The monocotyledonous plant Narcissus is a member of the Amaryllis family. It is one of the earliest spring flowers. The genus includes about 60 species. In nature narcissus is most often found in the Mediterranean, the southern part of Europe and in Asia. There are only 25 types of narcissus and many hybrids cooperating under the name of "hybrid narcissus".
Since ancient times people ascribed various unusual qualities and qualities to this plant. In the East it was called "narcissus" and was often compared to the enchanting eyes of the beloved. In ancient Greece, the daffodil became a personification of death, it was used to clean the deathbed. In Renaissance Europe, on the other hand, it was a symbol of marriage and love. In Italy, even today, a bouquet of daffodils as a gift is considered a declaration of love.
Since ancient times, daffodils have been widely used in medicine and perfumery. The name of the flower, which is derived from the Greek word "narkao", which means "to intoxicate", refers both to the intoxicating smell that causes migraine, the narcotic effect of the oil made from the narcissus, and the poisonous properties of the bulbs. The bulbs of the crop contain the alkaloid narcissin, which is a reliable defense against rodents. At the end of the nineteenth century was the last peak in the popularity of narcissus, since that time the fashion for this plant and its smell does not pass. Even today this flowering plant is cultivated en masse in the East for its essential oil.
For the English, narcissus is even more popular than the rose, which is considered the "queen of flowers", and in China on the New Year's Eve the presence of these fragrant flowers is mandatory. Well, everyone has probably seen or read "Black Daffodil".
Brief description of growing
- Planting. In August or the first days of September.
After the foliage has turned yellow and has fallen.
- Storage. Store the bulbs in a well-ventilated room where the temperature should be kept at about 17 degrees.
- Flowering. In the springtime.
- Brightness. A shaded and sunny site is suitable for planting, as well as one in the shade.
- Ground. The soil should be nutritious, well permeable to water and air, and saturated with humus. And its acidity can vary from slightly alkaline to slightly acidic.
- Watering. Narcissus should be watered moderately but systematically.
- Fertilizing. In the springtime after the first sprouts appear, use a complete complex fertilizer, during the flower stalk emergence a nitrogen-potassium fertilizer, during bud formation a complete complex fertilizer, and during flowering a potassium-phosphorus fertilizer. It is not allowed to use manure for fertilization.
- Propagation. Propagated by seeds much less frequently than by bulbs.
- Pests. Mites, nematodes, onion hoppers, slugs, daffodil flies.
Fusariosis, gray rot, penicillosis, yellow and white virus stripes, ring spot.
- Properties. All parts of the plant contain poison because they contain the alkaloid narcissin.
The Narcissus Myth
There are many legends and myths about daffodils. But the most famous of them is an ancient Greek myth which tells of a handsome but heartless young man, his name was Narcissus.
He did not want to reciprocate the love of the mountain nymph Echo. In despair, she appealed to the gods for help, and Narcissus was punished by Aphrodite for his coldness; she made him fall in love with her reflection in the brook. His love for himself melted before his eyes until, eventually, he died. Taking pity on him, the gods made a beautiful flower grow where his breathless body had been, and it was named after him, the daffodil. Since then the name "narcissus" has become a nickname, there is even such a psychological term as "narcissism," which means exceptional narcissism.
Narcissus - Features of planting and cultivation.
Properties of Narcissus
The flowering plant narcissus has dense bulbs and 2-4 ribbon-shaped leaf plates of different widths. The root leaf plates are linear in shape and appear before the flower stalk. Leafless stems may be round or flattened, with a filmy sheath on their surface. Flower formation occurs at the top of the stem.
Narcissus varies in shape, being oval, ovoid, pointed or round. In some species, the bulbs form a nest; several bulbs are formed on one base and wrapped with colored scales. Annually old roots die off and new ones grow in their place. Roots don't live longer than 10 months. Drooping or upright flowers may be part of an umbrella-like inflorescence with 2-8 flowers or be solitary.
The petal-like perianth has a tubular funnel, which changes into a horizontal septum in the upper part. The primordium may be tubular, bell-shaped or cup-shaped, formed by outgrowths of the perianth lobes, which are most often colored in a different shade. The flowers can be yellow or white. There are also species and varieties with bicolor flowers. They can reach 20-100 mm in cross-section.
The fruit is a three-nesting box, inside which are the seeds. Bushes most often reach a height of 0.1 to 0.5 meters. Daffodils can decorate your garden and can also be grown at home if you wish.
They bloom between April and May.
