Polianthes geminiflora

Dennis Szeszko dszeszko@gmail.com
Mon, 25 Jul 2011 09:53:54 PDT

A few notes about the culture of P. geminiflora.  I have seen this species
growing in warm oak forests in Mexico  that are seasonally very dry.  They
grow in highly mineralized clay soils and are accustomed to a 6 month dry
season.  Your mistake was in trying to keep them green during the winter,
when you should have let your plants die back naturally by withholding

Recipe for success:

Water your plants and provide almost full sun from May 15 to October 15 but
then only just enough water (once per month?) to keep the soil from
completely drying out from October 15 to May 15.  Almost all of the bulbous
plants (Bessera, Tigridia, Calochortus etc) in the same habitat as P.
geminiflora react to the onset of summer rain by starting growth immediately
after receiving a good soaking, so I'd be careful of overwatering during the
dry season lest they commence growing unnaturally.  This species grows in
warm temperate oak forests at around 1700 m., so it should adapt well to
growing outdoors in the US during the summer.

I hope this helps...


>Polianthes geminiflora is a little perplexing to me.  I thought I would
>struggle to keep it happy through the winter, indoors under lights, but in
>actuality keeping it happy outside has been far more difficult.  Most of
>them died back, and are just now resprouting.  I don't know what they
>want... maybe more water, more shade, or less heat?

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