Rhodohypoxis baurii

dimmJuly 7, 2006

Hello, I just bought three of these beautiful plants and I am hoping that someone might be able to share some tips with me on how to keep them healthy. I bought one a few years ago and planted it in a part sun location at the bottom of a slope where it may have gotten too much winter moisture and died. How much winter moisture is acceptable? I have put my new plants between the stones of a staircase, where they get a good amount of sun, but are protected slightly from winter rain by the branches of a pine. Here in Oregon, however, it's impossible to keep any plant dry in the winter. Should I bring them indoors for the rainy season? Thank you.

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

It comes in BIG splashes here, too!

For me, it's more a matter of drainage, or having something else to blot up the moisture. (Usually weeds!)

I've seen them do very well in bonsai containers which have large drainage holes (cover with mesh or net). They do brilliantly in big chunks of pumice hollowed out and with drainholes. Hypertufa containers also work.

A gritty (not sand) mix - either sharp grit or pumice 3-5mm - about one part to two or three of leaf mould/firbark potting medium mixed.

They seem to love being crowded in their pots and flower for a long time in a season comfortably snuggled together.

A small amount of slow release is beneficial.

Once the 'grass' dies back over summer - that dry spell is also valuable for them and some shelter from rain could be useful, but not bone dry. Leave them in the pot - just like an indoor Cyclamen.

Over winter - ensure that the pots are up off the ground. If the rain is going to be steady for weeks - more wet than dry, and you have drier patches under the eaves of the house - put them there, with a calendar note to yourself to check them out.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 1:06AM
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Thank you kindly for the advice- you've given me some fantastic ideas! Which varieties do you have? Are there some that do better than others in the NZ climate (which is very similar to ours)? I'm now daydreaming of our days in New Zealand.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 5:39PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Just two - R baurii and milloides. I've got one I bought that was supposed to be 'double' but it produces these odd little petal-less flowers. Interesting rather than tempting. I have heard that 'double' is now more reliable so I may well try again.

I was thinking, after I posted to you, that I should have mentioned that the bonsai pots were fairly deep - not the sort of tray with a lip ones. It was the drainage that mattered. Window boxes are another possible, too.

They seem to co-exist happily with Gentians, Scutellaria, (struggling dandelions), where there is some sort of plant agreement to not swamp each other. I'm watching a planting I did last year with Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' (small but busy) to see whether some judicious thinning is going to be needed. A race between the forming flowers of the Ajuga and the still to emerge Rhodohypoxis.

Hope you get some brilliant displays. I noticed last season that one clump kept flowering steadily over the summer, which was quite wet. It may be so for you, too.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 12:21AM
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