Rhodohypoxis-Would you believe it's a bog plant?

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Jeddeloh
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-05-02
Rhodohypoxis-Would you believe it's a bog plant?

I wouldn't have either until I saw it growing in Loren Russell's bog some years ago. I still didn't really believe him but I had lots in pots for I could afford to lose a few experimenting. So that fall I put some bulbs in my carnivorous plant bog. I actually just nestled them into the living spaghnum moss on top. I figured they were likely gonners. Nope, next spring they popped up and bloomed. I still wasn't convince since the winter had been mild.

Well, this is now their third year in the bog and they're up again. Last winter was the true acid test of hardiness in my Zone 8 garden. It got down to around 13 F in November and we had another cold snap in December or January. No snow cover so these babies were cold. They seem to be multiplying too. Except for the two weeks of cold we usually get each winter our winters are rain drenched-40-50 inches between about November to at least April.

So once again the moral of the story is "Plants don't read books". Obviously Rhodohypoxis don't require a dry winter although they may require good air circulation.

Jan

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Welcome to the Forum, Jan!  This does surprise me, too.  We have one Chapter member here in Minnesota who has grown a Rhodohypoxis species for more than a dozen years.  Of course, she does bring the dormant "bulbs" inside for the winter.  As I would expect most would, she grows them in a typical rock garden setting.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I have read that the Rhodohypoxis can grow in seasonally saturated areas - maybe I shall try myself! Your post Jan, have encouraged me!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Jeddeloh
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-05-02

I think Minnesota and Norway are both a lot colder than Portland, Oregon so if I were you guys I'd keep some in pots as back up.  They seem to be prolific vegetative propagators so within a year or so you should have some bulbs to experiment with. 

Jan, Portland, Oregon, USA zone 8

Jan Jeddeloh, Portland, Oregon, USA, Zone 8.  Rainy winters (40 inches or 1 meter) and pleasant dry summers which don't start until July most years!

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Jeddeloh wrote:

I think Minnesota and Norway are both a lot colder than Portland, Oregon so if I were you guys I'd keep some in pots as back up.  They seem to be prolific vegetative propagators so within a year or so you should have some bulbs to experiment with. 

Jan, Portland, Oregon, USA zone 8

Hello Jan, thanks for advise!
How cold actually is Portland? Although Norway traditionally is considered very cold, where I live  at the West Coast the coldest month  February has a mean temperature of +1C (34F). The last winter is an exception being one of the coldest for 100 years.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Jeddeloh
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-05-02

Finally getting back on this site.  How cold does Portland get?  Well, it depends on the winter.  Last winter it got down to 17F (-8C) at one point with no snow.  Usually we get a week or so in December or January where temperature drops to the low twenties (F).  Mostly our winters are very wet with about a meter of rain falling between November and May.  This year the rain hung around until July.  I despair of seeing ripe tomatoes this year. 

The rhodos bloomed quite happily this spring so they're obviously pretty tough.

Jan Jeddeloh

Jan Jeddeloh, Portland, Oregon, USA, Zone 8.  Rainy winters (40 inches or 1 meter) and pleasant dry summers which don't start until July most years!

Paul T
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Jan,

I was surprised when I heard this a few years ago as well.  Apparently they can naturally grow in humus layer/duff (I think I have the right word?) sitting on top of a rock strata.  In their growing season there is water constantly moving over the top of the rock strata, keeping them totally saturated but still having air for their roots in the humus layer.  I was amazed when I heard this and put a few of my pots into a shallow tray that I kept filled with water.  With water available like this I found they flowered far more prolifically and for a much longer period.  It wasn't at all what I had thought they required.  I think they do need to be kept drier when dormant though, in fact I've heard some say that any water will kill them when dormant.  Mine are potted and watered the year around (although I don't keep the tray full while they're dormant) and they grow and multiply freely for me now, whereas they used to dwindle out over time.

Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Jeddeloh
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-05-02

Mine in the bog are wet year around including when they're dormant but since they're growing in the spaghnum layer their roots are well aerated.  I've tried them in my rock garden and various other places around my property and they all bit the dust the first winter.  Obviously air around the roots while dormant is key.  I also keep some in pots that I keep dry in winter.  This reminds me that it's about time I hauled the pot out and watered it to kick start some growth. 

Weird things will grow in spaghnum bogs.  I have to pull the woolly thyme off it and I've had Cyclamen hederifolium seed into it.

Jan

Jan Jeddeloh, Portland, Oregon, USA, Zone 8.  Rainy winters (40 inches or 1 meter) and pleasant dry summers which don't start until July most years!

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