Dracunculus vulgaris in Seattle Area

Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
Sun, 10 Oct 2010 21:07:00 PDT

My climate in NW Arkansas has about the same rainfall in a year as you, 
but in a very different distribution and I'm pretty sure my temperatures 
are more extreme in both directions, so I'm not sure how helpful anything 
I say will be. But D. vulgaris does survive very well outdoors here, 25 
years now for me and far longer for others, and we do get a significant 
amount of our moisture when they are dormant, so I wonder if there is some 
other factor in your climate contributing to the demise? 

I can't overwinter D. vulgaris in an unprotected pot outdoors, but I've 
had them several places in the yard and they don't seem touchy about the 
exact location or soil. (Our soil is reasonably but not exceptionally well 

I have had people tell me that provenance matters, some strains being 
hardier than others. I've acquired plants from commercial sources several 
times just for comparison - all are gone, while the ones I got from local 
growers have multiplied enough that I've given many away.

I overwinter a lot of dormant tuberous aroids in pots indoors, providing 
only enough water to keep the soil from being bone dry through the winter 
- many Amorphophallus do very well this way. My only concern with treating 
D. vulgaris this way is that it starts up so early in the spring for me 
even outdoors, usually 2 months or so before the last frost.

Not very helpful, I know ...


On Sun, 10 Oct 2010, Brian Whyer wrote:

> There is a good clump of this in the gardens facing False Creek in 
> Vancouver BC, by Granville Island. It has been there to my knowledge for 
> 3 years, and probably much longer. Does this climate differ much from 
> yours? Here in the UK I often lose them in pots if they stay moist, but 
> they are usually OK in the garden in very well drained soil.   Brian 
> Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8
> --- On Sun, 10/10/10, Rob Blomquist <rob.blomquist@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Rob Blomquist <rob.blomquist@gmail.com>
> Subject: [pbs] Dracunculus vulgaris in Seattle Area
> To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Sunday, 10 October, 2010, 17:50
> Due to our rainfall,  I have rotted out the tuber of this plant more 
> times than I care to count and had seedlings die off. I put a tuber in a 
> 2 gallon pot about a month ago, and set it next to plants in the garage 
> which are waiting for spring.
> Should I water this tuber or just let it sit in the pot waiting for 
> spring watering? Or will it tell me what to do?

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com

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