We have been moving plants within the garden to provide more supportive environments, create a more effective display, and free space for other plants. Today, we’ll review the relocation of two plants, focusing on their annual cycles and the timing of the move.
These two plants from very different regions of the world are both hysteranthous geophytes, meaning that their leaves emerge after the flowers have faded. They are called “leafless autumnal-flowering geophytes.” This adaptation helps to prevent major water loss, because both the leaves and inflorescence lose substantial amounts of moisture.
By comparison, plants that flower at the same time that the leaves are present are called synanthous.
The Giant White Sea Squill (Drimia maritima)
This bulbous plant is widely distributed throughout the shores and islands of the Mediterranean Sea and is well-suited to the Monterey Bay area climate. In the late summer, around August, the leaves fade away and the plant generates a 3- to 4-foot tall stalk topped with a striking inflorescence of star-shaped white flowers with yellow centers. The flowers fade by the end of October, from November to August, the plant develops 4-inch by 18-inch glaucus blue-green leaves in an attractive clump.
Instead of propagating by forming bulbils as basal offsets, this plant’s bulbs split dichotomously, forming two bulbs for each one, and eventually making a large clump. These bulbs can be lifted and divided to relocate within the garden or to share with other gardeners. The ideal time to move the bulbs is the brief period after the flower fades and before the new leaves form a clump.
Several plants had developed in my garden, but a nearby olive tree had grown to limit the sun exposure they needed to blossom. My project was to lift the bulbs and relocate them to full sun exposure. We created space within the Mediterranean-themed garden bed by lifting and moving a growing collection of the tall bearded Iris ‘That’s All Folks” (the last project of a retiring hybridizer).
The Giant Squill’s bulbs can develop to an impressive size, up to 12 inches across, and can be so close together that separating them could cause damage. When divided as individual blubs or tight clumps, they should be spaced two feet apart to allow growing room.
We relocated several large bulbs and are in the process of sharing extra bulbs with friends. We will replant their old space after finding shade-tolerant plants native to the Mediterranean basin.
The Blood Lily (Haemanthus coccineas)
Each of these South African bulbs develops just two strap-shaped leaves that can be 8 inches wide and up to 27 inches long. In our climate, the blossoms emerge in September or October, with each short stalk (pedicel) displaying an inflorescence (umbel) of many small red flowers surrounded by six showy scarlet bracts. Yellow anthers make a spectacular red and gold effect. The leaves emerge in March and fade in October.
These plants have been spreading within a small section of my South Africa-themed bed, needing more space for the spread of their large attractive leaves. We made a shady space for them under a Mock Orange (Pittosporum tobira) by removing several square feet of the spreading groundcover Pig Squeak (Bergenia cordifolia ‘Apple Blossom’), a good plant for sharing with other gardeners.
The space the Blood Lilies left behind will accommodate new South African succulent plants.
Advance your gardening knowledge
The Cactus & Succulent Society of America will present the webinar, “Succulessense: Hints to Capturing the Plant’s Character In Your Photography,” at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Cactus & Succulent Society of America’s description: “In this day of smart phones and digital cameras, its only natural that we all are photographers. After all, long before the days of written language, our ancestors painted in caves to preserve knowledge and communicate with others. Create images with greater visual impact that reinforce the bonds we have with the plants we love, while more effectively using imagery to share your observations. Get helpful hints for visually capturing the essence of cacti and succulents in pictures.”
The presenter, Irwin Lightstone, closed his law practice of 29 years to become a full-time photographer, specializing in highly detailed, artistic images of cacti and succulents. His photographs have been widely published, and his workshops and talks have been sponsored by many national organizations. In addition to his other volunteer activities, he is a Cactus & Succulent Society of America board member.
Our digital pocket cameras are powerful tools for documenting our gardens and sharing their images with interested friends. The cameras automate the technical aspects of photography, i.e., exposure, focus, storage, records of time, date, and location, and even more. The aesthetic side of the image is the photographer’s challenge. This presentation will help you to produce pleasing pictures of your plants.
To gain more information and register for this free online event, browse to cactusandsucculentsociety.org/ and mark your calendar.
Enjoy your garden!
Tom Karwin is past president of Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, a member of the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and a UC Master Gardener.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/10/19/tom-karwin-on-gardening-plant-moving-season/