What's blooming week of 9-20, and Oxalis watering

AW awilson@avonia.com
Thu, 22 Sep 2011 11:30:35 PDT

So you start watering in August also. There is no doubt that some of the
Oxalis species of South Africa do get some rain in February (same as August
north of equator) but not very much. Those from namaqualand may not receive
rain until May(=November). The threadlike roots get ready for activity
underground but I don't think many of the northern species begin aboveground
until it really does rain. I have little difficulty with repotting once
these threadlike roots showing but that may depend on the condition of the
potting mix. However, if starting water in August works for you, that's
really all that matters. It would shorten the blooming season for me to
start earlier.

San Diego    

Subject: [pbs] What's blooming week of 9-20, and Oxalis watering

Just opened in my garden this week is a nice pink form of Rhodophiala
bifida, courtesy of Steve Vinisky years ago.  Thanks, Steve!

The bud on Brunsvigia marginata is starting to turn pink.  I'm probably
about a week from the opening of the first flowers.  

The Oxalis I mentioned last time are still in bloom.  The early-blooming
ones tend to stay in bloom all fall.
They have been joined by:

--MV 4871, which Michael Vassar identified as possibly Oxalis depressa.  It
has fairly large white flowers.

--O. stenorrhyncha, which looks like a miniature palm tree with salmon
orange flowers on it.

Andrew wrote:

>> It would be interesting to hear how other growers stage their
winter-growing Oxalis season.

I start watering my Oxalis at the beginning of August here in San Jose.  My
daytime temperatures are into the low 90s F right now (around 33C), and the
Oxalis pots get sun until about noon.

I know it sounds crazy to water winter-growing bulbs at the height of
summer's heat, but the Oxalis told me to do it.  Years ago I had some of
them stored dry in envelopes, waiting for repotting, and they almost all
started growing in early August, while still in the envelopes.  If they
don't get watered, the little thready roots dry out, and I think it damages
the bulbs.

The other plant I start watering in early August is Moraea polystachya.  The
plants are over a foot tall (.3m) already, dark green and vigorous.  They
look like corn plants.  This species has a reputation as an unreliable
bloomer, but it is very reliable for me.

San Jose, CA (zone9, min temp 20F / -7C)

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