'TÊTE À TÊTE', A BEAUTIFUL BUT DELICATE POT NARCISSUS

P.J.M. Vreeburg, J.A. Schipper
One of the Narcissus cultivars best suited for use as potted plant is 'Tête à Tête'. It is a miniature daffodil (division Cyclamineus) with small bulbs and rather short leaves and stems. Each bulb produces several stems with 1–3 florets; the flower is yellow with a slightly orange cup and has a reasonable keeping quality.

Without growth regulators 'Tête è Tête' can be used as a potplant from December until May. It requires dry storage at 17–25°C followed by a cooling period, preferably potted, of 14 weeks at 9, 5 and/or 2°C. For late flowering a lower temperature during cooling has to be applied.

This and other miniature Narcissus cultivars are susceptible to infection by Botryotinia narcissicola (Greg.) Buchw., Botrytis cinerea Pers. Fr., and Penicillium spp. The first symptom of infection that all three fungi show on the bulbs is a light brown colouring of scale tissue. These infections, when small, will not always result in inferior plants. Severe infections can cause complete loss of the plant and even then it is not always clear which of the fungi caused this. The risk of infection differs from year to year and from stock to stock. Another problem is that bulbs that look healthy at planting time sometimes hardly produce any plants because of rotting during the cooling period.

To prevent infection by fungi or damage to the quality of the plant several measures have to be taken.

Important are: drying well after lifting, after breaking of offsets and after disinfection when bulbs are not planted right away, direct dry storage until cooling and/or planting, disinfection once more before cooling and planting and the use of the correct soil mixture.

Last but not least, only healthy, round, undamaged bulbs must be used for potted plants. Growers as well as tradesmen and forcers have to consider all this, otherwise a risk of plant loss will be incurred.

Vreeburg, P.J.M. and Schipper, J.A. (1990). 'TÊTE À TÊTE', A BEAUTIFUL BUT DELICATE POT NARCISSUS. Acta Hortic. 266, 259-266
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1990.266.33
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1990.266.33

Acta Horticulturae