Narcissi are a genus of the Amaryllidaceae family, and are known as daffodils, jonquils, Lent lilies and many other names throughout the globe. The bulbs originated in the Mediterranean and can be found from the Iberian peninsular, France, Italy, around the Balkans and the Middle East.
As easily grown bulbous flowering plants, they have been popular since Ancient times, and indeed the name is thought to derived from the Greek for “intoxicated”, although rendered into the Latin by Pliny the Elder as narcissus. Cultivated in large numbers in the Netherlands since the sixteenth century, they were introduced to the Isles of Scilly in the nineteenth century, probably brought back to the islands by Scillonian pilots and seamen. They thrive here due to the sub-tropical climate, and have been a staple of Scillonian agriculture since 1879, when the first consignment of flowers was sent to Covent Garden by William Trevellick of Rocky Hill Farm.
Since then, the flower industry has thrived on the islands.
Approximately 20-30 bulbs depending on variety and size.
Scented Narcissi Bulbs - Paper Whites
Planting in pots or bowls - pot up in the same way as other bulbs. They like a cool, moist periods to produce roots but their need for cold is much less than that of other daffodils. They can, therefore, be brought indoors much earlier. Grow them in good light. The stems and leaves may need some supporting. Enjoy the scent!
Planting in tubs or planters for outdoor growing - as with most bulbs it is essential that the containers do not freeze or become waterlogged. Depth of soil over the bulbs 2-3 inches.
Planting in the garden - select the warmest place available ; sunny and sheltered. In the Midlands and the North there is a greater risk of winter frost damage. This can be lessened by planting beside a South facing wall. A slightly raised bed will also have warmer soil. Somewhat later planting (say October) does delay the growth until the main frost risk has passed. Depth of planting 4-6 inches.
Summer care of gazette bulbs - after purchase, or in the following summers, bulbs should be kept warm (about 20-25 centigrade). Of course, there is no need to dig the bulbs up each year if they are well sited. However, if they are left in the ground, ensure that the soil is constantly warmed by the sun, keeping other plants from over shading the area. If you lift the bulbs after the leaf has died off, keep them in a warm, well ventilated and dry place until planting them again in the autumn. A light dusting of bone meal, and sulphate mulch.
Given reasonable care, your bulbs may well increase and should give satisfaction for several years.