Dormant bulbs

r de vries
Sat, 26 Jun 2010 13:44:19 PDT

The Daffodil growers dig bulbs 6 weeks after blooming and immediately put them in mesh bags and let sit in the sun for a few hrs.  then store in cool well ventilated area.  It seems that if you try to replant them and water in they will rot, as narcissus do not grow new roots until the cool soil of the fall.  

I suspect you are growing miniature narcissus , i dug my miniature narcissus  when the foliage was yellow to gone and re planted them in barely damp mix in my frame under glass or a sheet of plywood with ventilation under it.  , but i do not think you need to wait that long, just let them dry out a little- few hours in well ventilated area 

I know there are some daffodil enthusiasts in this list, Bill Lee? please chime in

Rimmer de Vries
SE Michigan

--- On Sat, 6/26/10, Jane McGary <> wrote:

From: Jane McGary <>
Subject: Re: [pbs] Dormant bulbs
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010, 1:01 PM

I agree with Arnold's intuition and Lauw's professional opinion that any bulb should be put back into soil as soon as it's feasible. When I was selling surplus bulbs from my collection, I kept those without permanent roots in paper bags for a few weeks, but I kept them in a cool, dim room (my dining room -- no dinner parties in August!). Those without tunics and those with permanent roots I put in very slightly moistened vermiculite in plastic sandwich bags inside the paper bags, and also shipped them in vermiculite.

I have a related question now that I hope one of our professional growers can answer. I need to lift a lot of narcissus and colchicum bulbs to move them to my new garden. Our region has just experienced the wettest late spring ever recorded, and the soil is much damper than it would normally be at this time of year. My instinct tells me that I should leave these bulbs undisturbed until the soil dries out, even if their foliage has withered. Is this right, or can I lift and replant them even if there is still some moisture in the soil? The soil here is well drained gritty loam, but not sand. And should I spread out the colchicum corms in a dry place after I lift them, or can I just put them in paper bags for 4 to 6 weeks?

I'm also lifting some erythroniums and trilliums soon, but I'm going to pot them up immediately. My potted bulbs in the frames (which are presently being dismantled, no doubt to the detriment of some of the bulbs that got more rain than they would want) should be able to stay in their pots until the deep beds in the new bulb house are ready to receive them in August.

At least the awful weather (it was also very cold) seems to have delayed the emergence of the bulb fly so long that the narcissus foliage that would usually attract it is completely withered and removed. I had also protected the sternbergias and galanthus with Reemay (under glass) and with a topdressing of gravel  or bark, respectively (in the open).

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA


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