Preparing for planting
Narcissus are among the primrose flowers. They appear very early in the garden along with crocuses, hyacinths and tulips. The plant itself is quite unpretentious, but if you do not have enough time to provide flowers good care, it is better not to decorate your plot with them. The fact is that only if you give the daffodil a proper care, it can grow as it should be.
Selecting a site
Special attention should be paid to choosing a site where daffodils will grow. It must be sunny and the soil must be permeable. The culture grows best on neutral loam, in which humus or compost was added during digging, note that manure should not be used as fertilizer. Too alkaline soil is corrected by making it a dolomite flour (200 grams per 1 m2 plot), while in too sour soils add wood ash (1 tbsp).
Lilies, tulips and other bulbs are poor for narcissus precursors, as well as perennial asters, chrysanthemums and phlox.
But a site where legumes, peonies, cereals, nightshades and cucumbers were previously grown is perfect for growing this flower crop.
Put the bulbs in the open soil after warm weather sets in. In the springtime, most specialty stores sell stale goods very cheaply, so the gardener has an opportunity to buy bulbs of rare varieties of daffodils for next to nothing. However, when choosing planting material, you should be aware that the bulbs should not be weakened or soft, because there is a high probability that they will not come out. But if they do grow, they will need to be very well cared for.
The best time to buy planting material is 3 months after flowering. Experts do not recommend purchasing bulbs:
- in the springtime;
- picked up from the ground with shoots, roots and flowers while they are in flower or right after;
- multi-topped bulbs if they have one large bulb and all others small;
Before planting, the bulbs should be inspected and all diseased, excessively soft, diseased bottom or traumatized bulbs should be removed. The planting material that will be screened out must be disinfected by dipping it into a solution of potassium permanganate (1%) or a fungicide (3%) for 30 minutes.
Daffodils: planting and spring care
Putting daffodils in the open field
What time to plant
The weather conditions of a particular region influence when planting daffodils in the open field.
Like other bulb crops, daffodils are recommended to be planted in the garden in the fall. In medium latitudes, it is best to plant them in September, so that the bulbs well rooted, they will need 20 to 30 days. Planting can also be done in winter and in early spring, but in any case the bulbs should be prepared before planting. For this purpose, they are placed on the refrigerator shelf for 60 days, otherwise they will not take root properly and will not form flowers.
Bulbs that have been stored in the refrigerator can be planted in the open soil in the second half of April, but only if the snow cover has already melted.
Daffodils planted at this time root well at 5 to 7 degrees.
Potting is done in early spring. But before planting you should prepare the ground by digging it over about a bayonet's depth and adding fertilizer: humus and nitrophoska (60 grams per 1 square meter) and sand. If you were not able to prepare the plot properly, you can still plant, but only if the composition of the soil is optimal for growing this crop.
Dig a planting hole in the prepared plot, the depth of which should be equal to 3 diameters of the bulb.
Then fill the hole with a handful of sand, 2 large spoonfuls of wood ash and place the bulb there. Fill the hole halfway with earth mixed with compost and water it well, then fill it with soil up to the top and tamp down its surface.
The distance between the planting holes depends on whether you will plant daffodils after 1 year or they will grow in this area for 5 years. If you decide to plant them, then the distance between the wells should be 7 to 10 cm. If they are to stay in the same place for 5 years, you can plant them at intervals of between 15 and 20 centimeters.
When planting is completed, it is recommended to cover the soil surface with a layer of mulch, which can be nutshells, chopped straw, sawdust of hardwood trees or grass clippings. A layer of mulch can curb the growth of weeds, and it also prevents moisture from evaporating from the soil very quickly. Also, mulch is good because the surface of the plot covered with it does not need to be loosened after every watering.
If the planting will be done in autumn, then the site preparation should be done in summer time. To do this, dig the soil to the depth of the bayonet of the spade and add 2 tbsp.
of superphosphate, 4-5 kg of peat or compost, and another 1 tbsp. of Agricola for flowering plants per 1 square meter of land. If the soil is too heavy, then correct this by adding ½ bucket of decomposed humus and sand at the rate of 1 square meter. Then recultivate the soil to a depth of 10 to 15 centimeters and leave the area alone until the planting. Plant the bulbs and take care of them in the autumn in the same way as in the spring.
Remember that autumn is the best time to plant daffodils, which is why experienced gardeners plant in spring only as a last resort. If a flower has been growing in the same place for four or five years and has expanded a lot, then it will be necessary to remove it from the soil, separate the offspring from the bulb and plant them. Do this after the bush blooms. This method of propagation is the easiest and most reliable.
Narcissus: Fall Planting STEPwise
In early spring, daffodils should begin to grow.
