Flowering Oxalis

Cynthia Mueller cynthiasbulbs@hotmail.com
Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:50:08 PST
Karl, thanks for the advice. I'm just trying out Oxalis, but am waiting to see which ones will be susceptible to the "mite attacks" that have ruined plantings of Oxalis crassipes (a very common heirloom plant that grew perfectly for many years in Central Texas, until the mites began to deface their leaves disagreeably). At least I believe these are mites...looks like their work.

Cynthia W Mueller

> On Nov 20, 2015, at 10:26 PM, Karl Church <64kkmjr@gmail.com> wrote:
> Cynthia,
> I don't unpot my Oxalis until I'm repotting, either into larger pots or
> multiple pots.
> Karl Church
> Dinuba z9b
> On Nov 20, 2015 7:29 PM, "Cynthia Mueller" <cynthiasbulbs@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Mary Sue, thanks for your details on Oxalis. Is it necessary to unpot them
>> during dormancy? It's so hot and dry here in Central Texas I wonder if the
>> tubers would shrivel if left exposed?
>> Cynthia W Mueller
>>> On Nov 20, 2015, at 10:34 AM, Mary Sue Ittner <msittner@mcn.org> wrote:
>>>> This brings me to my current conundrum regarding Oxalis.  I have
>> trouble getting them to bloom for me.   What am I doing wrong and/or what
>> do I need to do to get these lovelies to be a little more forthcoming with
>> their blooms?  HELP!
>>> Note to those who care, in my response I'm going to use bloom and flower
>> as synonyms in this post.
>>> I got hooked on Oxalis a long time ago and found a few things that have
>> contributed to growing and flowering a number of them. I have the best luck
>> with the ones that bloom in fall, but also Oxalis purpurea and Oxalis
>> obtusa have long periods of bloom. I suspect we all have different
>> experiences and since they grow in different areas of South Africa with
>> different conditions probably there is no advice that works for all of
>> them. You will no doubt get different advice from different people.
>>> I usually repot them every year and share the smaller ones with the BX.
>> I remember how generous some of you were sharing yours with me and pay it
>> forward. A few species are in my raised beds that are in pots, nestled in
>> pots, and those don't get repotted very often. A few species disappeared
>> with this treatment, but a few others have been very successful left
>> alone.  One of the Oxalis luteola forms blooms a long time every year and
>> for the first time this year Oxalis palmifrons bloomed in my raised beds.
>> That was exciting as it had never bloomed before when I repotted it every
>> year so perhaps not being disturbed may have been to its liking. Who knows.
>>> The ones I'm going to repot I leave in paper bags once I unpot them. I
>> open the bags every now and then and when I see signs of activity I pot
>> them up and water them. This is usually in August. Some of them can start
>> blooming in August or September. Fall blooming is perfect for my climate
>> since it hasn't started to rain yet and we have less fog. Unless there is
>> sun and warm temperatures the flowers don't always open.  Many of the
>> species I grow do better in deeper pots. Oxalis melanosticta 'Ken Aslet'
>> was a shy bloomer until I started potting it in a deeper pot. This year the
>> first flowers appeared in August and new ones continued into October.
>>> Others with three to four months of flowering this year starting in
>> August to September and some still  going strong: O. commutata, O. hirta,
>> O. pardalis, O. imbricata, O. bowiei, Oxalis pulchella v. tomentosa, O.
>> peridicaria, O. zeekoevleyensis, O. versicolor, O. engleriana, O. assinia,
>> O. caprina. O. massoniana, O. depressa.
>>> Others bloomed for only a couple of months, but that is still more
>> satisfying than days or weeks as is the case for some of the other bulbs I
>> grow.  O. bifurca, O. callosa are two in this category. Other species start
>> to bloom later like Oxalis luteola and O. compressa, but may last for many
>> months (five months for O. compressa last year). If it starts raining a
>> lot, some of them are done, but others like O. purpurea continue. Last year
>> when we had two "atmospheric rivers" I had some serious problems with many
>> of the species that got such heavy rain so plan to shelter them from a lot
>> of rain if we get it this year as predicted. Some years I've put the pots
>> in a cold frame and closed it when we got a lot of rain. I grow several
>> forms of O. flava and some do better than others (one to three months of
>> flowers in the fall). O. polyphylla is not in flower for me as long as
>> other species and O. glabra is a bit weedy so I don't have a pot of it
>> anymore although it is appearing in
>> other pots and usually flowers later. O. obtusa starts later (December to
>> February and lasts until March).
>>> You should look in the archives as there is a lot of information. For
>> instance there was a Topic of the Week on Oxalis with this introduction.
>> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbslist/…
>>> Also Mike Mace wrote about his experiences:
>> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbslist/…
>>> Sorry this is so long, but hope it helps. I think Southern California is
>> ideal for growing these and as you go farther north it is probably more
>> challenging. In our four years of drought I think they have been happier.
>>> Mary Sue
>>> Mary Sue Ittner
>>> California's North Coast
>>> Wet mild winters with occasional frost
>>> Dry mild summers
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