Bulbs in pots 2010

I grow many of my bulbs in containers, in a cold greenhouse. Most of the bulbs in my collection are winter growing species from the winter rainfall area of the Cape, South Africa and Chile. This year I decided to add some new genus to my collections, mainly, gladiolus species ( mostly purchased from Telos Rare Bulbs and others, from seed). Here are a few images of showing the diversity of corm shapes, and some shots of how I research the specific requirements in the literature, just in case one species requires loam, or loathes lime or acid soil. Most will grow in a general souther hemisphere gritty mix, on the lean side, but sometimes I do like to geek-out and see if maybe there are some hints hidden in the books.

The last shot shows the pots, planted and sprouting in November, in a sand plunge in full sun. Here in Massachusetts, the winter sun will soon be weak, so every hour counts, and I keep this side of the greenhouse single-pane glass.


Submitted by RickR on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 00:23

interesting bulbs(corms), Matt.  Since I have no greenhouse, I dabble a little with the more common summer growing  Gladiolus species.

I have had Gladiolus atroviolaceus in my garden since 1998.  I dug some corms in early spring for a friend, but apparently not early enough: sprouts had already begun, but no roots yet.  These corms are mature size.

Submitted by RickR on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 00:34

One year I grew G. flannaganii and G. permeabilis from seed, but inadvertently left the tender plants out in subfreezing temperatures.  We'll just call that an experiment... 

Submitted by Hoy on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 13:41

Hope you are luckier than me, then, Rick! Last winter I lost two pots full of nice gladioli corms which I had had for several years (got'em when I visited South Africa 10 years ago).

Submitted by RickR on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 21:13

Yes, but I may have gone a little overboard...

Submitted by Mark McD on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 21:41

RickR wrote:

Yes, but I may have gone a little overboard...

Rick, looks awesome to me, but you may be a candidate for a new TBS reality show "Deck Wars"  ;D  My wife would never allow me to monopolize our deck with planters, pots and plants :'(

Submitted by Hoy on Wed, 11/17/2010 - 13:26

Rick, I think you beat me! But I am not far behind. My wife tolerates the pots (and the hanging vines etc) but she has persuaded me to remove some of the larger trees to get more sun!

Submitted by RickR on Wed, 11/17/2010 - 18:24

McDonough wrote:

Rick, my wife would never allow me to monopolize our deck with planters, pots and plants

An advantage of still being single...

Not as impressive as past years, but here are some seed raised Narcissus romiuxii in bloom right now. I am always amazed at how well they can handle a slight freeze, since the are near the glass ( which is single pane) and some pots sit on the foundation of the greenhouse. In December, the frost and ice forms in the evening along the rise of the foundation sill, and it sometimes becomes so thick, that I cannot move the pots in the morning. These are not a names strain, just my own seed which I allow to fall back into the pots when it ripens.

Submitted by Hoy on Sun, 12/26/2010 - 00:56

A nice pot, Mattus! I have tried to grow N romieuxii outside but they lasted only one or two seasons. Maybe I should try pots. Do you use artificial light? I would have to since the natural light level in winter is very low.

Submitted by McGregorUS on Sun, 12/26/2010 - 04:00

Love the Narcissus romieuxii - mine were in flower nicely like yours but the bitter cold in my completely unheated greenhouse is causing some problems. Every drop of moisture is frozen out and the Narcissus rather drooped.