As soon as the seedlings appear, feed the daffodils for the first time with a mineral fertilizer (30 grams per 1 square meter). The second time you fertilize flowers during the formation of buds in the last days of May, and at the same time 20 grams of fertilizer per 1 square meter of area. To make the bushes bloom as lush and long as possible, the second feeding should be repeated after a while. When flowering ends, the plant should be fertilized with a mixture of potash and phosphate fertilizer (1:2), with 1 square meter plot takes 50 to 60 grams of nutrient mixture. After the fertilizer has been applied to the soil, it must be watered and the surface loosened.
Narcissus is a water-loving plant and must therefore be watered regularly and abundantly (20 liters of water per square meter of soil). When the flowers have been watered, do not forget to loosen the soil surface and pull out all the weeds, but only if the plot is not covered with a layer of mulch. This is how you should take care of the crop from the moment the sprouts appear until they finish flowering.
Care after flowering
After the bushes have finished flowering, water them and loosen the soil around them with the same frequency for another 15-20 days. If you plant different varieties of narcissus on the plot, they can enjoy their blossoms throughout the summer.
And do not forget that daffodils will be most beautiful only if you feed them in time and take good care of them. If flowers start to fade, they need to be cut off otherwise the plant will spend a lot of energy on seed formation and maturation, which will have a negative effect on the growth and development of the bulbs.
Care for daffodils after they bloom. WHAT MUST BE DONE.
You can tell when daffodils need transplanting by the flowers.
If they have become shallow and their quality has deteriorated, they most likely need replanting, during which the bulbs are divided. Repotting is carried out after the bushes have flowered. Do not forget to pre-prepare a new plot, for this purpose, it is dug up and fertilizer is added to the soil. Dig up and divide daffodils only after their foliage turns yellow and withers naturally. This may not happen until a couple of months after the end of flowering, especially if frequent rains are observed.
During the growing season, an average of 2-4 new bulbs are formed from a single bulb. Once the bulbs have been removed from the soil, all wilted foliage should be cut off and they should be thoroughly inspected. Sick and pest-damaged bulbs are discarded. Remove dead scales from the surface of bulbs suitable for planting, after which they are washed and disinfected for 30 minutes in a strong solution of potassium permanganate. Then they are divided.
Tear off all the easily detached offspring. Those bulbs that break away with difficulty, you should try to gently loosen, but if they still detach with difficulty, then treat the breakage with wood ash or charcoal powder. In no case do not cut off the bulbs live roots. After that they are laid out in a shady place to dry, and then put into storage. Put them in a cool place (no warmer than 17 degrees) and place them so that they do not touch each other, so that their wounds can be scarred.
The bulbs should not be planted too late. It should be no more than 8 weeks from the moment you take the bulbs out of the soil to the planting. How to plant daffodils in the open ground is detailed above.
Razmerization of daffodils
You can multiply such a flowering plant not only with bulbs and their offspring. It can also be grown from seeds.
For sowing, freshly harvested seed material that has not yet had time to dry out is used. The seeds are collected in the middle of the summer period or in late autumn. They can be sown in boxes or pots, and if desired and in open soil. Sow the seeds should not be dense, and the depth of sowing should be equal to three diameters of the seed. During the first 1-2 years, experts advise not to pick or transplant seedlings, as they need to form a strong good bulb.
When this happens, young flowers are transplanted into the open ground in a permanent place. The first flowering of daffodils grown from seed is observed only after 6-7 years, and small-flowered species - after 3 or 4 years. Note that seed propagation is only suitable for growing wild species. If a hybrid form is grown from seed, however, the seedlings will not be able to retain the varietal characteristics of the parent plant.
Daffodils from seed. An amazing experiment
Daffodil pests and diseases
The best prevention of diseases and pests is to follow all the agronomic rules of the crop. Even so, however, daffodils can be affected by disease. Most often they are affected by fungal diseases, the signs of which are very similar to each other.
The greatest danger to daffodils is fusariosis.
In the beginning, the bulb base is affected, and then the disease begins to gradually climb up the bush. The surface of the bulbs becomes pinkish-white, they soften, the tips of the leaf blades turn yellow, then turn brown, and eventually die.
In some cases, the crop is affected by gray rot (Botrytis), which appears as a fluffy gray bloom with black dots that forms under the leaves of the bulbs. Pale brown spots appear on the leaves, increasing in size, and the buds and shoots rot.
There are also cases where the flower is affected by penicillosis (penicillosis), resulting in no sprouts emerging from the bulbs in the spring.
The development of the disease is due to very high humidity.
