George Dorner, Illinois

Pennings Bulbs

December 13, 2008

Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils, Planting, Pots

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Let’s bring this up on daffnet for general discussion. I never can get enough info on potting _for this climate. Most of the info comes from your part of the country, though there is a good document on the web from Minnesota.
Also, should one take any special precautions if one plants late – like now? Should one let the roots develop in a warmer area before putting them in the chill? What is the effect of freezing (and thawing) when the bulbs are in the pots?
This is the type of question to which good answers should be archived, and we’ll do that when we have the new forum here.
Here is part of an email I just sent to a local friend who also responded:
I did buy a few and put them in pots. I have a few to pot today. The pots are on the back porch which has felt warm enough, but this morning I found that some of the tops were frozen already. I had plans to move them on the back porch near the house. Now I may have to take them to the basement in the crawl space. … How cold do your pots (under the house or in the garage, as I recall) get? The guides, mostly from other climes, all say 13-15 weeks in 35-55 degrees. then 3-4 weeks in light and sun. That would put our timing still just about right. ”

6 responses to “Pennings Bulbs”

  1. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    George and Bob, There’s an article about growing daffodils in pots, and one on forcing, on the ADS homepage. The last paragraph in the article on growing in pots is important for those of us who live where winters are severe:
    For those of you who live in an area where there are severe winters, (temperature drops below freezing), you will need to store your potted daffodils either in a green house or garage. When the temperature is not dropping below freezing, bring the pots out of storage, place in a location where they will receive full sun and water the pots thoroughly.
    Living in Ohio, I’m one of those. 🙂 I’ve been growing things that send up growth in the fall in pots the last few years, with some success. A pot (3 bulbs) of ‘New Charm’ 10 W-W originally potted up in 2006 has foliage well up, and probably 5 or 6 or more buds coming on each bulb. Last year, Bill Lee received some bulbs (8 or 9 different cultivars) in December which he couldn’t plant, so I volunteered to pot them up. The attached photo is of a pot of ‘Mary Gay Lirette’ potted up in December and blooming in early April. I use a mix of Pro-Mix and granite grit for all my pots, using close to half and half of each. I don’t use fertilizer in the mix. The bulbs that stay in pots from year to year get weekly or bi-weekly watering with a 12-12-12 liquid feed. (As a side note, some of the bulbocodiums and triandrus seem to benefit from a watering that includes a fungicide occasionally.) The bulbs planted last December were to be dumped after the foliage died down and then returned to the local daffodil society for distribution. Since the flower was already in the bulb, there was no need to fertilize. The bulbs were planted in layers, so that the pot was completely full of bulbs. The pots were kept in the garage during the coldest weather, going outside when the temperature was above freezing. I wasn’t trying to force these bulbs into early growth. Forcing requires strict attention to timing of cold periods, etc. I was just growing the bulbs in pots, and bloom time wasn’t important.
    Mary Lou

  2. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi Loyce McKenzie says:

    Would single stems cut from the blooms in these pots be eligible to be entered in shows?
    They’ve had “reasonable protection”, but would that only apply to miniatures?
    Loyce McKenzie


  3. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    My personal opinion is that no, single stems would not be eligible for shows, unless they were miniatures.  I don’t know if the pot would be eligible.  I grow some of my standard triandrus hybrid seedlings in pots which I sink in the ground outside, where they get no protection.  I think single stems from these pots would be eligible.  I grow them in pots so I can bring the pots inside over the summer to keep them completely dry.
    Mary Lou

  4. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

      It all seems so complicated ! What is the effective difference between protecting a cut flower in a shed/garage/kitchen or protecting the flowers on a growing plant??
      Why should protection be OK for Miniatures but not OK for Standards  – if I understand the inference “unles they were miniatures”?
      Is there an established ‘ADS Police Force’ to ensure that everyone abides by the rules? What are the penalties for non-adherance? 
      Ref. Rules and Regulations – I’m a minimilist !
      Daffnet has been quiet – needs a little stir!

  5. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    It’s not complicated at all.  ADS rules say the flowers must have been grown in the open, but miniatures may be grown in protected areas.  No police.  Just the honor system.  And it’s been working for over 50 years.  🙂  That’s why I think blooms from my pots sunk in the ground are eligible for showing.  I know that in areas where they get no frost, bulbs are often planted in pots, out in the open.  And those blooms are perfectly acceptable for showing.  Brian, you ask why?  It’s the rules we play by.  Presumably miniatures are allowed some protection because many of them send up foliage early, which eventually is detrimental to the bulbs.
    Mary Lou

  6. Roger and Terry Braithwaite says:

    Well said Brain I could not agree more