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Re: some bulb comments- Jim another OT for ya :)

thanks to Claire!  I printed this one out for filing!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donna" <justme@prairieinet.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 12:05 AM
Subject: [CHAT] some bulb comments- Jim another OT for ya :)

> HI gang,
> Claire has not signed on yet, but is reading our archives. A few
> comments of her's for you all to enjoy. She will be joining us shortly!
> Donna
> ----<snip>---------
> You are soooooooooooooo right.  There are a lot messages on the new list
> plus a lot of people I know online.  It is sort of refreshing to see
> some subjects treated as pleasure in the garden and less obsessively
> than some of the dedicated lists.
> I pass along to you to post the sources of everything geophytic (bulbs,
> tubers, etc,) available in the US and outside the US:
> Great Lakes Bulb Society: Bulb and Seed Sources
> http://www.shieldsgardens.com/GLOVBulbs/SOURCES.html#botsoc
> The thread on Amaryllis (this is really Hippeastrum and beginning to
> appear labelled correctly) plus Haemanthus albiflos is one I read
> through.  
> Haemanthus albiflos is usually available at Russell's Stafford's Odyssey
> Bulbs.  He is online with his catalog.  If you grow it from seed you
> will wait until Kingdom Come for flowers, get bulbs instead and buy at
> least three to a five inch pot.  It is not beautiful, it is easy to grow
> and is somewhat curious.  I have one and will say the list description
> was a good one.
> Regarding the Hippeastrum thing (Amaryllis) one of the reasons for lack
> of rebloom is understanding the cycle of the bulb and the marketing of
> the bulb.  I can speak for those zone 5 and north of 5.  
> They are sold by most dealers, the best included with the fleshy roots
> trimmed to fit in the package or box.  The bulb requires a full set of
> healthy roots to flourish and bloom.  When it comes to you the first
> flower scapes are already in the bulb so you have a great first year. 
> The second year may be blind while the bulb grows some new roots and
> becomes accustomed to it's new home.  After that it should bloom
> yearly.  If the bulb takes a year off, one should not be upset.  Most
> true bulbs have "contractile" roots which roughly means they anchor the
> bulb by growing straight downward.  A tall clay pot is the best thing
> and a gritty soil with some humus is good.  Leave the bulb alone as long
> as you like.  Division the of daughter bulbs is not necessary but can be
> done after dormancy if you like.
> With winter or spring bloom in the north, you will have to keep the now
> floppy and unattractive foliage going along until you can put it
> outside.  It will need light and water and feeding.  Find a place in you
> house where you can line up the pots and wait out the cold weather.  If
> you remove the foliage at this stage, there will be no flowers a year
> from now.
> After blooming the bulb must mature the foliage and it must be
> fertilized several time while doing so to make another big show. In the
> north it may sometimes refuse to dry off so when the freezing weather
> comes, you slice off the foliage and store dry, dark and above
> freezing.  A new flower bud will appear when it feels like coming up,
> all different times as what you are buying are hybrids.  If you are past
> the best part of winter, you can warm up the pot and water to urge them
> to get started.
> There are several original sources of the hybrids, Dutch bred and
> African bred. The Africans are shorter, have smaller bulbs and work out
> on a window sill better than the well known Dutch.  The Dutch hybrids
> are very tall.  All are easy to buy but you need a catalog for a wide
> selection.  Look in at Scheepers and see some of the new hybrids on the
> market.  Pink Floyd is long lasting and an unusual form. Cybisters are
> also unusual and treat to have some new ones to try, also Scheepers.
> The size of the mother bulb is what dictates the number of scapes.  A
> good sized Dutch bulb is 32-34 cm. in circumference.  A smaller sized
> bulb which would be sold in the chain stores will produce usually just
> one scape.  The African bred bulbs are smaller yet produce several
> scapes.  To my surprise I saw some prize African CV's in Walmart this
> year.   Always open the box or view the package to check the progress of
> the flower scape.  If started it may be twisted around in the box and be
> useless as a blooming plant this winter.  Open the box whatever way it
> is sealed before you buy it.  A catalog dealer will not send such a bulb
> but if you find one boxed and want it, do check.
> We in the north are all done ordering anything now.  These must be put
> on a reminder list for next fall. Therefore a boxed store bulb might be
> you only chance.  You will not find the Haemanthus in a garden center, a
> catalog order is necessary.    In the southern states other methods are
> followed.  Along the gulf states and in Florida, they are grown outdoors
> and follow a different timetable.
> If you want to pass along any of this plus my name, feel free.  I would
> write this to list but I am not able to handle any more mail this week. 
> You were certainly correct, a lot of messages, fun reading.  I sent the
> link on to a friend who needs more mail.
> Thanks again.  It looks like great fun.  I will sign on.
> Claire Peplowski
> East Nassau, NY z4
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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