Tazettas that don’t go dormant -?

August 25, 2020

Categories: Autumn Blooming Daffodils, Cytology, Daffodil Types, Growing Daffodils, Science, Weather and Temperature, Winter Blooming Daffodils

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Some years I’ve observed true tazettas (not poetaz) that do not go fully dormant for months after their companions are long, long gone. I think they are always bicolors – ‘Early Pearl’, maybe Nx italicus, and others, I’ve never paid too close attention. But these are single bulbs, here and there.

This year however, there is a fall-blooming/early winter bicolor where the entire clump is still 1/3 green as of Aug. 15. Granted the bed is in light shade, but everything else went dormant by end of May. This is in Tallahassee, where the winter tazettas start sprouting roots by early Sept.

I haven’t looked at the long-range forecast for the fall, but as we’re due for an active hurricane season i don’t imagine there will be an 8-week crushing heatwave in Sept. and Oct. like last year to impact root production.

What happens when bulbs don’t really go dormant, or their dormancy period is, comparatively speaking, really short?


8 responses to “Tazettas that don’t go dormant -?”

  1. Michael Berrigan, Minnesota says:

    Tazettas are driven by water cycles.  I believe the cultivar ‘Erilcheer’ is popular as it blooms heavily early and then sends secondary stems extending the season.  It is particularly responsive to water.  In Minnesota, it would bloom in the spring and then in late Summer setting it up for the foliage to be killed off with our freezing temperatures.  If you do not get too cold of frosts, then you should not be bothered with growth late into the Summer.  To control this, one needs to withhold the water from reaching the bulbs.  Some particularly decorative cardboard laid over the patch would probably work.  One could also keep the bulbs in stout pots and trundle them under cover to estivate.   I used shingles to keep bulbocodiums from coming up too early to great effect for several years.  It only took one time forgetting to take this off to undo all of that work.  I now keep my bulbocodiums and Tazettas in pots in the greenhouse dry for the Summer.

  2. Clay Higgins, New Jersey Clay Higgins2 says:

    I have had problems with tazetta not wanting to go dormant in the summer
    and have white active roots into August. Some start growing again in
    September. Only when I was in eastern North Carolina along the coast did a
    solution become available. There we were assured of a period once a year
    of a drought of about a month to six weeks with no water. The roots would
    finally go dormant.

    I think the solution is as Michael Berrigan stated, keep tazettas dry in
    the summer to force them into becoming dormant.


  3. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    I often talk to garden clubs during the fall. People say ‘Oh, its a strange season, my daffodils are up already.” and I reply “No, its just the tazettas. They have foliage almost all year.”

    You may have seen on Facebook that I had florets open on Grande Primo Citronaire on the 5th of May this year. Sometimes they open in April. The clump is still in full bloom and the last florets are just opened. Amazing that one planting should flower continuously for four months. For full pictures go to Canterbury Horticultural Society website and check in on Hort Talk.

  4. Nancy Tackett, California Nancy Tackett, California says:

    Thank you Sara, Michael, Clay and David for your information about dormant tazettas.  Some of my tazettas still have a few green leaves, even after planting these in an area where the bulbs should receive a good summer bake.


  5. Naomi Liggett says:

    Glad to hear you are okay. Wondered how far you are from fires.
    Conserved by tornado in MS and chr of booklet

    Sent from my iPad

  6. John McLennan, New Zealand John McLennan, New Zealand says:

    As  an  Erlicheer  grower  for  over  40  years  ,  and  in  recent  times  many  fine  tazettas  from  Wilf  Hall,  John  Hunter  and  The  Bill  Welch  / Max  Hamilton  cutflowers  , I  certainly  agree  that  finding  a  dormant  time  to  lift  is  difficult  and  will  vary  every  season .I  always  try  to  have  them  topped ,  with  a  tractor  rotary  slasher ,  before  Christmas  around  the  longest  day .. Lifting  usually  starts early  in  the  new  year , –  any  root  growth  soon  drys  off  and  timing  seems  to  make  little difference  to  the  next  season  flowering  rate  .Planting  is  never  until  the  soil  cools  –  usually  April  here .What  the  tazettas  definitely  do  not  like  is  H W T  ,  hot  water  treatment .Even  an  hour  and  they  show  signs  of damage  when  they  emerge  .  This  tells  us  that  the  root  rim  around  the  base  plate  is  , as  noted  by  all  ,  very  seldom  not  making  some  growth  ,  and  is  very  sensitive  to  the  H W T .

    Probably  the  tallest  tops  is  the  8 W – W  TORU , flowering through June , early July , seen  here  about  16  August  this  year ,  with  Graham  Phillips  auditioning  for  the  scare  crow  position .

    Cheers  John . 

  7. Nancy Tackett, California Nancy Tackett, California says:

    Naomi, our only issue  is with smoke resulting in an “unhealthy air” rating. We are encouraged to stay inside.

    John, this is a wonderful photo of Graham Phillips wading through tazettas. Thank you!


  8. Margaret Seconi, New Zealand Margaret Seconi, New Zealand says:

    Thanks John McLennan, your comment about HWT answers the question I’ve had as to why my Tazettas seem to do poorly after being treated in contrast to my front garden clumps of Cabrini, Lemon & Barley,Nickelodeon, Winter Delight etc. which have never been treated. I needed to dig Cabrini two months ago in June & discovered some bulb fly so I replanted the sound bulbs immediately and they’re flowering beautifully now. I’ll check each clump in turn over the next year and will spray with Neem oil after flowering – perhaps try some granules in the soil too. Be interested if this works for bulb fly.