In order to prevent fungal diseases, the bulbs should be immersed in a Maxim solution for 30 minutes immediately before planting. At the very beginning of the vegetation period the sprouts appearing are treated with a solution of Bordeaux mixture (1.5%).
The crop may also be infected with viral diseases such as: yellow or white stripe, mosaic virus, ring spot disease, etc.
The symptoms of all viral diseases are very similar: the development of flowers deteriorates, bulbs become shallow, spots, stripes and strokes of different colors appear. Narcissus viral disease can occur through pests, soil, pollen, seed material or garden tools. Because of this it is very difficult to fight such dangerous diseases, as today they are considered incurable. Preventive measures:
- Only completely healthy and large bulbs should be used for planting in open soil and they should be disinfected beforehand. Smaller bulbs become diseased much faster.
- The pests that are the main vectors of viruses, such as beetles, mites, cicadas, whiteflies and nematodes, should be controlled in good time.
- Timely dig up and burn diseased shrubs to prevent the spread of the disease.
Medicides, root mites, nematodes, slugs and daffodil flies are the most common pests on the flower. To prevent narcissus flies and nematodes, warm the bulbs for several hours in hot water (43.5 degrees) immediately before planting.
If narcissus fly has settled on the bush, it is treated with a solution of fufanon (2%), nematodes are fought with drugs such as carbathion and nemaphos. During bud formation the bushes are treated with Fytoverm solution (20 mg per 10 liters of water), and 1 liter of mixture is used to spray 10 square meters of plantings.
Narcissus after flowering
Narcissus is rather frost-resistant. However, if the winter is snowy and very frosty, then bulbs that winter in the soil may freeze. Thaws can do the most damage to such bulbs, because during a warming they awaken and begin to grow, and returning frosts will destroy the flowers.
If daffodils will be in the soil in winter when the foliage is completely wilted and withered, the surface of the plot should be carefully loosened. Then it should be covered with a layer of mulch (fallen leaves, peat, wood ash or straw), which should be 10-15 centimeters thick. Instead, it can be covered with a special covering material such as spunbond or agrospan. Fill the area with mulch only after the soil in the autumn frosts a little. And do not remove the mulch layer until after the spring return frosts have passed.
When to dig out the bulbs
If the bulbs will be kept in a cooler place during winter then take them out of the ground as soon as all the leaves turn yellow in June or July and the tips are dry and the compact bush should start to fall apart. From the end of flowering until you can dig out the bulbs sometimes about eight weeks pass (all depends on temperature and humidity).
Digging the bulbs too late is not recommended because the withered leaves may fall off and you will not find the place where the bush was. To extract daffodils from the ground use a small garden fork. The dug up bulbs should have their leaves cut off, and then they should be laid to dry in a shady place.
After they have dried and any soil residue has fallen off, carefully separate the daughter bulbs from the mother, taking care not to injure the roots. Examine the bulbs and remove any deformed, diseased or soft bulbs, they should be destroyed. Selected planting material is washed under running water, and then disinfected by placing it in a solution of potassium permanganate dark pink for 10-15 minutes. Then it is removed to a dry, shaded and warm (22 to 25 degrees) place for drying. If you put it indoors, it should have good ventilation.
Bulbs cannot be stored in a plastic bag, as it does not allow them to "breathe" properly, causing their middles to begin to rot. Store them in a well-ventilated and cool place. Keep in mind that during storage the planting material gives off gas and if it accumulates too much then the bulbs may suffocate.
They will be perfectly stored in a shaded, well-ventilated room, with a humidity of about 70 percent and a temperature of 10 to 12 degrees. Place the bulbs in a thin layer in a tray or lattice box made of wood.
Check the planting material regularly during the winter (at least once every 7 days). If you notice soft or diseased bulbs, remove and destroy them. If the surface of the skin of bulbs formed specks of yellow or white, it means that they are rotten, and a sign of fungal disease is their darkening. Bulbs affected by bacterial rot have a foul odor.
Daffodil species and varieties with photos and names
The Royal Horticultural Society registers numerous daffodil varieties.
By it all the garden forms of daffodils have been grouped under the general name of Narcissus hybridus into 13 groups, 12 of which systematize garden daffodils, and one the natural forms and species of such a flower. A brief description of garden daffodils will be given below.
Tubular Daffodils (Trumpet)
This group has 1 large flower on the flower stalk, the tube and perianth lobes are the same length, in some cases the tube is slightly longer. The color of the flowers may be bicolor, but most often it is white or yellow. Such cultivars propagate very well, their bulbs reaching 50 mm in cross-section and more.
The variety Gin and Lime has perianth and crown of lemon color. The crown gradually changes its color to white with an eye of green.
