Growing Scilla madeirensis

Lee Poulsen via pbs
Mon, 26 Jun 2023 15:31:22 PDT
Uli’s details are what I have suspected for some time about plants from those Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic islands. What I’ve mostly realizes is that they’re spoiled. It must not ever freeze there and it also never gets very hot. I have found that even a little bit of frost “burns” the leaves of S. madeirensis. Also, they take forever to go dormant. Mine are still full of leaves. But they are finally starting to look like they are turning yellow. Once they go dormant, I put them in outside storage, but in full shade, so they experience Southern California summer air temperatures. The bulbs have gotten larger and larger every year. The bulbs almost don’t fit in the 1 gal. pots (6 inch/15 cm diameter) I started them in. They are surprisingly easy for me, only needing water in winter and the first half of spring if it doesn’t rain enough. Now I get multiple scapes every year

--Lee Poulsen
San Gabriel Valley, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 340 ft/100 m

> On Jun 26, 2023, at 11:13, Robert Lauf via pbs <> wrote:
> I will try to collect photos of the exact setup I have over the course of summer/fall so folks can see exactly what the plants see.
> In summer they are shaded most of the day but late afternoon sun does come into the carport for maybe a few hours.  The pots are typically shaded a bit by larger pots of Urginea maritima, so the plastic pots themselves are not exposed to long periods of direct sunlight.  But summer in E. Tenn can be quite hot and if I had to spend the day on that bench I'd sure feel like I was baking.  There are also pots of dormant Lachenalias in the same area and they also get no water until fall.  The bulbs are planted in a mix of promix and perlite, which I find works well with most of my bulbs given the rest of my environment, the cool greenhouse in winter, etc.  I suspect someone growing in the home would need to apply more water in winter to compensate for the lower humidity vs a greenhouse.
> As with the orchids I've grown for 40 years, I never tell anyone "You must do this" or "you can't do that".  Instead, I am happy to relate what works for me, which is completely dependent on my greenhouse or climate, my potting mix and cultivation practices, my watering setup, etc.  All are interrelated so anyone must take this advice as a starting point to be modified as needed for their particular setting.  As I like to say, I give my orchids way too much light and way too much heat but make up for it by giving them way too much water.  I use coco husk chunks and it all works.  If I used bark, the medium would be mud after about one season.
> Last year I took Arnold's advice and was very sparing with the water when the S. mad first began to sprout, and my blooms improved.  So I can't argue with that!  But I repeat that everyone's situation is different.
> Bob   Zone 7 with 5" of rain in the last week.  The amphibians have been enjoying nonstop orgies but I need to post a lifeguard by my bird bath.
>    On Monday, June 26, 2023 at 01:48:08 PM EDT, Johannes-Ulrich Urban via pbs <> wrote:  
> Dear All,
> Reading the growing instructions for Scilla madeirensis I feel somewhat alarmed because this does not at all reflect my experience with this bulb. It must be very adaptable…..
> Scilla madeirensis comes from the island of Madeira and grows at medium elevations. Madeira has a Mediterranean Climate but of a soft version being surrounded by warm Atlantic water year round (it sits in the Gulf Stream, I did snorkeling in pleasantly warm water in November) As the island has high mountains it always receives condensation from its cloud cap. But that is higher up than the Scilla grows. However, the medium and high elevations never go as dry as they would in a typical Mediterranean summer.
> I agree with Jane that the word baking may be appropriate in the thing the English call „summer“ but certainly not in warmer or Mediterranean Climates. My bulbs receive summer water (not much but they do) and are exposed to the winter rain in half shaded areas. They do not tolerate any frost. Madeira is lush and green except in the lower south facing slopes. And Scilla madeirensis grows in these lush places. It is poorly setting seed and threatened in its native habitat but grows in many gardens in Madeira. There is a closely related species, Scilla latifolia which comes from the Canary Islands (The Madeiran and the Canary Archipelago are considered as a botanical entity called Macaronesia). Scilla latifolia comes from a slightly drier habitat, is easier to grow and sets abundant seed, maybe the two got mixed up at some stage. But Scilla latifolia does not like „baking“ either.
> Uli 

pbs mailing list…
Unsubscribe: <>
PBS Forum https://…

More information about the pbs mailing list