Re: Dracunculus vulgaris cultural requirements?

Marge Talt wrote:
> Greetings,
> I've just received 5 large corms? of D. vulgaris from a friend in Holland.
> Some of them look like they are starting into growth, showing a definite
> point that looks like it's trying to form roots.
> >From reading past posts, I understand these guys would be hardy in my USDA
> zone 7 garden, but I don't have much clue on what kind of conditions they
> need to thrive.
> My soil is basic Maryland clay -- on the acid side.  I have woodland beds
> of part sun or dappled shade with as much as a foot of rotted wood chips
> over this clay which in one bed has a lot of 3/4" bluestone gravel in it;
> I have a fairly small new bed of enriched clay in combination with compost
> and spent potting soil containing a good amount of grit that is east facing
> and gets sun for about 3 hours a day; I have borders of amended clay, all
> drain well and most are pretty full of large woody plants as well as
> assorted perennials -- these tend to get a bit dry and are basically either
> shady or partially shady.
> I'm making a sand bed for sun and good drainage lovers that will get
> planted tomorrow...this is 12 inches of sand and pea gravel over a couple
> inches of compost over clay that drains well.
> Do any of the above conditions sound like they would do or do I need to
> quickly make another type of environment??
> Or, should I pot these guys up and overwinter in my cool to cold pseudo
> greenhouse?
> Any and all help will be vastly appreciated.
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> Editor:  Gardening in Shade
> Gardening Topic Index for Suite101:

Hi Marge,
I first planted Dracunculus vulgaris syn. Arum dracunculus back in 1990.
This plant requires a moist-well drained soil. Soil should dry out in
summer. This plant spreads. You should be able to propagate offsets late
summer and seeds in the fall. I bought my plant from Breck's catalogue,
December 1, 1990 for about $9. I planted Dracunculas vulgaris next to my
house facing the southeastern morning sun. The first year it bloomed was
I used my 22 pound tiller to till in lots of compost. I don't recommend
adding in any sand or gravel for Dracunculus vulgaris. I'm a big
believer in adding in compost into my soil for all my plants. But when
it comes to adding in gravel, sand etc., I feel that you should choose
another plant to grow before one should take such measures.
My humble option.
Judy Bauer

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