It is some years since anything has been written about turning bulbs around when they cross hemispheres. I will explain my latest experience and thought it could lead into an interesting train of debate. I know its summer in the North and lifting time is close but I would encourage you to take some time to share your experiences.
We receive bulbs from the Northern hemisphere in September. I normally plant the bulbs as soon as possible and keep them watered until the summer heat takes over. I always plant the bulbs in 10″ pots using ordinary garden soil. After planting I place the pots under some shrubs where they get no sun all day. Foliage comes away in January – March, some bulbs flower then the foliage holds in a rather distressed state through our winter. Some new foliage appears in September. I have normally lifted the bulbs in January along with my other bulbs, dried them and planted out in the paddock. The bulbs are quite weak by then and take some time to regain their vigour…
However the bulbs I received in 2007 have performed quite differently. Indeed my patch of Pink Silk currently has eleven flower buds, from one bulb ordered, less than two years after arriving. What did I do differently?
In May 2008, just six months after planting in a pot, I dug a hole big enough for the pot of bulbs, tipped the bulbs out, soil and all and planted them directly in a shady spot, without disturbing the roots. There are about 20 cultivars in the patch, all with healthy foliage this year and looking quite comfortable in their new hemisphere. Have I discovered something helpful with regards to acclimatising bulbs? Maybe others could share their response to this experiment.