How much water do Narcissus need and when?

steve22802(7a VA)May 29, 2009

I generally don't worry about watering my Narcissus as they are quite rugged and get plenty of natural rain water. But I'd like to try planting a new bulb bed on the North side of my house in order to get a delayed bloom season of cut flowers. This side of my house is close to the property line and I will have no choice but to plant the bulbs right next to the house where they will be under a two foot wide overhang and will get little rain water. So what I'm wondering is how much irrigation will they need and when? During the summer when it is hottest they will be dormant so it seems like they may need some extra water in the fall and the spring and then mulched well. Any advice?

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Could you please say whether you're talking about the early Division 8 tazettas such as Earlicheer - the ones with decidedly green leaves - or the ones with the blue-green leaves like 'King Alfred'.

The tazettas start into action in late summer and 'even as we speak' the N. papyraceus are well into bud - so they definitely need at least a few downpour equivalents over the autumn and early winter. The green-leaf bulbocodiums are also well up though not in bud.

The rest of them, with blue-green leaves, are staying under the passing frosts and are just showing their noses now. Late autumn and early winter rain drenchings is what they've had (and usually get).

I see the point about your using the coolth of the north side to delay flowering or conserving the duration of the flowers. They may not get enough sunlight to be sustained as a colony, however. (If they do, great!)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 10:01PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Taken from the link below at the American Daffodil Society:
6) Daffodils need lots of water while they are growing. Water immediately after planting and keep them moist until the rains come. Continue watering for three weeks or so after blooming time; then stop watering. The bulbs make their next year's bloom after flowering. (Your first-year bloom is largely due to the previous grower of the bulb.)

Since the sun in in the southern sky in the winter, they may not bloom their best in the shade of the house. I would try them though anyway to see how they do. I plant them in the woods here, but the trees are deciduous thus the bulbs are still in the sun at bloom time and for a bit afterwards before the trees are in full leaf.


Here is a link that might be useful: general growing tips:

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 11:56PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on planting Narcissus 'Cheerfulness', Mt. Hood Daffodils, and Muscari. They are all starting to go dormant now so I will be digging and relocating them soon. I don't think I'll water them when I plant them in midsummer, instead I'll wait and give them a good soaking in the fall when they should be having root growth and then I'll check their moisture level and maybe water again in the spring when I see some leaves starting to poke up through the soil. Hopefully the lack of direct sunlight on the north side of my house will only cause them to bloom later (the desired effect) rather than not at all.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:05PM
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