According to my experience, and in the Kasselmann book, it prefers soft, slightly acidic water. I have found Barclaya bulbs to be very difficult to germinate. I have had literally dozens of bulbs at one time and had very few, sometimes 0 germinate. Their bulbs have a very low yield. Sometimes the bulbs will germinate after several years being dormant. I once had a three year old bulb suddenly decide to grow for the first time.
This is why an actual plant, (not just the bulb) has only been offered commercially in this country very sporadically over the last 20 years. Its hard to mass produce. The leaves are also fragile and can break off the base of the plant easily, (which is why many overseas guys only ship bulbs) You need to handle the plant very carefuly. The plant does have a short dormant period and various growth spurts. It must be left in place bulb and all undisturbed and well fed.
If you have the opportunity to buy a mature plant intead of just a bulb, I think you will be much happier.
If the bulb decides to germinate, it doesn't matter if its partially buried or just sitting on top of the substrae. It will either germinate or not. I would not completely bury it though
Robert Paul Hudson
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