Specific Families and Genera > Pleione and Orchidaceae

Pleione 2024


Tim Harberd:
Potting up finally finished about 10 days ago.

This year I've decided to experiment with some bulbils. I took 100 'Ducat' bulbils, total weight 9 grams (!) , and split them across four pots. Each pot had a different compost mix in it.

At the end of the season I'll count the bulbs/bulbils in each pot and weigh them.

Its not that I need any more Ducat, I'm just curious about the survival rate of bulbils, and how much more (or less) living material (weight) I'll have at the end of the year.

Tim DH

Maggi Young:
It'll be  interesting to learn the result of this experiment, Tim.

Tim Harberd:
Hi Maggi,
     Hopefully they'll soon look like this! My first pot of the season. I'm surprised it is 'only' about 10 days early given how warm the winter has been. I saw primroses in flower above Dent Station (highest mainline station in England) in February.....

Tim DH

Tim Harberd:
   Took this pot of MaryB to our local allotment show yesterday. … It came second in its class to an (IMHO) unremarkable Amaryllis! ... I don’t mind. That’s Showing for you….

   I don’t often sell Pleiones, but I did last winter. Sadly three people who received stock from me have reported poorly developed flowers on some of the plants. They have all, independently, suggested that this might be due to virus.

   One of the most suspect cultivars is MaryB! The pot shown here has two ‘issues’.  An outer petal has an abnormal colour break and a flower has ‘burnt’ tips on the inner petals. Personally I’d put that down to the warm Spring.

   When I first started growing Pleiones for myself, Dad warned me against trying to ‘force’ the Shantungs. Back in the 1970s, in order to cover as many AGS/SRGC shows as possible, he had experimented in bringing some pots on, with disastrous results. (MaryB is a Shepard’s Warning, so half Shantung.)

   These days one doesn’t need to ‘force’ things! In fact its hard NOT to have things flowering earlier than they used to. Maybe Pleione growing (or at least the growing of some cultivars.) will become a casualty of Climate Change? I can’t be the only person who has planted out an Apricot tree in recent years! It seems reasonable that as some things move into our sphere of possibilities some other things will, sadly, move out.

   Then again, maybe my stock has picked up a virus and will collapse. As it stands, the two examples illustrated are as bad as it gets. So I’m not panicking yet!

These Pleiones survived our last (mild) winter in the open garden. Left plant is P. formosana, middle P. formosana alba and at
right is P. limprichtii. Nothing special, but I like the anyway. Got the white plants from a late friend without name and origin.


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