Lycoris squamigera in warm climates

Tony Avent
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:26:16 PDT

Your comments show that something else is obviously at work here.  We can reliably predict flowering based on our winter temperatures, and in our trials, we have seen no effect of planting depth on flowering of lycoris x sqamigera...very interesting that it flowers well in your climate.  Are you seeing them flowering better with shallow planting?

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-------- Original message --------
From: Nathan Lange 8:02 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Lycoris squamigera in warm climates

I haven't had any problems growing and flowering other Lycoris
species in Sonoma County, California although L. radiata is sporadic
and, not surprising, plants growing in the south facing sides of
sun-exposed pots seldom flower. Having grown L. squamigera in the
Midwest and Amaryllis belladonna in California, I think the two
species would make for an interesting side by side comparison. I was
hoping to avoid refrigerating the bulbs since the flowers look best
in mass and the bulbs can get very big and multiply quickly. The
winter climate here is significantly colder than where Ken lives 500
miles to the south in San Diego. As for Tony's comment that his
plants won't flower unless the temperature drops below 15F (-9C), I
suggest and hope this has more to do with bulb planting depth and the
overall colder winters indicative of temperatures below 15F since it
is highly unlikely that the bulbs themselves have a optimal
vernalization temperature below 32F (0C). Probably wishful thinking
that they could reliably flower here.

There are many ways to push the envelope and grow plants in colder
climates with winters normally considered too cold, but how does one
achieve the reverse without refrigeration?  There are limited options:
Grow in pots that can be moved out of any direct sunlight during the winter.
But, keep the pots exposed to the open sky at night to take advantage
of radiational cooling.
Plant shallow to take advantage of longer colder nights.
Use a very aerated mix directly around the bulbs to promote
evaporative cooling (not very helpful during damp winters).
Water with ice cubes from the kitchen (probably have to do this at
least daily to make any difference and daily water could induce rot).
Place one of those gel ice packs on top of the pot every day
(probably would only achieve, at best, one or two hours of actual
chilling per day)

Any ideas?


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