Re: Dracunculus seedlings

>  I have 1 year old seedlings of Dracunculus canariensis.  Can someone tell 
> me if this plant goes dormant.  I was waiting for them to go dormant 
> before I pull them out of the pan they are currently growing in.  If they 
> don't go dormant, I will transplant them now.
> Thanks in advance
> Mike Bordelon
> Botany Greenhouse
> Smithsonian Institution

Hi Mike,
I wonder whether these are the seedlings from the seeds I send you 
last year, are they ? Congratulations !

The experiences I made with this species are as follows:

1. Seedlings will not go dormant before their second year. So if 
you planted them this spring, they will keep their leaves at least 
until early summer next year and it is better not to interrupt them 
while still growing. If you have to repot them, ok, but try to save 
as many roots as possible, otherwise they WILL go dormant right now 
and this might have a negative effect on them.
Sometimes seedlings won't take their dormancy until their third year, 
but forcing them (by cutting water supply or very high temperatures) 
after their first year will be ok anyway.

2. Even adult plants (when put in a cooler and half-shaded place and 
with substrate being kept moist) don't go dormant. They will keep on 
growing for more than 15 months before going dormant. This seems to 
be the maximum growing period before their genes tell them to rest. 
On the Canary Islands their growth depends on wheather, as soon as 
they receive the first excessive rains in autumn (which all depend 
on the trade winds) they start to grow until the medium falls too dry 
in early summer. So usually they grow for about 9 months and 
disappear for the rest of the year, yet even this depends on water. 
On one occasion I saw new leaves at the end of August when it had 
heavily rained before (which is very uncommon on the islands).

I hope that these information will match your question.

If you still have doubts, just contact me privately at:

Happy growing !

Bjorn Malkmus


Bjorn Malkmus
Am Parkfeld 14 E
D-65203 Wiesbaden

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