storing winter-growing bulbs during dormancy

Leo A. Martin
Thu, 25 Oct 2012 21:51:10 PDT
Some of us have watered our southern African bulbs during the summer on
purpose or through carelessness and have not had problems. The Great
Karroo areas can get some summer rain, which generally comes from the
northeast but doesn't reach the south coast of Africa, in contrast to the
winter rain, which generally comes from the southwest and doesn't reach
too far inland. The Karroo area is in the overlap.

I have noticed especially Albuca and Ornithogalum seem not to mind water
when it's hot. Albuca clanwilliamgloria seedlings began sprouting here
several weeks ago in a large container I left out all summer, exposed to
some rain and a garden hose that didn't pay attention.

But realize that some winter-growing plants may die if watered even once
during hot weather. Lachenalia comes to mind. So if I were perfect I would
not water most of my southern African, winter-growing, deciduous-rooted
bulbs in the summer.

The fleshy-rooted Amaryllidaceae are another situation. Their roots stay
fleshy all year and, even during long warm summers, don't wither deep in
the ground. These plants struggle in my care unless I manage to keep their
roots alive during their long dormancy, especially first-year seedlings.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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