Albuca spiralis

oooOIOooo via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Thu, 28 Dec 2017 09:47:11 PST
Albuca includes summer growers, winter growers and evergreens. What is sold as A. spiralis is a winter grower. I can imagine it might stay evergreen in a cool climate; here in Phoenix, it goes dormant when temperatures rise in the spring. A. shawii is reported to be a summer grower.

Albuca spiralis is hysteranthous here in summer, usually August. After flowering, the leaves emerge. I water heavily, fall-winter-spring, beginning when stalks are well up. I stop when leaves begin yellowing in the heat. I don't water again until flower stalks are emerging.

It easily tolerates overnight temperatures into the upper teens F / -8C. My winter days are always above freezing. The leaves require full sun from the time they emerge to achieve the desired curlicues. A series of cloudy days during leaf emergence can turn them into floppy spaghetti.

I have seen online photos from people in cold-winter climates who grow various winter-growing Albuca species on their windowsills, with warmth and water all year. The plants adhere to their proper flowering cycle, if they flower, which is uncommon. The leaves are floppy and stringy due to insufficient light. The posters usually are asking why their plant doesn't look like the photo at the online auction site.

I might suggest you try to get seed, now, and sow it now. They are fast and easy from seed. They will self-sow, lightly, in nearby pots for me, but not in the open ground. You might get flowers next fall. A sunny spot that is above freezing during the day, and not too far below freezing at night, is ideal. Use a sandy soil mix, without organic matter, for best growth and dormancy.

Leo Martin
Zone 9?
Phoenix Arizona USA.

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