Calochortus Weedii Propagation

Jane McGary
Fri, 29 Jun 2018 09:50:28 PDT
First, note the change in spelling, "Calochortus," which will help when 
searching for information on this species, and with our archive.

I think Calochortus are self-fertile, so if Ana's sole flowering plant 
is producing seed capsules, the seeds inside will likely be able to 
germinate. It's worth putting a light-weight bag around the capsule(s) 
to protect them from being eaten and also to catch the seeds, which can 
fall out quickly once the capsule splits. Sow the seeds in fall, about 
the time it starts to rain where you are, and keep the seed pot moist. 
If you have a lot of seed, use several pots, because Calochortus damp 
off easily if they comeĀ  up too thick. Seedlings may appear quickly or 
not until spring; in any case, don't let the pot freeze solid. When the 
leaves wither, keep the pot in a cool, shady spot and water again with 
the fall rains. Keep the young bulbs in the pot for another year, then 
turn them out and plant them in separate pots or directly in the ground 
where you can protect them from being eaten, for instance with some 
hoops with netting stretched over them.

Don't try to dig up the existing plants, but it's worth scratching a bit 
of soil around what remains of the stem to see if there are stem bulbils 
(little structures with a rounded base and usually a sharp apex) 
attached to the stem just below the soil surface. Many Calochortus 
produce these, and they can be detached and planted separately in a 
protected spot.

I found the best deterrent against rabbits was predatory dogs, but I had 
a fence around my entire property to keep the dogs in. Coyotes also 
help. Rabbits in the American West tend to have population cycles, and 
peaks in the cycle are usually followed by a peak in their predators the 
next year. Ana's Calochortus population may recover when the predators 
catch up to the rabbits.

Jane McGary, Portland, Oregon

On 6/29/2018 8:36 AM, Ana Weimer wrote:
> Hello,
> I live in Murrieta on 5 acres next to the Cleveland National Forest. I have growing wild on my property Calochortus Weedii most of which have been eaten by the rabbits. This is the only one that got to bloom. How can I propagate this one? Do I collect the seeds and when? Or do I divide the bulbs? I plan to cage the existing plants next year to protect them from the rabbits. This is my favorite wild flower and am so lucky to have it naturally on my property and would love to know how to make more so I appreciate all the help you can give me. I am also willing to share!
> All the best,
> Ana Weimer
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