miniature species Narcissi

Jane McGary
Mon, 08 Apr 2013 09:22:07 PDT
Kathy Andersen would know better how much moisture to give species 
Narcissus during an Atlantic coast summer. Since the summers on the 
Pacific coast are dry, I don't know how much atmospheric humidity 
affects the soil. Also, I don't know whether Arnold is using plastic 
or clay pots -- I always used clay.

That said, I think the best guide to summer moisture is native 
habitat. You can find out about this in John Blanchard's book about 
Narcissus species. I wouldn't dry out the ones that come from moist 
meadow habitats, for instance.

I now have two raised beds in my bulb house, one watered 
occasionally, lightly, in summer and the other left unirrigated. In 
the latter bed I have only Narcissus cantabricus, N. romieuxii, N. 
(rupicola ssp.) watieri, and a Moroccan N. bulbocodium. They are 
doing very well in their third spring in that site. However, the soil 
moisture is more constant, even if residual, once the pots are not 
present. The other Narcissus species are in the modestly irrigated 
side. Quite a few that were extras when I moved the collection ended 
up in the rock garden and (!) the lawn. Some that are growing well in 
these open situations are N. rupicola, N. assoanus, N. calcicola, N. 
triandrus, and N. jonquilla ssp. jonquilla. The rock garden ones get 
little if any summer irrigation, but those in turf have to put up 
with weekly watering.

At my old garden, which has not been watered in summer for two years, 
I noticed N. calcicola and N. triandrus flowering well last week, 
along with several Fritillaria species that got left behind. The 
property is finally selling, and I think the new owners will enjoy 
all the little spring surprises.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

At 05:52 PM 4/7/2013, you wrote:
>  Thanks Jane, you had mentioned once before here that there were 
> some of these that required year round moisture.
>I've let them sit in the greenhouse in a gravel sand plunge 
>experiencing the wrath of NYC summers.
>Which should get moisture during dormancy?

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