A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 4 – Narcissus

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“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Narcissus… Better known by the common name Daffodil… Is a genus of hardy spring-flowering bulbs in the Amaryllis family… The name is linked to the Greek myth of Narcissus… Who became so obsessed with his own reflection that he knelt and gazed into a pool of water… Eventually falling in and drowning… The Narcissus plant sprang from where he died…

Narcissus is poisonous… Mostly in the bulb… But also in the leaves… Accidental poisoning is uncommon… But due to the bulbs resemblance to an onion… It is not unheard of… Daffodils also cause a skin irritation known as “daffodil itch”… Some cultivars more than others… It is probably best if those with sensitive skin wear long sleeves and gloves when working with this plant…

Narcissus

Daffodils have a long-standing association with fruit tree guilds in permaculture… Typical recommendations being to plant them in a circle around the tree based on what you believe the canopy will be in a few years… The belief is that the bulbs will prevent the grass from encroaching on the tree… Early flowering attracts important beneficial insects… And the poisonous foliage will prevent browsing…

The only one of these three beliefs that has any real merit is beneficial attraction… Grass and weeds do not stop advancing unless they encounter an impenetrable barrier… A circle of bulbs does not count as an impenetrable barrier by any means… Likewise… Although the foliage of the daffodil is toxic… Most of the poison is concentrated in the bulb… It would require a carpet of Narcissus below the tree to seriously have any possible effect on preventing browsing… But it would be really beautiful…

My recommendations are as follows… Daffodils should not be planted as a border around your trees… Although it will look pretty… It will not work exactly as advertised… It won’t hurt anything either… Daffodils should be planted in clumps at a depth of at least four inches… I like to throw a few bulbs in the air and then plant the clumps where each one falls… Daffodil bulbs reproduce on their own… Every so often the clumps should be dug up and divided to prevent overcrowding…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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Feed Your Houseplants in February

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Snowed inside for the final stretch of winter,
thinking about the things I need…
Don’t forget that your plants want to grow,
this is the time to feed…

Damn, that was a cheesy, I think I’ll leave it anyway… I have nothing to lose…

February, for me, is the part of the winter when I like to give my plants a dose of fertilizer, whatever nutrients the potting soil may have contained when you planted are now long gone and should be replaced. Before I fertilize my house plants, I always like to check for signs of salt build up on my pots, this will be most evident on plants in terra-cotta pots, the white crust at the bottom of the pot will be very noticeable.

If any of your containers have white crust on the bottom of the pot, you have two options to consider.

If any of your containers have this white crust on the bottom of the pot, you have two main options to consider.

1. Re-pot the plant – using fresh potting soil, which can be expensive and labor intensive, but worth it if you have time. In all reality house plants should be potted up once a year anyway, but I prefer to do my transplants outside in the Summer, so I personally prefer this next method.

2. Flush the potting mix – place the potted plant in a sink, with the intention of allowing water to flush through the soil. Pour fresh water through the soil allowing it to run out, the amount of water used should be 5x the size of the plant container… A 1 gallon pot should be flushed with 5 gallons of clean water, do not reuse the water on house plants, use it outside. Once your pots have been flushed, water them with a diluted mix of all-purpose fertilizer.

Amarylis

Discount fertilizers like miracle grow are commonly salt based products, although I do occasionally use them, I don’t recommend them. Salt does the same thing to a plant that it does to a human, it makes them thirsty as hell. The plant will essentially become a water highway, since the water based fertilizer is already highly nutrient rich, the plant no longer has a need for the tiny root hairs that normally absorb nutrients from the soil, and will systematically abort them… This in turn will make the plant starve if you ever stop feeding it miracle grow… Consider spending a little more money and go with an organic option…

Although these types of fertilizers can make your plants magically grow, they are not the most responsible option for the home gardener. I have heard that cadmium is a common ingredient in many bargain fertilizers, that is something I am going to have to look into.

As far as houseplants are concerned – just use less than recommended for outside plants…

As far as food is concerned – don’t screw around, organic only…

As far as annual flowers are concerned – use discretion…

As far as perennials and trees are concerned – choose a slow release organic fertilizer suited for the situation…

Hang in their people, it’s almost Spring!

peace – chriscondello

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