nerine bowdenii? hardy

Hi my first post here and I am unsure which climate zone the majority of the members are from in this newsgroup. However, it seems that these zones can be expanded somewhat with some plants. I live in Vancouver BC - zone 7 or 8 on most of the maps I have seen. The Western Garden Book. says confusingly zone 4 and that this bulb is hardy - so I assume it can be left in the ground over winter here which it rarely freezes for anymore than a few days. Does anyone have any experience with this beautiful plant? I have been able to grow hardy fuchsias by covering them with shredded leaves - I assume that this is a good sign --or not? Thanks for any help Jean
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Hi Jean, I'm in Seattle, not much different in climate than Vancouver BC. Vancouver is considered USDA Zone 8 in most parts, especially if you are influenced by the coast. We talked about this bulb at a recent community garden club meeting. It should do well where you are, we grow them around here quite successfully. You need to worry more about the bulb rotting in soggy, poorly draining soil than freezing in the ground. Plant it 8-10 inches deep from the base of the bulb and mulching with the shredded leaves couldn't hurt. This is the time to plant them too, better get it in the ground. We aren't supposed to have any rain starting to dump on us until Thursday or Friday and then we've got cold fronts coming down, they'll hit you first.
Because of where we live there are a lot of micro climates because of influences from Pacific currents, mountains ranges, and our very diverse topography in general. Depending how far from the water you are and which side of the house you plant you can vary as much as two zones. Because I'm on Puget Sound I figure I'm in Zone 8 and there are a few Zone 9-10 things I grow that I'm not supposed to be able to. Good luck with your nerines!!
Val

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