sourcing unusual galanthus

Laura Hawthorn
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 13:33:19 PST
Copiously available...hahahaha...sorry, couldn't resist the hysterical laughter.  Anyway, even if I can get hold of some bulbs in the fall, my experience with them hasn't been at all satisfactory.  Same issue as Bob Nold mentioned - they just don't have time to establish themselves before winter hits.  And here, in Toronto, it's quite possible to get a snap freeze in early November.

On 2015-03-07, at 12:20 PM, Jane McGary wrote:

> Bob Nold in Denver (known as the "mile-high city," and not in reference to their recent adjustments in the law) reports difficulty establishing snowdrop bulbs shipped dormant in late summer. My experience in the Portland, Oregon, area is quite different: I'd much rather get them in August or September than before the leaves have withered. Here, in a "cold Mediterranean" climate, most bulbs have plenty of time to develop strong root growth before the ground freezes, if it even does freeze to the depth at which they grow.
> I don't know how tolerant Galanthus are of deep planting, but people in colder areas might experiment with copiously available ones to see. I have been able to grow Eucomis species, which flower in summer, by planting them fairly deeply and using a lot of mulch. I have some snowdrops that have emerged well through about 2 inches (5 cm) of organic mulch on top of their bulbs planted at the usual growing depth
> Jane McGary
> Portland, Oregon, USA
> .At 12:46 PM 3/6/2015, you wrote:
> I prefer receiving snowdrops "in the green" because the survival rate is much better than snowdrops planted in October or November. (One hundred percent vs. about zero percent.)
>> The rationale behind not sending "in the green"--that doing so damages roots which can't be replaced--sounds dubious to me, because if the bulbs are dug in July, they will still have roots, and the roots will still be damaged. (The Cornovium website indicates that bulbs are sent in July.)
>> Bulbs sent later in the year have no roots at all, which means, in a climate like mine where winter can arrive with little warning, that the bulbs may have no time to grow all the roots they will need both for flowering and for photosynthesis (ie manufacturing the cryoprotective sugars).
>> So an early-flowering snowdrop, like a form of Galanthus elwesii, might only have a few weeks between planting time and the time it should be in full flower; it's unlikely that it would be then prepared for the horrors of a Denver winter.
>> Bob Nold
>> Denver, Colorado, USA
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