fxxyJanuary 12, 2011

Just harvesting my rhizomes, and I can't believe how many empty pots I found!!!! Usually the must desirable ones, of course. Can anybody tell me what causes this???? All pots treated the same. Some extremely full, some sparingly, and some empty. What am I dealing with here???


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irina_co(z5 CO)

May be some pots were in the sun, and some in the shade? Or they sent all their energy to bloom? Mice? need a pinch of a bone meal in a soil?

Happens to me too with all rhizomatous. What I usually do with Achimenes/Achimenantha - when it is time to let them wilt - I put them on a shelf with all the stems and leaves. Month later - I get to them to remove the dry foliage. There are 2 postive results - all the energy goes into rhizomes - and they usually react to dryness by putting aerial propagules in the leaf nodes. These green rhizomes are less durable than regular - they dry and die - but if you save them in a baggie with a barely moist perlite or sphagnum moss - they last. They have less energy than regular ones - so if you harvest enough out of the soil - you can toss them. But at least you have something to restart just in case. If nothing happens - you can save all this soil, wet it up - and hope that you missed a chip or 2. If there is a miniscule rhizome -it will hatch.

Good Luck - and do not forget to order new ones - belislesviolethouse has a new x-Achimenanatha to die for - and ... just think that all your empty pots are new possibilities to try something different.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 2:34PM
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I have the same thing happen..I also think some varieties are more prolific at producing rhizomes than others.

A master gardener friend of mine says she never changes out her soil each season because there are seeds and small rhizomes that will come up next year. She does change soil every 3 years or so. I think squirrels ate some of mine this year, the pots were tipped over and I couldn't find any in two pots that were dug at.

Thanks Irina for telling what you do with those propagules (spelled totally wrong I'm sure). I have one plant stems dried out and totally covered with the bright green little things...I was wondering what I could do to get them to grow a plant...last year they never made it thru the dormancy period..some I had tried to plant last year didn't grow either ...wrong time of year I assume. I'll put them in a baggie with a little moist moss and see what will happen with them this year.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 2:06AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Tish - hi -

I am going to start a squirrel hunt this year. If I catch and remove them pests on a regular basis - may be I will have some grapes to eat at the end of the season. Anybody needs squirrels?

Anyway - in my experience with rhizomatous plants - if you make a pot - it is better to have limited amount of strong plants - than whatever mop will grow from small, large, miniscule, string, weak, barely alive rhizomes - and pinch them on time to make them bushier.

Did I ask you if you need more squirrels? Are you sure?



    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 3:25PM
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johnsgeraniums(CDN 5a)

I have grown 6 or so hanging pots of achimenes for 12 years, leaving the pots dormant over the winter, only cutting off the dried foliage in the fall. I hang them out, sheltered under an old crabapple tree after fear of frost is past. They usually are starting to sprout in April and there is always lots of sprouts making very 'full' baskets. This year I dug around in some baskets while trimming back (I wanted to take some photos for a slide presentation) and fopund far fewer rhizomes than I expected. I get way more sprouts than the number of large rhizomes that I found (looking in several pots) so it is true, there must be a lot of smaller rhizomes or propagules that I did NOT SEE that produce all that growth each year.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:10PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Hmmm - may be full basket and lots of rhizomes do not happen together?

I suspect that in 12 years the soil is not that good and competing plants - so many of them - create lots of greenery - but do not have too much energy left to put big fat rhizomes.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:34PM
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