Galanthus requirements

Jane McGary
Mon, 28 Jan 2008 10:29:07 PST
Thanks to John Grimshaw for clarifying the best way to store bare Galanthus 
bulbs. I'll cease moistening the vermiculite as long as the bulbs have no 
roots when lifted. I do keep all my sale bulbs cool until shipping. 
Sometimes, however, particularly I think because nights are quite cool in 
midsummer at this elevation, certain plants (mostly amaryllids) have begun 
root growth by late July when I lift them, and in that case I think a faint 
bit of moisture is needed -- or is it? It's not unusual, e.g., for Acis 
autumnalis (Leucojum a.) to flower here in early August.

I've been storing most of the bare bulbs in paper bags in a dim, cool room 
(my dining room -- no indoor dinner parties in August!), but have used thin 
plastic bags (not Ziploc, but the very thin kind sold as sandwich bags) for 
some, such as Galanthus and some of the Fritillaria species. A friend who 
is a very good propagator told me the thin plastic film doesn't trap quite 
as much moisture as thicker poly film -- is that so? The vermiculite is 
partly to cushion the bulbs against bruising and partly I think it will 
absorb any excess moisture from them. This is all intuitive, however, so it 
may be wrong.

I have Galanthus fosteri, obtained from England many years ago, and as Mark 
says, it tolerates a warm, rather dry position quite well, but it also 
grows well in shade. (Almost all soils in my garden are fast-draining.) G. 
peshmenii I would say is a shade plant, but when I saw it in Turkey, it was 
always in extremely well-drained positions, even in the leafmold that had 
collected on top of a big boulder. Like another correspondent, I find that 
G. reginae-olgae does best with some summer water. I saw it in Greece 
growing in a very dim shady site in oak leafmold, among large rocks.

There are a few snowdrops blooming in the garden now, somewhere under the 
foot of snow that fell yesterday.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

More information about the pbs mailing list