Propagation (seed, cuttings, etc): germinating S African bulb seeds
Started by: Caroline ReevesGo to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 02 December 2011, 13:38. Go to bottom of this page.
following a talk on SAfrican bulbs i succumbed to buying several packets of seeds. I have sown some but i'm still confused about the correct time to sow. any advice would be welcome.
At recent meetings of the South African Bulb Group the following approach has been recommended. First of all, it is important to establish whether the seed is of a Summer growing or Winter growing species. The Silverhill website is usually a useful source of information for this. Seed of summer growing species should be sown in spring in gentle warmth. It is probably not too late to sow this now. Seed of winter growing bulbous species should generally be kept in a warm, dry place (not in the fridge) until September. It is believed that such a warm dry period helps to ripen the seed. Many growers place the pots in which the seed has been sown outside initially, to benefit from the cool nights which help to trigger germination, but move them into a frost-free environment before the onset of frosts. I have no personal experience of ripening seeds in this way, but the growers who advocated it are very successful.
It seems to be a very good year for seed set on nerines in my garden. I have a few different colour forms but I imagine it will take quite a few years before plants achieve flowering size. Unfortunately the most dramatic plant of all, 'Zeal Giant', has failed to set any seed.