Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Growing Flowering bulbs in warm climates - Narcissus Paperwhite

This is the 4th article in this series. There are many varieties of Narcissus available in lahore in fall. One of them is Grand Soleil which is a fragrant one having yellow flowers, a bit expensive though. The other one is paperwhite which gives pure white flowers and very cheap costing only Rs 10 per bulb. This is the one you are going after as it is very hardy, very tolerant of poor soil and does not care whether planted in sun, semi shade and even full shade. And if that is not all, it does not mind drought as well. So for a careless gardener, it is a perfect bulb to try. I have heard that they are easy be forced as well but i could not try it this year.

Here are the growing tips:
1-Buy fattest and biggest bulb possible. Try to get those having baby bulb-lets attached. Buy as early as possible. Plant them on regular intervals so that supply of flowers is continuous in spring.

2- Bury them till the neck. Their roots need depth and very vigorous, i find 10 inches pot not enough for their long roots.

3- Narcissus here love the semi shade so full sun and shade both will do the job
4- Water just once after planting and NOT after that until you see some top growth. Remember less watering is the key to flowering for paper whites. They are very tough and do not mind drought for a long period. More water will promote foliage but no flowers.
5- You can give light liquid fertilizer or little cow dung manure but if you don't, they won't mind.
6-Do not worry if the bulbs pushes itself upwards because of roots growth. Mine did that a lot. Again, do not tempt to water seeing them coming upwards.

And this was the progress after 1.5 months. They should be flowering right now and i will share the pics as soon as they appear. There are some barren areas in my soil bed and i put these bulbs over there as only they will survive there. You can see the baby bulbs also growing with parent ones. You can save bulbs for next season when flowers are over.

And this is how they look pure white and fragrant blooms.


Autumn Belle said...

I have not been succesful in growing narcisus and their bulbs are not easily available here. How I wish I can grow them as they are vey auspicious for our Chinese New Year celebrtions. Wishing you a Happy New Year 2010 and Happy Holidays!

Kaija said...

Happy New Year 2010! :)

islandgal246 said...

I have some sitting in my fridge since last Christmas, got them as a gift from the UK. I must remember to plant them out. Have yours ever flowered? They look very healthy. A Happy Healthy and Peaceful New Year to you and your family.

Mary Delle said...

Love your directions for narcissus. Can't wait to see the blooms.

Chris said...

I'm envious. Your plant grew so much in so short a period. Sigh. Lucky guy!

ibrahim said...

paperwhites are definately my favorite flowering bulbs specially that here the climate is mostly warm.. thanks for the inspiring pics!

Anonymous said...

I planted some bulbs in beds and they followed the exact steps that you have mentioned, this is end of march in Lahore but i am still not able to get the flowers, can you advise.

Muhammad khabbab said...

They flower in January in lahore you must have planted them late. Sometimes the bulbs are of poor quality and they do not have flower bud inside them so they do not bloom.

Anonymous said...

Can you please share the time, when to sow and when to expect the blooms, not just for narcissus but also hyacinth lilies etc,the shops in Lahore are as yet(in november) not selling most of the bulbs, Thanks

Muhammad khabbab said...

Only paperwhite and freesia can be planted in october. Remaining bulbs should be planted around November 15. It is better to plant later than early specially for cool climate bulbs like hyacinth, lilies etc.

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