holding corms

Rodger Whitlock totototo@telus.net
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 10:58:11 PDT
On 2 Sep 2012, at 22:06, Richard wrote:

> Holding Fritillaria corms ?
> F. affinis, pudica and camschatcensis
> Currently, I'm holding in moistened wood shavings at 60 - 64  degrees F. 
> Can I hold them under these conditions until early spring (April) ?
> Suggestions?

Too warm, and the wood shavings may harbor fungi and encourage rotting.

Pot them up and park the pots in a cold frame for the winter. Do it now. Water 
once, and let it go at that. In fact, having lost F. pudica myself more than 
once, I'd say to pot it in barely damp soil and give it no water at all until 
you see leaves. It's very close to being a snowmelt plant that compresses its 
entire life cycle into a few short weeks in spring and is dormant the rest of 
the year.

F. affinis can withstand  considerable summer drought. F. camschatensis prefers 
damper conditions.

If you don't have a cold frame, just parking the pots under the eaves where the 
rain can't get at them may suffice.

If you are apartment bound so pots are out of the question, store the bulbs in 
clean washed sand, nearly dry for F. pudica, dampish for F. affinis, slightly 
damper for F. camschatensis and keep them in the refrigerator. This is why God 
invented Ziploc bags.

In general frits are delicately sensitive to summer moisture levels. Too much 
and they'll rot, too little and the bulbs will shrivel. The late Molly Grothaus 
down in the Portland area used to grow her frit collection in upended flue 
tiles near a cherry tree that gave light summer shade. When she lifted the 
bulbs in summer, if they were shrivelled, she'd move them a little close to the 
tree where they'd get more shade. Each species had its own preference.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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