sourcing unusual galanthus

Jane McGary
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 09:20:56 PST
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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