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Author Topic: bulbs roots growing when being repotted  (Read 3022 times)

ian mcenery

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bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« on: August 02, 2007, 05:25:42 PM »
When repotting bulbs if some of the are starting to grow do I water or not? These are mostly narcissus
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

Maggi Young

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Re: bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 05:38:59 PM »
This is a tricky one! You certainly don't want these baby roots to dry up, neither do you want to kick-start them into full growth just now.... yes, this is one of those  "damned if you do, damned if you don't"  times, so common in gardening. You can repot into compost that is VERY slightly moist, just enough to prevent the new roots from becoming dessicated, which can prove a huge setback to the bulb at this stage, but do not actually "water" the pots ... preferrably not until Sept. 1st, Ian's favourite watering time.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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ian mcenery

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Re: bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 06:48:15 PM »
So Maggi its not a yes and its not a no. If only I could remember which were which anyway. My salvation may be that the compost was slightly moist - but I'm sure that its pretty dry now. If not then it could be yet another year of underachievement for me
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

Ian Y

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Re: bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 06:59:30 PM »
You don't want life to be that simple now Ian.
As long as there is some residual moisture in the compost and it does not get too hot, the roots should be fine.
If it gets hot you can try out either or both of these methods.
Wet the sand plunge around the pot or if it is a plastic pot lift it up and wet the sand underneath it.
If it is a very hot day just go around and wet the surface of the gravel on the pots - I often mist the gravel on the seedling bulbs in July and August if it is very hot as they are that much smaller and less able to tolerate long dry periods.
Very little water if any will penetrate the soil but it will cool them down, 'latent heat of evaporation' and all that stuff.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007, 07:15:06 PM by Ian Y »
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ian mcenery

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Re: bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 12:28:58 AM »
Ian what would happen if I watered them now. I ask this because those in the garden even in what I call the scree have been sitting for most of the "summer" up to their necks in water. Is the caution to do with pot culture?
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

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Re: bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 09:59:27 AM »
A lot depends on what species it is, bulbccodiums and jonquills will be ok with water now but some of the rupicolas might rot off.    If you water now you have to keep them moist all the time and the problems may come if we get a late hot summer but apart from that I would try it.
You will never know if you do not try and there is no one rule that covers all bulbs growing many methods will work and it is often these unusual circumstances that teaches us more.
Interestingly there is a picture in our local paper this morning of some daffodils in flower just now in a readers garden.
Despite their experts view that this is an unusually early flowering for narcissus I suspect it could be a late flowering and would like to know when the bulbs were planted and if they flowered in the spring before I would comment.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 01:58:08 PM by Maggi Young »
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ian mcenery

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Re: bulbs roots growing when being repotted
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 12:12:53 PM »
Thanks Ian I will carefully water some of the ones (if I can remember which) and see what happens. Interestingly I dug up a clump of C. tournefortii the other day in what would normally have been a very dry place in the garden in a raised scree bed. The ground was like mud with a mixture of stones. Strangely the bulbs seemed healthy in spite of this and showed no sign of growth. Now it is a bit dryer perhaps things will get back to normal
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

 


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