This narcissus is solitary. The crown of the flowers can be corrugated or smooth and is a little more than 1/3 of the length of the petals. The color can be very different, in some cases the crown is decorated with a rim of a saturated shade.
The duration and timing of flowering, as well as the length of the flower stalk, varies from variety to variety. Compared to tubular daffodils, the large-crowned ones have smaller bulbs.
The Jeanine variety has a snow-white perianth color and a deep pink crown.
This daffodil is also solitary. The crown is not more than 1/3 of the length of the petals.
The medium sized flowers are delicately scented and usually colored whitish-cream. Such cultivars bloom lushly.
A very beautiful variety is Sabine Hay - not a very large flower is decorated with orange perianth and a rich red crown. It is distinguished by its late blooming.
This group is highly decorative.
These varieties may have one or more flowers on the flower stalk. The flower may be potted, either with a single crown or with the whole flower. The shape, color and size of the flowers can be different because only a few varieties were selected for this group, all according to the sole principle of terry.
Tahiti: This variety has long been in a private collection, and the world has only known about it comparatively recently. The flower size is about 80-100 mm.
The rich yellow perianth lobes in the middle are joined by scallops of orange-red crown. This variety differs in that it gradually burns out in the sun.
This group includes low-growing varieties with bushes about 0.25 meters tall. One flower stalk produces 2-3 flowers with a small crown and slightly bent petals.
The Ice Wings variety is a showy flower with a very large crown and snow-white petals. Blooms are long.
The group contains varieties derived from crosses between cyclamenoid narcissus and cultivated and species forms. Most often the flowers are solitary, similar in appearance to the cyclamen - the petals are bent backward. The thin, long crown in some cases is even longer than the petals.
Blossoms very early.
The Cotinga variety - the color of the petals is snow-white and the crown is apricot-pink. Flowering is early to medium.
The group contains varieties created by breeders using the species Jonquilla narcissus. Flowering is later in bloom.
The coloring of the leaf plates is dark green, and several flowers are formed on a single flower stalk. The cup-shaped crown is no longer than 2/3 the length of the perianth. In the same spot the flower can grow for 5-7 years without replanting.
The Suzy variety is characterized by medium flowering. The perianth is colored golden yellow and the crown is orange-red.
Multifloral, or Tazetta, Bunch-flowered)
The varieties of this group are frost-resistant. The peduncle forms a tassel-shaped inflorescence with 2-20 fragrant flowers. The perianth lobes are rounded and the crown is not very large. The leaves are dark green in color.
The Hugh Town variety has a yellow flower with a delicate, showy orange crown.
There is only one white flower on the flower stalk; its crown is small (about 1/3 of the perianth length) and bright. The perianths are colored milky white. The bulbs are very small. The size, flowering period and shape depend entirely on the variety.
The Actaea variety is a perfectly shaped flower with a crown of yellow with a green eye and a red rim.
Bulbocodium Hybrids (Bulbocodium Hybrids)
This group includes daffodils with small bell-shaped flowers. At present Australian breeders are busy breeding new varieties. Varieties with white flowers are found.
The fringed crown of the flowers seems to be torn, the petals are also fringed. This group is divided into 2 subgroups:
- Split crown.
The crown segments as well as the perianth lobes are arranged opposite each other.
- Papillon. The flower has a butterfly-like structure.
The Palmares variety - pinkish-white flowers have a slit, slightly compressed crown. Flowering is medium, prefers bright light.
This group consists of those varieties which cannot be attributed to any of the groups by traits.
In this group only the species daffodils are present, but also their hybrids.
The "Odorus Plenus" variety is very showy and delicately scented with marvellous pompoms and a medium-late flowering time.
The pink daffodil is the one type. This plant with a pink crown appeared in England in 1921 thanks to the efforts of R.
O. Beckhaus. It was used to breed many varieties belonging to different classes, for example: tubular, jonquillia, macerate, cyclamen-like, etc. However, they are still called pink.
The Foundling variety is a cyclamenoid narcissus with snow-white petals and also with a rich pink crown.
This variety has won many international awards.
Narcissus bulbs were used in Oriental medicine for mastitis. For that purpose, a peeled onion was chopped and the mixture was mixed with thick porridge of rice or rye flour. The resulting mixture was applied to the affected breasts. After it dried out completely, remove the remedy with warm water.
Mazel the breast remedy twice or three times a day, and it's pretty good help, but only if the woman was not allergic to the substances included in the bulbs. To understand whether such a remedy is suitable for a particular patient, it was possible to experience. If, after using it, there was hives or redness of the skin or itching, then it was not considered suitable for treatment...