Watsonia

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 18 May 2015 11:18:49 PDT
This has been a great year for Watsonias here in coastal Northern 
California. We are in a multiple year drought, but they didn't flower 
well in the previous dry years. I grow a number of species planted in 
the ground and although a couple bloom each year, some don't bloom 
for years on end even though they produce leaves. But this year they 
are all blooming well and others planted about in the community are 
as well. I know that some species only flower well after a fire, but 
I'm curious what it is about this year that has triggered a change. 
We have gotten a little more rain than we did last year, but most of 
it came in two "atmospheric rivers" early in the  rainfall season 
that dumped a lot of rain at one time. Since then we haven't had 
much, but enough to keep the barrels that collect water from the roof 
full so we can use that water to water plants. The ground is 
unusually dry. We are only supposed to water otherwise two days a 
week and then only for ten minutes and only at night or early 
morning. We also are using lots of gray water (shower, kitchen, 
washing machine) besides what we have been collecting from the roof.

Any one wanting to speculate on why this year is different? More 
light with fewer storms? Rainfall at different times of the season? 
Are others experiencing more flowers with Watsonia this year in other 
parts of the state? We also had a nice Sparaxis and Tritonia season 
so I guess there are some plants that like less water than we usually get.

Mary Sue






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