Achimenes: Size

chloeashaJanuary 30, 2013

Hi all! I bought some achimenes rhizomes and am patiently awaiting their arrival. My plan is to tuck these into the "backs" of my window boxes on my balcony railing (facing me-- as opposed to facing out). I am on the north side of the apartment building, so I have relatively bright light, but very little direct sun (an hour of sun in the morning, and one in the evening *may* touch these guys).

I was looking around and can't seem to find anything about the actual size of a single plant. I see height, but not width. Any ideas as to a ballpark figure for width? I got "Blue Spark" and "Peach blossom."

Thanks!

Julianna

This post was edited by julianna on Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 10:43

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kayjones(Mo6b)

It depends on how many tiny corms you bought. They will eventually fill out whatever pot you grow them in, but as for an individual plant, they each are about the size of a young tomato plant - one such as you buy in the spring as a seedling.

I would pot them in pots and then put them in your window box, because the tubers migrate around the pot and they are not, in any way, cold-hardy.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:41PM
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chloeasha

I got 12 of each one. So a pot inside the boxes? OK, I can do that.

So each individual plant.. like 6" or so? I've grown tomatoes from seed for years and never bought them in the store, so seedling to me means 1" tall lol. I know it's more than that. IIRC, the store ones were like 6" or so.

Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:04PM
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kayjones(Mo6b)

No, they will get over a foot tall, in most cases. I understood your question to be 'how wide' will each plant be. I'm sure you've seen tomato seedlings for sale at the box stores - that's the size the individual plant (for each corm) will be. Massed together, they make a nice display.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:37PM
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chloeasha

OK, yes, it was how wide. Not enough caffeine this morning to even understand my own question lol. You've totally made my day. Now I can plan better. I wanted to put them in the "backs" of my boxes which are hanging on my metal balcony railing. That means the backs face me. So i was trying to figure out how to best group the rhizomes and/or how far my 24 were going to go. I was thinking to augment bare spots with my streptocarpella-- take cuttings to fill in. Last year I did nothing and so my side of the balcony was really bare and boring. My balcony is recessed and north-facing. So these guys will get almost no direct sun, but will be mere inches from the sun line. So it will be bright, but shaded.

BTW, it's nice to see you still around. I recognize your name (although i doubt you recognize me) as one of the GWers from way back (like myself).

This post was edited by julianna on Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 10:44

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 4:20PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Julianna -

just to be accurate - they are not tubers, corms - they are RHIZOMES.

I would still plant them in a window box, not into separate pots - yes - they will create new rhizomes through all the soil - but you will be harvesting them in a fall anyway - before frost - and streptocarpellas do not create rhizomes. If you want to keep your varieties separate - put some kind of a divider in a middle of you windowbox so the rhizomes won't mix.

The reason - achimenes doesn't take drying at all - they turn ugly and die - and a windowbox will not dry as easy as one pot. You can pinch the tips when they have 4 sets of leaves - it will make them bushier instead of long single stemmed.

You plant rhizomes when the start showing fresh growth - and do not bury them deep, just lightly cover them. The soil should be light and porous - and again - do not let your box dry. Some people add these special watering crystals to the soil.

Good Luck - you should have a very pretty balcony this year.

I.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:57PM
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chloeasha

Sorry, rhizomes. I hadn't looked and made that mistake repeatedly, didn't I? I just checked and it seems they are called tubers online quite a bit. Well I won't make the mistake again.

I doubt I will be saving those streptocarpella since I am simply taking cuttings off my main plant anyway. So that is not a concern.

I have perennials in my boxes already, so I can't really dig around as much as I would like. I was thinking at Kay's suggestion to do an open pot sunk into the box. This way they would be open to the moisture of the box but I could contain some of the rhizomes. Bad idea though?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:56PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Make sure that the pot you are using is large enough, put the wick through the bottom - couple of chunks of acrylic thread or a stripe cut out of old pantyhose to make sure - that the moisture from a windowbox moves to the soil in your pot just in case - and keep an eye so it stays moist always - and it will work.

Good Luck

Irina

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:42PM
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chloeasha

OK, thanks! That way I don't need to dig around for it in the roots of the other plants. It just seems the most simple arrangement. You've been very helpful.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 7:43PM
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chloeasha

Hmm. Well, I got my rhizomes yesterday. One bag was filled with pea-sized rhizomes-- that seems small, right? Do those have a chance of blooming this year?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:46AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

It depends on the variety - some of them are bigger, some smaller. Should be blooming OK.

I.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:23PM
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chloeasha

OK, good to know! Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:17PM
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