Archive for 19/10/2013

The Smell of Spring

  Spring time in Australia!

    blog post by Chas Spain

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) 'Candy Floss'

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Candy Floss’

This week’s question comes from a recent blog follower, Elena who lives in Bergamo, Italy:

“Yesterday I bought three big Amaryllis bulbs, any tips?! There was a Dutch flower stand in my city and I couldn’t resist!”

Elena, I can do no better than show this useful video of the way to pot these wonderful bulbs. After you’ve completed the potting up, place the pot in a warm, dark place and watch for signs of new leaves. Once these are showing, then place the pot in a bright, sunny, frost-free place indoors – a windowsill would do fine. Planted about now you should have some glorious colour at Christmas!

amaryllis christmasWhilst on the subject of keeping things frost-free over winter, there is one golden rule when trying to protect tender plants over the coldest months: don’t over water.

When temperatures are low, the great enemy of plants is dampness, as rot may set in. During very cold spells it is usually best to withhold water entirely. Plants that are dormant or resting should in any case be watered very rarely, perhaps just enough to prevent complete drying out. Plants with fleshy roots, and bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes and other storage organs must be kept quite dry and frost-free or they will rot. They should be stored in containers of clean, dry sand or gritty compost. If stored in a greenhouse, the atmosphere must also be kept on the dry side, and should be ventilated when the general temperature allows. If you have an extra cold spell and you can’t keep the air temperature up, you can protect your plants to some extent against frost damage by covering them with horticultural fleece, dry newspaper or ‘bubble wrap’ plastic anchored with stones.

dahlia tubers

Dahlia tubers are best lifted, cleaned off, dried and then stored in sand or gritty compost before significant frost

Old School Gardener

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