate plants 
from the Northern Hemisphere. Then everything is on the same schedule 
once the plants are growing.

Incidentally, one such species that is in flower now in the rock 
garden is Alstroemeria revoluta, a small but rapidly spreading one. 
It has stiffly upright stems about 20 cm tall, bearing numerous cool 
pink flowers with reflexed tepals. It's still contained (I think), so 
when it goes dormant in a month or so I'll move it to another area 
where it can spread to its heart's content without endangering 
smaller plants. It will be living with some Juno and Regelia irises, 
which are dormant by the time the alstroemerias make much growth and 
which keep their root systems higher up in the soil; I've found this 
combination suits both genera.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA 

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