storing winter-growing bulbs during dormancy

Jane McGary
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 08:41:49 PDT
Peter Taggart wrote.
>The first Rhinopetalum I tried to grow was Fritillaria bucharica. An author
>on a book about Fritillaria gave a talk at the local rock garden club,
>where I asked his advice. Prior to that I had certainly kept such bulbs too
>dry, not allowing that even dessert bulbs need moisture in order to grow.
>His advice was "put it out in the rain .. yes it will take all the water it
>can get at this time of year!" that was a wet October. The plant was in an
>appropriate soil mix (not that he asked) and the bulb was dead in three

As far as I know there is only one "book about Fritillaria," by Kevin 
Pratt, and I warn new enthusiasts of the genus that there is a great 
deal of misinformation in it. Fortunately, I had been growing these 
bulbs for some years before the book appeared, so when I read it I 
knew what was wrong with it. Do not put your trust in it.

Fritillaria bucharica is in fact the easiest species in the 
Rhinopetalum section to grow in gardens, but although it flourishes 
with a little overhead cover here, our wet Oregon fall-winter-spring 
is fatal to it even when I have planted it out in pure coarse sand 
and grit in a raised rock garden. The plants thus treated just 
dwindled away in about 3 years.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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