Rhodophiala question

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:25:04 PDT
Pam wrote,

>Another question. I have a nursery propagator friend who grows out all seed
>for me and he grew R. advena seed for me in fall, 2011 (BX 286). There are
>now many seedlings still in a pot that I'm sure is too shallow. What I read
>about this sp. is that it's summer dormant.....so am wondering why in this
>100-100+-degree weather, they are showing no indication of going into
>dormancy. Should I transplant them directly into a raised concrete planter
>(25 inches tall)? Water regimen? Do these need a totally dry summer
>dormancy? Or do they receive water in habitat year round? In what month can
>I expect them to flower?

I have grown this species from seed to flowering, and as I recall it 
didn't take too many years. They are early summer flowering in nature 
and grow on low hills, mostly in the Coast Range, that become fairly 
dry in summer, often among grasses. However, there is probably some 
moisture from fog in summer. Anyway, I would not dry them out hard or 
bake them. Any Rhodophiala bulbs I have dug down to in nature have 
been growing quite deep. Here is a translation of the cultural 
information on it from an earlier edition of the CHilean "FLora 
native de valor ornamental, Zona Centro", the new edition of which I 
mentioned on an earlier post:

"They flower in the third or fourth year from seed, when the bulb has 
reached the necessary maturity. ... Plant them in full sun, in soil 
with good drainage, rich in nutrients. Replant them every three or 
four years, because production of bulblets (offsets) is low. ... Do 
not transplant [seedlings] the first year in order to give the bulb 
time to increase in size. They can also be increased by removing the 
head [I think theymean the top of the bulb], scooping, and cutting 
the bulb across, by offset bulbs or bulblets, or micropropagation."

As I recall, I left the seedlings in the pot for two or three years. 
It was a gallon pot. I kept them frost-free, and they probably need 
that. I eventually tried them in the bulb frame, and they died.

Jane McGary
Portland, oregon, USA

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