Seedling Care?

Michael Mace via pbs
Fri, 22 Jan 2021 23:47:07 PST
Bob wrote, regarding his summer-dormant seedlings:

>> When summer comes, because they are small, should I let them grow through
the first summer or should I withhold water and let them go dormant?? If
they go dormant, should I move them to the Dry Table of Death until fall,
along with the Urgineas and the adult Lachenalias, or should I give them a
brief rest and start them back into growth a little earlier?? If I keep them
growing over the summer, would it be advisable to move them out of the
greenhouse to avoid the daily misting so they don't stay too wet?

Congratulations on all your new seedlings! You've got some great genera

Here's my two cents on your questions...

I recommend that you don't try to control what the bulbs do. It's not about
"letting" them go dormant, it's all about observing what they do and
adjusting to it. So if they keep growing and stay green, by all means keep
watering them. If the leaves start to yellow and dry back, stop watering.
They'll tell you what they want.

How warm is your greenhouse in summer? If it's warm and humid all day, I'd
worry about potential rot even if the plants are still in growth.

If the seedlings do go dormant, I think storage conditions that are good for
adult Lachenalias will probably be good for the seedlings too. A possible
exception is the Amaryllids, which have perennial roots even when they're
dormant. They may appreciate occasional water to keep those roots hydrated.
For example, some winter-growing Brunsvigia species come from the eastern
Cape where they get some summer rainfall. You can use iNaturalist to look up
the native ranges of each species, and then look on the PBS Mediterranean
climate maps to see the rainfall pattern for that particular location.

I wouldn't water the other dormant species until about mid-October (unless
they start growing on their own). If you try to force them into growth while
it's warm, you may just rot them. Also, don't repot them this summer; they
are small and delicate after one year. 

I hope that helps. Good luck!

San Jose, CA

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