? for the crinum experts

donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)July 17, 2009

This may just be me obsessing over newly purchased (expensive) plants....

I planted five new crinum bulbs about three weeks ago. I planted them pretty deeply in the ground, maybe 8 to 12 inches from the bottom of the bulbs to ground level. I did this because I had read that this encourages the bulbs to bulk up faster and bloom faster. So far, I am seeing no growth above ground level. This week I read somewhere else that you should leave the necks of the bulbs exposed when you plant.

Should I dig them up and set them higher?

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am growing them this year for the first time. Mine are planted shallowly and two took off as soon as planted the other two did nothing for over a month and I kept feeling to see if the bulbs were getting soft. FINALLY they decided to grow and are now doing well while the other two are huge but no sign of a bloom yet. Al

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 9:01AM
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Nancy zone 6

I'm no expert, but I have also read to leave the neck exposed. I've grown some for 4 or 5 years using that advice & they are doing well.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 2:43PM
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You might ask on the Texas forum or on the Amaryllis forum.

I've seen them deep in the ground, but only when the clump has been in place for maybe 40 years & the mother bulb has been pushed down;
it makes the bulb elongate (more like a football than a coconut!), but from the surface, it still looks like there's a neck just above the soil line.

Also, this is the worst time of year to plant anything at all;
I planted a few crinums earlier, & they've really had a miserable time.

Best luck!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 3:16PM
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Hi Donna-

I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer for this, but because I like to be able to see what my plants are doing all the time, and since you're far enough south that your bulbs, if mulched this fall, should make it through the winter with no problem, I'd start them in pots, with the bulb necks exposed, until some good growth begins. As the leaves grow, you can then plant the whole deal deaper into the soil, leaving about half of the leaf growth exposed. I've also read that amaryllids will eventually pull themselves down via contractile roots to the appropriate depth, but given my tight clay soil I don't always count on that!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 5:29AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

okay. Good enough for me. I'm going to lift and replant them. Thanks, folks! Bubba, I have read that they have contractile roots too. Since I have already dug the holes really deep, I think I'll raise them and then see what they do. Will report back.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 2:30PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Just an update for anyone who is interested. I went out today with trowel in hand to lift the bulbs, and lo and behold they are all pushing up through the ground. I left them just as they are. :) Thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 8:41PM
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just re-read my post, & I'm sorry, I didn't intend it to sound negative.

What I meant to say is that crinums, or anything else, planted right now will likely take longer to establish & thrive.

glad to hear your crinums are doing well!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 3:22PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

My first Crinum is opening the first flower. It is a purple color and I can hardly wait for its full opening. I have never seen one before. I have three more growing well and one of those may also bloom this year. I bought the bulbs in a box at Costco where only the price is important, so have no cultural information. Just the fact that I have not seen one before makes me wonder how well suited they are for my climate. Al

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:49AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I should think that the fact that one is blooming is a sign in your favor, Al.

Sylvia, I did not take your post as a negative at all. You are right about planting this time of year. Just as a note, when I dug the holes, I worked in lots of composted manure, then I dug the hole to receive the bulb. THEN, I filled the hole with water and let it soak in before setting the bulb in, backfilled, and watered again. I did this because the ground was bone dry a foot down. I am sure this is why they are taking off so well.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:14PM
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