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
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
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
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
One of our amazonicas consistently bloomed white the second
night, new in our experience. It is featured on its own page,
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
We also experienced a group of amazonica flowers that
had, without question, first and second night characteristics
the SAME night. See Split