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Scadoxus nutans

Scadoxus nutans

Planting the rhizome

 

Plant your rhizome immediately when received.

Getting started -- You can start it in a 4 inch (10 cm) pot the first 6-9 months, then move it to a 5-6 inch (13-15 cm) pot, which can hold it until it flowers.

 For soil, use a well draining mix.  I use a mix of 2 parts coir fiber to 3 parts perlite.  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite, coir chips, or small orchid bark.  Don't add lime to the mix, but you may add in some slow-release fertilizer.

 Bury the rhizome so it is slightly under the soil (about 0.5 inch / 2 cm).  If it has a green "neck" keep it partly exposed.  Add water until the soil is evenly moist, but not fully saturated.

 Until it sprouts, keep it about 65-80 F (18-27C) during the day, and above 60F (16C) at night.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pot.

 An LED or fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").  It should sprout in about 1 to 3 months, depending on when it went dormant.

 Once it sprouts --

Lighting -- This forest plant prefers filtered sunlight or bright shade with some weak sun.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.

Fertilizing -- It has average fertilizer needs.  During periods of active growth, feed about every 2 months with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.

Climate -- It comes from 1000-2000 meter elevation, where temperatures are mild all year, and nights are cool.  It is reported to grow well in temperatures in the 90s (36C).  Its roots probably can handle down to the mid-20s (-4C) but it's best to protect it from frost.  Indoors, the plant can stay evergreen unless exposed to very cool temperatures, which may cause dormancy.

Watering -- The roots like to be kept moist, but not constantly saturated.  So aim to keep the soil evenly moistened.  Outdoors, if heavy rainfall/watering is unavoidable, use extra perlite in your soil mix. 

Dormancy -- When the rhizome prepares for dormancy, some or all the leaves will turn yellow and drop.  Reduce the watering when this happens, and keep the soil lightly moist (not fully dry) until it sprouts in a few months.

Flowering -- I believe that cool nights trigger flowering, so when it reaches flowering size (approximately 1 year), expose it to about 6 weeks of temperatures below 60F (15C) for at least 8 hours a day.  Just keep it above freezing (over 40F / 4C is best).

 Repotting it when it nears flowering size might delay flowering.  The plants do not mind being root-bound.  Feel free to remove any offsets that develop.

 If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Have fun growing it!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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