Our Adventure With Victoria 2003
This section of the web site reviews each year of our adventure, with details not found in other sections of the site -- things like plant and flower numbers, successes and failures, big and small things we've learned. It also discusses things we want to do, things we want to know, things we speculate about. It is sequential, often with questions raised one year answered the next. We don't go back and rewrite. Index

 We Like It Like This

by Kit & Ben Knotts
Click images to enlarge

2003 was another excellent year for us with Victoria, record breaking in ways different from 2002. We couldn't grow the plants in Reflection to maximum size because they were crawling all over each other and right out of the pool. Even amazonica sent new leaves far from the crown seeking open space, something we saw in cruziana in 2002. 

We got our earliest start ever with flowers in mid-May, thanks to several 2002 plants that survived the winter in 6" pots. Possibly from being root bound, these plants took off like rockets when planted, leading to experiments with "stalling" over the winter of 2003-2004. Several plants that sprouted early and grew well as seedlings also contributed to the jump start.

An amazonica pad unfurling
far from the crown

A downside of this though was that several plants actually overgrew so early in the season that we didn't recognize what was happening. We lost them mid-summer but replaced them with other vigorous plants, giving us a staggered season, something else we will continue to look at.

We grew 14 plants to adulthood, two of which didn't flower and another which bloomed only briefly. This made us realize that some ponds in which we have grown Victoria in the past had become too shady for them to thrive and bloom through the whole season. They require more than six hours of full sun to perform well.
Our 'Longwood Hybrid' was one plant that we grew in a somewhat shaded pool and, though it came to size and bloomed briefly, it declined after that. This pool was the same one where we lost the Paraguayan cruziana in 2002, the reason now more obvious. As a result of the Longwood not blooming well we were unable to produce its back-cross hybrids 'Challenger' and 'Discovery'. We made extra 'Atlantis' and 'Columbia' using 'Adventure' and the species to compensate for that. 

V. 'Adventure'  

Even without the 50 plus flowers that 'Longwood Hybrid' usually contributes to our total, we had 248 flowers. Seed production reached an all time high (44,000+) even though we cut off all flowers that would have produced F2 seeds and our yield per pod increased dramatically (258 up from 215). We attribute this to continued use of the Cocktail in combination with Pondtabbs as our nutrient package, addressed in more depth in Roots Again - Incentive To Use The Cocktail.

We were able to achieve our goal of crossing several Paraguayan cruzianas, growing one from collection lake 1 and two from collection lake 2. Having already made an enormous number of 'Longwood Hybrid' seeds, we were able to concentrate our efforts on these intra-species crosses when the two plants from lake 2 came to flower. Certain habits and patterns of the Paraguayans have led us to again explore cruziana separately in Will The Real cruziana Please Stand Up.

Without question, the highlight of the year was finding the final element in seedling survival. We had and still have babies everywhere! See Breakthrough!


 Our Adventure 2003

 Breakthrough! Seedling Survival

 Roots Again - Incentive to use the Cocktail

 A New Take On Victoria Species Germination &
Will The Real cruziana Please Stand Up

Victoria Galleries 2003

 1998 The Adventure Begins | 1999 The Adventure Continues
2000 A Very Bad Year | 2001 A Banner Year
2002 An Even Better Year
2003 We Like It Like This | 2004 Trust | 2005 Recovery
2006 Normal? | 2007 Weird | 2008 Year of the Hare
2009 Year of the (White) Tortoise

 Our Adventure Overview
Index to all years

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