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.

Our Adventure With Victoria 2006
by Kit & Ben Knotts - Click images to enlarge

After several unusual growth and seed production years (the 2004 hurricanes and 2005 recovery), 2006 seemed pretty normal, though we're still not quite sure what normal is. 
Because we were able to hold several stalled Victoria plants over the winter, we took a big risk and planted 'Adventure', two cruzianas and two amazonicas in early March when the water was still 65-75 F (18-24 C). One amazonica didn't survive but the others grew well. After cutting off some early buds so the plants would achieve larger size, and so we would skip over the early sterility of cruziana flowers, we allowed them to begin blooming in mid-June.

< Early cruziana flowers didn't open fully.

As discussed in our 2005 Adventure, amazonica is such a slow grower that, without a very early start, it is difficult to get it to bloom in synch with cruziana to make the hybrids. The amazonica plant that survived the cool start flowered at the same time as the two cruzianas so we were able to start crossing right away.  

V. amazonica
Many people are reluctant to even try to grow amazonica because it rarely reaches flowering size in most climates, a shame because it is magnificent! We strongly believe that plants started the previous summer or fall and held over the winter in small pots CAN reach maturity in almost any climate suitable for Victoria. This does entail making provision for adequate light and heat through the winter.

Mini 'Longwood Hybrid'
We grew 14 plants to relative adulthood, one 'Adventure' and one 'Longwood Hybrid', five cruzianas and seven amazonicas. Four of the seven amazonicas, all spring sprouts rather than fall or winter, only had four flowers between them before it got cold, reconfirming the need for earlier starting. We had more than 300 flowers, far more than ever before, probably because of the four plant jump start. Little 'Adventure' and 'Longwood Hybrids', both stalled and in heated water, provided late fall and winter flowers after the adults stopped blooming.

As far as heated water, we failed to heed our own advice and suffered a lot of seedling loss early in the year. Aquarium heaters proved inadequate in keeping our baby tanks (outdoors) up to our recommended level of 85F (29C) or higher. Just three to five degrees lower produced a "failure to thrive" environment. We have since invested in two top quality 1500W pond heaters that keep the baby tanks a steady 88F regardless of air temperature.

Germination of the 2005 seed crop, though better than the 2004s, was still not very good. We have no idea why. Our own experience and reports from others indicate that some of the 2006 seeds are sprouting well, particularly 'Longwood Hybrid' and amazonica. The back-cross hybrids are spotty and cruziana is again proving difficult.

It may be that all but 'Adventure' and amazonica like change! The changes involved in shipping seem to promote some sprouting. Changes in temperature, though not below 55F, seem to promote some sprouting. While we investigate this, we aren't changing our "official" recommendations until we have adequate data. 

One of our amazonicas consistently bloomed white the second night, new in our experience. It is featured on its own page, The White One
< The White One 
Toward the end of the season, we observed two other things we haven't seen before. Our 'Adventure' was so stout and so firmly rooted that we couldn't push it over as we might at the end of the season, so the crown grew completely out of the water! It continued to make leaves and flowers in spite of that. We performed a "chop and drop", but it did not survive long after than. See Up in the Air.

Up in the Air

< Split Personality
We also experienced a group of amazonica flowers that had, without question, first and second night characteristics the SAME night. See Split Personality.   

The White One | Split Personality

Up in the Air
2006 Galleries

 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 | 2004 The Hurricanes | 2005 Recovery
2007 Weird | 2008 Year of the Hare
2009 Year of the (White) Tortoise

 Our Adventure Overview
Index to all years

Waterlilies | Lotus | Aquatic Plants | Victoria | Our Adventure With Victoria
Water Gardening | Water Gardening Friends | New This Month
Kit & Ben Knotts | Our Garden | Search The Site | Home 
Email Discussion List | Site Map
Water Gardeners International