How to grow Narcissus
Narcissus belongs to a genus of plants (Narcissus L.) belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family, originally from Europe. Its name refers to its intense fragrance; in fact it derives from the Greek ναρκάω, narkào, “stordisco”, with reference to the penetrating and inebriating smell of the flowers of some species. For others the term derives from the Persian word which indicates this نرگس plant and which is pronounced Nargis. In this sheet we will see the essential characteristics of this plant and how to grow Narcissus both in pot and in the garden.
The narcissus is a bulbous species with spring bloom that should be planted in the garden during the autumn and in the apartment, in the pots, also from October until January. The aerial parts of the narcissus are formed directly from the bulb, composed of numerous coriaceous, lanceolate, green leaves, arranged to form a central rosette.
To plant the daffodils in pots or in the garden must choose healthy and intact bulbs (they are however easily found on the market) and, if planted in pots, this must have a size of 20-25 cm in diameter and 30-35 in depth. In a vase of this size can be placed from 3 to 4 bulbs (to have a fuller and more compact bloom) leaving out the upper part of the bulb that should be covered with a mulch prepared by you sawdust (untreated wood) and / or dry leaves. The substrate of the pot must be composed of a mixture of very organic soil, peat and sand (possibly siliceous) in the proportion of 40, 40 and 20.
For the daffodils a technique is used that allows to anticipate the flowering of these. It consists of moving the vase for a certain period into a darker and cooler place in your apartment. The optimal temperature of this room should be between 3 and 8 degrees and the “vernalization” time of about one month. After this period, if you put the bulb in the jar between the end of October and the beginning of November, the plant will be able to complete its vegetative cycle by blossoming in the Christmas period, otherwise, obviously the flowering will take place in January. To understand when the pot goes back into the apartment you have to observe the shoots produced by the bulbs that will have reached a height around 5 – 7; at the same time you will observe slender whitish roots coming out of the vessel drainage holes. In these vegetative conditions the vase must be gradually put back into the light (it takes about a week of gradual increase in light and at a temperature around 16-18 ° C) to finally place it in a bright area (but not in direct rays) of your apartment with a temperature of 20 ° C. In these conditions of temperature and luminosity the narcissus will start to blossom within a few days. This technique, widely used in nurseries to sell plants that will flourish in winter festivals, may not be adopted and in this case, both in pots and in the garden the natural flowering will take place in spring.
Narcissus plants are very suitable, in gardens, to form very flowery and fragrant hedges; in this case the advice is to plant the bulbs at shorter distances than those of about 15 cm; you can also reach distances of 4 cm, one from the other, so as to have a flowering barrier of daffodils.
As for adversities, the narcissus is a very resistant plant but suffers the rot of the bulbs caused by water stagnation; in the same way as tulip bulbs, it is subject to fusariosis.