Transplanting Erythronium americanum

Judy Glattstein
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:27:08 PDT
Single leaf plants are non-blooming size. Two leaves, large enough to 
flower. The "stem" down to the bulb is about the thickness of a piece of 
spaghetti, very easy to break.

Dig deep, do your best, don't agonize over accidental breakages.

E. americanum forms dropper roots with a new bulblet at the tip. Until 
buried deep enough the new bulblets seem to only produce a single leaf, 
non-flowering plant.

Driving down the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut, many years ago, I saw a 
patch in full bloom - quite unlike the usual masses of foliage / few 
flowers situation. Veering to the side of the road I hopped out of my 
car to investigate further. The erythronium were growing in a ledge 
outcrop with a deep rift filled with soil.

My assumption was that the offset bulbs, once they could delve no 
deeper, bulked up and reached flowering size.

So try setting a large piece of slate at at bottom of the planting hole 
in your garden. Angle it for drainage. Replace a layer of soil, set your 
rescued bulbs, and wait for next Spring. A watering with half-strength 
Jack's Classic Blossom Booster (10-30-20) blue crystal fertilizer, at 
planting time and again a couple of weeks later, would not be amiss.

Judy in New Jersey where bulbs are racing into bloom, trying to make up 
for their delayed start.

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