Monday, 17 September 2007

Aftermath of the summer floods

Claines Canna Collection, September 2007

Now that mid-September has arrived, the travails of the early summer have now almost been forgotten. They will go down in folklore, and many lessons have been learnt. Perhaps the greatest lesson of all is related to the preceding article, the identification of Canna virus. I do not like to think how many cultivars I have despatched from this life, believing them to be contaminated with virus. The effect of very poor light conditions for a prolonged period have made me realise that very often that is the only problem. Also, surprisingly, when such foliage is again exposed to high light conditions the quality of the existing leaves also improves.

There were two plants that I suspected of having virus, and sure enough, they are the only two in the collection that have failed to produce new, good foliage now that sunlight has been restored again.

Claines Canna Collection, September 2007

The only long-term problem is this years seedlings. Four hundred seedlings and no more than 15% have so far flowered. If the Indian summer we are currently enjoying lasts for another few weeks then we may see 80-90% in flower before the frosts close the Canna year.

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