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Growing Crinums in Colder Zones

By LarryR
December 5, 2012

If you garden in a zone that’s too cold to grow crinums, plant them in pots and treat them as you would amaryllis. They need to be crowded in their pots in order to bloom, so be sure that there is no more than an inch of space between the bulb and the pot rim. Winter them over right in their pots in a cool, dark area that remains above freezing.

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Dec 5, 2012 12:54 AM CST
What a lovely crinum in your photo Larry.
I have two amaryllis going out doors for two years now. The foliage is healthy looking but they have not bloomed. Do you have any suggestions on how to get them to bloom? I know it is probably to late for this year.
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Dec 5, 2012 3:20 PM CST
Mine bloomed the first year, and never again--nice leaves, but...
I have it in a pot, which is outside in spring and summer and comes inside in the fall.
I'd love to try the crinums, too, but--what's the secret to getting them to bloom?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Dec 5, 2012 4:18 PM CST
I'm all ears!
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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LarryR
Dec 6, 2012 11:55 AM CST
Hi Lynn and Renée. If you grow amaryllis bulbs in a pot, they need to be crowded in order to bloom well. That goes for crinums as well. As I mentioned in the tip, there should be an inch or less space between the bulb and the edge of the pot.

If you grow amaryllis in the ground, you need to convert them to a summer blooming cycle, if you haven't already done so. After they were first grown in a pot to bloom during the winter, plant them outside once there is no chance of frost. They probably won't bloom for you during the first summer. Harvest the bulbs in the fall once frost threatens. Rinse the soil from the bulb, let it dry, and then store it in a cool, dark place (above freezing) for the winter. When you plant it out the next spring, it should bloom for you, given the bulb is large enough to bloom. A good blooming size bulb is about 3" in diameter or larger.

When you plant the bulb in the ground, make sure that it gets plenty of sun during the day. Avoid sites that are continually damp or wet. Plant the bulb so that it is about an inch below the soil level. Note that this is different from planting one in a pot, in which case you need to leave one third of the bulb above soil level. I use regular, run-of-the-mill potting soil for my potted bulbs. If you have a saucer under your pot, make sure that it's not continually full of water. Potted bulbs should be placed where they get plenty of sunshine. If you grow them under lights, the leaves should be quite close to the light source. Don't let any of the leaves or buds touch the light bulb, though, as they will eventually scorch.

Hope this helps. Please be sure to let me know if you have further questions.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 6, 2012 5:38 PM CST
Mine has been outside against the house for over a year now. I hate to dig it up. The foliage is lovely, just no blooms. Maybe next year it will bloom?
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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LarryR
Dec 7, 2012 12:26 AM CST
How big is the bulb, Lynn?
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 7, 2012 1:23 AM CST
I would have to dig it up to see that. They had bloomed in the house before I put them out in the spring. They were nice big bulbs.
Maybe I would go out tomorrow and gently move dirt from them without lifting them:?
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Dec 7, 2012 3:35 PM CST
I have mine in a pot (I thought I was being nice to it with a big pot, lol) which I brought indoors for the season. The leaves are still big and healthy. Do I just let them wither away and then dig up the bulb for storage?
Name: Barb Or Barbara
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wabatala
Dec 8, 2012 1:17 AM CST
I dont get much freezing temps a few early morning freezes very little where it freezes all day. I am concerned about my crinums I have them in a large pot they bloomed for me in the summer but I have left them outdoors this year should I bring them in for the winter. I have quite a few in large pots.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Dec 14, 2012 12:13 PM CST
Lynn, since your bulb has bloomed before, the bulb should still be the size it was when it bloomed or even bigger. Yes, I'd gently remove enough of the soil to see if the bulb is smaller than it was when you planted it outside. Amaryllis blooms best outside when it gets pretty much a full day's sun.

Renée, I'd leave the bulb in the ground until frost kills the tops.

Barb, in your climate you can leave the pots outdoors, unless frost threatens.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Dec 14, 2012 2:02 PM CST
Mine is in a pot, which I brought inside.
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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LarryR
Dec 17, 2012 1:31 AM CST
Sorry, Renée. I forgot you had yours in a pot. I bring my potted ones in after the first frost. I store them, pot and all, and then simply set them outside or in the ground in the spring. I repot the bulbs every two years or so.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Dec 19, 2012 7:53 PM CST
Thanks!
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Sep 18, 2013 5:53 PM CST
I got mine last fall and planted it in a flower bed. It bloomed twice this year but the flowers were small and few compared to the huge foliage. I still got a lot of foliage and it is crowding the bed. I did not know I was supposed to dig it up.
I think I would be happier if it was in a pot, I could bring it into the garage during the winter. We did get into the twenties twice last winter but only a day at a time and we did not have a ground freeze. I do get a ground freeze once in a while. This bulb was the size of a base ball when I planted it.



Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Foliage Fan Garden Photography Houseplants Hybridizer Organic Gardener Cat Lover
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LarryR
Oct 28, 2013 12:47 AM CST
Thanks, Susan, for sharing your experience and lovely photo. I tip my hat to you.
Gardener was the label imprinted on me when the souls were handed out and so be it. --Margaret Roach (Thank you, Sharon!) Notes from the Garden: Articles of interest on all aspects of gardening
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 28, 2013 4:35 AM CST
Green Grin! Thanks!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood

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