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Cultivation of Dracunculus vulgaris

  • Subject: Cultivation of Dracunculus vulgaris
  • From: DAVID LEEDY <djleedy@sbcglobal.net>
  • Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2013 11:20:50 -0700 (PDT)

When I lived in Los Angeles, I just placed some tubers of D. vulgaris in the ground and forgot about them until they sprouted and bloomed.
Here in North Texas, the circumstances are a little different (eg. temperatures, humidity, etc.).  I tried growing 7 tubers in containers.  Four sprouted, two did not sprout - but still look viable, and one rotted. 
The four that sprouted did so in April - May, looked terrible, and were down within 6 -8 weeks or so.  When do they ordinarily sprout in the Northern Hemisphere?  How long do the ordinarily grow before going dormant again.
Is there a particular soil acidity/alkalinity requirement for this species? 
I had them in partial shade (early morning only).  Do they require more shade or more sun?
I watered them with a weak plant food when I thought they needed it (more often in warmer weather).  Should they be allowed to dry out or should the soil remain moist?
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
David Leedy
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