Last updated on December 7th, 2011
IS THERE A NARCISSUS that inspires poetry more than ‘Erlicheer’? This tazetta daffodil (above; click to enlarge) enchants with 7-15 fully double, creamy-white, powerfully perfumed blossoms atop every stem. You can enjoy these scented snowballs outdoors in April (if you want to wait that long), or force the bulbs indoors, as I do, for February bloom.
Erlicheer looks well in any window garden that features spring-flowering plants. Above (click to enlarge), bulbs in two pots flank the tall, ‘Red Lion’ amaryllis on the sill, while ‘Blue Jacket’ hyacinths, also sweetly-scented, and forced in bulb vases, bloom on the latch ledge. (This red, blue and white picture is the first thing I see in the morning, for it is in my bedroom window.)
For a successful adventure with Erlicheer, plant 5 bulbs in a 6-inch pot. Water well, then place the pot in cold-storage for 10 weeks. Afterward, bring the bulbs to sunlight and warmth (but not too warm; keep temperatures closer to 60- than 70-degrees if you desire a full month of bloom).
In exchange for your continued care after blooms fade, these hardy bulbs can have a fine future in the garden outdoors. Cut off faded flowering stalks, but let the green foliage remain. Provide food, water, and full sun until yellowing foliage signals dormancy. Withhold all moisture, and let the soil dry out. Remove the bulbs, and place them, for the remainder of spring and summer, in the cool cellar. I store mine in a paper bag filled with dry sawdust or vermiculite. In early October, give the bulbs a permanent location in some sunny spot outdoors.
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