Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio

blooming today

February 2, 2010
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Categories: Daffodil Types, Miniatures, Winter Blooming Daffodils

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The temperature made it above freezing today, so my carts of bulbs are outside getting some natural light, rather than fluorescent.  ‘Floral Feast’ has been in bloom for several days.  I also noticed the last bud on ‘Peppermint’ is opening.  The first flower opened last November 15.  Now that’s a long blooming period!  But the pot has been in a cool garage, with the temperature never going below freezing, and usually between 35 and 45 degrees.  I also have a second bloom, from the same bulb, of N. bulbocodium subsp. bulbocodium var. nivalis.  The first one bloomed on Dec. 3.
Lots of foliage is poking through the ground.  See, Melissa, what little things make us happy in colder climates.  🙂
Mary Lou

5 responses to “blooming today”

  1. Melissa Reading says:

    Mary Lou: They’re beautiful! I think they’d make anyone happy in any climate! I don’t get much bloom on my bulbocodiums, and wonder what I should be doing to encourage them. What do you feed them? Melissa
    At 11:08 AM 2/2/2010, Mary Lou Gripshover wrote:

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

    Melissa, I plant in a soil-less mixture, and feed the pots about once a month with a liquid 4-10-4. It’s sold by Miracle-Gro as a Quick Start for seeds. I keep the pots completely dry over the summer, once the foliage is down. I began watering in early September this year, but I think I’ll begin later this coming September. Also, I’m going to roll the bulbs in a powder fungicide when I replant, as the bulbocodiums especially seem to be susceptible to rot. I’ve begun adding a fungicide to the water with the fertilizer.
    Mary Lou

  3. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee Becky Fox Matthews says:

    Mary Lou, what kind of soil-less mixture do you have in your bulbocodium pots? I think you said you also have fluorescent lights in the garage where you park your cart in freezing weather?
    Becky
    Mary Lou Gripshover wrote:

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

    Becky, I use ProMix about half and half with granite grit, or maybe 1/3 grit and 2/3 ProMix-I don’t measure, in all my pots, not just the bulbocodiums. And yes, I have 2 four foot long fluorescent lights, 2 tubes in each fixture, over the 3 carts. They’re shop lights, hanging on 4-foot chains from the ceiling. Not pretty, but it seems to work. 🙂 Mary Lou

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

    Hi Harold, Several people have asked me privately about the distance the pots are from the lights, so I thought I’d reply to Daffnet.
    The carts have a top tray, and pots in the tray are about 27 inches from the light. Those on the bottom of the cart are about 39 inches from the light. They should be closer, but I only bought 4-foot chains. (I just checked them, and they’re closer to 5-1/2 foot chains.) Maybe when my brother-in-law visits this summer, I’ll get him to install longer chains. 🙂 They should probably be about 12 inches above the top tray. No, I’ve not measured the light intensity, and they are not grow lux tubes, just plain fluorescent. The attached photo shows the layout. But they are not meant to stay indoors constantly. Usually we have overnight lows in the teens or 20s, but then daytime temperatures get into the 30s. When it gets above 32, the pots go outside, and that happens about 2/3 of the time.
    I don’t repot each year. Some of the bulbs increase in numbers, judging by the increasing number of blooms in the pot. ‘Peppermint’ had 13 blooms this year from 3 bulbs several years ago. ‘New Charm’ had a similar number. A bulb of N. bulbo. bulbo. var. nivalis now has a second bloom on a bulb that had the first bloom over a month ago. Not all bulbs do well. I didn’t fertilize much when I first began using pots, thinking the bulbs wouldn’t stay in the pots that long. That was a mistake, and things are doing better now that the bulbs are getting regular fertilizer. When the pot looks crowded, or if a pot looks particularly stressed, then I repot in fresh mix.
    Mary Lou